Many of us since we were young were told that we must eat 3+ meals a day in order to be healthy.
In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
1. You’ll experience healthy weight loss and maintenance
Our bodies are designed for sporadic eating. We do best if we have fewer meals throughout the day.
This is commonly known as intermittent fasting (IF). IF allows you to consume the necessary amount of calories per day while allowing you to burn more body fat.
The most effective way to do this is to skip breakfast.
When you have your first meal later in the day you:
- Allow for more stable insulin levels ( a fat-storage hormone)
- Burn more fat while maintaining your muscle mass
- Have higher levels of the human growth hormone (HGH) which is essential for muscle growth and preservation.
Eating two meals a day is known as the 16:8 protocol. This pattern of IF was popularized by fitness guru Martin Berkhan.
Essentially you fast for 16 hours a day and have an 8-hour eating window. Most people will have two meals during their eating window.
A daily fasting study done at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that:
- 16:8 helped the participants who had an average BMI of 35 lose 3 percent of their body weight in 12 weeks.
- IF helped the participants consume an average of 350 fewer calories per day.
- Fasting also helped improve their blood pressure.
If the participants stuck to fasting after the study their positive results would increase over time.
2. Fewer meals can extend your lifespan
In recent years scientists have begun to explore the correlation of fasting and prolonged lifespan.
A 2003 mouse study done by Mark Mattson head of the National Institute of Aging saw that:
- Mice that fasted regularly had lower insulin levels and glucose in their blood. Increased insulin sensitivity rapidly reduces the risk of diabetes.
The article goes on to say that other studies were done on fruit flies and other mammals. Some of the research saw more than a third of an extended lifespan.
A study was done in 2011, Mice as a Mammalian Model for Research on the Genetics of Aging went into great detail about how caloric restriction can also increase lifespan in humans.
Caloric restriction in mice was found to:
- Decrease the occurrence of age-related diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancers.
- Enhance the immune system(personally I experience this)
- The sex of the mice correlated to lifespan wasn't a factor.
Mice share 99% of their genes with humans so the findings from caloric restriction and mice are closely related to what researchers will find (and are finding) in humans.
Studies like above tell us that the caloric restriction from eating fewer meals per day allows us to enjoy a longer, healthier life.
3. A whole foods diet is key to make eating two meals a day sustainable
If your diet is filled with ultra-processed foods like foods found in the Standard American Diet (SAD), naturally it won't be healthy eating two meals a day.
You don’t even have to go on a fad diet like Keto or become a vegan in order to eat healthily.
Consume foods like:
- Salmon, Wild Shrimp, Monkfish, Mussels, and Wild Catfish
- Bison, Grass-Fed Beef, Duck, and Turkey
- Wild Rice, Quinoa, Black Bean Pasta, and Sweet Potato
- Kale, Arugula, Spinach, and Watercress
- Garlic, Mushrooms, and Onion
- Honey, Maple Syrup, and Organic Dark Chocolate
Whole foods will support you during your fasting period. If you eat SAD, you’ll experience cravings, extreme hunger, and irritability while you fast.
Caloric restriction through eating two meals a day will only be healthy if your diet is.
If your diet isn't the best, work on that first before embarking on a fasting journey.
Your experience will be more enjoyable.
You’ll bypass many of the hurdles that people face when they go from eating 3–6 meals a day to 2 meals a day.