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Type of Exercise Affects the Food You Crave

Posted Mar 13 2009 4:48am


Type of Exercise Affects the Food You Crave

We have learned that the type of exercise you engage in affects how hungry you are afterwards as well as the types of foods you crave. Instead of helping you fight the battle of the bulge, some workouts can actually leave you ravenous and craving high-fat, high calorie, and sweet foods.

Those who want to lose weight should stick to running. Some runners don’t feel hungry after exercising because their activity suppresses the ghrelin hormone that stimulates appetite. Swimming creates a craving for fatty foods, such as cookies and chocolate while weight-lifters crave potatoes and pasta.

While some high-intensity exercise, such as running in hot conditions, suppresses the ghrelin hormone, which stimulate appetite, other high-intensity exercise, such as swimming in cold water, actually increases the hormone which, in turn, increases hunger.

The body tends to respond to exercise so it can do it more efficiently in future. The lighter you are, the better for long-distance running, so your body will crave watery foods that lower your body temperature by rehydration while not piling on the pounds. But if you are lifting weights, then you will crave carb- and protein-rich foods that will bulk up your muscles. Also, if you are regularly swimming in cold water, your body benefits if your brain guides you towards foods that will give you a layer of protective fat. Runners appetites continued even after they had recovered from their exercise.

People don’t seem to overcompensate for missed meals when their body returns to its rest state.  So if you run for 90 minutes, you will burn around 1,300 calories but will not increase your food intake in the 24 hours after that exercise. In short, you burn all those calories but you don’t get hungrier than you would have had you not exercised at all.  Interesting!

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