Why You Should Stop Eating Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Kiera Butler, Mother Jones, March 4, 2015

Dogmatic adherence to mealtimes is anti-science, racist, and might actually be making you sick.

Meals are good, and snacking is bad. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and if you eat dinner with your family, you will keep your girlish figure and your kids will be healthier. Taking a lunch break will make you succeed at your job.

Okay, now forget all that. Because as it turns out, the concept of three square meals a day has practically zero to do with your actual metabolic needs. And our dogmatic adherence to breakfast, lunch, and dinner might actually be making us sick.

Historian Abigail Carroll, author of the book Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal, explained to me that the the thrice-daily eating schedule goes back at least as far as the Middle Ages in Europe. When European settlers got to America, they also imported their meal habits: a light meal–maybe cold mush and radishes–in the morning, a heavier, cooked one midday, and a third meal similar to the first one later in the day. They observed that the eating schedule of the native tribes was less rigid–the volume and timing of their eating varied with the seasons. Sometimes, when food was scarce, they fasted. The Europeans took this as “evidence that natives were uncivilized,” Carroll explained to me in an email. “Civilized people ate properly and boundaried their eating, thus differentiating themselves from the animal kingdom, where grazing is the norm.” (So fascinated were Europeans with tribes’ eating patterns, notes Carroll, that they actually watched Native Americans eat “as a form of entertainment.”)

The three daily meals that the settlers brought evolved with Americans’ lifestyles. As people became more prosperous, they added meat to breakfast and dinner. After the Industrial Revolution, when people began to work away from home, the midday meal became a more casual affair, and the cooked meal shifted to the end of the day, when workers came home. The one thing that did not change was the overall amount of food that people ate–despite the fact that they had largely abandoned the active lifestyles of the farm in favor of sedentary ones in cities and suburbs. “People were still eating these giant country breakfasts,” says Carroll. Soon, doctors reported that more of their patients were suffering from indigestion.


{snip} But there’s just one problem: Science shows that when it comes to maintaining your metabolism–the bodily system that helps us turn food into energy and, when out of whack, can lead to diabetes and other disorders–it doesn’t make a whit of difference whether you eat breakfast or not. {snip}

And breakfast isn’t the only metabolically unimportant meal. In fact, it doesn’t seem to matter much at all how and when you get your calories. {snip}

The one thing that might actually improve your metabolism is periodic fasting–that’s right, the very same eating pattern that the early European settlers deemed uncivilized. {snip}


So should you quit meals and fast intermittently instead? You could try it. Christopher Ochner, a weight loss and nutrition expert at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, notes that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution: Some people do well eating all their calories at once; others prefer to split them into snack-size portions.

Instead of obsessing about meal size and frequency, Ochner recommends something simpler: Don’t eat when it’s time for a meal; eat when you feel hungry. That, he says, is a lost art: In industrialized societies, where food is abundant, we eat because of social cues “or just because something smells good.” If we can teach ourselves to pay attention to our own bodies instead of our environment, he says, “that might be the best diet of all.”

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  • MrBiIIGoode .

    How about eating when your actually hungry? Now there’s a concept. LOL! I personally have never been into breakfast much, good to know that I was right and that it isn’t “the most important meal of the day.”

    • D.B. Cooper

      I’m currently making the big mistake of eating dinner while reading Amren. I sometimes want to hurl after reading most of these articles.

      • jwilders50

        Odd but likely effective weight loss regimen…

      • Drinking black coffee with vodka in it works best for me when I read here.

    • Ron Cheaters

      I agree with that totally. I know a good blob that secretly wakes up at 6:00 in the morning and makes a heaping plate of leftover meals for breakfast. I caught her once and said “even a lumberjack doesn’t eat that much – and they go out and work all day – what are you gonna do?”
      She doesn’t like me much… then there’s another girl I know who I wasn’t insulting her, but someone I saw on television… then she got into lecturing me about how “the more a person eats – the more they lose weight” and she was coming up with these made-up-facts. like how the body becomes used to certain foods and stuff.

      I just laugh and tell all my friends how ridiculous.

    • Whitetrashgang

      All you need to do is eat one meal a day and fast one day a week.Try not to eat red meat but fish is okay.Other than that I have nothing.

      • Anna Tree

        There is logic to your diet.
        Intermittent fasting is evolutionary: for thousands of years, the men walk and hunt for hours and if lucky brought a beast that needed to be eaten before going spoiled: so indeed 16 hours or more of fast (includes the sleep) and then one or two meals, sometimes days of fasting before that big meal. Maybe the occasional berries in between.
        Cattle and agriculture changed the diet a lot and impacted the later evolution of our bodies though.

        I think a mix of “uncivilized” and “civilized” diet may be the answer. 12-16 hours of fast (even better with some walking after the sleep) and one big or two smaller meals.

    • Raymond Kidwell

      I typically don’t eat breakfast either and if I do its maybe a granola bar or something. I am pretty skinny. Yet I hear that if you don’t eat breakfast you will get fat and have all kinds of health problems. The constant lies is what makes me skeptical of most things I hear. Then people call me a conspiracy theorist or something just because I don’t believe the TV screen or school system that has lied to me about 1,000 times over my lifetime. I would consider myself retarded if I believed everything I heard given how often it contradicts itself or contradicts obvious observation.

      I later read about how Edward Bernay’s brainwashed the public into eating eggs and bacon for breakfast to increase bacon sales. I think the issue is that food is abundant but it tastes like garbage and has little nutritional value so some people try to compensate by eating more, whereas I just eat less. If you grow an orange naturally in your backyard it tastes good. If you eat an orange from the store it lacks any flavor and probably deficient in vitamins as well. Similar with a home raised egg compared to a store egg, similar with meat etc. The whole farm industry is about maximizing yields to maximize profit. You can’t squeeze such huge crops cheaply out of something without affecting quality. With the eggs for example they breed a type of chicken that just pops out eggs non-stop and is usually pretty weak and drained of energy because of it. They feed it the cheapest food possible. When I worked at McDonalds I would pick up an egg and the shell would disintegrate. Compare that to some heirloom chickens you raise in your backyard and there’s a big difference in quality.

      That’s what I don’t get about restaurants either. What these expensive restaurants don’t seem to understand is no matter how well you cook something or how the spices are made, it might taste good, but you are limited by the ingredients. The mass produced beef is not the same as more natural beef and so on. If I ever open my own restaurant I would probably have a green house out back or nearby and growing a lot of herbs, lettuce etc. fresh. Then maybe get some amish raised beef or chicken in when I can. That’s the one thing chipotle got right they use free range natural type meat. There’s just a slight difference because its still mass produced, but it does taste a little better.

      • We grow lettuce in hanging pots, which keeps the rabbits out of it. We ate the area’s rabbits nearly extinct a few years ago, but they came back because they’re… well… rabbits.

  • D.B. Cooper

    You know, Mother (no F?) Jones?
    Speaking of food, don’t you have other things to worry about?

    • LHathaway

      When I was a child, they told me that at the dinner table. But it was children starving in China who were of concern. I know now it was said likely half in jest, but they expected me to try and eat all the food on my plate. The other half may be serious.

      • Ron Cheaters

        I got the same trite – but when “I’m full, I’m full”

        How can any parent argue with that logic.

      • dd121

        My parents came from the depression and forced me to eat everything on my plate. I guess I can forgive them for that but I haven’t eaten Welsh Rarebit in 50 years. I never forced any food on my kids.

        • LHathaway

          eh, I should have said ‘hoped’ rather than ‘expected’, “they hoped I would try and eat everything on my plate”. I wasn’t really forced to, more encouraged. When you’re the little kid, encouraged could potentially ‘forced’. Potentially, anyway. Interesting we have a similar story.

          lol, I asked my friend on the phone if his parents made him eat everything on his plate. He said, “All parents do that, Joe. It’s the oldest joke in the world” He mentioned China, too.

          • Rurik

            I understand that in Viet Nam the children are told “for every grain of rice you do not yeat, your future wife will have one pock mark”.

          • One of my old friends – who won’t talk to me because I’m a racist – has a Brazilian ex-wife, and Monique said that her parents told her that when you go to Hell, you get stewed in all the food you wasted while you were alive. Not a nice thing to tell a little Catholic girl.

        • Screamin_Ruffed_Grouse

          My kids are all old enough to grab their own helpings, so if they put it on their plate, they have to eat it. Food is expensive, and we are a large family, so I’m an absolute Nazi about wasting food.

          • Leftovers never last long around here. I get hungry in the evenings and then eat them. A mouse would starve on the amount of food we throw away.

          • TCA

            How about being a Bolshevik Commissar next time, instead of a National Socialist?
            Although now that I think of it, the Allies in both wars went out of their way to starve German civilians, so maybe you’re right.

        • Who Me?

          My folks never got specific–it was just, “There are starving children all over the world and even here in America that would love to get to eat what you want to waste…” The only thing I got away with NEVER having to eat after the first time I tried it was fried okra–mainly because after one taste I upchucked the disgusting mess all over the table. Even my grandmother couldn’t argue with that! I made my kids eat one bite, but never forced them to eat it if they didn’t like it. They are both big veggie eaters, probably because we provided veggies fresh and ready at all times but didn’t make it a big power issue.

      • Sick of it

        We were told to eat everything on our plate or else. There was no sob story.

      • Mark Hillyard

        My parents and grandma were always trying to get me to eat more. If I was full I refused to eat more. I was pretty thin growing up and still am while some of my brothers would eat all day long and today they are constantly fighting their big guts.
        It was funny when my older brother wanted to get rid of his big belly he started doing sit ups and whatever. After several months he said, “All I got out of that was a very hard gut instead of a saggy beer belly.
        When you’re hungry eat something, when your thirsty drink something.
        A satisfying small meal is sometimes I’ll take toast with butter. One I’ve tried recently is a fried cheese sandwich. Just put the cheese on the frying pan and drop some bread on top of that and cook at a low temp. it’s # 3 on my stove, otherwise it burns. This is tasty and satisfies the crunchy, tasty and light meal for me.

        • Raymond Kidwell

          Sit ups will not get rid of your gut. You just replace the fat with muscle. The only way to get a thin belly is to walk, jog or run. Running actually exercises the stomach quite a bit and burns the fat. Doing sit ups is like saying “I’m going to get rid of this flab on my arms by doing bench presses” it might help a little but your arm will stay big due to the muscle gain.

          • You don’t even “replace” the fat, merely build more muscle behind it, which, if you’re really doing a lot of sit ups, can typically make the gut appear larger as the layer of muscle behind it is firmer and bulkier. You want to lose the gut, you need cardio and dietary change. Overall musculature development plays a large role as well, ie: lifting weights at the gym, as the more muscle you have, the more “fuel” they require, and as long as you don’t eat more to compensate, you’ll start burning off fat as fuel.

          • Raymond Kidwell

            It will burn fat unless you are eating too much. You have to combine it with a good cardio routine though. Drinking alcohol also contributes to a gut and that’s not just a wives tale. The alcohol is converted to fat but it tends to be stored in the stomach area rather than distributed evenly over the body.

            Almost every person with a good flat stomach runs a lot. It’s not only the cardio, but it also works the abs out pretty well.

            The reason sit ups can help is you are doing high reps, such as doing 50 sit ups etc. High reps lead to more leaning and toning and only slightly increase muscle size. But it’s not enough you have to do the cardio with it such as jogging.

      • Bob Wallace

        I used to tell my parents, “Name one.”

      • TCA

        Funny how they never said, “Eat your spinach. The Bolsheviks are starving Christian peasants in the Ukraine.”

    • BlueSonicStreak

      I was a smart-mouth kid, and I came back at this with, “Well, stick my leftovers in a parcel and mail it to them, then.”

      Got smacked for that.

      • dd121

        I can relate. I don’t know if they were really even starving in China.

        • Unperson

          I’m guessing you’re an older person. When I was growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, the starving kids had moved from China to India. Maoism, horrible as it is in most respects, was eventually able to make the PRC evolve from a place where people starved to a place where everybody ate. So for my generation it was “the starving children in India.” (Or, briefly, Biafra. Remember Biafra?) Nowadays you don’t even hear about mass starvation in India much, so I assume the Hindus have finally got their food situation (more or less) under control. (China and India have been, in my lifetime, the two “developing nations” that have actually done some developing.) I find I can guess a person’s age pretty well if I ask her in which country the children were starving when her parents were trying to guilt-trip her into finishing her broccoli.
          But if parents can no longer use the starving children in Asian countries for this purpose, we can all rest assured that they’ll ALWAYS be able to point to the starving children in Africa. There will never be a time when that ploy becomes obsolete, as Africans will NEVER be able to adequately feed themselves.

          • Uncle_Dan

            Never is a long time.

          • It’s also an accurate unit of measure when referring to Africanus-Retardicus actually accomplishing something.

          • dd121

            We should start a new thread and ask the question:

            2. GUESS MY AGE.

            You’d probably get a lot of nearly correct answers on 2.

          • Cobbett

            Biafra was due to the war. Been to India lately? There’s still about 300 million who live on less that a buck a day. Anyway they’re not usually starving(as they wouldn’t live that long)…just hungry a lot of the time. At least they’re not obese.

          • johningermany

            How many Ethiopians can you get in a phone booth?
            All of them.

          • OK, you begged for it.

            What do you call an Ethiopian with more than three flies on its face?

            A rancher.

            Orcish jokes tend to be a bit on the cruel side. My high school girlfriend broke up with me over that, so I have tried to cut that out, with marginal success.

      • ZB01

        Yeah, but when your parents went to bed—after you were already asleep that night—they probably got a good chuckle from your comment. Of course, they couldntn’t let you know that.

      • I got my arse kicked on a regular basis by my ex-father, as he was a mean PoS, but he was also cruel enough that he would have thought a comment like that quite amusing.

        In retrospect, he never beat me enough nor had me sent to federal prison long enough, as I am still a complete smart-mouth.

    • dd121

      A lot of Afr4ican charities would advertise by showing starving African children. I suppose that garnered some sympathy. They’ve moved away from that appeal because so many potential benefactors just wonder if the little hole will be big enough.

      • Ron Cheaters

        They spent more to prop the flies buzzing around their eye’s than they did on the actual charity.

    • InAFreeCountry

      Mom told me to clean my plate when I was 5, “because there are starving children in Africa.” I told her to put my leftovers in a box and ship it there. I wasn’t even trying to be smart, but I couldn’t sit down for awhile after that. The food I didn’t want to eat? Kale. (That’s the same as collards for those who don’t know.)

    • Light from the East

      That is the technique used by media by presenting small unreal samples but not looking into the whole picture. Then I would ask if this boy is starving, why the population of Africa is growing? Even they know they are not going to feed their children, why do they still want more children? Let more children experience starving?

    • I hope it hurts while he starves to death. I have some fish I caught cooking in the kitchen right now. Maybe this idiot n***** should learn to fish.

      For the benefit of Leonard Pitts, please, please CRY ME A RIVER!

    • Oh gosh, I accidentally threw my food away, poor b’limbo’trayvious washington 🙁

  • Clickbait also makes me sick.

    “Mother Jones.” Isn’t that cisheteronormative?

    • MekongDelta69


      Whatever the hell that is, All I want to know is – Is that contagious?!

      • David Ashton

        Being cisheteronormative, like being transfeministphobic, is also hate speech.

        • MekongDelta69

          I have NO idea what that’s referring to (and don’t want to know)!

          I grew up in a normal and great country during a normal and great period of time.

      • It means casting as a normal state of existence those who are both heterosexual and those whose gender identities match their physical sex. In other words, normal people.

        • MekongDelta69

          I can’t tell you HOW MUCH my life has been enhanced by that leftist lunacy.

          No, really!

          Leftist: “What’s ‘normal’ mean?”

    • Reynardine

      Sickbait, more like it. Leftists consume this garbage like doggies consume Alpo.

      • evilsandmich

        They truly have nothing better to worry about. I hear their types on the college all the time; their conscience mind has so few concerns that it can wander such intellectual wastelands with aplomb.

    • InAFreeCountry

      Hetero is normal. It’s how we all got here unless you’re a test tube baby. This is not for your benefit, but some have said my statement is bigoted. A dictionary definition of bigot is “a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.” However, it’s only OK to have opinions if they are “progressive”.

  • A Freespeechzone

    Guess I’m racist based upon their definition—but, really don’t care.

    They have NO POWER over me whatsoever…..

  • jwilders50

    Diabetes and most health conditions today are caused by poor diet – but especially processed foods and the chemicals contained in them – from emulsifiers, to high fructose corn syrup, to hydrogenated oils – all 3 of which are toxic to the human body, and cause weight gain, stress on the system and liver, and all sorts of other unhealthy consequences.

    As for this article, it is a load of BS. You can eat healthy, 2 meals a day, 5 small meals a day, or whatever. Breakfast/lunch/dinner isn’t ‘racist’ lmao. What a pile of garbage!

    • Who Me?

      This is why people should cook and bake their own foods, using the best, most natural, chemical-free ingredients possible. I don’t necessarily mean all-organic, blah, blah, blah…just good food, grown locally if possible, and additive-free. No high fructose corn syrup, no hydrogenated oils, etc. The alternatives are usually right there beside the ones with additives, and at the same price or very little more–sometimes even less, as it requires the “work” on the consumer’s part of cooking it.
      I can remember coming home from the grocery store one day when the kids were in their early teens. They fell upon the bags like starving locusts, pawing through them only to turn around and accuse me of ,”You didn’t buy any GOOD FOOD”. Since I had just spent upwards of $200.00, this somewhat baffled me. They explained by saying, “All you bought was INGREDIENTS!” (Meaning no cheap, greasy, bad-for-them, dinner-ruining, tooth-decaying fast food.) They were just beginning to notice what other families ate, and a lot of it was quick food microwaved or out of boxes or fast “food” bought at one of the local slop shops (McDs, Burger King, etc.).

  • Race Heretic

    These are the same people claiming racism is responsible for obesity in blacks, Indians, and Hispanics. Maybe it’s their “uncivilized” eating habits?

  • MekongDelta69

    Momma Jones has always been so far off the charts, it’s not even worth the keystrokes.

    Momma Jones is looking under the bed…




    “Wait. Wait. Wait. I see something. I can’t quite make it out. Oh wait. Oh no. OH NO. I SEE IT. It’s a… RACIST. I KNEW IT. They’re EVERYWHERE.”

    • Reynardine

      The racisms is also behind the couch, between your teeth when you don’t floss, the thing that’s making that weird noise in your car, and the reason why my timesheets at work are overdue.

      You can find racism EVERYWHERE!

      • Ron Cheaters

        Whether my car is running good or out of whack.. I know it’s the little N–roe’s under the hood I need to talk to.

      • Sick of it

        Just the other day, some geniuses were calling folks racists for criticizing the bad economy. I’ve heard moaning about this garbage economy from every quarter…

    • bilderbuster

      No we’re not everywhere, but we do need to get out more often.

  • David Ashton

    The American Flag is hate speech. So is American food, mealtimes, table manners and of course Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

    • John Smith

      Just die already, will you, YT?

    • TCA

      I won’t fly the Stars and Stripes anymore, but would consider flying her if they make it illegal to do so.

      • David Ashton

        As long as you don’t give it the Bellamy Salute….!

  • Susannah

    So those of us with children should just can the family meals and randomly whip up something when someone claims to be hungry. I suppose family meals are passé now, anyway, according to our lame modern society. Now they are “racist” as well. Good grief.

  • Mary Harris Jones organized coal miners so that they could afford three meals a day.

    The magazine named for her today says that people shouldn’t eat three meals a day.

    • Weisheit77

      Thank you for the factoid. I always wondered but was too lazy to ask google.

  • WR_the_realist

    Well, in all fairness the gist of the article makes sense — in the modern world many people do overeat and there’s really no good reason to stick to meal plans appropriate for loggers and people who are plowing fields with a mule. But of course they had to throw in the dig against white settlers because, well, they’re Mother Jones.

    • Eagle_Eyed

      With civilization came regularity and routine–one isn’t hunting or foraging or preparing to attack an enemy tribe–one is instead working the fields or blacksmithing or in the mills or building roads. Schedules made sense for people to stay organized and productive, thus regularity of when meals were made sense. A three meal system would have existed among Europeans whether or not Indians were here when we got here.

      So her pointing out that Europeans and Indians had different eating habits only serves to point out that yeah, Europeans were civilized and Indians were not.

    • Tarczan

      Yeah, like it’s some kind of big deal to balance your calorie intake with your caloric expenditure.

  • haroldcrews

    Personally I’m of the opinion that it is more of a matter of what you eat instead of when you eat that has more impact on your health.

  • RacialRay

    How racist are we, then, to be feeding a majority of black chillen in this country at public schools, two meals a day? From what I’ve heard, a majority of the calories consumed by black children in America today come on the racist taxpayer’s racist dime!

    Can I opt out? Please? Its for the children, after all.

  • JP Rushton

    This is obviously clickbait, but I will correct something for them.

    For a disclaimer, I’m not a nutritional expert. But I have dieted a few times and I’m currently dieting to lose a few more pounds.

    The thing that I have read over and over is that the best way to keep your metabolism going is to eat 5 meals per day at 3 hours apart. You take your daily calorie intake, divide by 5 and then plan your meals accordingly.

    Fasting doesn’t increase your metabolism, it slows it to a crawl. The reason is that when your body doesn’t have food, it assumes you are starving to death and will try to conserve energy. You can stop eating to lose weight, but it’s not recommended.

    Like many have pointed out, the only reason the natives stopped eating and “fasted” was because they had no food. It’s not like they planned to fast.

    • BlueSonicStreak

      Your metabolism seriously does not slow that much, and it takes several days of very low calorie intake for that effect to kick in as well.

      Intermittent fasting has actually been shown to have some quite good effects, but I would not rush into it as a trend unless you feel you really get something positive out of it. Some people really love the appetite “reset.”

    • Ron Cheaters

      Sounds like that fat girl trying to tell me the more you eat – the less you weigh..
      Not right in the head there. I eat what I want, when I want and I haven’t weighed more than 140 since I’ve been 18. There is no scheduled meals at my place.. just the odd fattie that passes through trying to impose their diet on me and when I disapprove – they get offended.. gee I wonder why I should be more like you – come on – really.

      I get what you’re trying to say – but you were clumsy with it.
      This fattie girl on the other hand.. she was quite eloquent about her needs to eat and how it made her feel so slim to gorge herself on foods I might snack on.

      • The two (fattie and Mr. Rushton) cannot really be compared, he was quite accurate in everything he said, with the exception of (limited) fasting. Any professional weight loss coach, doctor, or trainer will likely recommend 5 small meals a day (250-500 calories) depending on sex, size, level of activity, plus exercise to lose weight, the simple fact of the matter is, if you’re disciplined enought to stick to 5 appropriately sized meals a day, you’ll actually lose a decent amount of weight even without intentional exercise. Give it a try if you’re curious, you should see 2-5 lbs of weight loss in two weeks or so, or the same amount in a week if combined with exercise.

        Splitting the meals up, and making them small is basically giving your body the idea that it is constantly being fed, which ramps up your metabolism, causing you to burn more calories, and the actual caloric intake is much smaller, and thus nothing is put into storage (fat) and if you create a caloric deficit, your body will actually begin to burn off its own energy stores (fat), causing weight loss.

        I’m guessing fatty heard some version of this and in her mind thought “oh, I can stuff my face all day long, yippee!” It’s all about controlled portions.

        • Ron Cheaters

          Stopped reading at 5 meals a day… that is crazy. I deal with one, maybe 2, and I do physical labor.. (most of the time)..
          Sorry, but the more you eat and do nothing – the more you weigh.. simple as that – prove me wrong.

          • I think you may not be understanding, those 5 meals are not meals like you eat now, they are very small, with a smecific number of calories, basically take the one to two meals a day that YOU eat now, and simply split it into five separate meals. Its the same amount of food, but spread throughout the day.

            You mention you do physical labor, and with that being the case, for you, eating one large meal, presumably after a days work, you merely replenish your body’s energy stores for the following day, which is fine. The splitting up of meals into smaller portions is just a way to ramp up your metabolism a bit. Its not about eating more, its about eating the same (or less) spread throughout the day.

            Not telling you that you need to switch your eating habits, just that the 5 meals is an actual thing, and its been proven repeatedly to work for basically everyone who has tried it.

        • Ron Cheaters

          but I know what you’re trying to say

    • evilsandmich

      I did have good luck with that strategy once, of course I was in my early twenties and fat so just about anything would work. Now that I’m old(er) and fat(not quite so much); nothing much works. Of course I can’t give up carbs; they’re the reason I get out of bed in the morning.

      • John Smith

        I tend to think they make you fatter than consuming bacon, dairy, eggs, etc. that are high in fats. Fat carries flavor and satisfies you more, while eating rabbit food tends to leave you wanting something else (usually carbs) and carbs themselves seem to make you crave ever more. Interesting that many animals will not eat lean meat if they can help it, taking only the fattiest parts and going on to take additional prey to strip for the fattiest tissues. Sharks, bears, etc. being among them.

        • Bears and sharks consume high amounts of fatty flesh because they burn insane amounts of calories (sharks) and fat is the easiest way to replenish them, or because they are trying to build up a massive store of fat based energy before hibernation (bears). Not because they’re trying to keep a slim figure. One of these two reasons likely applies to just about any carnivore you can think of, fat is simply a better energy source when you’re incredibly active, as most predators are.

          • John Smith

            It worked for active humans doing farm labor.

    • Alexandra1973

      Calories really don’t count, though. You have to look at what’s in it (or not in it). You can have a higher calorie intake and low-carb and burn fat faster than someone on a low-calorie, low-fat diet.

      I think people eat more because food is lacking in nutrients.

      Even right now I have bone broth simmering in my crock pot. I hear that stuff’s really good for you.

      • BlueSonicStreak

        No, no, no! Calories are ALWAYS the most important consideration. “It’s WHAT you eat, not how much,” is one of the biggest food/diet myths floating around right now. It’s very popular. (For the same reason all diet fads are popular – it sounds like an escape from the inevitable.) And it’s very wrong.

        Part of the confusion here may be how we refer to calories – as though they are discrete units we ingest. I am not trying to insult your intelligence, as I am sure you consciously know that calories are a unit of energy. But we sort of tend to talk about them like they’re an ingredient or something…and then treat them the same way when we should consciously know better.

        In order to evaluate the logic of a particular diet idea, always try replacing the word “calories” in the concept with the word “energy” to test it. What you just said was essentially, “the amount of energy you ingest doesn’t count towards the amount of energy you use or store.” Since ingesting energy is the only way we get more of it, that’s logically absurd.

        High-fat, high-protein and low-carb diets tend to work because they are relatively low-calorie for how filling they are. There are other reasons they work; but if you eat a diet like that and still eat enough to be eating the same number of calories you ate on a high-carb, low-fat diet… Guess what, no weight loss.

        Very overweight people tend to have INSANE success with diets like keto (as simply changing your macros in this way tends to bring down your calories naturally), only to plateau eventually when they hit the point of diminishing returns and have not started calorie counting.

        Unless you are someone who naturally has an appetite in line with only exactly as much as you need…in this society, calorie counting is generally a necessity, and no particular arrangement of macros will change that.

        Eating more because food is lacking in nutrients though…undoubtedly correct. I’ve never made bone broth (terrible cook), but I want to try it.

        • Bone broth is very easy. I save bones in one-gallon jars in the freezer. When a jar is full, I pour the bones into the slow-cooker and fill it with water. I boil this for four or five days, and then seive out the bones. The broth gets run through coffee filters to remove the small fragments and other crud and then saved. The bones go into an old pie pan on top of the toaster oven, where they quickly dry out during normal use of that. They crumble easily when dry, and the powdered bone goes into a bucket for use as vegetable gardening fertilizer.

          I use the broth making chile, cooking rice, and so-on. Given how those bones crumble, I doubt my wife will ever get osteoporosis.

        • Beat me to it! Which is probably good, because it’s much more in depth than my response probably would have been.

          (We still love ya though Alexandra!)

    • John Smith

      The current recommendation is two calorie-restricted days per week at your convenience of implementation to keep IGF-1 levels low and possibly prevent or minimize certain cancers and diabetes type II.

    • InAFreeCountry

      Fasting also causes you to lose muscle mass as well as fat. Muscle is crucial to metabolism.

  • cherrie greenbaum123

    Perhaps we should all be fitted with government issued feedbags to wear around our necks. Should we get hungry during our work day, it wouldn’t be necessary to leave your work area. Perhaps the author of this piece would like to create some suggestions to counter that awful European inspired custom of private restrooms as well.

    • InAFreeCountry

      This made me think of the Roman toilets and their communal sponge. Eww.

  • Dave West

    “The one thing that might actually improve your metabolism is periodic fasting–that’s right, the very same eating pattern that the early European settlers deemed uncivilized.”

    Oh those cutting-edge and intelligent Native Americans, figuring out what the white man was too stupid and arrogant to do. Too bad they never invented the wheel.

    • Kenner

      I’m guessing most incidences of ‘periodic fasting’ by Siberian-Americans weren’t voluntary.

  • BlueSonicStreak

    Yes, eat when you’re “hungry” with no boundaries. Great idea in an obesogenic environment. If it doesn’t matter when we get our calories, I’m just going to stick with the racist three meals thing, thanks.

  • Dave West

    The comments section on Mother Jones is mostly critical of this article. I don’t entirely agree with this comment posted by what looks to be a black man, but it is for the most part pretty spot-on:

    “It seems as if African Americans have suffered for too long that they now drink every fairytale from every fairyland.”

    • John Smith

      Like the ancient Egyptians being black is a major one.

      • 李冠毅

        Ancient Egyptians may have been Black. According to ancient Greek sources, as well as many ancient Egyptian paintings, they were described as curly haired, dark skinned people. Of course, that also means they may have been Semitic.

        • John Smith

          Take a look at their tomb murals and you’ll see they clearly distinguish between themselves and negroid Africans.

          • They depicted themselves much the way north African Arabs look today. If anything, they are blacker now than they once were, due to miscegnation with their slaves.

          • John Smith

            Sadat was a pretty good example in point.

        • BlueSonicStreak

          Darker-skinned, yes. Sub-Saharan African, no.

          Think: is that in any way plausible? The same populations that can’t hold together a small city now once built one of the planet’s greatest civilizations?

          (Well, see, they built Egypt, but then White People Happened. So…)

          There’s various books debunking that idea. For maximum dodge of any “racism” charges, there is one written by black historian Clarence Walker, “We Can’t Go Home Again: An Argument Against Afrocentrism.”

          There’s also “Not Out Of Africa” by Mary Lefkowitz.

          There was probably some racial mixing in Egypt, particularly as it fell. But there’s no way Egypt was founded and run in its glory by SSA blacks.

  • Reynardine

    “The one thing that might actually improve your metabolism is periodic
    fasting–that’s right, the very same eating pattern that the early
    European settlers deemed uncivilized.”

    Such tripe, the settlers fasted for religious reasons:

    ‘For most of the early colonists and settlers fasting and abstaining from eating meat was
    practised for over half the days in the year. Strict religious observances banned the eating of meat on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and meat was banned during the religious seasons of Lent and Advent.’


    http://www.landofthebrave info/colonial-food.htm

  • Ron Cheaters

    Another Blame-Whitey article – this time for making them fat pigs.

  • LeonNJ

    It’s racist to be white and eat three meals a day, but not racist if you happened to be Native American and not eat three meals a day? All cultures are different. One isn’t racist if it differs from the others. Duh?

  • bilderbuster

    Or rationed their food.

    • John Smith

      That required proper storage, which they seemed to lack, especially the nomadic tribes.

      • bilderbuster

        I know they were primitive but they didn’t know about salting meat, making jerky, and drying veggies?

        • John Smith

          Pemmican and jerky, yes. Dried corn, yes. Dried potatoes in the Andes too. Salting is resource costly, since making salt requires time from seawater or luck in finding a deposit to work. You can only carry so much as a nomad and critters will get to your stores if you don’t have masonry technology to build relatively impervious granaries as a settled people.

        • Mostly smoked, not salted, as explained below.

  • Watching this guy eat is entertaining too.
    [warning: black guy stereotyping himself to the max]

    • Reynardine

      Thank you for making my night.

    • InAFreeCountry

      “Lawd have mercy.” Also, 4:55, all the blacks are all in the shallow end of the pool. Can’t they swim?

      • BlueSonicStreak

        Possibly not.

        My understanding is that there’s an American history of blacks not having access to better pools (and sometimes, pools at all) under Jim Crow, and thus drowning in things like rivers that they swam in instead. Over a few generations, it became a thing that black kids were not allowed near bodies of water out of general fear in their community of drowning. They lack a cultural history on this continent of their people and families knowing how to swim, and DO have something of an oral tradition of telling each other that they’ll drown while swimming.

        This topic has come up here before, and I was told I am incorrect about this history; but so far no one has provided a source to prove it wrong, and light Googling seems to confirm it. I also used to have a black friend who was PETRIFIED of the water for this reason. She told me she’d been raised being told, “We don’t go near water. Black people don’t naturally swim. We drown.” She told me that NONE of her black friends or family could swim, either. She would not have even gone near the shallow end of a pool for fear of drowning. (Rather justified, since, you know, she couldn’t swim!)

        To the best of my knowledge, there’s no physiological reason blacks cannot swim, though. In fact, a black teenager named Justin Lynch (lol, no seriously, that’s his name) beat Michael Phelps’ Olympic record last year.

        Blacks continue to have much higher drowning rates today. Probably for a combination of reasons both historical and current.

        • Africa has very unpleasant things in the rivers and lakes. Crocodiles come quickly to mind.

          • voxvot

            The claim being contested is not that blacks have a physiological disadvantage that disinclines them from swimming. The claim being made is that blacks can’t swim because of white racism.

            The facts are that blacks have a cultural aversion to swimming that originates in Africa where rivers and lakes were infested with dangerous predators.

            No evidence has been offered to support the implied claim that poor rural whites had more access to swimming pools.

            Any connection with “racism” and the disparity in swimming ability between the races is totally spurious on the basis of actual evidence.


          • If we accept the argument that blacks can’t swim because of “racism”, then “racism” can do absolutely anything. At that point, it is the same as believing in magic.

        • InAFreeCountry

          But they’re so good at all of the other sports, I would think that they’d have more than Justin Lynch. He’s more like the exception that proves the rule.

          • BlueSonicStreak

            Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply they necessarily have the advantage. (I have no opinion on that, really. If so few of them swim, that’s a little difficult to determine.)

            Just trying to make the point that there doesn’t seem to be a physiological reason not to have basic swimming skills. (If there was, a Justin Lynch couldn’t exist.)

        • TCA

          The Black teenager that beat Phelps, was he unarmed?

        • If i remember correctly, there is (also) a physiological reason, or rather, two of them;
          Higher bone density, and significantly lower bodyfat than just about any other race. These both make them less buoyant in the water, making the act of swimming much much more physically taxing, leading to sudden exhaustion, muscle failure, and because they cannot float, drowning.

          The whole “we dun’ has no swimmin poolz, dats rayciss’ and made us drowns in de’ riva’!” Is pretty much nonsense, anyone who grew up, or spent some time in the country, as opposed to the city, knows white folks love swimming in streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, etc. As well as diving off precarious ledges into pools of water of questionable death, and yet white country folks aren’t deathly afraid of water.

          I guess to get right the the point, water is rrrrayciss!

          And it’s not just american blacks, blacks the world over don’t go in deep water because they have a tendency to sink to the bottom, no revisionist nonsense or Jim Crow excuses necessary.

          • BlueSonicStreak

            I’m somewhat puzzled then; as I understood blacks to have a higher amount of bodyfat compared to whites, albeit carried differently (i.e. less at the belly, which is why they can be relatively fatter than whites before seeing adverse health effects).

            Although if they also have higher bone density, that makes me wonder if that last is even true and if BMI (as we calculate it for whites) is inaccurate for them.

          • I think blacks in america are suffering from higher rates of obesity, and thus, body fat, than whites currently, but that is a fairly recent development. Im sure if you tossed tour average black mammy into the nearest river, she’d bob up and down like a buoy.

            But they werent always stuffed full of high sugar, high carb, high fat, high calorie foods, which is something of a direct result of EBT and welfare being most efficiently spent at the nearest bodega on junk food, rather than healthier food which needs actual preparation.

            Also, I’m reasonably certain that theres a massive (no pun intended) difference between black male and black female average bodyfat percentages, so that could be what led you to believe they were “fatter” as a whole.

            Alternatively I could be flat out wrong, since I’m not providing any sources, and just going off memory from a few studies I read some time ago.

  • Jerrybear

    “Sometimes, when food was scarce, they (Indians) fasted.”

    You don’t say.

    • Weisheit77

      Dude, you didn’t know that your “invisible knapsack of white privilege” will readily dispense Big Macs?

      • Sick of it

        Does it contain wiener-schnitzel? I could go for that.

        • Weisheit77

          I think you have to get the German model.

        • Sushi. I think I would need an invisible bento box for that.

    • George Costanza

      More like starved!!!

    • John Smith

      No govt. cheese on the reservations then. How racist and condescendingly patriarchal of the white man not to let them “fast” to death.

  • Alexandra1973

    That’s funny, I’m borrowing my mom’s book “The Time Traveler’s Guide to the 14th Century” and it says that people in medieval England ate twice a day–once in late morning, once in the evening.

    • InAFreeCountry

      They also had “segmented sleep”, where they would not sleep straight through the night. They’d sleep an hour or two after dusk, wake up after a few hours, and according to the BBC:

      During this waking period people were quite active. They often got
      up, went to the toilet or smoked tobacco and some even visited
      neighbours. Most people stayed in bed, read, wrote and often prayed.
      Countless prayer manuals from the late 15th Century offered special
      prayers for the hours in between sleeps.
      And these hours weren’t entirely solitary – people often chatted to bed-fellows or had sex.

      Since I rarely go out at night anymore, I’ve kind of adapted this habit.

  • Lygeia

    I woke up this morning. So racist of me.

    • John Smith

      Don’t do it again Whitey and you will have atoned for your “sins.”

      • Lygeia

        I’ll have to go back to sleep, not eat breakfast when I wake up, or go to work.

        Then, I won’t have any earnings to tax.

        As result, the taxes I would have paid will not go to those races who hate white privilege so much.

        Then, they will no longer get free medical care, food stamps (or SNAP cards), rent assistance or vouchers, well baby care, parenting classes, public schools and universities, and free entertainment (yes, that is actually a thing, giving people on welfare free museum tickets and other entertainment so they aren’t bored).

  • IstvanIN

    Three meals a day evolved to take care of the nutritional needs of people who WORKED! Wake up, mom makes a hearty breakfast and then sends dad out to the fields, sis to milk the cows and sonny to feed the hogs. Mid-day the men come in from the fields to eat and get a brief rest and then back to work. End of the day a light supper and some family time. People who don’t actually accomplish anything and live the same way for thousands of years don’t need mealtimes since they have no schedule.

    • George Moriarty

      As a farm boy from way back I have to agree with you completely. The 3 meals per day was quite a flexible arrangement and could be adapted as lifestyle changed over the years. But as you have commented, people who don’t achieve much have no need for mealtimes and are basically hunter gatherers or just live and snack on disgusting take-away food. Yes, 3 meals per day is for civilised productive people and of course that is by implication is white and racist. But writers like just seem to think primitive food customs were just so superior to ours despite most indigenous races living in miserable conditions, suffering malnutrition and having low life expectancy.

      • IstvanIN

        Quite a few of my family members are farmers even today, although the example was taken from back when I was a kid and we visited my great-grandparents.

  • George Costanza

    I read a few book’s about Indian captive’s, and one thing that stood out among all the captive narratives is that the Indians at some point went hungry and starved. Some tribes were so desperate that they ate grasshoppers. READ Mark Twain’s “The Noble Red Man”

  • John Smith

    I don’t disagree with the premise of varied mealtimes or even fasting in our present situation, but can they please leave out the multiculturalism agenda and tacit implications of racism and stick with facts rather than suppositions?

  • UncleSham

    Most White people eat three meals a day because that’s what fits our work schedules. A lot of White American culture is what it is because it creates a more efficient economy.

  • Kit Ingoldby

    What a lot of completely unhistorical and unscientific pap.

    The idea that breakfast as no effect on the metabolism is wrong. It kickstarts the metabolism if you have a breakfast. The idea that early settlers were ‘fascinated’ by Red Indians eating habits is just laughable.

    This appears to be a simple case of cultural masochism, condemn every aspect of White people’s behaviour (including eating breakfast!) and praise and laud every aspect of the Noble Savage’s behaviour. Pathetic, it denotes a sad an lost person struggling to deal with identity issues rather than anything sane about dietary requirements or culture.

  • JustSayin

    Just as an aside because the comments below reminded me, but has anyone noticed how the most recent “poor poor pitiful children” ads tend to have a focus on Asian and Hispanic kids instead of those poor pitiful negro chilluns? They’re still there, just not as prominent as they used to be.

    When I noticed that it told me people are getting tired of sending money off to feed starving bantus.

  • Cobbett

    As eating tends to revolve around work it’s no surprise it’s a 3-meal thing.

  • Harry

    Grazing (e.g. 5 small meals a day) IS what we should be doing. It was proven decades ago that the rigid ‘three meals a day’ is not the best way for our bodies to obtain nutrients.

    • Correct, but how does that fit in with a typical work schedule?

      • Harry

        It doesn’t and probably started to go away with the advent of agricultural work and building projects.

  • De Doc

    An exceedingly naive read on the topic. Science did not invent fasting periods. Racism did not encourage people to eat to excess. And while overeating is unhealthy, humans live far longer today than ever.

    The simple fact is that humans evolved for a very long time in forced states of fasting. Paleolithic hunter-gatherers fasted because they had to. Food supply was limited by what you could catch and kill and/or gather. When such commodities were not available, one had to fast, like it or not. That said, such humans usually never had long life spans, because disease, trauma, childbirthing, etc.killed them long before chronic disease had a chance to exact its toll. Such populations also were chronically malnourished and suffered from lots of conditions due to lack of essential nutrients. Does Ms. Butler advocate that people keep their infants and children in a borderline state of starvation too?

    With the advent of settled lifestyles and the attendant agriculture, animal husbandry and advanced and specialized economies, food abundance was one of the benefits. And that abundance of a previously limited resource allowed for larger populations, more specialization and technology that arose at increasingly faster rates. This is why certain Meso and South American tribes quickly came to dominate their regions by the 15th c. CE and why the European settlers quickly took over their newly adopted North American lands. We have abundant evidence of Neolithic migrants to ancient Europe doing the same to the hunter gatherers that were there, as well as the Bantu expansions into parts of Africa with similar HG cultures in their path. I guess the Bantu people were racist too? Or were they just introducing their technology at the point of a spear?

  • Screamin_Ruffed_Grouse

    Lol, That is by far my favorite line in this tripe. When they didn’t have food, they didn’t war. You don’t say?

  • Lygeia

    I think this author is unprepared for the adult responsibility of preparing meals three times a day and wants to snack all day like a silly, little, petulant child constantly trying to stick food in their mouth.

  • If fasting was so healthy, why did prisoners of war during World War Two hate it so much?

    Being worked to death on the Burma-Thailand railroad of death or in the gulags was probably “character-building” in numbskull Kiera Butler’s estimation.

  • Alex Dihes

    I eat ONCE a day. I do eat neither breakfast, nor lunch, nor dinner, nor supper. I eat just ONCE a day: from morning till evening. It is all. After that I do not it all night – if I sleep, of course.

  • TCA

    “Culture of Critique.”
    Hmmm. Interesting title for a book.

  • Lt. Greyman, NVA

    I am sorry but I am White, so it is not “racist” for me to eat in the pattern of my ancestors. Further, you will never convince me that their isn’t something civilized about Afternoon Tea.

  • AmandaTrebiano

    My husband’s doctor told him to stop eating when he felt full and in a year he dropped 43 pounds.

  • That’s a true fan of the news right there, haha.

  • I LOVE a big breakfast. I do hard work and my body knows its coming so it physically prepares me, by making me really hungry in the morning, to load up on the vitamins and calories I need. Your body is a machine that knows you better than you think. Listen to it.

  • Wing-nut.

    All this talk of food is making me hungry.