How can irregular eating affect us?
We know that eating more for breakfast and less for dinner can result in weight loss.
Eating dinner earlier can also lead to weight loss.
How might an irregular eating pattern affect us?
This has been investigated.
In this study, participants followed either a regular meal pattern (6 meals daily) or an irregular
meal pattern (3-9 meals daily) (Alhussain MH, et.al., 2016).
After 14 days the alternative meal pattern was followed.
Before and after each period when the participants were fasting, and also for 3 hours after
intake of a test drink, the participants were measured for energy expenditure, circulating glucose
and several other factors.
The researchers found that a regular eating pattern was associated with an increased
thermic food effect, which means they were burning more calories.
The regular eating pattern was also associated with a lower glucose response and less
It does not take very long before the adverse effects of a misalignment of the circadian rhythm are
This research showed that after only 3 days, increases in blood pressure and several
inflammatory markers were measured (Morris CJ, et.al., 2016).
Alhussain MH, Macdonald IA, Taylor MA. Irregular meal-pattern effects on energy expenditure,
metabolism, and appetite regulation: a randomized controlled trial in healthy normal-weight
women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jul;104(1):21-32.
Morris CJ, Purvis TE, Hu K, Scheer FA. Circadian misalignment increases cardiovascular
disease risk factors in humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Mar 8;113(10):E1402-11 .