Exercising Could Be Key to Curbing Hunger
The next time you find yourself in the kitchen searching your cupboards or raiding your fridge, you might want to consider taking a jog around the block or popping in a workout DVD instead.
Research is showing that exercise can actually help curb hunger pangs.
According to the author of the study, the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin can be lowered for the short term by a bout of intense exercise. At the same time, the hormone that helps to suppress hunger, peptide YY, is actually increased.
How intense does the exercise need to be? If you can still chat with a friend while you work out, you need to raise your intensity level. According to the study, the more intense the workout, the longer the appetite-suppressing effect lasts.
So what’s the bad news?
Eventually this effect is going to wear off. When it does, you might find yourself hungrier than before.
Be careful not to sabotage yourself. One common mistake made by many people is feeling like they deserve a “treat” following such an intense workout.
While your body probably does require some help recovering after a challenging workout, be sure to choose the right kind of nutrients for your body. Some great choices for post-workout recovery include:
- A banana with a protein drink
- Whole-wheat pita bread with hummus
- Fresh berries stirred into yogurt
What do these foods have in common? They combine protein and heart-healthy fats with carbohydrates to give you a good balance of the nutrients your body needs.
This makes for a more complete snack that will help your body to recover and keep you full and satisfied longer. Keep portion sizes small, so you don’t accidentally undo all your hard work.
The benefit of regular exercise
If you work out on a regular basis, your appetite hormones will level out and stabilize.
You will also gain a better understanding of your body’s signals, so that you can be aware of when you are really hungry.
Learning to tune in to your body’s needs will allow you to sustain your weight loss and maintain your new weight.
How much hard work did you really do?
People often make the error of being a bit too optimistic about how many calories they burned during their workout session.
While you’re feeling sweaty, out of breath and virtuous, it’s easy to assume that you worked your body much harder than you actually did. This could lead to a calorie-laden binge later in the day thanks to the assumption that you have such a deep calorie deficit and are therefore free to eat to your heart’s content.