Need an excuse for those 15 extra “cookie pounds”? Well, a new study says it’s not really your fault. You can blame stress for that pudgy middle.

New research suggests that stress can slow a woman's metabolism and lead to weight gain. Sure, that cupcake isn’t helping…but I won’t tell anyone. Ohio State University researchers studied 58 women, average age 53, who were asked about their stress levels the previous day and then given a meal than included 930 calories and 60 grams of fat. Then the team of researchers measured how long it took them to burn the fat.

On average, women who had one or more stressful events during the previous 24 hours burned 104 fewer calories in the seven hours after eating the meal than those who were less frazzled. Why does it matter? Well, on a daily basis, that difference could add up to a weight gain of nearly 11 pounds a year, the researchers said. Yikes!

According to the study, published in the journal “Biological Psychiatry,” the stressed women also had higher levels of the hormone insulin, which contributes to the storage of fat. So, I guess it’s either de-stress your life, or swap your cheesecake for celery sticks. Eww! I’m going de-friend my “bummer buddies” on Facebook. The lack of negativity has to earn me at least one Oreo, right?

Source: Health Day News