People are known to eat more due to stress. Most of the stressed people seek the comfort of fatty food to curb the mental condition. Thus, prolonged stress can make an individual overweight and even obese. However, according to a new study, stress does not only contribute to weight gain but also prevent successful weight loss.
Researchers have studied stress to find its impact on metabolism for the first time. The study was conducted on 2 groups of women – those who were stressed in the last 24 hours and those who were not. There were 58 women in total aged 53 years on average. Both the groups of women were given 3 standardised on the first day and were asked to fat for the next 12 hours. On the day they reported after 12 hours fast, they were given highly fatty food, which included gravy, biscuits, turkey sausage and eggs. The meal contained 60% fat in total.
After the meal, the ladies were asked to rest on partially reclined beds while the researchers observed their metabolism for the next 7 hours. Their rate of metabolism was monitored prior to the meal too. The normal rate of metabolism while at rest is the 65% – 75% of the body calories burned in 1 day period. Additionally, digestion causes 10% of calories to burn. Besides, the participants also went through DISE test to allow researchers measure their level of stress. Disagreement with spouse, work pressure and troubling children were the dominant stressful issues.
The test result showed that 31 women faced stress before the 1st round of experiment while 21 of them experienced stress before both the rounds. Ladies who faced at least 1 stressful factor burned 104 calories lesser than their counterparts. In other words, it is equivalent to gaining nearly 10 lb annually. Their bodies also produced higher level of insulin after the meal. Thus, this experiment reveals one of the mechanisms how depression and stress promote resistance towards insulin, as suggested by previous research.
The potential of stress generating factors towards negatively affecting weight loss is quite significant. It has tremendous impact on the ability of the body burn fat, as it was clear from the test conducted on the women. It can be significant even in those people who do not feel an equal degree of stress. Those who experience even one-third of the stress can have to bear extra 2 – 2 lb, which is considerable in terms of weight loss.
The effect of a highly fatty meal on metabolism was also analysed by the researchers during the experiment. The meal was prepared using saturated fat, and it was compared with the one that was rich in monounsaturated fat since the latter was prepared using sunflower oil. However, little difference was observed between the metabolic functions of the consumers of the 2 different kinds of fat. Thus, researchers conclusively stated that the result of the research should motivate people to keep healthy food items handy such as stored in the refrigerator and in the office draw.
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