Researchers: Stress Eating Can Add 11 Extra Pounds Per Year

By Joe Gullo , CNN

Published 07/15 2014 10:32AM

Updated 07/15 2014 10:35AM

For a lot of people, there's a pattern when you have a bad day or are stressed about something, you look for the potato chips, the cookies or a hamburger and fries. When eating emotionally, our bodies typically crave high fat or sugar, but it turns out giving in to those cravings may be hurting women's health even more than we thought.

It is so easy to justify comfort food it if you're feeling down but this new study says doing this even one single time, has a big impact on women's health.

A new study in the journal Biological Psychiatry put the impact of emotional eating to the test.

They tested 58 women with differing levels of stress in their day. All women were given the same meal of foods like like biscuits and gravy, turkey sausage, and eggs -- which clocked in at 60 grams of fat and 930 calories.

The researchers found that it was the women's stress-level that made their bodies handle the high fat and calorie intake differently.

Those who said they were stressed out burned 104 fewer calories than the women who were not.

The stressed out women also had higher levels of insulin, which affects how your body stores fat and slows your metabolism

Their research showed that women who follow this pattern could add an extra 11 pounds a year.

And that's where the real warning is in this study -- that even doing this only occasionally can unknowingly do some real damage to your diet, especially if you are trying to watch your weight.

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