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Old 04-18-2008, 09:23 AM
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Default Can Stress Cause Weight Gain?

The short answer is yes, though not in every person. Some people lose their appetite and lose weight when they're stressed. But if you already tend to be overweight, stress usually leads to weight gain. It also can make it harder to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

The relationship between stress and weight is complex. Maintaining a healthy weight depends upon many lifestyle factors: Your activity level, the rhythm of your meals, whether or not you have breakfast, the kind of food you eat, and how you are at monitoring your own diet.

How likely are you to respond to negative emotions and stress by eating? It's hard to know. But in a large British study, researchers found that people with the lowest body mass index (BMI) tended to lose weight when stressed, while people with the highest BMI usually gained weight.

How does stress cause these changes? Before we can answer that question, we have to learn a lot more about how the brain controls appetite. Scientists are beginning to discover some intriguing connections. For example, a hormone that is thought to be involved in regulating body weight also interacts with receptors in parts of the brain that control emotion.

Since food is essential for survival — and for most of human history food was relatively scarce — the brain has evolved to protect us against times of scarcity. Sadly, the brain does a poorer job of protecting us against abundance! In fact, it may actively undermine many of us. Some experts say that chronic stress leads to a preference for foods that are high in sugar and fat.

Whether or not stress is causing weight gain in your life, the solution is lifestyle change: Increase your activity level. Reduce your intake, while making healthier food choices. Get the amount of sleep you need.

But these kinds of changes are very difficult to make without the right support — especially when you're stressed. So if the burdens in your life have become too great, get a referral from your doctor to talk to a mental health professional. Taking care of your mental health may be the best thing you can do for your body.
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Old 04-18-2008, 10:17 AM
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Yes it can....my hips can attest to it.
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:39 PM
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Does Stress Make You Fat? (Does Fat Make You Stressed?)

Stress...fat...an endless cycle? It may be a classic catch-22, but how do we put the kibosh on the whole thing?

The Problem
Americans: smart and industrious, democratic and free — and unfortunately, anxiety-riddled and overweight. And these two things go together like peanut butter and jelly (on Wonder bread). Researchers have known for over a decade that there’s a connection between chronic stress, fat and obesity. But new studies have identified the exact chain of molecular events that links the two conditions, according to reports in the July 1, 2007, online version of Nature Medicine.

The Stress-Fat Connection

Stress is like a steroid for fat cells. When the body is stressed, one of the substances it releases is a molecule that causes heart rate and blood pressure to increase, along with a number of other physiological reactions. One other thing this molecule does is to unlock certain receptors in fat cells, allowing them to grow bigger than normal and also to multiply.

Scientists at Georgetown University have found a connection between stress, a high-calorie diet, and extreme weight gain. These scientists tested two groups of mice — a stressed group and a non-stressed group. Each group was fed normal diets and high-fat and high-sugar (“comfort food”) diets. The stressed mice on the high-fat and high-sugar diet gained twice as much fat as unstressed mice on the same diet. The stressed animals used and stored fat differently than the non-stressed ones.

The researchers then experimented with blocking these specific fat-cell receptors or removing this receptor’s gene from the abdominal fat cells. When they did this, the stressed mice on high-fat, high-sugar diets did not become obese. In addition to not getting as fat, they also did not suffer the metabolic changes linked to stress and diet, including glucose intolerance (prediabetes, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, etc.) and fatty liver — an accumulation of fat in the liver that is often associated with obesity and diabetes. The lead author of the published report called the effect of breaking this chain of molecular events “remarkable.”

While the researchers talked about the ways in which these findings can be used by pharmaceutical companies to create drugs that interfere with these receptors, thereby reducing fat cells, it might be wiser to simply put some extra time and energy into addressing our culture’s stress epidemic. We’re always on the lookout for that magic pill that will mean we don’t have to do the heavy lifting — that is, we won’t have to change our unhealthy ways. Change is hard, but change can be good.

Stress Soothers
What are the best ways to manage and relieve stress? You’ve no doubt seen countless articles on relaxation techniques, exercise, yoga, and the like. Stress relief is big business in our stressed-out country, so you can find books, videos, websites, gadgets, and services galore that claim to melt away stress and anxiety. But what really works? Scientists want the answer to that question and have begun to study in earnest methods for relieving stress. .

http://www.dlife.com/dLife/do/ShowCo..._you_fat.page1
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