Frequency of feeding, weight reduction and energy metabolism

Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1993 Jan;17(1):31-6.


A study was conducted to investigate the effect of feeding frequency on the rate and composition of weight loss and 24 h energy metabolism in moderately obese women on a 1000 kcal/day diet. During four consecutive weeks fourteen female adults (age 20-58 years, BMI 25.4-34.9 kg/m2) restricted their food intake to 1000 kcal/day. Seven subjects consumed the diet in two meals daily (gorging pattern), the others consumed the diet in three to five meals (nibbling pattern). Body mass and body composition, obtained by deuterium dilution, were measured at the start of the experiment and after two and four weeks of dieting. Sleeping metabolic rate (SMR) was measured at the same time intervals using a respiration chamber. At the end of the experiment 24 h energy expenditure (24 h EE) and diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT) were assessed by a 36 h stay in the respiration chamber. There was no significant effect of the feeding frequency on the rate of weight loss, fat mass loss or fat-free mass loss. Furthermore, fat mass and fat-free mass contributed equally to weight loss in subjects on both gorging and nibbling diet. Feeding frequency had no significant effect on SMR after two or four weeks of dieting. The decrease in SMR after four weeks was significantly greater in subjects on the nibbling diet. 24 h EE and DIT were not significantly different between the two feeding regimens.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Temperature / physiology
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Weight Loss / physiology*