Meal timings are being debated a great deal − ‘Breakfast like a king’ or ‘Eat every two hours’ are the many schools of thought.
Ayurveda suggests to follow the cue of appetite. ‘Eat when you are hungry’ and each time, satiate only 2/3rd of your appetite.
Our appetite is the culmination of the state of our ‘agni’ – the multilevel internal fire which keeps us functioning as biological systems. Protecting and restoring health are revolved around the fulcrum of agni in Ayurveda. It gets easily influenced by foods, seasons, behaviour, exercise, emotional states, personal constitution. Just like fire, if we feed it too much it can ‘douse’ off, and if we donot feed it can consume what it can find and emaciate us. If we feed it just right, it nourishes us, replenishes us and becomes an enabler for our life and works.
This is the critical difference between conventional nutrition guidelines and Ayurveda. The gastro-intestinal tract is not just a food processing unit. Its ‘current state’ must be respected for healthy meal decisions.
In general, the larger meals are proposed in the first half of the day when agni is naturally high, particularly between 10 am to 2 pm.