Sport is an ally of diet, and not only because it burns calories. Practicing it also helps to control appetite, avoiding giving in to excess food that can lead to a decrease in motivation and, in the worst-case scenario, to abandon the diet.
This was revealed by the study of a team of researchers from the Center for Weight, Eating and Lifestyle Science (WELL Center) at the College of Arts and Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Physical activity: ally against excess food
The researchers looked at 130 overweight or obese participants, all engaged in a weight loss diet. Thanks to short questionnaires sent on their mobile phones, they monitored how much and what they ate during the day, while fitness trackers recorded the physical activity practiced.
From the data collected in this way, it emerged that sport is capable of performing a protective action against overeating. Those who did not exercise, in fact, had a 12% risk of eating more than they should in the following hours. Among those who practiced sports for 60 minutes, the risk dropped to 5 percent. Doing another 10 minutes of sport resulted in a further 1% drop in the probability of giving in to too much food.
The study also allowed us to understand that light sporting activity is the most effective in controlling appetite, with more marked results than moderate-vigorous one. More research will be needed to support this discovery.
“Almost all weight loss programs recommend exercise for its benefits and because it burns calories,” said Rebecca Crochiere, lead author of the study. “Our research suggests that sport can also help you follow a low-calorie diet more easily, probably through better regulation of appetite and eating behavior. One more reason to engage in physical exercise if you want to lose weight. “
The results of the study are published in the journal Health Psychology.
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