Russians have a saying about eating: “Eat breakfast yourself, share lunch with a friend and give dinner away to your enemy.” This saying is actually a recommendation on how to eat and when. Dietitians still argue over the daily system of nourishment: some of them recommend to eat three times a day, whereas others say that it is enough to eat only two times a day.
Eating twice a day. This type of nourishment is based on physiological peculiarities of the human body. One has to refrain from having the next meal until the stomach finally empties and produces the sense of hunger again. The food needs to reach the duodenum, a person needs to give stomach a little rest and then fill it up with more food again. The food usually stays in the stomach for six or eight hours, which means that the time gap between the first and the second intake of food makes up 8-10 hours.
Eating two times a day allows to give the stomach more rest. The food leaves the stomach and disappears from the small intestine which gives it more time to prepare for the next intake of food. Thus, the stomach has an opportunity to be at rest for 12 hours. The rest of the time will be spent to save enzymes, regenerate the mucous membrane and restore the normal contractile function of the digestive system.
When stomach digests food, especially protein-rich food, the sour structure of food affects the stomach walls. The whole process intensifies the activity of cells producing hydrochloric acid, mucus and gastric enzymes. This is rather an aggressive environment, which destroys proteins and other organic compounds. The digestive process causes a certain damage to the stomach walls that is why it needs more time for rest in comparison with other sections of the digestive tract.
The human body adjusts itself to a certain system of nourishment. Any slight changes in the system may lead to rejections and discomfort. It usually takes a person about three months to get used to a different structure of eating. This period is needed for the body to produce new and inhibit old reflexes. The organism eventually realizes the existence of the new eating regime and balances out the program of eating and its execution.
As experience shows, the first part of the day is considered the best time for eating. Physiologists say that people should have breakfast from 7 till 10 a.m. The second intake of food needs to follow only six hours later – from 1 to 3 o’clock p.m. This is the perfect nourishment, although variations are possible, of course.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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