Monthly Archives: February 2017

What’s the Best Exercise to Lose Weight: Cardio or Lifting Weights?

For decades, conventional wisdom (and Jane Fonda) said cardio was the best exercise for weight loss. Then strength training muscled its way into the spotlight as the must-do move for revving your metabolism and losing weight in your sleep, prompting many exercise enthusiasts to join #TeamNoCardio. So a few years ago, Duke University researchers took to the lab and conducted the largest study of its kind to compare the two and get an answer once and for all.

After 8 months of tracking 119 overweight and previously sedentary volunteers while they performed resistance training, aerobic exercise, or a combination of the two, the clear winner was…aerobic exercise. By a lot. The cardio group lost about 4 pounds while their resistance training peers gained two. Yes, the weight gain was attributed to added lean mass. However, that muscle mass didn’t lead to any meaningful fat loss over the course of the study. In fact, the aerobics only group shed more than 3 ½ pounds of fat while the lifters didn’t lose a single pound despite the fact that they actually exercised 47 more minutes each week than the cardio group. Not surprisingly, the cardio-plus-resistance group improved their body composition best—losing the most fat while adding some lean mass. But they also spent twice as much time in the gym.

Related: 3 Cardio Exercises You Can Do Anywhere
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It’s simple math, says study co-author Cris Slentz, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at Duke University. “Minute per minute, cardio burns more calories, so it works best for reducing fat mass and body mass.” That’s not to say that you shouldn’t lift weights, especially as you get older and start losing muscle mass, he notes. “Resistance training is important for maintaining lean body mass, strength and function, and being functionally fit is important for daily living no matter what your size."

For the biggest fitness gain/weight loss bang for your exercise buck, combine the two, doing your strength training first and finishing off with your cardio. An American Council on Exercise study on exercise sequencing found that your heart rate is higher—by about 12 beats per minute—during your cardio bout when you’ve lifted weights beforehand. That means more calories burned.

It’s also important to remember one essential fact about exercise and weight loss, says Slentz. “Exercise by itself will not lead to big weight loss. What and how much you eat has a far greater impact on how much weight you lose,” he says. That’s because it’s far easier to take in less energy (calories) than it is to burn significant amounts and it’s very easy to cancel out the few hundred calories you’ve burned working out with just one snack.

RELATED: 10 Superfoods for Weight Loss

Where exercise appears to matter most is for preventing weight gain, or for keeping off pounds once you’ve lost weight, says Slentz. “Exercise seems to work best for body weight control,” he says. The National Weight Control Registry, which since 1994 has tracked more than 10,000 people who shed an average of 66 pounds and kept it off for at least five years, would agree. Ninety percent of successful weight loss maintainers exercise for about an hour a day and their activity of choice is cardio, simply walking. 


Weight Loss – Health.com

Kim Kardashian West Loves This Plastic Weight Loss Suit, But Does It Really Work?

From waist trainers to "flat tummy tea," the Kardashians have used several questionable methods to slim down. Here's another one to add to the list: Kim Kardashian West working out in a plastic trash bag-like suit to sweat away the rest of her baby weight. 

The reality star wore the strange getup during a workout with trainer Donamatrix on Tuesday morning. "I’m wearing a full sweat suit ’cause I gotta lose this extra, like, 7 pounds," she told her Snapchat followers. Kardashian West gave birth to her son, Saint, 16 months ago, and said in October that she'd dropped almost 70 pounds. She now says on Snapchat that losing 7 pounds will bring her down to her 115-pound goal.

Kardashian West isn't the only member of her family who's been spotted wearing a so-called "sauna suit." Khloe Kardashian has worn one as well. "I like wearing the sauna suit during cardio, but you burn more calories and break a sweat faster even if you're lifting weights," she said on her app. 

To see if there's merit behind this Kardashian-approved weight loss trick, we reached out to Tom Holland, an exercise physiologist and author of Beat the Gym. The answer: a hard no. 

"This is so old school and so horrible," Holland tells Health. This method provides no long-term weight loss results, he says, and will only help Kardashian West drop water weight.

The sauna suit trick was widely used in the 1950s, says Holland, when boxers and wrestlers needed to weigh in for their sport and had to ensure they made a certain weight class. After weighing in and re-hydrating, these athletes would immediately gain the lost weight back, in a matter of a few hours.

"If all you care about is the number on the scale, then sure, this method will temporarily change that," Holland says. "But you're also putting on a suit that doesn't breathe so it's potentially dangerous and the worst case scenario is death." Wearing a sauna suit mimics the effects of heat stroke because it depletes your hydration and electrolyte levels and raises your core temperature and heart rate to scary new levels. Organ failure is possible as well if you use the suit for too long.

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Holland says that women who want to slim down should steer clear sweat suits and other fast fixes. Instead, high intensity interval training (HIIT) is the most effective way to drop pounds quickly. "With HIIT, you're going to burn abdominal fat, which is the last few pounds of a weight loss goal for many people," he says. "Plus, you can potentially continue to burn calories after the workout with HIIT."

It's important to remember that the number on the scale is an arbitrary measurement. Losing 7 pounds may be important to Kardashian West, but she looks just as great in her body-hugging dresses at her current weight. Holland says it best: "Body composition is more important than the number on the scale. Your body will find the way it's supposed to look. You may need to weigh a little more, but you’ll be strong and healthy."


Weight Loss – Health.com

How to Survive Memorial Day Weekend Without Gaining an Ounce


If you’re on a quest to shed pounds or maintain a healthy weight, getting through a holiday weekend can feel like navigating an obstacle course. Memorial Day is particularly challenging for many of my clients, as it marks the start of both bikini and BBQ season (sigh). If holidays tend to trip you up, here are five tips for making it to Tuesday, without feeling like you need to undo the damage.

Prepare (or bring) a healthy “filler”
Traditional cookout menus offer plenty of splurge options, but tend to lack in the vegetable department. Fewer (or no) veggies means you’ll fill up on foods that contain far more calories per bite. For example, a quarter cup of potato salad, about the size of a golf ball, packs about 90 calories, compared to a mere 8 for the same sized portion of juicy grape tomatoes. If you’re hosting, build in plenty of appetizers and side dishes made from water-rich veggies, and if you’re a guest, bring a platter to share. Great options include vinegar-based slaw, veggie kabobs to toss on the grill, chilled tomato cucumber vinaigrette salad, and raw veggies with hummus for dipping, like tomatoes, cukes, broccoli florets, sliced red peppers, radishes, and good old baby carrots.

Pick a starch, any (one) starch
After a holiday weekend, when you feel a bit heavier and your jeans are a little too tight, carb overload was likely the culprit. To avoid it, commit to some simple compromises. If you love potato salad or grilled corn on the cob, make room. For example, wrap your lean turkey burger in crisp Romaine leaves instead of a bun. Or if what you’re really looking forward to is dessert, like a patriotically decorated cupcake, stick with veggies and protein as your meal, and forgo the other starchy stuff. Rather than regarding this give-and-take as missing out, think of it as an ingenious strategy that allows you to have your cake and eat it too!

Build in some burn
As anyone who has struggled with weight issues knows, it’s far easier to put it on than it is to take it off. And one of the best ways to prevent your weight from creeping up is to balance out extra nibbles with a boost in activity. Even backyard fun can make a big difference. An hour of badminton burns about 300 calories, Frisbee 200, and a brisk walk around the block about 350. Just standing, talking with friends, rather than sitting, can help you burn 50% more calories per hour!

Rethink that drink
In addition to lowering inhibitions, alcohol can act as an appetite stimulant; a recipe for gobbling up lots of food you probably wouldn’t eat sober. But if you don’t intend to teetotal it this weekend, stick with skinnier options. A 100 calorie shot of tequila can instantly become a 500 calorie margarita once it’s swirled into a sugary mixer, but a 12 ounce bottle of light beer clocks in at just 105 calories. Or choose a drink that will help you take in less alcohol per volume, like a wine spritzer (made with sparkling water) rather than a large glass of wine.

Rely on H2O

Reaching for water is important for staying hydrated (especially if you imbibe in a drink or two), but it’s also a smart weight control strategy. One study found that adults who downed two cups of water before meals shed 40% more weight while following a low cal plan over a 12-week period. While the reason wasn’t completely clear, it may be because agua helps to naturally curb eating. In a different study, the same group of scientists found that subjects who drank two cups of H2O before meals naturally consumed 75-90 fewer calories. For an extra edge, add a generous squeeze of lemon. A quarter cup of fresh squeezed juice provides about 50% of the vitamin C you need daily, a nutrient that’s been shown to boost fat burning, both during exercise and at rest.

What’s your take on these tips? Do you feel especially challenged on holidays?  Please tweet your thoughts to @CynthiaSass and @goodhealth

Cynthia Sass is a registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she’s Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers NHL team and the Tampa Bay Rays MLB team, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics. Her latest New York Times best seller is S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches. Connect with Cynthia on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest

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Weight Loss – Health.com

4 Weight-Loss Tricks That Can Totally Backfire

From tube feeding to tape worms, I’ve seen people take some pretty drastic measures to lose weight. But even clients who try more common strategies (like calorie counting) often find that their efforts backfire. Many go-to diet tricks can leave you feeling hungry, moody, irritable, or downright miserable—things I never want my clients to feel. What’s worse, after you finish a quick-fix weight-loss tactic, you’ll often gain back all of the pounds you lost (or more!). In reality, the only way to shed pounds, keep them off, and stay sane in the process is by adopting habits you can actually stick to long-term. Below, four common weight-loss tricks that don’t fit that criteria—and in my opinion aren’t worth your time or effort.

RELATED: 7 Crazy Weight-Loss Methods You Should Never Try

Cutting out ALL sugar

Sugar is currently the top nutritional villain, and I can’t say I disagree. I am a fan of cutting back on sugar. After all, most Americans eat nearly four times the recommended daily max. However, I’ve seen many of my clients get too strict about sugar, which typically leads to binge-eating forbidden sweets, or abandoning healthy eating altogether.

Another issue with this tactic: many people also ditch fruit to slash sugar. Not only does this deprive your body of key nutrients, it’s counterproductive: Research shows eating fruit helps you shed pounds (even more so than veggies!). This could be because fruit is loaded with antioxidants (which have been tied to leanness in research), or simply because fruit tends to replace sweet, processed snacks.

As for added sugar, even the strictest guidelines from the American Heart Association allow up to six teaspoons worth per day for women. This means there’s still room for healthy indulgences, like nutrient-rich dark chocolate, which has been shown to help curb cravings for both sweet and salty foods (score!). The fact is, cutting out all sugar simply isn’t realistic for most people. So stick with the fruit (without overdoing it) and pre-plan can’t-live-without treats. It tends to be a much more manageable and maintainable approach.

RELATED: 10 Easy Ways to Slash Sugar from Your Diet

Obsessively counting calories

Most of my clients are shocked when I advise them to stop counting calories. But trust me, it’s for the best. First of all, when it comes to calories, quality is often more important that quantity. I’ve had clients actually start losing weight after upping their calorie intake, because they swapped processed fare for fresh, whole foods. In fact, research confirms that not all calories are created equal—some foods like pulses, almonds, and avocado trigger caloric burn, feelings of satiety, or delayed hunger.

Just the stress of counting calories can also do a number on your waistline. One study found that women who simply monitored their caloric intake (without restricting it) experienced spikes in cortisol, a stress hormone tied to increased belly fat. A more effective alternative to calorie counting is focusing on healthy portions. For example, you can slash 125 calories by simply pairing a half cup of brown rice with one cup of greens, instead of one cup of brown rice with a half cup of greens.

RELATED: Top 10 Calorie Searches of 2105

Extreme portion control

Serving yourself healthy portion sizes is generally a great diet strategy. However, there are a number of methods that take portion control too far, like eating only with chopsticks, or stopping after a few measly bites of your meal. Again, while this may result in weight loss, who could keep this up forever? Plus, eating too little can result in a number of counterproductive side effects, like feeling too tired to exercise, losing calorie-burning muscle, weakening your immune system, and constant crankiness. Not to mention, there are plenty of foods you can eat in large portions and still lose weight. For example, these veggies pack less than 30 calories per cup: kale, mushrooms, red bell pepper, zucchini, eggplant, cauliflower, asparagus, and many others. So stop trying to nibble your way through the day. And instead, strategically chose the foods that make up the bulk of your meals and snacks.

RELATED: 14 Ways to Cut Portions Without Feeling Hungry

Eating one single food

Whether it’s bananas or potatoes—there are plenty of diets that involve literally eating one food. While this restrictive approach may indeed lead to weight loss, it’s typically temporary. A healthier method is picking a single balanced meal (a combo of lean protein, healthy fat, and nutrient-rich carbs) and repeating it on a short term basis. Check out this guide for ideas. I’ve found that narrowing your meal repetoire can be a great kickstart for breaking an unhealthy pattern and making way for a better one.  But the key is that it has to be a transitional strategy. So before you even start, be sure you have a plan to sustain these healthier habits for the future. After a month of clean eating, you’ll feel so happy and energized, you’ll never look back.

What’s your take on this topic? Chat with us on Twitter by mentioning @goodhealth and @CynthiaSass.

Cynthia Sass is a nutritionist and registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she’s Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Yankees, previously consulted for three other professional sports teams, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics. Sass is a three-time New York Times best-selling author, and her brand new book is Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches with Real Food, Real Fast. Connect with her on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Weight Loss – Health.com

5 Steps to Quitting Artificial Sweeteners

Yet another new study supports what I’ve seen in my private practice for years – artificial sweeteners actually increase cravings. Scientists say that faux sugars activate the brain’s pleasure center, without satisfying it, which triggers an increased desire for sweets. That’s probably why statistically, people who drink diet beverages aren’t slimmer–one report found that two-can-a-day diet drinkers had a 54.5% chance of becoming overweight or obese, compared to 32.8% for those who drank the same amount of regular soda.

While I’m certainly not recommending drinking regular soda, I do believe that kicking the diet habit is essential for sustainable weight control and optimal health. I’ve had numerous clients who worried they’d never be able to give up the artificial stuff, or that doing so would lead to weight gain, but the outcome is always the same–fewer cravings for sweets, a heightened ability to tune into hunger and fullness cues, and far more effortless weight loss. If you’re ready to give fake sugars the old heave-ho, put these five steps into action.

Go cold turkey (and be sure to uncover hidden sources!)
In addition to diet drinks and those little colored packets, artificial sweeteners may be lurking in foods you don’t suspect, including gum, yogurt, flavored water, protein shakes, and powders, even cereal. To scope them out, read every ingredient list carefully. Generic names include aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, or Ace K, and saccharin. While stevia is marketed as natural, I recommend avoiding this additive as well. In my experience, its intense sweetness (100 times sweeter than sugar) may also drive a desire for sweets, and groups like Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) raise important concerns about its safety.

Start a cravings journal
In addition to tracking what and how much they eat, I ask my clients to record their hunger/fullness ratings before and after meals, as well as any observations related to cravings, whether physical or emotional. Their post-artificial sweetener observations can be pretty darn remarkable. I’ve had clients who were self-proclaimed artificial sweetener addicts suddenly lose their sweet tooths. One was shocked when she had no desire to sneak a spoonful of her son’s pudding. Another was struck by the realization that when she stopped doctoring up her a.m. coffee with fake sugar, she no longer felt like nibbling all morning on office treats.

Satisfy sweet cravings with fruit
Research indicates that fruit can indeed satisfy a sweet tooth, and it’s a far better option than a calorie-free sweetener for several reasons. First, the naturally occurring sugar in fresh fruit is bundled with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and fluid, key nutrients that nourish your body and support your overall health. The sugar in fruit is also non-concentrated–one cup of grapes (about the size of a tennis ball) contains about 15 grams of sugar, a few grams less than the amount in just a tablespoon of honey. Finally, studies show that regular fruit eaters weigh less, even more so than veggie eaters, probably because fruit tends to displace sweets (e.g. reaching for an apple instead of a cookie), whereas veggies tend to be add-ons. Fruit is fantastic by itself, but you can also get creative with it. Add a little mashed in-season fruit to your ice water, toss fruit on the grill or bake it in the oven, warm fruit on the stovetop, seasoned with spices like cinnamon, cloves, or ginger, or sauté your favorite fruits in a little extra virgin coconut oil. If there are varieties you haven’t yet tried, like dragon fruit or carambola (aka starfruit), give them a whirl. There’s a bounty of nature’s candy to discover.

Use “sweet” spices
While not technically sweet themselves, spices like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg enhance natural sweetness, and can take the place of some or all of the sugar in various dishes. I relish sprinkling cinnamon and nutmeg, or a spice blend (pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice) into my morning cup of coffee, and many of my clients find that adding these aromatic, satisfying seasonings to foods like hot or cold whole-grain cereal, natural nut butter, nonfat organic Greek yogurt, and baked sweet potato, allows them to forgo sweeteners all together. Bonus: they’re potent sources of antioxidants, which are cell bodyguards that protect against premature aging and disease ; one teaspoon of cinnamon packs as much antioxidant power as a half cup of blueberries.

Enjoy real sugar sparingly
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the daily target for added sugar (e.g. the sugar you add to coffee or the sugar added by manufacturers to sweetened yogurt, baked goods, etc.) should be no more than 6 level teaspoons for women, and 9 for men–that’s for both food and beverages combined. If you’re eating clean, and avoiding processed foods that often contain hidden added sugar (such as salad dressing, canned soup, and tomato sauce), you can afford to build small, sweet splurges into your overall healthy diet. For example, a half cup of coconut milk ice cream contains about 10 grams of sugar, a two inch brownie about 12 grams, and two tasting squares of 75% dark chocolate about 4 grams, roughly a teaspoon worth (every 4 grams of added sugar equals a teaspoon). In my experience, avoiding artificial sweeteners tends to curb sweet cravings overall, but when they do strike, indulging in a small amount of the real thing is the best way to satisfy your fix, and move on. My mantra: keep calm and eat real food.

What’s your take on this topic? Please tweet your thoughts to @CynthiaSass and @goodhealth

Cynthia Sass is a registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she’s Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers NHL team and the Tampa Bay Rays MLB team, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics. Her latest New York Times best seller is S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches. Connect with Cynthia on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest

Weight Loss – Health.com

Kate Hudson's Workout Secrets for Sculpted Abs

Did you happen to catch Kate Hudson in that barely-there bikini photo she recently posted from her vacay in Greece?

While we admit that the locale is pretty sweet, we are WAY more interested in the Oscar-nominated actress’s perfectly taut core. So we did some digging and found out that the 36-year-old attributes her sizzling bod to a few key workouts:

RELATED: 3 Sculpting Moves to Try From Our Red-Carpet Favorites

“I do all kinds of stuff. I get really bored, so I’ll do anything, I’ll try anything,” the mom of two  told E! News. “There’s this thing called Heartcore in London that I love. And so I do that when I am there. And then I do hot yoga a lot in London because when it’s rainy I just want to go somewhere warm. I spin—I love a SoulCycle class. I love to dance. I work out like four times a week,” the Fabletics founder said, while also noting that what she eats also plays a huge role in her knockout physique: “Food plays a big role.”

Another sculpting trick that Hudson lives by: trying to stay stress-free. “I really believe that when you are holding onto stress, you body does the same thing and when you start to let all of that go, [the weight] just starts to fall [off],” she told E! News.

RELATED: The Hottest Ways Hollywood Lives Healthy

We also know that Hudson is a Pilates devotee. In fact, she’s been practicing with her trainer Nicole Stuart for over 15 years. Here’s a move straight from Stuart that will help you tone and tighten you own tummy, Hudson-style.

Sculpt killer abs like Kate Hudson

Trainer: Nicole Stuart

The move: The Criss Cross

Why it’s so great: This exercise, which works the entire midsection but especially the obliques, will always challenge you because it never gets easier, Stuart says.

How to do it: Lying faceup, pull knees into stomach. Place hands behind head and bring elbows and knees to touch, or as close as possible (A). Bring left knee to right elbow, pressing both together as hard as you can, and extend right leg (B). Hold for 3 long counts, then return to “A” and hold. Repeat motion with right knee and left elbow while extending left leg. This is 1 rep. Do 10 reps a day to see a flat, toned belly in as little as a month.

RELATED: A Core Workout for Flat Abs in 4 Simple Moves

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I Lost 72 Pounds By Eating More Food

Meghan Gilbert, 20, 5'4", from Dallas
Before: 200 lb., size 16
After: 128 lb., size 0
Total pounds lost: 72 lb.
Total sizes lost: 8

Growing up, I never knew the importance of exercise (the most activity I would get was at band practice). That, combined with my love of sweet tea and fast food, was a recipe for weight gain. In fact, by my senior year of high school, my petite five-four frame was weighing in at 190 pounds. I thought the only way to lose was to severely restrict my calories, so I started limiting my meals to just a few crackers here and there. Sure, I shed a few pounds, but I was constantly famished and exhausted. It was clear that if I wanted to drop weight, I needed to fuel my body the right way. 

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RELATED: 6 Reasons Why You Can't Out-Exercise a Bad Diet

Falling for fit

I revamped my eating habits, adding protein-packed meals, like chicken or eggs with a side of good carbs and veggies, to my diet. I also started jogging-slash-walking for an hour and a half three times a week. Within two weeks I had more endurance, and my energy levels were up, too. The real change came, though, when I began dating a personal trainer. With his help, I started hitting the gym twice a day, five times a week, doing cardio in the morning and strength training at night. I loved the feeling I got after putting my all into a workout—and the soreness the next day was confirmation that I was steadily working toward my goal. My can-do attitude paid off: Four months later, I was down about 65 pounds. 

Sharing the health

Today I no longer pay attention to the scale. I’m also more lenient with my diet—I eat healthy most of the time but treat myself when I want. I love that I found a balance that keeps me happy, healthy, and loving my body. I try to project this message on my Instagram account, @megsmotivationn, to inspire others to reach their goals, too. 

RELATED: 57 Ways to Lose Weight Forever, According to Science

Steal Megan’s moves

Follow your inspiration: My Instagram feed is filled with accounts that encourage me to love and take care of myself. One favorite is @tk_line09; every day, she posts a motivational quote or an empowering gym selfie. These help keep me on track. 

Amp up exercise: On days I’m feeling sluggish, I’ll have a cup of coffee 30 minutes before I go to the gym. The caffeine keeps me working hard. Plus, research shows it can help you burn more calories post-exercise. 

Indulge with friends: I typically have one or two meals each week where I eat whatever I want. To make them more rewarding, I use them as a time to socialize with pals. 

Counter cardio: The treadmill is great, but I believe my weight loss came more from strength training. Exercises like deadlifts and squats helped me shed pounds fast.

Meghan is wearing: Reebok OSR Compression Bra ($ 55; reebok.com for similar); Reebok C Spike tights ($ 65; reebok.com); and Zoku Runner ULTK sneakers ($ 125; reebok.com).

 

As told to Lindsey Murray


Weight Loss – Health.com

The Strange Way Fighting With Your Spouse Can Wreck Your Diet

Heading straight for the fridge after a blowout with your partner? Marital stress and bickering can in fact work up an appetite, per a new study published in Clinical Psychological Science.

Researchers at the University of Deleware and Ohio State University studied the interactions of 43 couples, who have been married for longer than three years, by filming them eating a meal together and then attempting to talk through a problem within their relationship. While the couples’ “problem discussions” took place, the scientists observed how the pair communicated, their hostility levels, and even subtle details like put-downs and eye rolls.

They also used blood tests to track the men and women’s hormone levels before and after the exchanges and examined their heights, weights, BMIs, and typical diets.

RELATEDCouples Who Don’t Fight Much Aren’t Likely to Start

It turns out, couples who had hostile exchanges and showed signs of a distressed marriage saw a surge of the appetite-triggering hormone ghrelin post-argument, and they had poorer diets overall. However, this was only the case for those who were in a normal to overweight BMI range (30 or lower).

The amped up hunger some couples may experience after a spousal spat could have negative longer-term health implications, the study explains, such as worsened emotional eating behavior or obesity.

“Ghrelin’s not just pushing you to eat,” lead study author Lisa Jaremka, an assistant professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Delaware, told Today. “It’s creating a craving for specific types of foods: those that are high in sugar, high in fat and high in salt.”

RELATED4 Ways to Control Your Appetite

Weight Loss – Health.com