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Weight Loss, Diet and Stress
Feelings of Anxiety and Stress Increases Calorie Intake and Body Weight
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Weight Loss, Diet & Stress

Weight Loss Diet & Stress Study Method
A recent study examined the relationship between chronic stress and food with a series of experiments with rats. The researchers studied levels of stress hormones, brain activity and chemical signals, as well as body fat distribution, comparing animals experiencing acute and chronic stress induced by exposure to cold or being restrained. The researchers also manipulated some animals' stress hormone levels by removing their adrenal glands, administering stress hormones or injecting them with the chemical signals that produce stress hormones.

Weight Loss Diet & Stress Study Results
When the rats were under chronic stress and had high levels of stress hormones coursing through their bodies, they became very active. They ingested large amounts of high-calorie lard, rejecting their normal feed, and drank prodigious amounts of sugar water. They ignored water containing saccharin, even though it tasted equally sweet. This, in turn, tended to make the rats develop deposits of fat cells in the abdominal area.

Weight Loss Diet & Stress Study - Abdominal Fat & Drought
When people in underdeveloped countries face a drought, their adrenal corticosteroid system kicks in. That will make them run to get food and then they get food and eat and create stores of abdominal fat, which they need to do. This works well when there isn't plenty of food around. But when there is plenty of food around, like in our society, it causes a problem because abdominal fat, if it stays on as excess body weight, is very bad for us. It's associated with diabetes and heart disease and stroke.

Weight Loss Diet & Stress
The body fat cells, in turn, appear to send signals back to the brain, shutting down the production of stress hormones, which us feel better and relax until we can burn off the fat deposits. But following a weight loss diet and losing weight apparently reactivates the stress system, starting the process again. By following a diet, we are consciously losing the metabolic signal to the brain that's calming things down. As a result we feel more anxious and won't feel as good and stress levels continue.

Source: The Mercury News Sep. 30, 2003

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