Intense exercise when dieting can help reduce cravings for high-fat foods

One study suggests that vigorous exercise while dieting may help reduce cravings for fatty foods. An integral part of dieting is having the willpower to say no to cravings for unhealthy foods. Exercise can benefit weight loss not only physically but also mentally to gain control over these cravings.

The experiment was developed to test resistance to the phenomenon of “desire incubation,” meaning that the longer you deny a desired substance, the harder it becomes to ignore signals for the substance.

The study results revealed that rats fed for 30 days with intense exercise resisted cues for high-fat food pellets. This indicates that exercise helped the rats adapt to how hard they were willing to work for cues associated with the pellets, which reflected the degree to which they craved the pellets.

28 rats were trained with a lever that made a sound and lit a light when pressed before delivering a high-fat pellet. The rats were tested after the training period to see how many times they would press the lever to get the sound and light signal.

The rats were then divided into 2 groups, 1 group received a regimen of high-intensity treadmill running and the other group had no additional exercise in addition to their normal activity. For 30 days, both groups had no access to the high-fat pellets.

After the 30 days, the rats regained access to the pellet delivery levers, but this time they only gave the sound and light when they pressed the levers. The rats that were not given exercise pressed the levers significantly more compared to the rats that had exercised, suggesting that exercise reduced cravings for the grains.

Food craving infographic

Would you like to use our images on your site? Right click on the image for embed code

Leave a Comment