If humans can go weeks without eating, why do we eat 3 times a day?


If humans can go weeks without eating, why do we eat 3 times a day?

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So the trick is that you can go weeks without eating if absolutely necessary in an emergency. But your body needs energy from food to work. Everything from breathing to walking to thinking uses energy, and we get that energy from the food we eat.

If we eat more food then we need, the extra energy gets turned into fat and stored in our body in case of emergencies.

If we don’t have enough energy, our body can break down stored fat and muscle and turn that into an emergency supply of energy. But it can only do that for so long, and doing that makes us tired and weak.

Eating regularly is better for our bodies, because we get the energy we need to survive.

There isn’t a need to eat 3 times a day really only once a day is enough unless you are actively working out and burning extra calories other then the normal amount. Just don’t make what you eat shit like a bag or chips or ice cream do a little bit of everything just once a day and you are golden.

If you can go three minutes without breathing, why don’t you continually alternate holding your breath for two minutes and then taking an extremely deep breath?

Because your body can survive an instance of it, but if you repeat it, you use up your resources and can’t get it back fast enough. You can breathe enough with one breath to survive for two minutes, but then your blood is so full of CO2 and so depleted of O2 that you can’t repeat the feat with a second breath. You can eat enough in one sitting to survive for a day or two, but any longer than that between meals, and you can’t eat faster than you use up energy, and you begin starving.

Humans can go weeks without eating… by digesting your muscles and burning them for energy.

To really “ELI5” it: This question is kind of like asking “If you can burn your furniture and then the walls for heat, why do we pay for natural gas heating?”

The answer is “well you *can*, and it may save your life in an emergency, but it’s by no means a good, healthy, or optimal way when other options are possible.”

You don’t need to eat 3 times a day. That’s a fabricated, synthetic hangover from the Victorian era where people thought the thing to do was have three meals to emulate the rich, basically.

3 meals a day has no basis in human biology.

Case in point: I eat one meal a day. Have done for 20+ years. So healthy doctors just de-register me after I’m on their books for years but don’t need their services. So fat that I can’t fit my watch on my wrist properly. So lacking in energy that I’m up all night and then go all through the next day doing a fulltime job and don’t eat for… what? 22+ hours of the day?

The human digestion doesn’t need a set number of meals a day. It doesn’t even need a meal a day. Paleantologically speaking, you would eat small snacks and nuts and seeds and fruit as you passed by them, and you’d eat meat as a rare meal which you might take days to find. Your digestion will adapt accordingly depending on what’s available, and if you’re not TOLD to eat three meals a day, in a gluttonous environment where that’s literally the norm now, then you don’t need to and don’t feel hungry for having missed out on it. The gut can literally adapt to long periods of fast followed by short, unexpected, intense meals really easily.

Even my diet is gluttonous compared to historical humans.

And though you *can* go weeks without food, you wouldn’t want to, even in pre-history. It’s not comfortable, but you just won’t die. Same way that you *can* keeping walking for miles and miles for days on end. You just wouldn’t want to unless you had a reason, and given the choice you’d probably rather not do that.

I have often been without food for 2, 3 days and not even noticed. Usually the longer periods are when I’m ill (very rare, I’ve had one day off work in the last 15 years) and don’t feel like eating, while I can easily go 2 days without food or sleep without myself or anyone else in work even noticing.