Daily exercise and physical activity is a healthy habit that can improve many aspects of our health. It is especially useful in improving mental health and mood, sleep, but also improves physical health in many different ways.
One of them, perhaps the most obvious, is the aspect of weight loss, ie weight management.
In addition to proper nutrition, physical activity is considered to be a particularly important tool for weight loss.
It contributes to a larger number of calories burned, building new muscle tissue (which speeds up the basic metabolism), but also an interesting aspect – it affects the appetite.
So in the following, we will talk about how exercise actually affects the appetite and what type of exercises are most appropriate in this regard?
How does exercise affect the need for food?
There are several views and opinions on this topic. Some people who exercise regularly find that engaging in physical activity also increases their appetite.
But many people also do not experience an increase in the need for food, especially after certain types of exercise. Some studies show that aerobic exercise, or so-called cardio, actually reduces appetite.
By affecting and changing the levels of hormones that are responsible for the feeling of hunger.
What does the research say?
One study included 130 respondents, ranging in age from 18 to 70 years. They received a specific exercise regimen and were asked to adhere to it the following year.
The regimen usually included about 250 minutes of physical activity per week, with moderate or more intense intensity.
They wore a bracelet that measured their activity time.
And all respondents adhered to a certain diet depending on their caloric needs.
Research has shown that when people do not exercise, in 12% of cases they consume more calories than necessary.
But when they exercised for at least 60 minutes, only 5% reported overeating. With each passing 10 minutes of exercise (of the existing 60), the chances of overeating decreased by 1%.
In research, light physical activity has shown the best results in terms of calorie intake, while moderate or vigorous activity has not been as effective.
Scientists explain such results and believe that they are due to two reasons.
First, exercise is thought to affect the secretion of hormones responsible for hunger.
The level of the hormone ghrelin, which promotes the feeling of hunger – decreases, while satiety hormones are secreted.
The second reason is considered to be the effect of exercise on self-confidence and mood.
After strenuous training, respondents paid more attention to what they ate and were careful not to overeat.
What exercise does affect appetite?
1. Exercise intensity
The intensity, ie the weight and the effort invested in the exercises affect the appetite.
Although more intense exercise consumes more calories, they are thought to reduce appetite more than moderate or low-intensity exercise.
One explanation behind this phenomenon is the distribution of blood, ie blood flow during exercise.
During exercise, much of the bloodstream is directed and focused on the heart, brain, and muscles.
The digestive system is in some way “neglected”, and this can actually affect the appetite and reduce it.
2. Duration of physical activity
In addition to the intensity, the duration of the workout is also important in terms of the need for food.
The longer the workout, the longer it will take for the body to return to a state of rest and the later you will feel hungry.
Prolonged exercise also fills more than free time, which can otherwise be a time when we eat unnecessary food, snack, and so on.
But it is important to get nutritious and energetic food after any exercise.
The nutrients provided by food, help in recovery from exercise, but also in building new muscle tissue, replenishing glycogen stores, etc.
3. Variety in exercise
Trying new types of exercises or completely new workouts can affect the need for food. For many, a new type of exercise means increased appetite, and thus increased food intake.
Of course, this is often individual and does not have to be true for everyone.
But it is important to have a rough figure for the calories burned during exercise because that way we will make sure that we do not eat too much food with the next meals.
Many people consume too many calories after a hard workout, thinking that they have really burned so many calories.
There are a number of mobile applications that can help you with such calculations.
If you want to read more about the importance of variety in exercise, click here.
read more: Water and Muscle, how to Use for Best Effect
For many, exercise such as running and cycling also means increased appetite, while for people who do weight training the appetite seems reduced.
But maybe the difference lies in the diet.
People who run or ride a bike have a diet that is richer in carbohydrates, while those who exercise with weight, mainly focus on protein intake through the diet.
Proteins are macronutrients that are essential for building new muscle tissue but are also known to contribute significantly to the feeling of satiety.
The recommendations say that you should consume protein, but also complex carbohydrates and fiber.
But if you want to feel full, with less food intake, then focus on protein foods.