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Early Morning Exercise May Curb Appetite All Day Long

Sep 27th, 2012

Early Morning ExerciseThe time of your exercise plays an important role when you want to lose weight.

Researchers have found that 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous of early morning exercise can curb a person’s appetite.

For the study, scientists from BYU measured 35 women volunteers’ reaction to food images by recording their neural activities. Readings were taken in the morning after days of exercise and without exercise. They found that their response to food images decreased on days after exercising in the morning.

“This study provides evidence that exercise not only affects energy output, but it also may affect how people respond to food cues,” said study author James LeCheminant.

The study appeared online in the October issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

During the experiment, each volunteer took a brisk walk on a treadmill for 45 minutes. One hour later, their brain activities were measured to gauge their reaction to 240 images – 120 of food and 120 of flowers (as control).

One week later, scientists conducted the same experiment on the same day of the week and at the same time of the day, only this time the women did not get any exercise. The women also measured their food consumption and activities on the days of experiment.

The 35 volunteers were composed of 18 normal weight women and 17 clinically-obese women.

Scientists have found that the 45-minute exercise lowered women’s reaction to food images and increased their physical activities throughout the day regardless of body mass index.

“We wanted to see if obesity influenced food motivation, but it didn’t,” LeCheminant said. “However, it was clear that the exercise bout was playing a role in their neural responses to the pictures of food.”

On the exercise day, women did not consume more food to regain the lost calories they burned off. They ate just about the same amount on the non-exercise day.

The study is one of the first to investigate the link between neurologically-determined food motivation and exercise. Researchers would like to find out how long this reduced food motivation lasts after exercise and its persistence with regular exercise.

“The subject of food motivation and weight loss is so complex,” said co-author Michael Larson.  “There are many things that influence eating and exercise is just one element.”

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