Regular Exercise May Help Fine-tune Appetite


SOURCE: Runner's World

Regular exercise, of course, helps with weight control because of the calories you burn working out. It's also been theorized that changes in appetite contribute to the weight loss associated with regular exercise. A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise looked at the effects of regular exercise on blood levels of hormones known, or thought to be, involved in the balance between feelings of hunger and satiation.

Researchers had 22 sedentary overweight or obese people participate in a 12-week supervised exercise program. Before starting the program and again after completing it, the participants came to the lab on three occasions. Blood levels of hormones were measured before the participants ate a normal, high-energy (607 calories) or low-energy (246 calories) meal. The participants' blood levels were again tested 30 minutes after they ate, and their food consumption was tracked for the remainder of the day.

Significant changes in fasting hormones were found after the exercise program. The results are somewhat complicated, but the researchers say they suggest that regular exercise improves the accuracy of compensation for previous calories eaten--that is, seemingly because of exercise, a larger early meal means eating fewer calories later in the day.