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How Stress Impacts Taste

There’s no doubt that regularly treating yourself to fat-filled high-calorie meals can add unwanted inches to your waistline. A new study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry suggests experiencing stressful situations during the 24 hours leading up to that meal can make a bad situation worse by decreasing both your metabolic rate and fat oxidation, which is the conversion of large fat molecules into smaller ones for use as energy.

Researchers from Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center had 58 women regulate food intake before sitting down to a 930 calorie meal containing 60 grams of fat – about what you’d get with a loaded double-patty hamburger and fries. Thirty-one subjects reported at least one stressful situation the day before and they burned 104 fewer calories than subjects who reported no stress 7 hours after consuming the high-fat meal.

True Strength Moment: Scientists calculated that the stress-related differences between metabolic rates and fat oxidation could result in a weight gain of 11 pounds over the course of a year. So the take home message here is don’t feed your stress with comfort food, especially since a previous study showed stressed-out humans have a tendency to develop a taste for sweets and fat.


100% Whey Protein

Depending on how you train, and the results you’re trying to accomplish, whey protein might factor into your goal attainment strategy. If you’re interested in losing body fat and gaining muscle mass, consider the findings of a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology when planning out your program.

Seventy-nine overweight or obese adults supplemented their diet with three whey protein shakes daily for 16 weeks. Each shake contained 20 grams of whey protein. Some of these subjects did not train, while others were assigned to train with weights. A third group engaged in both endurance and strength training.

After this intervention, all groups lost body weight, fat mass and abdominal fat. Subjects who engaged in both strength and cardiovascular training lost the most weight, an average of 2.6%, and the most fat mass (6.6%). They also gained more muscle mass. Resistance training helped subjects shed 7.7% of their visceral adipose tissue, while the multi-exercise group lost 20%. Inactive subjects didn’t lose any.

True Strength Moment: Variety is the spice of life, as the saying goes. This study suggests varying your workouts between the weight room and running or cycling can produce results superior to what you might get from limited options.