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Controlling Stress Levels Could Lead to Weight Loss

Update Date: Jan 10, 2014 02:41 PM EST

People who want to lose weight might turn to many different kinds of diets. Even though diet plans and exercise routines might be effective for some people, others continue to struggle to lose weight. In a new study, research Kelly Webber from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and environment, compared the effectiveness of two intervention weight-loss programs. Webber, who is an associate professor in the UK Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, found that the stress management intervention program was effective in helping people lose weight.

The two programs that Webber compared were the intuitive eating intervention program and the stress management intervention program. In the eating program, people were taught to pay attention to their bodies and their hunger levels. The members were asked to eat only when they felt hunger and stop eating once they felt full. In the other program, people were taught how to better cope with stress.

The small trial recruited 26 people, who were spilt into two groups. Webber headed the eating intervention group whereas a certified trainer headed the stress management group. Both groups met for 75 minutes twice a week for seven weeks. Webber discovered that people in the stress management group lost as much as 17 pounds and had lowered blood pressure levels. People in the eating intervention group did not lose as much weight and did not significantly reduce their blood pressure. The researchers found that the weight stayed off for the people in the stress management group for at least 14 weeks during the follow-up portion of the study.

"So many people in my weight loss studies, myself included, say 'I'm a stress eater or I'm an emotional eater,' and this stress management based intervention seems to be getting at the root of the problem," Webber said according to Medical Xpress.

Webber plans on heading a larger trial to examine the effects of stress management techniques on weight loss.

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