People seek to reward themselves for being active. So when you exercise to burn calories, you may be tempted to binge on food. And that is a serious mistake.
Do you exercise and still have a hard time lose weight? You may be making a mistake when it comes to rewarding yourself. New research by scientists at the Technical University of Munich and the University of Nebraska has discovered a disruptive eating habit change that comes with exercise: eating more as a reward.
“People want to reward themselves for being active”, explain the research findings. This desire carries dangers for your mission to lose weight.
You exercise to consume calories. You finish the effort. You think you have done a great job. How do you celebrate? Eating and drinking after exercise (possibly in large quantities because your body feels exhausted). Outcome? You immediately recover all the lost calories or even want new ones.
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“We decided to run a hypothetical experiment to find out why people eat more after exercising compared to when they don’t exercise.”
To perform this test, the scientists were assisted by 41 healthy participants (23 women, 18 men) aged 19-29 with a body mass index of 23.7.
These participants randomly performed either a 45 minute exercise session or a rest period of also 45 minutes; they did one of these activities on their first visit and the remainder on the second visit.
Before doing physical activity, the participants filled out a questionnaire about their subjective assessment of hunger and satiety, the preferred amount of food when they ate and the foods they used to choose. By listing each food, they specified the serving size of that food.
After doing the exercise (45 minutes of aerobic exercise on a stationary bike), they immediately filled out the questionnaire by a second time. They would rest for 30 minutes and refill it for the third time.
What was discovered with it? That, after exercising, the participants increased the quantity of the chosen foods. The same happened after the 30 minute break. Also, after cycling, almost everyone wanted to eat immediately. This insatiable hunger did not go away after recharging strength for half an hour.
“This test allowed us to show that the urge to eat and the amount of food that you want to eat change after doing physical exertion”, explain the authors of the research. “These findings will help us optimize weight loss through exercise.”
Unfortunately, the study does not give practical advice on not being tempted to overeat after exercising. What is clear is that it is better not to trust your opinions about food after an exercise session; Wait more than an hour before evaluating what you want to eat, how much you want to eat, and when you want to eat.
This article was published in Business Insider Spain by Daniel Cáceres