We all know that diet and exercise go hand in hand and while you may feel that you are an expert in one, you will need to master both in order to attain successful weight loss. If you are a gym rat, but have trouble selecting the right food options, your achievements at the gym may actually help you improve your diet. Certain exercises have the ability to affect your appetite and learning which ones, specifically, may have your scale budging slightly more than it is now. Learn how practicing the right moves can help you in the area of appetite control.
If you are at a healthy weight, exercise may help reduce your appetite by suppressing the hormones ghrelin and peptide YY. Both of these hormones are associated with appetite and what is interesting is that it requires usually at least 45 minutes of exercise to have this appetite suppressing effect. One thing to note is the fact that this effect is usually short-lived and these findings are those that reflect immediate hunger after exercising. More than likely, your hunger will reappear after a while.
There are some stipulations as to how exercise can affect appetite. Some aspects that factor into the phenomenon are gender, body weight and composition. Women, for example, are more likely to be hungry after working out then men. One reason may be that a woman’s body is biologically structured to want to maintain fat for child birth. Even more interesting is the finding that obese people may not benefit from the appetite suppressing values because obesity allows for resistance to certain hormones like leptin.
Not to worry, however, for those who do not benefit from this exercise appetite-suppressant effect. Some people will persistently be hungry, especially after a vigorous workout, so one way to avoid overeating is to drink plenty of water before and during your routine and have an appropriate snack beforehand.
Concerns: Calorie Consumption
There have been concerns that exercising actually leads people to eat more, as they believe they can now consume those additional calories after expending so many. The truth is that many people overestimate the calories that they burn during exercise (as discussed in a previous article). And as a matter of fact, people who study this exercise-appetite suppressant effect have found that the phenomenon, which refers truly to the immediate time following exercise, allows people to be more satisfied with the food that they do eat.
Research and Food Motivation
Current research out of Brigham Young University ( BYU) has shown that when someone conducts about 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise, their food motivation decreases. Food motivation is described as being “how people respond to food cues.” With use of an EEG machine, brain responses can be measured as food cues are displayed to participants. After comparing a group of participants who had exercised (brisk walking) to a non-exercise group, researchers found that the exercise group members had lower responses to visual cues of food. This suggests that their motivation and desire for food is decreased by such exercise. Interestingly, the same study found that those who worked out did not then eat more just because they had expended extra calories. This has been another theory previously discussed with the idea that people tend to eat more in order to compensate for the calories that they have lost.
Best ways to control appetite
Some studies have shown that certain exercises work best at suppressing appetite. Weight lifting, for example, tends to leave people hungrier than if they were to go for a run. Researchers have attributed this to the fact that running and other aerobic forms of exercise tend to stimulate two different hormones that are associated with appetite, whereas weight lifting appears only to stimulate one.
Swimming is another form of exercise that has been positively associated with a decrease in appetite. When done at a moderate level at least, swimmers tend to see the same phenomenon occur, where they are less hungry immediately after and then consume less calories when they do finally eat.
Another component of exercise-induced appetite controls comes in the form of eating after a meal. Studies have found that when people worked out two hours after eating a meal, the suppressed appetite effect tended to last even longer. This suggests that at least a hearty snack and a late night run may do you some good.
On a larger scale, conducting exercise on a regular basis can also benefit your waistline because those who tend to work out consistently seem to be satisfied with the same amount of food, specifically with their breakfast meal. This may suggest that beginning a steady workout routine can change your perception of the same foods that you are currently eating, which is a bonus for those trying to lose weight.
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