Stress Slows Metabolism

Stress Slows Metabolism

If you crave chocolate cake or Ben and Jerry’s after a stressful day, you could gain over 10 pounds in a year, warns a new study.

The research, published in Biological Psychiatry, suggests that women burn fewer calories when under stress. The study participants who reported stress also had higher insulin levels.

“This means that, over time, stressors could lead to weight gain,” said Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry and psychology at The Ohio State University and lead author of the study, in a press release. “We know from other data that we’re more likely to eat the wrong foods when we’re stressed, and our data say that when we eat the wrong foods, weight gain becomes more likely because we are burning fewer calories.”

Researchers questioned 58 middle-aged women about their stress levels, and then served them a 930-calorie meal, complete with biscuits, gravy and 60 grams of fat. The researchers then measured how long it took the women to burn those calories (their metabolic rate). The stressed-out burned 104 fewer calories than the care-free women.

The researchers also noted that women with a history of depression combined with stress had a bigger rise in triglycerides after the meal. High levels of triglycerides are associated with cardiovascular disease.

“With depression, we found there was an additional layer. In women who had stress the day before and a history of depression, triglycerides after the meal peaked the highest,” Kiecolt-Glaser said. “The double whammy of past depression as well as daily stressors was a really bad combination.”

While it’s unclear whether the effect would be the same in men, it’s probably safer for everyone to reach for a green smoothie after a long day.

Source: discovery news

4 Easy Ways to Keep Yourself Feeling Young


Excellent health over 50 can be yours if you know how to take good care of yourself. If you’ve recently passed your 50th birthday, then it’s easy to think that your health will now take a downhill turn. However, there are some things that you can do to keep yourself feeling young and healthy.

1. Keep Yourself Active

Just because you are getting older doesn’t mean that you can start easing into a sedentary lifestyle. Even though aging is accompanied by certain health conditions like joint pain, muscle aches and such, these symptoms can usually be relieved with the right amount of exercise. If you’ve never been physically active before, now is the time to get moving. To avoid overwhelming your body, start with moderate exercises. Yoga, walking, swimming and ballroom dancing are all ideal exercises for women over 50. Not only are they easy enough to perform, but they can also be enjoyable.

It’s also important to incorporate exercise into your everyday routine. For instance, instead of hiring someone to do mow your lawn, maintain your garden or paint your house; do these chores yourself. Not only will these activities keep you moving, but they will also give you a sense of accomplishment.

2. Keep Your Weight in Check

One of the downsides of aging is that your metabolism also slows down. This means that it becomes much easier for you to gain weight. You might have gotten away with eating a lot in your 20’s and 30’s without gaining a pound, but now that you’re in your 50’s, you might find yourself gaining weight with just a handful of peanuts. A lot of women also tend to gain weight around their middle section when they reach their elder years.

You can keep yourself fit by lowering your daily caloric intake to the amount of calories that you can burn. Your doctor and some online tools can help you determine your caloric requirement, but you can easily find this out by simply listening to your body. For instance, if you seem to be gaining weight even though you are eating a normal amount of food, then it’s possible that you now require less food to function. Cut back on meal portions and see if it helps.

3. Cherish Your Social Relationships

Your friendships and social bonds also play an important role in your health. In fact, having support from loved ones can boost your immune system, increase heart protection, speed up surgery recovery and improve your longevity. There could be many explanations behind this link between social support and health. One of these explanations is that social support helps you battle stress. Friends listen to your problems and lend you support throughout the trying times in your life. This can greatly reduce your stress. As you probably know, stress is a common factor that contributes to many chronic illnesses.

4. Improve Your Diet

You can also keep yourself feeling young with the foods you eat. Foods that are rich in antioxidants can be greatly beneficial for you at this point. Antioxidants help by battling free radicals which cause aging symptoms and diseases. Include an array of colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet to ensure you’re consuming an abundance of antioxidants.

Source: Fit day