Exercise Does Not Make You Hungry Or Hungrier

It’s one of the biggest debates of all time – does exercise cause us to get hungry and thus eat more?

Well, looking at the benefits of exercise – chief of them all burning calories, it does make sense. After an intense workout, you perspire like hell and your body would have used up much of the existing fuel. Your blood sugar may also be low.

But despite all our self-reasoning and justification to address our post-gym cravings, the answer is NO. In a recent study by the University of Chile, people who exercised three times a week for 90 days had twice the levels of an appetite-suppressing protein in their blood than non-exercisers and consumed 300 fewer calories a day.

This finding is significant and interesting because now we know that moderate exercise in fact helps us to suppress appetite, while increasing metabolic rates for up to 15 hours post-exercise. I read up a little bit more and learnt that about this gland in our brain called hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is responsible for secreting a hormone, which inhibits hunger. When we exercise, we stimulate the hypothalamus gland to produce more of this hormone. However, the hypothalamus gland would only produce this beneficial effect should we engage in 60 minutes of exercise, three to five times per week.

From human psychology, it’s not difficult to understand that people tend to eat after a workout either because they think they deserve it as a reward for a job well done or because they believe they have to refuel. Some even make it a must because they claim they will feel faint.

My advice is for you to just stick to your protein shake after your workout. Don’t come up with an excuse to make a beeline for the snack bar after your workout.

Happy exercising 🙂