Does Stress cause weight gain?
We are hearing more about the effects of stress on weight gain. But be wary of reports and do some of your own research.
One such report went like this; A group of 58 women aged 53 years, were given a high fat meal 60% fat, after being asked about the previous days stressors. They were then monitored every 7 hours for the next 24 hours for their metabolic rate, blood sugar level, triglycerides, insulin and the stress hormone, cortisol.
The meal consisted of eggs, turkey, sausage, biscuits (scones in the UK) and gravy.
The control group were made to eat random meals.
It was noticed that those who had the most stress during the previous 24 hours burned 104 fewer calories compared to the non stressed women.
The conclusion was that this would lead to 11 lbs more every year if you are stressed.
NOOOOO! Not an exact science!
The conclusion that this would lead to 11ibs weight gain per year is flawed I’m afraid, as no one eats the same every day. This is also assuming that the old argument that 3500 calories is equal to 1 lb fat, (true) and therefore if you eat 3500 you will put on a lb, or if you cut your calories by 3500 you will lose it, has never been proved.
The body is not an exact science.
However, it still shows that we are preserving fat more when we are stressed.
Another interesting result was this; “We suspected that the saturated fat would have a worse impact on metabolism in women, but in our findings, both high-fat meals consistently showed the same results in terms of how stressors could affect their energy expenditure,” said Ohio State nutritionist and co-author Professor Martha Belury.
The conclusion that I am interested in is that part of the study was to find out the results of saturated fat on stress and metabolism, but they found that both diets turned up with the same results. But again they did not say what the control group actually ate.
However it was interesting to read that stress can cause weight gain, which is something that has been studied for some time because we know that excess cortisol can raise your blood sugar, which in turn makes the body preserve its fat stores.
For further reading the study can be found here.