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January 03, 2011

Stress exposure after dieting can increase the chances of eating!

You may wonder why simply the thought of a chocolate cake or pizza is really tempting, especially when you 've had a really stressful day at work? A latest animal study has found that exposure to stress after dieting can increase the chances of binge eating.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania examined the behaviour & hormone levels of mice on limited diets. After three weeks of fewer calories, the mice lost 10% to 15% of their body weight, similar to human diet weight loss. "Yo-yo dieting"- temporarily losing weight only to regain it, plus more - is a well-known phenomenon. The study appeared in the Dec 1 issue of  "The Journal of Neuroscience."

Lead Researcher, Tracy Bale & her colleagues found the mice had increased levels of the stress hormone corticosterone & displayed depression-like behavior. The authors also discovered that several genes important in regulating stress & eating had changed. The researchers put the mice in stressful situations & monitored how much fatty foods they ate. The previously restricted mice ate more high-fat food than normal mice.

Bale said that the results suggest that dieting not only increases stress, making successful dieting more difficult, but that it may actually 'reprogramme' how the brain responds to future stress & emotional drives for food. Jeffrey Zigman of the University of Texas said that the study highlights the difficult road that human dieters often travel to attain & maintain their weight loss goals. It also suggests that management of stress during dieting may be key to achieving those goals.                                                          [Click to promote this post]

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