Exercise makes you work up an appetite, right? Not according to new research, which shows that a brisk 45-minute workout in the morning actually decreases a person’s desire for food. Say what?
Scientists at Brigham Young University put 35 women through a vigorous morning walk on a treadmill, then measured their brain wave activity as they viewed images of food. They repeated the experiment two days later, this time without the workout.
The result: On workout days, the subject’s neural activity was less responsive to food than non-workout days, but they ate about the same amount. The results were consistent for obese and normal weight subjects, suggesting that the common assumption that exercise makes you hungry doesn’t hold.
While this is one of the first studies to measure neurological appetite increases after exercise, scientists still need to determine how long the diminished interest in food can last post-exercise.
If you want to try the experiment on yourself, make sure your workout is pretty vigorous. Previous research has found that intense aerobic exercise, like jogging, may suppress your appetite for up to three hours by reducing levels of hunger hormones produced in your tummy.
So the next time hunger pangs make it hard for you to stick with your diet, try boosting the intensity of your workouts.
For more from health.com:
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