Do I have to eat three meals a day?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,441
    Dietitian Sarah Alligood discusses if you should eat three meals a day.

    Host: Do I have to eat three meals a day?

    Sarah Alligood: There is no set rule that you have to eat three meals a day. It is very important not to skip meals. If you are letting your body go hungry too long you are going to store a lot of the food you have because your body is tricked into thinking it might not be getting anymore and so you dont want that. What you want to do is eat when you are hungry, this might equate to three meals a day, it may not. It maybe more like six small meals a day. Whats important is that you listen to your bodys hunger cues. We have something called a hunger scale so if you think about a scale from 1 to 5; 1 would be like you are stranded on a desert island with no food and you are absolutely starving, 5 would be you just finished thanksgiving dinner, you are so full that you have had to unbutton your pants and you just can't even move, you feel awful. Those are the two extremes that you want to avoid those. So sticking somewhere between the 2 and a 4, so 2 being, I am hungry, 3 being I am neutral, 4 being I am just right and full is where you want to stay. So your body is able to tell you when you are starting to get hungry. I am sure you thought your stomach growl, when you get signals like that, thats when you decide to eat and then your body will tell you when you are full. When you are full, you shouldnt keep eating. If you are worried about waste, just package up all the food you have leftover and have it later.