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I Have Questions: Why Do We Have To Eat Three Times A Day?

Updated on October 2, 2011

I have many questions, always. My thoughts fly, chasing patterns and the other day I came across a question which seemed rather simple, or unimportant: why do we eat three times a day?

After a couple of minutes of thinking, I realized that the answer was not all that simple. I thought about other species of animals, do they eat three times a day? I don’t think so. In nature, it seems to me that all other of our animal cousins eat when they are hungry, or when they find food I guess. We seem to eat when the clock tells us to …

I honestly thought about this for a few days now and I cannot come-up with any specific reason that ties the human species of animals to having three meals each day. I suppose someone invented this routine at some point in time and now most people (in the western world for the most part – because in Africa people aren’t guaranteed even one meal per day for example) think of it as normal or good. We have created our entire lives, more or less around these three meals a day. This routine seems pretty ridiculous to me.

Of course, this seems absurd to me because I do not hold such a routine: I eat when I am hungry for the most part. It does not matter if it is two in the afternoon or it is two in the morning – it makes no difference to me. I just listen to my body (when I am bright enough).

I remember being in France last summer and the people who I was staying with (extended family) dropped their jaws when they saw my sister and I eat breakfast. I really did not understand at first but they ultimately confessed that for breakfast they usually just have some juice, cereals with milk or some fruits … and that is about it. I of course looked at them oddly and continued eating my cheese, salami, fois-gras, etc. Sometimes I have soup for breakfast … it really depends how I feel – I do not have many routines when it comes to eating my food. And I always try to eat new things.

I think I started thinking about this when I was thinking about other things that people accept as truths when in reality, they are just phases and illusions (I am thinking of a fellow blogger here, Mr. Spirit Whisperer – he is a big fan of talking about illusions and I am thankful for the many conversations we have had on this topic). Another great example would be the “banksters” and their "bankster” system, through which they suck people dry of energy in order to fund their lavish life-styles.

Some people say that certain corporations are “too big to fail”. Whoever came-up with that one-liner was obviously a right-wing genius. It’s a great punch-line: catchy, short, straight-forward … too bad it holds no truth. It is just there to scare people into thinking that we need this crooked system which the “banksters” have created. It is so outrageous to think that the International Monetary Fund (a bunch of "banksters" gathered in in Brussels) dictates to people/countries how they should do things. Yet, that is the case. And it is the case because we have allowed it to be the case. A handful of people are trying to shape an entire world as they wish and through the corporate-controlled mass media, we are being told what to do in order to continue being a sheep.

“Banksters” are an untruth; they are not needed, especially as they exist today – just like one person does not need to have three meals a day. We have fallen into some addictions which have shaped our illusions in such a way that we are afraid to break them. Breaking our illusion is something good though; it will free us. Just like breaking-down greedy corporations and the system of “banksters”, will free people from their financial slavery. The choice is ours!

Note: The “bankster” term is not mine and I cannot take any credit for it. I first heard it from Max Keiser, on the Keiser Report. Here’s a sample if you have never seen this news show:


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    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Mr. Quirinus, I love your comment. I understand "closer to all things" as the "Law of One": All is connected, We are All One.

      And regarding the opening of "ourselves to where the intelligence of our body leads us", that is a most amazing statement. Sorcerers often look for that moment when the ego is put aside and the power of the body leads us. It is incredible the many things our bodies know but most of us indulge in our egos so much that the knowledge which our bodies have, is overlooked.

      Beautiful comment! Thank You for taking the time to visit and share some of your knowledge. Cheers! May Wkakan Tanka walk with You.

    • Quirinus profile image

      Queirdkus Ω Ibidem 

      9 years ago from Sitting on the Rug

      Thanks for interesting comments on your hub, Mr. Happy! Your take on being walked by the dog is an important insight. Our body does have pure intelligence that is as the Tao says "closer to all things" than an ego-ruled mind.

      Sample would be my meal routine. By letting myself be walked by the dog, it could happen that I discover new menus or places to dine at. It does open doors to a whole new way of living, to adventure, to open ourselves to where the intelligence of our body leads us.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank You for the insightful comment left, Mrs. JessMcCray.

      I do not believe in norms because depending on where on Earth one walks, the norms change ... What is normal for one culture may be abnormal for another and vice-versa.

      At this point I am thinking about a great book I read many years ago, titled: "Nonconformity" by Nelson Algren. If You ever come across it, You might enjoy the read.


    • JessMcCray profile image


      9 years ago from NYC

      In our society we tend to conform to the norm- who defined that is a good question. I tend to not conform as I have my own mind- great hub

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Always good to see You visit Daughter of Maat!

      I think it would be very good if people would listen to their body and not make the body listen to the ego, which might tell us that the custom is to eat three times a day. Our bodies know best when we should eat!

      Thank You for taking the time to read and comment. Cheers!

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank You for taking the time to read and comment as well Mr. Noenhulk. All the best! : )

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Greetings Mr. Rahul,

      I totally agree with You: I eat when I am hungry too! Cheers and thank You for your comment.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image

      Melissa Flagg COA OSC 

      9 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      I used to eat 2 meals a day, I always skipped breakfast. When diabetes became a threat to me, I changed EVERYTHING! I eat about 6 times a day now, and many of my "snacks" are a fresh glass of fruit or veggie juice. Personally, I don't think it's all that healthy to eat just 3 times a day. That opens the door for constant fluctuations in our blood sugar levels leading to obesity. To me it doesn't really matter when I eat. The only meal I make sure I get is breakfast. Although, with my new biphasic sleep pattern, there really isn't a discernable breakfast. All my meals kind of run together now. lol

      Great hub as usual Mr. Happy!

    • noenhulk profile image


      9 years ago

      Hahaha! Love this. Sometimes, I do not go with the flow. I woke up late in the morning. I don't noticed I always ate 2 times a day.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 

      9 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      I eat when I feel hungry... really

      Interesting hub Mr. Happy

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Greetings Mr. Bretsuki,

      Thank You for taking the time to read and leave a comment, I appreciate it. It does indeed seem that the Industrial Revolution has scarred our specie quite badly ... Everything from when we eat to how schools and work places are arranged and run, it's all still in the style of the Industrial Revolution worker/slave environment. It really is mind-boggling that we did not grow out of this already. Do we need another hundred years?

      Much to think about. Cheers!

    • Bretsuki profile image

      William Elliott 

      9 years ago from California USA

      Hello Mr Happy, thanks for a very readable hub.

      I think that I have part of the answer to your question. Why do we eat three times a day?

      Prior to the Industrial Revolution, in Britain about 1750, in the US about 1830. Most people did not eat at fixed mealtimes, many were either agricultural workers and small artisans, blacksmiths, shop keepers etc. They set their own hours or worked as day length allowed, eating more or less as they needed.

      With the industrial system, machines needed to be worked in shifts, manned at all times of the day. The owners of the machines and factories therefore had to impose breaks on their workers, now they arrived in work at the behest of the clock, ate, drank at the behest of the clock and went home at the behest of the clock.

      The three meals per day idea therfore comes in with the industrial world. Just one aspect of turning men, women and children into machines.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Greetings Mr. Davidseeger,

      thank You for bringing-up the point about the Industrial Revolution. Indeed that revolution has messed-up our lives greatly.

      We eat like factory workers. We go to school like factory workers (if you think of the bells, lunch-time, giant buildings and masses of people horded around like sheep). Our entire societies are still working as if the Industrial Revolution was the end-all thing ...

      Maybe we'll get past it, who knows ...

      Thanks You for the insightful comment left. All the best!

    • davidseeger profile image


      9 years ago from Bethany, OK

      Eating 3 meals/day is common but not necessary. In the period before the industrial revolution it was much less common. However, the meal at noon was introduced to provide a break in the day and to provide additional sustinance for the second half of the day. Among farmers a meal in the middle of day was only used if needed because of the work load. In fact it was common for harvest crews to also take a mid-morning and a mid-afternoon snack or meal. If the work performed was not too strenuous then the worker would probably not eat lunch.Once the industrial worker became the common model workersof all types of work began to claim the right and need for a midle of day break.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Yes Mrs. Albertasj, this is certainly not a one-dimensional piece of writing because "the truth is rarely pure and never simple" (Oscar Wilde).

      We can train ourselves to do whatever we wish! : )

      Thank You for the read and taking the time to leave me a comment. Cheers!

    • albertsj profile image

      jacy albertson 

      9 years ago from Oviedo fl

      I love this Hub, Mr Happy. It's definitely not one dimensional, in that it makes you think in more ways than one. Okay, here in America we live to eat. So having this "schedule" we "get" to eat, weather hungry or not, 3 times per day. Of course people really should eat to live. Now that food, and meals have become such an art, and can be so darn good, why just eat once? But this is not out of a need so much, but rather out of a want. And yeah? Who decided that this is what we "should' do? I get looked at like I have two heads, if god forbid I miss lunch, or eat "out of schedule" (GASP!) If people in other parts of the world can function on one meal, maybe we can train ourselves is too darn good! : ) Great hub!

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank you for your comment Pollyannalana.

      Interesting you wrote about children eating. If you think about it, young children do not have to conform to the three-times a day eating schedule. I suppose it is yet another example of how this three times a day eating thing, is really nothing but a practiced myth.

      And your comment about "one person alone", is quite correct. Again, it shows that as individuals we do not have to abide by any specific numbers of times in which we have to eat per day.

      Thank you for your time again. Cheers!

    • Pollyannalana profile image


      9 years ago from US

      Very interesting. Jobs, school, work etc., I guess really puts us on a food schedule. Naturally you feed your kids when they wake and want them to have at least two more meals. Usually the mother cooks and she is not going to do it every time someone yells,"Hungry!" One person alone, it is no problem, I don't have a schedule then either except by hunger and convenience. I mean I am not about to be walking by any banana or coconut trees after all.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      "Running against time" is a bit of a problem in my mind, Mrs. Ruchira. (I have a large poster of Salvador Dali's painting: "Clock Explosion", right behind me) I am not big fan of "time" - I don't even know what it means. I have been struggling with trying to understand it for many years now ... and still, nothing.

      I think I agree with your statement that says: "people should eat whenever they are hungry", without the "but" ... lol

      Thank you for stopping-by. Cheers!

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Mr./Mrs. SanXuary, what a great comment you left! Sorry I did not get to respond quicker.

      I too am of the opinion that if one eats healthy, one will be healthy and with very little need of a medicine man/woman.

      Indeed, keeping people sick is profitable for the pharmaceutical industry too. It's like the fast-food industry and the pharmaceutical industry keep us in a viciously unhealthy, never-ending cycle: we eat bad food, take pills for the problems we have from the bad food and then, we eat more bad food ...

      Blows my mind ...

      Thank you for the comment though. Much appreciated!

    • Ruchira profile image


      9 years ago from United States

      Hello Mr. Happy

      You sure have raised a good question...why do we eat 3 times a day.

      Well actually, people should eat whenever they are hungry and not at a specific time BUT we humans are all running against time. Most of us have a day job so, we wake up each morning and have our b'fast. While at work, we get a break at noon so, smart humans tend to use that time to eat. Evening when they come home...they prefer eating and relaxing and calling it a day!

      What you should eat during those 3 times is also a concern since; our body mechanics work differently in the morning, noon and night. Thus, gotta eat accordingly or else face the consequences esp when we are aging.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Just about everything we have been told is based on creating consumers in our society. There is enormous research into this paradox and who promotes these ideas. I highly recommend that people do the research because it is mind boggling. If you followed the food pyramid you would probably be a hundred pounds over weight. A Chinese study the largest ever done literally proved that the high consumption of animal based foods was in direct proportion to the increase in cancer, diabetes and coronary heart disease. There is research that shows that cancer cells can be turned on and off by the primary protein in milk. People have had their entire medical status done and 4 weeks later on a plant and whole foods diet seen their status return to normal healthy levels. Another study actually shows coronary heart disease not only reverse its self but actually heal. How can we consume more milk then anywhere in the World and have the highest level of osteoporosis at the same time? To big to fail is why we never tell the truth and why we need to eat more. Imagine if we were all healthy who might lose some money.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      rofl Mr. Wesman ... the eating before sleeping doesn't always work-out well for me though. I've had nights of turning and tossing because I ate too much - I try to watch that now. I do think everyone's body has their own way of working and thus, to each their own!

      I am also not a big eater in the morning. It takes me a while before I can even think about food.

      Thanks for dropping by. All the best!

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      9 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      I'm with you. I've got a close friend that is into all sorts of nonsense. One time probably ten years ago I saw the guy just totally tear into his youngest sister for having some pizza for breakfast - he seriously thought that that was improper, and somehow, un healthy too.

      I have no concept of breakfast. If I'm working on a particular day in a labor sort of way - then I generally have to force myself to eat something for breakfast so that I don't get hungry after an hour or two of lifting heavy tools and crap around.

      My whole life people have been trying to get me to eat in the mornings - I'm never the slightest bit hungry for hours after I wake up. I also prefer to pig out on something just before going to bed (whenever that time is) - but I'm rail thin anyway, and couldn't gain much weight even if I wanted to.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Stigma31, thanks for commenting Amigo. Indeed this was not only a blog about eating ... things are hardly what they seem. I am happy you enjoyed the read though. Cheers!

      Mrs. Amy, I believe you are completely right in saying that the frantic life-styles we lead somehow have drilled us into eating three times a day. I think it is also true that those who do not conform, are often called crazy and fed some pills to fix their differences. Much to think about ...

      Thank you for your great comment. All the best!

      Mrs. Fennelseed, your words are wise. I certainly agree that: "Being free is not about having more money to ulitmately hand over to the banksters. Being free is about not yielding to the immense pressure to be 'trendy'. ... somehow we have let all morals, values and ethics go down the drain, in exchange for some material things ... I do think we got ripped-off lol

      Many thanks for stopping by to comment. Cheers!

    • Fennelseed profile image

      Annie Fenn 

      9 years ago from Australia

      This is a very interesting hub, Mr Happy and I agree with you whole heartily. It is the "banksters", though I have not heard this term used before, I find it very apt - (for me they are 'those who are driven by greed'), who dictate through very clever advertising and campaigning what people do with there lives or should I say how they spend their money. It seems there is this drive to be "trendy", live in the fashionable suburbs, wear the right labels, eat out and be seen at the right places, holiday in the trendy locations, take up trendy past times and gernerally spend all their hard earned cash doing and buying all those things promoted so heavily by - yep you guessed it - the "banksters". Being free is not about having more money to ulitmately hand over to the banksters. Being free is about not yielding to the immense pressure to be 'trendy'. I like your way of thinking very much, and I eat when I am hungry also!!! ;)

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 

      9 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I don't like, watch or "get" the unending cornucopia of competitive food shows today. I've had a number of friends remark that I "eat like a bird". I eat enough that I'm still alive! I eat to live, not live to eat. One of the many joys of living alone is not being dictated by the clock.

      When we bring a newborn home, the first thing we control is the schedule, promoted as "good" for everyone. Babies, however, always let you know when they are hungry...and initially, as a young, nursing mother, I was up around the clock about every 2-hours, as nature intends. The parental anxiety sets in with newborns switching days and nights, followed by schedules for meeting the militant milestones of crawling, walking, and potty training that serve to create anxiety, phobias and neurosis. Schools regiment young lives from the time we step on the bus to lunch, recess, bathroom breaks, classes and the bell announcing time to go home. Those with a problem adapting are diagnosed ADHD and ritalin is prescribed in the hopes of making the teachers life easier. One thing we learn in school is the need for schedules, as the whole world must keep the frantic pace or be trampled and left in the dust. Its no wonder so many young people are on anti-anxiety meds.

      Before my layoff, every moment of every day was controlled by the clock. Now, I hope I never again, have to acquiese to the tick-tock of passing years as a slave to the clock. My Scottish Terrier, a true Pavlovian dog, lets me know when its 4:00 in the afternoon, his dinnertime. His joy at this scheduled event makes his internal clock the one I am glad to abide. And strangely enough, my days are busy, productive, my own, and last until my eyes close, be it 10 p.m. or 4 a.m. In that way, my layoff, was a godsend, as I finally discovered freedom from the insistence of a clock.

      Love this piece, Mr. Happy. It is so relevent to enjoying life.

    • Stigma31 profile image


      9 years ago from Kingston, ON

      As i read your hub it did make me think. I think we eat in a routine because we have to. No other animal has a job, or school that they need to curtail their eating habit around. I personally eat sporatically baecause my daily routine is never the same. I generally skip breakfast as well, I am good with a glass of juice and a run out the door. But, after working for 4 hour I am hungry, and then again after another 4.

      I am sure if you regularly woke up, ate and walked your dog for 4 hours, then gave him a break to eat and then walked him for another 4 hours and then ate. And did this forever, he would also start a 3 meal a day routine.

      This is just conjecture as I definitely don't have time or the energy to test this theory, but most likely it would happen. If you are going to be lazy all day maybe you could get away with one meal.

      Good article voting up, even if it did trick me into ready a hub about "banksters". Always think for yourself, no society, government, or organization should tell you how you should live.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      "I've actually found myself being quite relieved not to have hunger pangs" - Yes, I think that it is indeed beneficial to be able to go on with less food sometimes (or none at all). lol I've had family members say that I eat water ... I guess I do.

      On the issue of banksters, they're squirming at the moment. They are in a state of panic and confusion. Their plans did not go as well as they thought and are now scrambling to control what is beyond their control. Distrust and fear reigns amongst them. Their system is crumbling because it was rotten from its design. Thus, it was expected to collapse. We are now seeing its last days. The future will not be easy but there is always sunshine after the storm.

      Thank you for your comment Seeker7. All the best!

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 

      9 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      Great hub!

      I've spent years putting up with odd looks from people because I refused to eat what and when everyone else did. I'm like a few of the other hubbers here, I eat when I'm hungry and if I'm not I don't eat. I've actually found myself being quite relieved not to have hunger pangs, this means that I can get on with more important things - like reading your hub!!!LOL!

      As to 'banksters' - great term no matter who invented it - I think their time for a huge fall will come. Maybe it's now, with all the economic crashes going on. I'm not qualified to say if this is the case or not. But I for one, will celebrate when some of these greedy mind controllers get a taste of their own medicine!

      Voted up + awesome hub!

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      lol Mrs. Storyteller, just seeing that you dropped by made me smile! Thank you very much for taking the time to read and comment. You still rock!! Cheers.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank you for your thoughts Denise. I do think it is beneficial not to eat until you feel like bursting ... if anything, at least out of respect for those who do not have any food ...

      Mr. Amillar, tea-breaks sound so very British lol Society does socialize us. Cheers!

      Mr. Teapartycrasher, I didn't know there was a specific term for my eating habits ... I guess "grazing" would be it. I was thinking of myself more like a scavenger but I guess grazing sounds smoother lol

      All the best! (And keep crashing those parties lol)

    • Storytellersrus profile image


      9 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      haha, I was thinking this exact question yesterday! Love it. Thanks for your informative, humourous hub.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      LOL Mr. Movie Master ... what if the flow leads to a waterfall? Thank you for the comment. Cheers!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      Very interesting, I have never thought about why we eat 3 times a day, I just go with the flow! but thinking about it, I tend to eat for the sake of it and I'm not that hungry anyway!

      Thanks for sharing and voting up.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Interesting hub. I haven't thought about this, and still eat 'three times a day' however, I am much more aware of my eating only when hungry and only as much until I am satisfied but not overfull. Thanks.

    • amillar profile image


      9 years ago from Scotland, UK

      I think that meals and tea breaks are just day-dividers Mr Happy. But please keep schtum about it, or the banksters who are always looking for new profiteering ‘initiatives’ will instruct our politicians to make it illegal.

    • TeaPartyCrasher profile image


      9 years ago from Camp Hill, PA

      My Dad used to say that my late grandfather ate one meal a day that lasted from when he woke up until he went to but.

      What he did, actually, is what's now called 'grazing'. Eat a little bit all during the day.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Greetings Mr. Spirit Whisperer,

      thank you for the read and for your comment.

      I have a comment to make myself regarding your statement that:"at the end of the day mind commands and body obeys except for those people who are walked by the dog!"

      The body knows many more things than the mind does, in my opinion. When the body leads the way ... the world stops. The body can also lead but one must consciously let it lead and put the ego aside. It is a difficult task to achieve but it provides a different perspective on things.

      I would also like to say that I have been "walked by" dogs many times. This has to do with my curiosity. If you want to know where a dog wants to go, you really have to let it "walk you". This also proved for me to be a great experience, every time I have tried it - it provides a different perspective as well.


    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      9 years ago from Isle of Man

      I love this hub Mr Happy. I have always eaten what I wanted when I felt hungry. My wife still looks funny at me when I eat spicy food in the morning.

      It is all illusion and we can choose to believe whatever we wish; at the end of the day mind commands and body obeys except for those people who are walked by the dog!

      You become more magical with each hub you write. Thank you.


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