Exercise to eat less

Exercising after work may have unexpected benefits. The journal Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise recently reported that exercise after performing mentally stressful work reduces calorie intake later.

This made me think about the running joke that my sister and I have. When I exercise, she gets hungry. It’s not that she doesn’t exercise, it is that often when I am doing a big bike ride, she is the support person. Shuttling us to the start or finish, following along the route, or meeting us at the finish line. She is the reliable support team.

When the workout is done I am not really hungry, and she is starving. Which we all find amusing, but apparently the mental energy required stimulates appetite. While I am eating on my ride I am sending fuel to my brain.  This means that I don’t feel the need to eat immediately after a big workout.

Whistler Gran Fondo Finish Line

Whistler Gran Fondo finish line, I am not the one eating…

William Neumeier, PhD and study author says,

“Mentally demanding tasks affect the brain’s energy demands, and increases in food intake are observed following such tasks.”

The study also found that doing 15 minutes of interval training after a challenging mental task, or after a day at the office, reduced calorie intake later by up to 100 calories when compared to people who were told to rest.

Next time you find yourself being pulled into the couch after a long day at work, get up and do a quick 15 minute workout with some fast intervals, you will eat less and feel better. Next time we do a big bike ride, we will know why my sister is eating my post ride snacks.

Change your mind, change your health,

Shayla

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