Study: High Intensity Workout Sessions Help To Suppress Appetites

July 8, 2013

A recent study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that after a good, strong workout, men who were overweight tended to eat approximately 200 calories less!

Researcher Aaron Sim, a graduate student at the University of Western Australia, and colleagues studied 17 overweight men who volunteered to participate in four 30 minute workout sessions.  Three of the exercise sessions included stationary cycling at a moderate, high or very high intensity rate and in one 30 minute session, the men rested. In the moderate sessions, the men continuously cycled and the more intense workouts consisted of quick bursts of speed and then longer stretches of pedaling at a lower speed.

After each 30 minute session, the men were given a liquid meal to drink which consisted of about 267 calories.  An hour after the liquid meal, the men were given oatmeal to eat and were asked to eat until they felt comfortably full. It was found that the men consumed fewer calories after the high intensity workouts compared to the moderate sessions and the sessions when they rested.  The breakdown: the men consumed 764 calories after resting, 710 calories after moderate exercise sessions, 621 calories after the high intensity workout, and 594 calories after the very high intensity sessions.  The men also were found to have consumed fewer calories on the day following a high intensity workout session.

UK Loughborough University researcher David Stensel has studied the effect of exercise on food intake and reports that his studies don't indicate the same findings and cautions that more research needs to be done.

Speaking to Reuters Health about the Sim and colleagues study, Stensel said, "One thing that's different is they've done this in an overweight or obese population. Most of the research that's been done is in normal weight or healthy weight individuals."

While this recent study shows immediate cuts in calorie consumption for men who are overweight or obese after high intensity workout sessions, long-term effects of high intensity exercise, calorie consumption, and weight loss are not known.