Well, we have always known that exercise is required as part of a healthy lifestyle, and regular exercise can aid weight loss as part of a calorie controlled diet. But UK scientists now say that exercising after meals can also help promote weight loss by boosting hormones that suppress appetite.
Experiments suggest that these hormones cause active people to feel less hungry immediately after exercise, and this carries through to their next meal.
Dr Ian Campbell, medical director of the charity Weight Concern, said: 'This is an interesting study. Patients often report that they feel increased hunger and eat more after exercise. 'What this study shows is that, although total calorific intake is greater, the net result, because of the exercise taken, is a reduction in the net energy balance. 'Dieting is never easy. Increased physical activity is an essential part of any weight management programme, not just to expend more calories but also, as we see here, to help control our appetite too.'
Researcher Dr Denise Robertson said: 'In the past we have been concerned that, although exercise burns energy, people subsequently ate more after working out. This would cancel out any possible weight reduction effects of exercise. But our research shows that exercise may alter people's appetite to help them lose weight and prevent further weight gain as part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle.'
It is recommended that you partake in at least 30 minutes of physical activity a minimum of 5 times per week.
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The Surrey University and Imperial College London work is published in the Journal of Endocrinology.