Exercise may trigger overeating in people trying to lose weight

Brittany A. Roston - Apr 7, 2021, 7:01pm CDT
Exercise may trigger overeating in people trying to lose weight

Many people increase their physical activity when attempting to lose weight, but doing so may result in accidentally sabotaging one’s self, according to a new study from the Technical University of Munich. The researchers found that after exercising, participants were more likely to eat a greater quantity of food and to seek immediate snacking.

Getting regular physical activity is important for one’s health, of course, and often helps those who are dieting to shed weight. However, the new study has found that if you’re not careful, you may end up eating too much food shortly after exercise compared to times when you’re at rest, potentially sabotaging your progress.

The study involved tasking 41 participants who had an average BMI of 23.7 with exercising for 45 minutes per session or resting for the same period of time. Using data gathered by questionnaires, the study found that subjective appetite was greater after exercise and that the participants who performed exercises were more likely to eat a greater amount of food right after and 30 minutes after the activity.

The result, the study found, is that people who exercise may be more inclined to eat faster and greater quantities of food after wrapping up their training sessions. That doesn’t mean you should stop exercising, but rather that one should be mindful of their appetite after exercise and the food choices they make during this time.

The Technical University of Munich Professor and the study’s first author Professor Dr. Karsten Köhler said:

The actual results suggest that physical exertion can entice those who do sport to eat larger amounts of food more quickly after the training session. Since weight loss is a main motivation for exercising for many, and failure to achieve the desired weight loss makes it likely to quit exercising, it could be a good strategy to think about what you want to eat afterwards before you start to exercise.

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