Stress and High-Fat Diet Slows Metabolism

Stress and High-Fat Diet Slows Metabolism

What do you tend to reach for when you’re stressed? If it is high-fat comfort foods, be aware that your food selection could cause your metabolism to slow and promote weight gain.

Researchers found that women who reported a stressful event on the previous day responded differently to a meal consisting of 930 calories and 60 g. of fat than those who didn’t report a stressful event. The scientists measured metabolic rate, blood sugar, triglycerides, insulin and the stress hormone cortisol.

On average, the women in the study who reported one or more stressors during the previous 24 hours burned 104 fewer calories than non-stressed women in the seven hours after eating the high-fat meal, a difference that could result in weight gain of almost 11 lbs. in one year.

This study may raise more questions than it answers. Don’t you wonder what would have happened if high-carbohydrate foods would have been used in the study in place of high-fat foods, and whether some type of stress management technique would have changed the outcome? The study does point out the impact that stress can have on weight gain and how very important it is to develop good coping and stress-management skills—because whether we like it or not, stress happens.


About Deb Hart

Deb Hart is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. For the last 28 years, she has been helping bariatric surgery patients reach their health and weight goals. She teaches people how to set up a lifestyle that supports a healthy weight. Deb set up her own lifestyle to include lots of long walks with her furry family members, workout classes at her local wellness center, meal prepping, and finding new ways to enjoy foods without added sugar.
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