Why You Should Never Eat another Meal

Dr Vernon Coleman

Eating three square meals a day is old-fashioned and unhealthy. It is also bad for you.

When you eat at fixed meal-times, you will often be eating whether you are hungry or not. And because you and your body know that it will be some hours before you eat another big meal there is a tendency to overeat. This is bad for you in two main ways. First, the amount of food in a large meal puts a great strain on your digestive system. Second, your body will store the excess food as fat so that you can live off the fatty stores while you are not eating. But your next fixed meal time will probably come along just before your body starts burning up those fat stores and the result is that you will gain unnecessary weight.

By eating little and often – nibbling, snacking or `grazing' – your health will benefit in many ways. And your IBS will be far less troublesome.

Eating at fixed meal times is, as far as your body is concerned, a bizarre, unnatural and thoroughly irrational way to eat. Your body doesn't just need food three times a day. It needs energy supplies all day long. By choosing to eat fixed meals you create problems for yourself. Meal times are not natural. They were invented because they just happen to fit in with the way most of us work and live. If you get most of your calories three times a day at fixed meal times then you are almost certain to end up overweight. Calories that aren't burnt up straight away will end up stuck on your hips. And however much you try to diet the chances are that you will fail.

Here’s why you should never eat another meal again:

* When you eat at fixed mealtimes you eat whether you are hungry or not. Instead of obeying your body's inbuilt appetite control centre, you eat because the clock shows that it is time to eat. Your body's internal appetite control can make sure that you never get fat – if only you let it. But eating meals at fixed meal times means that your natural appetite control centre doesn't get a chance to work properly.

* When you eat at fixed mealtimes you tend to eat what is available, what you have prepared or what you have been given – whether you need it or not. It is easy to eat the wrong foods – and to eat too much.

* Because you and your body know that it will be some hours before you eat another big meal, there is a tendency to overeat. While you're changing your eating habits you should also make a real effort to eat less. Most of us eat far too much – dangerously overloading our bodies!

* Every time you are about to eat ask yourself if you are genuinely hungry. If you are – then eat! But as soon as your hunger has gone – stop eating!

* Remember that you should always check with your doctor before changing your diet – particularly if you are undergoing treatment of any kind or are not in the best of health.

* If you are going to start eating snacks or mini meals then you must stop eating meals. You can't eat mini meals and ordinary meals as well!

* You don't have to be unsociable and leave your family and friends to eat alone. If they want a meal, sit down with them but just eat a snack.

Taken from the book `Relief from IBS (Revised edition)’ by Vernon Coleman

Copyright Vernon Coleman October 2023