Many people eat three meals a day. But we don't have to eat this way.
In trying to find a new routine while working from home, many Americans are drawn to eating a Big Meal once a day when they're ready to have it. A Big meal is large and can be eaten at any time of the day, typically in the late afternoon. It is not a diet, just a convenient way of eating.
Moving away from three meals might at first feel unnatural, but that eating schedule is both very recent and born out of social convenience. We don't eat three meals because of nutritional science or a natural human inclination.
It is mostly the consequence of industrialization, which took the population away from home regularly. Before that, people worked during daylight, pausing midmorning and later in the afternoon. It was a two-meal schedule based on outdoor physical labour.
The three-meals-a-day was created to bend human life around the necessity of leaving home to work elsewhere.
Now with online working and turning back to home-life-work, people are bending once again around an entirely new set of challenges. Our old eating schedules are changing to fit our new circumstances.
Adjusted eating patterns are more useful or satisfying in the conditions people are living in.
It is hard to see how life might be made more flexible after the pandemic. For now, eat when you feel like it. There is no reason to eat when you're not hungry or to force yourself to cook when you're tired and would be happy with a lighter meal.
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