There is no need to follow “rules” especially if one is not a bhikkhu.
– The main point is one needs to eat when one is hungry.
– As one cultivates the path, one will automatically lose CRAVING for food (or any other sensory pleasures.)
– But you already seem to be there!
It would be a good idea to read the recent post, “Vinaya Piṭaka – More Than Disciplinary Rules”
The following is from that post:
4. For many years after the Buddha’s Enlightenment, there were no disciplinary rules for the bhikkhus. Those who ordained as bhikkhus in those early years had fulfilled most of their “pāramitā” and did not need much clarification of dhamma concepts. They also were ‘self-disciplined,” and it was not necessary to impose rules.
– Most Vinaya rules were set up to handle particular situations where one or more bhikkhus had done things that were not appropriate. The Vinaya Piṭaka provides background accounts for many such cases. Such accounts provide insights into dhamma concepts as well as providing reasons for enacting such rules.
– For example, there was no rule for the bhikkhus to abstain from eating after Noon. There were few other reasons to impose that rule, but one reason was to discipline those who started wearing robes to “live an easy life.” That rule was enacted probably after 20 years or so, and by that time, most people had become faithful followers of the Buddha. They held bhikkhus in high regard and took care of all their needs.
– There is an account in the Vinaya Piṭaka for another reason for that rule. One bhikkhu went for an alms-collection after dark, and a woman had thrown dirty water from a cooking pot at the bhikkhu because she could not see him.