Why Exercise Makes You Less Hungry


Have you ever noticed your hunger subside after a hard session at the gym?  You probably think it’s weird that burning so many calories can make you full, but there is actually a scientific reason behind this.  Yes, exercise, more aptly hard exercise, makes you less hungry (immediately after).  

It seems that light exercise does make you more hungry, but intense and vigorous exercise makes us less hungry.  In The Intentional Journal of Obesity, researchers found that participants’ appetites were “noticeably blunted” after each interval workout.  These participants displayed significantly lower levels of ghrelin, a hormone known to stimulate appetite.  The participants also showed elevated levels of blood lactate and blood sugar, which lessen the drive to eat.  The appetite- suppressing effect of the highly intense interval workouts lingered into the next day.


So what counts as vigorous exercise?  The most common form of vigorous exercise is high intensity interval training, wherein short intense bouts of exercise with maximal exertion followed by periods of rest.  For instance, 15-30 seconds of intense exercise followed by 15-30 seconds of rest.  This form of vigorous workout takes anywhere from 8-20 minutes total, depending on intensity.  One of the easiest ways to do this form of vigorous exercise is by doing sprints.  Do 15-30 seconds of sprints followed by 15-30 seconds of rest.

About the author

Janice Friedman