Many people believe that exercising leaves you feeling hungry.
Some take it further claiming that you end up eating more – thus negating any calorie deficit from the exercise.
So what is the truth?
What Does the Research Say?
Researchers in the UK have concluded that exercise does indeed make you hungry – but the overall result will still give you a calorie deficit.Scientists point out that in the past people believed intense exercise could lead to overeating, which would cancel out any potential effects on weight-loss.
But the new study shows exercise may help alter people’s appetite, aid in weight-loss, and prevent further weight gain.
The Study Simplified
- Ate the same breakfast.
- Wait for an hour.
- One group did 60 minutes of stationary cycling (at 65% max heart rate). The other group did nothing.
- Wait for an hour.
- Everyone enjoyed an all-you-can-eat buffet.
The exercising group consumed 913 Calories at the buffet. The non-exercising group ate 762 Calories. However, during exercise, the first group burned 492 Calories compared to 197 Calories.
The net result: the exercisers ultimately took in around 144 less Calories.
Note that during and immediately after exercise volunteers reported they felt less hungry – and the appetite suppressing hormones PYY, GLP-1 and PP were increased.
In addition to hormones, previous studies have shown appetite regulation is a complex process also involving the gastrointestinal tract and both the central and autonomic nervous systems.
Is Exercise Necessary?
According to the World Health Organization, exercise is essential for maintaining good health; reducing risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, and colon and breast cancer.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity on most days of the week; hitting a maximum heart rate of 50% to 85%.
If it’s hard to find the time, the AHA suggests breaking up your exercise into two shorter sessions.
Do you think exercise makes a difference in the amount of weight a person can lose?
Image credit: Alain Limoges