How Stressful Days Can Make You Gain Weight

Stressful days boost insulin levels and slow down your metabolism, causing your body to burn calories at a slower rate. 

What's the Latest?

In a new study published in Biological Psychiatry, researchers found that stress contributes to a slower metabolism and boosted insulin levels. A team at Ohio State's Wexler Medical School surveyed 58 women about how stressful their days were before feeding them a high-fat meal nearing 1,000 calories. The researchers found that the women who reported having been stressed earlier in the day burned on average 104 fewer calories than those who reported no stress.

What's the Big Idea?

A report in Time gives details about how research was conducted:

The women then wore masks which were able to measure their metabolism by calculating inhaled and exhaled airflow of oxygen and carbon dioxide. The researchers also measured the women’s blood sugar, triglycerides (cholesterol), insulin and the stress hormone cortisol.

The researchers concluded that stress' effect on the metabolism could equal up to 11 extra pounds of fat each year. Time notes that previous research indicates no real difference in the ways stress affects men's bodies.

So what's the solution to making sure you don't put on any undue weight? Try to reduce stress in any way possible. If you're the type of person who can't avoid stress, you need to avoid eating unhealthy meals at day's end.

Read more at TIME

Photo credit: Miriam Doerr / Shutterstock

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less