In recent years, plenty of research has gone into finding the best, and healthiest, ways to lose weight. The results of these studies have found that both diet and exercise are essential to your efforts but your diet may be slightly more significant when it comes to shedding those extra pounds. Now, the findings of a new study are turning things on their head!
For the study, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise,
scientists followed 22 women and 10 men, monitoring hormonal, psychological, and behavioral responses to eating. Some of the participants exercised while others were placed on food restrictions for 9 hours. The results were surprising: the participants reached the same calorie deficit, whether they exercised or ate less.
However, when food was restricted, researchers found that the participants had increased levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and lower levels of the hunger-fighting peptide YY. They ate nearly a third more at a buffet meal than the people who exercised more. On average, the people who exercised more consumed 660 calories at the meal compared with the 944 calories consumed by people who ate less before sitting down to the buffet.
Because of these numbers, the researchers concluded that exercise is more effective than restricting your eating habits when it comes to cutting calories.
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“Some researchers have claimed that women's appetites, appetite hormones, and food intake are more likely to increase after exercise than men's—our new study shows that this is not the case, at least over the course of a single day,” says lead study author David Stensel, Ph.D., an associate dean in Loughborough University’s School of Sport, Exercise, and Health Sciences.
You are probably shocked to learn that exercise does not necessarily increase appetite, or at least it doesn't in the short term.
So what exactly is going on?
While the study was small, certified dietitian-nutritionist Gina Keatley, says the research was sound and that there is an important take away for all of us: “drastically reducing calories is not the answer for weight loss."
Doing aerobic exercise, like running, causes the body to repress the release of gherlin, says Keatley. If you just cut your calorie intake, and don't include the hunger hormone repressing effect of exercise, it makes sense that you would feel super hungry at meal times.
Stensel points out that his study doesn't necessarily show that exercise is better
than diet for weight loss but that you will be less hungry after you exercise than you would be if you just cut back on your calorie intake.
Use this information to your advantage! If you are hoping to lose weight, keep following your clean eating habits (need help cleaning up your diet? Have a look at the BodyRock Meal Plan
) but add some exercise. Maybe squeeze in a short workout before breakfast or a walk after dinner. This will likely lead to you eating less food over the course of a day and the calories you're saving will really add up over time. For more than 80 hours of on demand workouts, check out Sweatflix℠
Don't think you have to choose between diet and exercise when it comes to losing weight. As Stensel says, "we think that both diet and exercise are important for weight loss in the longer term.” Do yourself a favor and be sure to include both!
Have you found the perfect balance between diet and weight loss? Share your tips with us!
Source: Women's Health