It feels a little sad to be waiting outside a restaurant at 10:55 AM, hungry and feeling like you have failed at planning your meals like a normal human being. But the 11 AM lunch is clearly a craving for many of us, and I’m here to tell you to eat whenever the heck you want.
Michelle Ruiz at Bon Appétit spoke to experts and confirmed that mid-morning hunger pangs are in fact normal, and that the lunch police will not come and arrest you if you dig in before noon. My own experience corroborates this.
These days, I wake up around 6, work out, then have a coffee and maybe a protein shake. By the time I’ve dropped the kids off at school and settled in to work for the day, I’m finally getting hungry, but why would I bother with that weird category of “breakfast” food items when I have perfectly good lunch food in the fridge? So maybe I’m eating lunch at 10. Fine. If it’s a filling enough lunch, I’m good until mid-afternoon, and then I can have a snack.
If you really want to be able to have meals at socially acceptable times like a so-called normal person (fun fact: some of those “normal” people are already starving by noon just like you), here are some ways to tweak your stomach’s schedule:
Have a large, filling breakfast when it’s actually breakfast time. Not a piece of toast on the way out the door, but an actual sandwich or something else with fat and protein. Sometimes we’re just hungry because we underfed ourselves earlier.
Plan on a mid-morning snack. Again, fats and proteins will work best; try some cheese or a hard boiled egg or some trail mix.
Eat the early lunch, but plan for an afternoon snack as well, lest you ruin your dinner plans.
In truth, when you’re hungry depends a lot on when you wake up and when you’re used to eating. So you can shift your schedule if you need to, but it’s totally normal that if you wake up early or you eat breakfast early, you’ll end up eating lunch early, too.