Eating a high fat diet under stress increases weight gain

Eating a high fat diet under stress increases weight gain

Whether you’re a student going through final exams or a 9 to 5-er with recurring stressful Mondays, we have all done this. The moment the stress hits, we want that sweet delicious cappuccino with the coffee and sugar kick or perhaps that big heavy meal that hits all the right spots.

Turns out, we crave this as our body needs some comfort, BUT this is specifically the time that we should not indulge. Recent research suggests that having high fat options to eat or drink during times of stress can actually increase weight gain and increase insulin levels (Link below). You might say that this is not new. We all know that having a high fat diet option can be associated with weight gain.

The kicker is this. Eating the same high fat diet option while not stressed does not affect weight gain as much. This means that stress specifically changes your metabolism such that you end up consuming more food and using up less energy. This, in turn, leads to you putting on more weight.

Why is knowing this important?

The more you know, the more you can do something about this. If you consider yourself to be in a stressed position often and weight is an issue for you, then considering lower fat diet options should be important to you. Just the simple switch in diet could help you prevent weight gain.

Let’s face it. We live in a high demand society. It is the world of Amazon Prime where we want things delivered to us the day we order it. These demands take their wear and tear on our bodies.

There are two solutions if you are facing the issues of stress and weight gain.

1 – Make time to De-stress

While it is easy to say this, not many people make time to relax. In fact, what one person might find relaxing is totally different from what another person might find to be so. Find activities that relax you and make time to include them in your weekly schedule. Examples could be going to the gym, walking, yoga, meditation, listening to music, etc.

2 Change your diet

This is a loaded point that I cannot break down in this short post. In my last post, I started talking about incorporating healthy options into your diet and what that could look like (http://www.healthywithscience.com/healthy-plant-based-diets/). But everyone is different. You cannot exclude all the food you enjoy because living a restricted lifestyle might make you crave things and end up binge eating. It is important to be mindful about your food. In this case, that would mean not eating high fat foods when you feel particularly stressed. It means knowing your state of mind before you eat.

And persevere! You might fall off the wagon every once in a while, but keep working at it. The last thing you need is to fall into a lifestyle and feel helpless. This is a choice you can make at any point, no matter where you are on your health journey. All you have right now is TODAY! Make the most of it!!

Research Article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550413119301858?via%3Dihub

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