Weight loss: How exercise tells the brain to eat less

By Times of India - May 17, 2021

Polls and Trends Commentary: I figured there was a stronger connection between exercise and weight loss. Yes, weight loss for most people over 40 is probably at least 75 to 90 percent diet-dependent. However, exercise apparently not only burns calories but can help reduce our appetite which is critical in weight loss. Hence, exercise combats weight loss in two ways (burning calories + calorie reduction via a reduced appetite) while dieting without exercising fights weight loss in just one way (calorie reduction via dieting).

Also, if the study is accurate and heat decreases appetite by altering the levels of hormones in the body responsible for making you feel hungry, it might explain why I always feel full after sitting in the sauna.

In the long run exercising for weight loss might be just as important – if not more important – than dieting because exercise helps reduce our cravings and makes it easier to eat healthier and consume fewer calories.

It is a common notion that the more you exercise the more calories your burn and the extreme sweating session can leave you hungry afterwards. In reality, it is just the opposite.

Studies suggest that cardio exercises like running, cycling, and swimming actually decrease appetite by altering the levels of hormones in the body responsible for making you feel hungry. This happens due to the heat produced by the body.

Young-Hwan Jo, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, NY, first came up with this theory and further carried out a detailed study to understand the mechanism. His theory was based on the concept that after eating spicy food containing chili, our body temperature goes up, which in turn decreases our appetite.

Following the lead from this theory, he wondered if the rise in the heat in the body after exercising can also stimulate neurons in brain areas responsible for homeostasis, the regulation of basic bodily processes, including eating. An elaborated study on the matter proved that his theory was correct.


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Tags: weight loss