What you are about to read is earth shattering and is generally against what the industry wants you to know. The information we are going to share is life changing and health promoting. If you want to die prematurely due to self-inflicted food excess stop now and do not read this.

This is about a proven scientific fact: that the right food at the right time is significantly better than more food all the time. Less is more! Yes, it’s true, believe it! We are going to go on an interesting journey as we study data from the Adventist Health Study. At the end we trust that you will be empowered to make an informed decision for your health and well-being.

You have probably heard about intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting is a period of voluntary abstinence from food.

Intermittent fasting helps most people lose weight and maintain that loss over a long period of time, combats certain diseases like diabetes and heart disease, allows one to sleep longer and better, and slows down the aging process.

We are advocating no more than two meals a day, especially for those that are sedentary, allowing for a daily/nightly fast of about 16-18 hours, with nothing in between or after those two meals, except water.

  • Whole foods, plant based, plain simple real food, eaten twice a day
  • Food prepared with little salt, and few spices.
  • Breakfast at seven AM, and dinner at one PM.[1]

Two recent studies on the link between the impact of meals and their timing and frequency to weight gain have now been conducted by Dr. Hana Kahleova.

In her first study was a small cross-over study but it showed that BMI (weight gain) increased as meals increased from two to six.[2]

Her newest study results were published in The Journal of Nutrition, and they were co-written by Dr. Gary Fraser, from Loma Linda University School of Public Health (LLUSPH).[3]

The study was large and comprehensive and included 50,660 adult individuals from the Adventist Health Study 2, all aged 30 or older. The focus was on the possible link between when and how often people eat, and their body mass index (BMI). The participants had various body types and sizes and their eating habits and health outcomes were monitored for an average period of seven years.

The study had several main findings.

  • People who regularly ate only two meals per day had a decrease in BMI. (They lost more weight.)
  • Those who ate more than three meals a day increased their BMI, and the more meals they ate, including snacks, the greater the weight gain.
  • People who had breakfast regularly tended to lose more weight than people who chose to skip breakfast.
  • Participants whose largest meal of the day was breakfast experienced a large BMI decrease, in contrast with those who made their last meal their largest meal.
  • Researchers found that skipping dinner altogether and having a long, 18 or 19-hour, overnight fast contributed to weight loss.
  • Good eating practice also included leaving five or six hours between breakfast and lunch, and abstaining from snacks throughout the day.
  • Intermittent fasting is being recommended by many health professionals as the newest treatment for diabetes and other diseases.
  • A recently published study in Great Britain showed that all the participants who lost 30 pounds or more saw their diabetes go into remission.[4]
  • For those who would like to begin a two meal a day program there are seven key principles, that when followed, increase health benefits and well-being.

Timing is Everything

Decide when you will eat your two meals and stick with that time. Write it down and plan around these two times. We are suggesting 7:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. If that time is not good for you, select the best times and don’t deviate. The earlier in the day the better.

Regularity in eating is of vital importance. There should be a specified time for each meal. At this time, let everyone eat what the system requires, and then take nothing more until the next meal. There are many who eat when the system needs no food, at irregular intervals, and between meals, because they have not sufficient strength of will to resist inclination. When traveling, some are constantly nibbling if anything eatable is within their reach. This is very injurious. If travelers would eat regularly of food that is simple and nutritious, they would not feel so great weariness, nor suffer so much from sickness.”[5]

“In no case should the meals be irregular. If dinner is eaten an hour or two before the usual time, the stomach is unprepared for the new burden; for it has not yet disposed of the food eaten at the previous meal, and has not vital force for new work….. the system is overtaxed.”[6]

“Neither should the meals be delayed one or two hours, to suit circumstances, or in order that a certain amount of work may be accomplished. The stomach calls for food at the time it is accustomed to receive it. If that time is delayed, the vitality of the system decreases, and finally reaches so low an ebb that the appetite is entirely gone. If food is then taken, the stomach is unable to properly care for it. The food cannot be converted into good blood.”[7]

“If all would eat at regular periods, not tasting anything between meals, they would be ready for their meals, and would find a pleasure in eating that would repay them for their effort.”[8]

Five Hours In Between

There should be at least five hours between the first meal and the second meal.

“The stomach must have careful attention. It must not be kept in continual operation. Give this misused and much-abused organ some peace and quiet and rest. After the stomach has done its work for one meal, do not crowd more work upon it before it has had a chance to rest and before a sufficient supply of gastric juice is provided by nature to care for more food. Five hours at least should elapse between each meal, and always bear in mind that if you would give it a trial, you would find that two meals are better than three.”[9]

“After the regular meal is eaten, the stomach should be allowed to rest for five hours. Not a particle of food should be introduced into the stomach till the next meal. In this interval the stomach will perform its work, and will then be in a condition to receive more food.”[10]

“In many cases the faintness that leads to a desire for food is felt because the digestive organs have been too severely taxed during the day. After disposing of one meal, the digestive organs need rest. At least five or six hours should intervene between the meals; and most persons who give the plan a trial, will find that two meals a day are better than three.”[11]

No Snacking

No snacking between meals. There are no healthy snacks. “Healthy snacks” is an advertising gimmick and misnomer and does not align with gastrointestinal health, physiology and function.

“I am astonished to learn that, after all the light that has been given in this place, many of you eat between meals! You should never let a morsel pass your lips between your regular meals. Eat what you ought, but eat it at one meal, and then wait until the next.”[12]

“Children are generally untaught in regard to the importance of when, how, and what they should eat. They are permitted to indulge their tastes freely, to eat at all hours, to help themselves to fruit when it tempts their eyes, and this, with the pie, cake, bread and butter, and sweetmeats eaten almost constantly, makes them gormands and dyspeptics. The digestive organs, like a mill which is continually kept running, become enfeebled, vital force is called from the brain to aid the stomach in its overwork, and thus the mental powers are weakened. The unnatural stimulation and wear of the vital forces make them nervous, impatient of restraint, self-willed, and irritable.”[13]

“It is quite a common custom with people of the world to eat three times a day, besides eating at irregular intervals between meals; and the last meal is generally the most hearty, and is often taken just before retiring. This is reversing the natural order; a hearty meal should never be taken so late in the day. Should these persons change their practice, and eat but two meals a day, and nothing between meals, not even an apple, a nut, or any kind of fruit, the result would be seen in a good appetite and greatly improved health.”[14]

“Three meals a day and nothing between meals — not even an apple — should be the utmost limit of indulgence. Those who go further violate nature’s laws and will suffer the penalty.”[15]

When Then?

Let the digestive system rest at night. Its work for the day should be finished before you go to bed. The last meal should be four to five hours before your bedtime. The new research on intermittent fasting shows that the daily overnight fast of 15-19 hours is what restores the blood sugar to normal. Food remaining in the stomach during the night causes the stomach to work all night, forfeit its needed rest and predisposes towards indigestion and gastroesophogeal reflux disease.

“For persons of sedentary habits, late suppers are particularly harmful. With them the disturbance created is often the beginning of disease that ends in death.”[16]

“Many indulge in the pernicious habit of eating just before sleeping hours. They may have taken three regular meals; yet because they feel a sense of faintness, as though hungry, will eat a lunch or fourth meal. By indulging this wrong practice, it has become a habit, and they feel as though they could not sleep without taking a lunch before retiring. In many cases, the cause of this faintness is because the digestive organs have been already too severely taxed through the day in disposing of unwholesome food forced upon the stomach too frequently, and in too great quantities. The digestive organs thus taxed become weary, and need a period of entire rest from labor to recover their exhausted energies. A second meal should never be eaten until the stomach has had time to rest from the labor of digesting the preceding meal. If a third meal be eaten at all, it should be light, and several hours before going to bed.”[17]

“But with many, the poor, tired stomach may complain of weariness in vain. More food is forced upon it, which sets the digestive organs in motion, again to perform the same round of labor through the sleeping hours. The sleep of such is generally disturbed with unpleasant dreams, and in the morning they awake unrefreshed. There is a sense of languor and loss of appetite. A lack of energy is felt through the entire system. In a short time the digestive organs are worn out, for they have had no time to rest.”[18]

Whole Natural Foods, Plant Based

Eat real, natural, plain, simple food. Whole foods, plant based. Avoid the unnatural processed, fractionated foods.

“The stomach, when we lie down to rest, should have its work all done, that it may enjoy rest, as well as other portions of the body. The work of digestion should not be carried on through any period of the sleeping hours. After the stomach, which has been overtaxed, has performed its task, it becomes exhausted, which causes faintness. Here many are deceived, and think that it is the want of food which produces such feelings, and without giving the stomach time to rest, they take more food, which for the time removes the faintness. And the more the appetite is indulged, the more will be its clamors for gratification….The remedy such require, is to eat less frequently and less liberally, and be satisfied with plain, simple food, eating twice, or, at most, three times a day. The stomach must have its regular periods for labor and rest; hence eating irregularly and between meals, is a most pernicious violation of the laws of health. With regular habits, and proper food, the stomach will gradually recover.”[19]

Water, the Internal Cleanser

Let water be your helper. Drink two glasses upon arising (warm water is best) which acts as an internal cleaner. From six to eight glasses of water should be consumed all during the day in between the two meals. Avoid sugary drinks, most notably those containing high fructose corn syrup. Every physiological function of the human body requires water (H2O). A healthy brain is mostly water (85%). Often people mistake thirst for hunger and eat instead of drinking water.

Avoid drinking with meals…. “ice water or ice lemonade, taken with meals, will arrest digestion until the system has imparted sufficient warmth to the stomach to enable it to take up its work again…The more liquid there is taken into the stomach with the meals, the more difficult it is for the food to digest; for the liquid must first be absorbed.”[20]

Avoid sodas because they contain at least 10 teaspoons of sugar and other chemicals and increase thirst. Would you wash your dishes in soda? Keep drinking pure water all day long in between your meals. Women in the Adventist Health Study who drank the most water were at the lowest risk of a fatal heart attack. Participants of the Adventist Health Study who drank the most non-water beverages, such as fruit juice, soda, coffee, and tea, increased their risk of a fatal heart attack two-and-a- half times and men by 50 percent.[21]

Water is the only liquid that allows your stomach to rest. The other liquids need to be digested to some extent.

Keep Moving!

Let exercise be your friend. Blood sugar is used by large muscles of the legs after a meal and is quite beneficial to the digestion.

“…a short walk after a meal, with the head erect and the shoulders back, exercising moderately, is a great benefit.”[22]

“The diseased stomach will find relief by exercise…if they would eat temperately and engage in healthful exercise with a cheerful spirit, they regain health and save time and money.”[23]

“Exercise will aid the work of digestion. To walk out after a meal, hold the head erect, put back the shoulders, and exercise moderately, will be a great benefit. The mind will be diverted from self to the beauties of nature. The less the attention is called to the stomach after a meal, the better.”[24]

“Exercise is important to digestion, and to a healthy condition of body and mind. You need physical exercise…Healthy, active exercise is what you need. This will invigorate the mind. Neither study nor violent exercise should be engaged in immediately after a full meal.”[25]

…always bear in mind that if you would give it a trial, you would find that two meals are better than three.[26]


[1] Ellen G. White, Spiritual Gifts, 1864, Vol. 4, p. 154.

[2] Eating Two Larger Meals a Day (Breakfast and Lunch) is More Effective than Six Smaller Meals in a Reduced-Energy Regimen for Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: a Randomised Crossover Study, Kahleova, H., Belinova, L., Malinska, H. et al. Diabetologia (2015) 58: 205. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-014-3411-9

[3] Meal Frequency and Timing Are Associated with Changes in Body Mass Index in Adventist Health Study 2, Hana Kahleova et al, Journal of Nutrition, September 1, 2017, vol. 147 no. 9, 1722-1728

[4] Primary care-led weight management for remission of type 2 diabetes (DiRECT): an open-label, cluster-randomised trial, Lean, Michael EJ et al., The Lancet, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)33102-1

[5] The Ministry of Healing, 303, 304

[6] {CD 179.2}

[7] {CD 179.3}

[8] Manuscript 1, 1876

[9] Letter 73a, 1896

[10] {CD 179.1}

[11] The Ministry of Healing, 304, 1905

[12] Testimonies for the Church 2:373, 1869

[13] The Health Reformer, May, 1877 {CD 181.2}

[14] The Review and Herald, July 29, 1884 {CD 181.4}

[15] The Review and Herald, May 8, 1883 {CD 182.4}

[16] {CD 173.3}

[17] {CD 174.1}

[18] How to Live 1:55-57, 1865. {CD 174.2}

[19] CD 175.2}

[20] CDF p.106

[21] J. Chan “Water, Other Fluids, and Fatal Coronary Heart Disease,” American Journal of Epidemiology, 2002, 155:827-833

[22] CDF p.104

[23] CH 54

[24] CH 54

[25] CDF 103

[26] CDF, p. 173

Adapted from: DeWitt Williams, EdD, MPH “Ellen White and Intermittent Fasting” Spectrum Magazine, December 2018

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