TheBUZZ Exercise helps you eat less?
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
People who exercise are more likely to eat less right after moderate or vigorous exercise. It is thought that exercise leads to hormonal changes that regulate hunger and fullness. The intensity level of the exercise seems to affect the amount of appetite suppression.
WHAT WE KNOW
Being physically active not only burns calories, it may also play a role in reducing food consumption. Studies have shown that exercise may decrease short-term food intake, particularly if the workouts are moderate or vigorous.
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS
A small Australian study of 17 overweight men analyzed the effects of exercise, both moderate and vigorous, on the number of calories eaten shortly afterwards. Subjects participated in four 30-minute workouts, one in which they only rested, and three involving stationary cycling at either moderate, high, or very high intensity levels. After each session, the men drank a liquid diet and, an hour later, were offered oatmeal and encouraged to eat until they were comfortably full. The findings showed that:
- Participants ate fewer calories after the high and very high intensity workouts, compared to the times when they rested.
- After the sessions, the men who ate the fewest calories were those in the high intensity workout group.
- The men also reported eating fewer calories the day after the highest intensity workout, compared to days when their exercise level had been less strenuous.
While showing promising results, researchers point out that this small study needs to be repeated on a larger scale, and the impact of high intensity exercise on long-term weight loss still remains unclear.*
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and exercising regularly helps with weight management and reduces the likelihood of developing medical problems associated with being overweight or obese, such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular problems. The good news is that healthy eating and regular exercise are lifestyle choices that can be modified, unlike genetic factors that cannot. Changing habits requires commitment, but adopting good eating and exercise habits are two of the most important things you can do to minimize disease risk and improve overall quality of life.
For tips and strategies on how to make healthy food choices and get more exercise, check out …
* “People eat less after harder workouts: small study.” MedlinePlus
. July 4, 2013. View Article