Stress and High-fat Meal cause Weight Gain

Nowadays there are many events on the daily basis that cause stress. As a solution, some people tend to eat more without realizing its harm to the body. They also tend to eat foods that are more harmful like some sweets, an ice-cream or some bear. New research shows that a high-fat meal after any stressful situation metabolizes food more slowly.

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The research by Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser, from The Ohio State University and colleagues[1] tried to prove that the mixture of stress and food rich in calories can be a trigger to add up to 11 pounds a year. In the research, they evaluated 50 women with the average age 53 years. They had questions if they have experienced some stressors the following day. Six reported no stressors, 21 had stressors in both visits but thirty-one woman reported at least one stressor in the prior day.

Women eat “meal consisted of eggs, turkey sausage, biscuits, and gravy – roughly equivalent in calories and fat to a loaded two-patty hamburger and French fries.”1 There was a metabolic rate test every hour for 20 minutes for overall seven hours. Researchers also took the blood tests. The results showed that the women who reported to have stressors, their insulin level went up very soon after the meal. It reached the level of non-stressed women after about 90 minutes. Higher insulin contributes to bigger storage of fat and less fat oxidation that means that there is less “conversion of large fat molecules into smaller molecules that can be used as fuel.”[2] The fat that doesn’t get is stored for the use later or just as fat that stays as additional.

The study also found out that for women who had a history of depression, didn’t have a high increase of insulin but for those who had this history combined with additional stressors, “lead to a steeper immediate rise in triglycerides after the meal.” The findings showed that stress and depression after high-fat meals promote obesity showing 435 kJ difference that can lead to almost 11-pound increase (weight gain) in a year.

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People who experience the influence of stress and consume food that is rich in calories, also have a higher risk to become overweight or obese. Certified nutrition specialist Chen Ben Asher suggests to try to avoid different uncomfortable situations like arguing with co-workers, work pressure, disagreements with friends, raising children and others as well as to think more about what you eat to avoid weight gain or try to loose some.


[1] Stress + High-Fat Meal = Weight Gain. Accessed from:”nofollow”

[2] Weighty Issue: Stress and High-Fat Meals Combine to Slow Metabolism in Women. Accessed from:”nofollow”

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