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How Exercise Might Affect Our Food Choices, and Our Weight

The effects of physical activity

  • Scientific studies reveal that a few people will lose a great deal of body fat when they start exercising. Others will gain, and most will drop a few pounds.
  • Studies show that most types of exercise increase appetite in most people, tempting us to replace calories and preventing potential fat loss.
  • Other evidence suggests that physical fitness may affect people's everyday responses to food. Some past studies show active people of normal weight displayed less interest in high-fat, calorie-dense foods. They may still enjoy the same food, but will not actively seek it out.

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How Exercise Might Affect Our Food Choices, and Our Weight

How Exercise Might Affect Our Food Choices, and Our Weight

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/26/well/move/how-exercise-might-affect-our-food-choices-and-our-weight.html

nytimes.com

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Key Ideas

Exercise and our food choices

Taking up exercise could change your desire for specific foods.

One study found that novice exercisers start to have a diminished appetite for fattening foods. However, different people respond differently to the same exercise routine and the same foods, showing the complexities of the relationship between exercise, eating, and fat loss.

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People struggle to keep weight off

Researchers have observed weight regain following weight loss across a range of populations and types of weight-loss diets.

Why long-term weight loss is so hard

The brain’s response to caloric restriction tends to be to increase cravings for foods that are highly rewarding and reducing our perception of being full. 

Diets frequently fail because they have an endpoint and are not a real lifestyle change. Maintaining a lifestyle that promotes a healthy weight and metabolism is often a lifelong journey. 

Maintaining weight loss

The actual food you eat isn’t the main thing that enables you to keep weight off.

Maintaining a weight-reduced state is a lifelong journey and many dietary approaches can work to facilitate weight loss and keep it off.

Calories burned every day

The calories we burn every day include not only movement but all the energy needed to run the thousands of functions that keep us alive. 

Exercise and health

Exercise is like a wonder drug for many health outcomes: reducing blood pressure, reduces the risk of diabetes of heart diseases and slows developing cognitive impairment from Alzheimer's and dementia. 

But as for losing weight, it helps more in weight maintenance than in losing the actual weight.

Human energy balance

Exercise alone has a modest contribution to weight loss. But when you alter one component, cutting the number of calories you eat in a day to lose weight, doing more exercise than usual, this sets off a cascade of changes in the body that affect how many calories you use up and, in turn, your bodyweight.

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Eat Plenty of Protein at Every Meal

Eating food increases your metabolism for a while because extra calories are required to process your meal. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF).

Protein increases your metaboli...

Drink More Cold Water

Drinking water may speed up your metabolism for about an hour. This calorie-burning effect may be even greater if you drink cold water, as your body uses energy to heat it.

Drinking water can also help you fill up and help you eat less, especially if you drink it half an hour before you eat.

Do a High-Intensity Workout

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves short, intense bursts of activity and help you burn more fat by increasing your metabolic rate.

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