Meal Skipping

by Brad Pilon

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I’ve never really understood the concept of ‘meal skipping’.

To me, It’s a very funny way to describe ‘not eating’, since you’re not really skipping a meal if you weren’t planning on eating a meal in the first place. In fact, when you stop to think about it ‘meal skipping’ is what you call it when someone isn’t eating when YOU think they should be eating.

So essentially, what bugs people is that you are skipping one of THEIR meals. Weird.

A lot of the time ‘meal skipping’ is used as a derogatory way to describe some form of extended not-eating… like when you don’t eat during one of the major eating times. Only, if you think about it, the ENTIRE DAY is a major eating time – breakfast in the morning, which bleeds into lunch in the middle of the day, which bleeds into dinner in the evening.

Oddly enough, by being a person who uses ‘meal skipping’ in a derogatory manner (suggesting it’s bad for you) then they may also inadvertently be against eating when hungry. After all, if you are not hungry in the middle of day and therefore you decide not to eat, then you are effectively ‘meal skipping’.

This begs the question – If you’re going to be pro ‘eating when hungry’ then don’t you also have to be pro ‘not eating when you’re not hungry’??

Along the same lines, the idea of meal skipping being derogatory also means that meal size shouldn’t matter. According to this logic if I eat a giant 2,500 calorie breakfast at 8 AM and have a giant 2,500 calorie lunch at 2 PM, I should still eat dinner at 6 PM, even if I’m so full I feel sick. Because that’s when people eat dinner…

But that’s the kicker – Not everyone eats dinner at 6 PM. Most North Americans do… but many Europeans do not. In fact, there are millions of people who don’t eat dinner until 9 or even 10 at night… so did they all skip dinner?

In the end the derogatory use of ‘meal skipping’ is really a way of saying – “It’s not good for you to not eat at the times that I think you should be eating.”

…Nutrition- the play ground of the self-righteous 😉

I’ll cap off this rather muddled post with one of my favorite quotes from Epictetus that perfectly captures my thoughts on the concept of ‘meal skipping’ and the people who use the term ‘meal-skipping’ to put down the way other people choose to eat.

“Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you, and be silent.”

BP

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