Lose weight: stop thinking so much
Too much thinking ‘can make you fat’, according to the findings of a new study.
Researchers have found the stress of thinking caused overeating, with heavy thinkers reaching higher calorific heights.
Head of the research team, Dr Angelo Tremblay, measured the spontaneous food intake of 14 students after each of three tasks: relaxing in a sitting position, reading and summarizing a text, and, finally, completing a series of memory, attention, and vigilance tests on the computer.
The findings showed that the students munched 203 more calories after summarizing a text, and 253 more calories after computer tests than they consumed after the rest period, even though, physically, all are low-energy tasks.
So why do we feel the need to binge after brain-work?
Blood samples taken before, during, and after each session revealed that intellectual work causes much bigger fluctuations in glucose and insulin levels than rest periods.
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Jean-Philippe Chaput, the main author of the study carried out at Universite Laval in Quebec, said: ‘These fluctuations may be caused by the stress of intellectual work, or also reflect a biological adaptation during glucose combustion.’
He added: ‘Caloric overcompensation following intellectual work, combined with the fact we are less physically active when doing intellectual tasks, could contribute to the obesity epidemic currently observed in industrialised countries.’
A great excuse to slack off, if ever we heard one!