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One Massive Meal Or Lots Of Small Ones?

One Massive Meal Or Lots Of Small Ones? Posted On
Posted By Eve A

It seems that with every passing day some new journal article is released purporting to hold the secret for how humans should eat. Over the last few decades, researchers have been experimenting with meal timings to see which are best for staying lean and healthy.

So far the results are impressive. It turns out, according to, that eating small meals every few hours is actually a better way to eat than to eat three large regular meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The reason for this has to do with the way that people evolved. It turns out that humans are descended from a line of mammals that ate only sporadically. Humans would hunt and gather and eat while it was convenient. They didn’t sit down to have large meals together in their caves at set times of the day.

But this lifestyle all changed with the advent of farming. All of a sudden, people began eating large amounts of food all in one go for fear that the rains would fail and that they would starve to death without adequate fat stores. This led to a change in behavior where people actively tried to put on weight in the hope that they would be safe in the event of a drought.

There’s another movement, however, in the human nutrition industry which appears to contradict this. It’s the idea that humans evolved eating only rarely and didn’t sit down to regular meals. Like the grazing diet described above, it too points out that at no point in their evolution did humans have three square meals a day. Instead, they went for extended periods of time without food, and their bodies were adapted to such an eventuality.

Thus, the idea that humans should only eat once per day or eat during a short window of time was born. And experiments seemed to confirm that it was beneficial. Eating in this way helped to lower things like insulin resistance and improve people’s heart health says

The truth is that both approaches are probably beneficial. The grazing method is advantageous because it prevents insulin levels in the blood from spiking and makes sure that there is an optimal release of hormones to burn fat. And the fasting approach is also probably beneficial, given the evidence from animal studies that fasting can lengthen mammalian lifespan by up to 40 percent.


Eating Many Meals A Day

So how can you go about eating many meals a day? Probably the best approach is to copy what our ancestors did. Throughout the day, they would have snacked on fruit, nuts, greens and other veggies to meet their energy requirements. They might also have prepared small meals after the invention of fire, meaning that they would have made soups and broths, as well as cooked meats. One way of making eating regular meals easier is to make up a big batch of food at the beginning of the day and then eat small amounts of it every few hours when hunger strikes.
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