英語趣談:為什麼stress會致肥?

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應付逆境人人方法不同。有積極的化悲憤為力量,也有人保持幽默感,苦中作樂,說可以化悲憤為食量。

其實身心受壓,不論是悲是憤,都會令人精神緊張,這些情緒不用刻意的去「化」,都會變成食量,所以說stress makes you fat。

Stress是名詞,解anxious state,精神壓力。 Under stress或suffer from stress是在壓力下或有精神壓力。

Stress亦解factor causing stress,導致壓力的因素、緊張;例如︰The stress of rigorous training makes me tired.(嚴厲訓練的壓力使我疲倦。)Stress也用作動詞,解使焦慮不安;例如︰The examination stresses the students.(考試令同學們精神緊張。)

影響血糖「打假仗」

Stress makes you fat,緊張令人肥。很多人精神緊張的反應是不斷吃,不停吃東西自然就會增磅。這現象很普遍,但為什麼會這樣?這樣的行為又是受到什麼生理因素的驅使?英國Leeds University用Giles Yeo醫生作「實驗品」做了個研究,以種種方法令他過了精神緊張的一天,觀察他的生理反應。

Our blood sugar(血糖) levels rise when we eat and, in a healthy person like Giles, they quickly return to normal. But what the Leeds team found was that on the day when Giles was being deliberately(刻意的) stressed, his blood sugar levels took three hours to return to normal – some six times longer than on a previous, stress-free day.
簡單說,壓力影響血糖,進食後需三小時才回復正常水平,是正常情況的六倍時間。

這是因為在壓力下身體進入fight or flight mode,戰或退的狀態。

Your body thinks it is under attack and releases glucose(葡萄糖) into your blood to provide energy for your muscles. But if you don’t need that energy to run away from danger, then your pancreas(胰腺) will pump out insulin(胰島素) to bring those blood sugar levels back down again. These rising levels of insulin and falling blood sugars will make you hungry – which is why you crave(渴望得到) sugary carbs when you are stressed.

Carb是carbohydrate的縮寫,即碳水化合物,包括糖和澱粉。緊張時血糖水平提高給肌肉提供能量去「打仗」,但其實並沒有真的仗要打,所以身體又釋出胰島素降低血糖,這就是精神緊張時會覺得肚餓、食慾增加的原因。

睡眠不足「好胃口」

Stress亦導致失眠或睡不好,另一項英國的研究發現,睡眠不足令人每天多進食近四百卡路里的食物,那想不肥也難。怎辦? Aerobic exercise(帶氧運動)可令人開心一點,又可”help speed your metabolism(新陳代謝) so you burn off the extra indulgences”。

另外,可做些與食物無關而你又喜歡的活動︰

Taking a hike, reading a book, going to a yoga class, getting a massage, patting your dog, or making time for friends and family can help to relieve stress(減壓) without adding on the pounds.

Geneen Roth的Breaking Free from Emotional Eating,提供更多避免化悲憤為食量的方法。

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