From skwigg's journal:
I go back and forth about the whole not labeling a big eating experience as a binge. I understand that feeling guilty doesn't help…but at the same time my brain can use it against me in the moment. "It's not a binge, it's just a lot of food! It's no big deal! A happy eater can eat a ton of food whenever they want! You will get hungry again eventually!" I'd rather eat 3 meals a day, but when I know I can just skip a meal if I'm not hungry, it makes it way easier to justify silly eating decisions in the moment (then regret them later).
Aren't brains fun? Figuring mine out has been my life's work. Here's how I counter the "It's just a big meal. I can eat a ton of food whenever and it's ok." argument: Sure, I can wildly overeat any old time, but how fun is that really? Being uncomfortably full, lethargic, bloated, antisocial, and not at all hungry for my next meal. Is that happy eating? Is it in line with my values? Do I ever feel better afterward and so happy I did that? Um, nope! Though I had to test it a few hundred times to be sure. :-)
I think this is where having a regular meal structure is helpful. Dinner is in three hours no matter what. If I eat four pounds of candy right now, how's dinner going to feel? And that's when I decide to eat two pieces of candy instead. I truly want to be hungry for and enjoy dinner. It's incentive not to overdo it.
I do like to eat pretty big meals, which is why sometimes I do brunch, and then 7-9 hours later, dinner. Or a big restaurant dinner and then 12-16 hours later, breakfast. My pattern is pretty predictable though. Breakfast at 6-7am, lunch at 10:30am-1pm, dinner at 5-7pm. It's not a rule. I can always eat whenever, whatever, and as much as I want, or completely rearrange meal times to suit any social occasion, but left to my own devices, I very happily fall into that pattern.
Your pattern may be completely different, but it's nice to have one that works for you. A little bit of structure has many advantates over totally winging it every day. It keeps the crazy justifications, over-the-top hunger, and screwy food decisions at bay.
I think of the way my mom fed me as a kid. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were every day at similar times. Eating a whole bag of potato chips, skipping lunch, and having Froot Loops for dinner were never options. You almost have to parent your inner "wild child" the same way. Satisfying meals at regular times are happening. You can eat your play food for dessert or anytime as a snack, but the rest of the family isn't canceling dinner because you overate something weird.