This common habit could be causing you to gain weight 5 years ago

This common habit could be causing you to gain weight

It can be completely disheartening when you're trying to get fit and eat healthily but you're seeing no results. You've ditched the chocolate and the crisps, so what could possibly be the problem?

Well according to new research published in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, your diet might be failing, not because of what you're eating but because of when you're eating.

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And we're not even talking about midnight snacking.

The study found that people who ate inconsistently at irregular times weighed more, had larger waistlines, and a higher BMI than those who stuck to regular mealtimes.

Worse than disrupting your diet, eating at irregular times actually damages your overall health and could increase your risk of metabolic syndrome.

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The study defines this habit as 'food eaten in varying amounts through the day and at different times from one day to the next'. Shift workers, obviously, are most at risk with those on night shifts affected worse.

For those, the study revealed much graver risks.

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'The evidence for the relationship between shift work and increased disease risk is strongest for cancer,' the study reported.

The study advises that people keep a food diary to monitor their eating times and habits and attempt to introduce regularity into their diet.

Further in the study, researchers also make a link between eating habits and the people we consume food with.

'An even further step after studying the impact of what and when we eat is to study where we eat and with whom we eat. A recent meta-analysis showed that family meal frequency contributes to more healthy eating among children and adolescents, with positive associations between family meals and adolescent dietary intake including fruit and vegetable consumption, dairy consumption and less consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.'