Ayur Central

How many meals should you have in a day?

By DR. ERRIC

According to Ayurveda, the number of meals you have in a day can make you a rogi, bhogi, or yogi. That’s right. In addition to what you eat, when you eat and how you eat are also equally important.

Ayurveda says, what you eat is a crucial determinant of your health, but how you eat is equally important for your holistic wellness. Being mindful of the meal frequency can help your body refuel timely without burdening your digestive system. It can also prevent the accumulation of ama which is the root cause of all modern-day diseases. However, there is no one routine that fits all.

The frequency of your meals largely depends on your body’s metabolism and physical labor. For a person sitting at an office all day and for a farmer toiling on the farm, the meal quantity and frequency would differ drastically. Ayurveda further says that the meal frequency can vary according to your body type. 

Here are the different meal frequencies and what they actually mean to your health  

Four meals a day

There are many people who opt for four meals a day – Breakfast, lunch, evening meal, and dinner. This can be suitable for someone with a thin body type and irregular appetite. If you fit in this category, then you can split your food intake into four meals. This will keep your hunger pangs under control and keep your energy cycle fuelled up.

Splitting up your meals into four meals a day can also negate the need for snacking. You can choose healthy and low-calorie meals over unhealthy binges. In case, you find it hard to resist the craving during bedtime, you can go for a glass of turmeric milk for better immunity.

Three meals a day

This is the most widely followed meal plan that’s perfect for healthy individuals. Three meals a day make up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is a well-balanced diet plan where you have a light but nutritious breakfast, a filling lunch, and a light dinner before sunset. This meal plan allows you 14-16 hours of intermittent fasting.

But according to Ayurveda, a person who follows three meals a day formula is called a ‘rogi’. This means such people have the tendency of getting diseases quickly. This is because of the accumulated ama or undigested metabolic waste. 

Two meals a day

According to Ayurveda, a two-meals-a-day program is an ideal routine. This routine will allow a six-hour gap between both meals which is the Ayurvedic way of intermittent fasting. The benefits of intermittent fasting are well-established through scientific evidence. It does not just help you combat obesity but also lowers the risk of chronic metabolic diseases like diabetes or hypertension.

In a two-meals-a-day plan, you are allowing your body to fully digest, absorb and assimilate the nutrients, before the next meal. According to Ayurveda, a person who has two meals a day is called a ‘bhogi’, which means ‘one who relishes food’.

One meal a day

This is the toughest meal plan that only a few people can follow. But according to Ayurveda, less is more when it comes to eating for optimum health and metabolism. In this meal plan, you can eat a single meal every day with 23 hours of intermittent fasting. During the fasting period, you can drink water or herbal teas to keep your body hydrated.

A person who can follow such a meal plan is called a ‘yogi’. Because his body is not burdened with the job of digestion, and its related processes, all his energy can be invested in powerful thoughts. Such people are capable of intense thoughts and heightened intellectual and spiritual capabilities.

Ayurveda says you must eat only when you are hungry, and the food should satiate only 80 percent of your appetite. While lunch could be a bit heavy the dinner should be extremely light. It is also important that you finish your dinner  3 hours before bedtime. Keep your meals light but nutritious and always remember when it comes to eating less is more!

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