14 August 2012,
 6

The theme of my last academic article* dealt with temptation and palatable (i.e. nice tasting) food. What lies beneath our motives for brownie craving lends some really interesting insights into how our brain works. By understanding why we can’t stop eating ding dongs, we may also gain a greater understanding of our inability to withhold from other tempting stimuli. But this post isn’t about the delights of experimental psychology or cognitive neuroscience. Rather, today’s theme is a bit more jockology: how exercise reduces food cravings. We hear the drone about ‘move more’ with astounding frequency, seated in the rationale that calorie burning will lead to weight loss. Personally, I think it’s a bit more interesting to know that by moving more we may actually start to crave less. Here is a study that explains part of this idea.

 

In a recent study (Evero, Hackett, Clark, Phelan, & Hagobian, 2012), a group of healthy men and women were asked to complete an hour of exercise (or not) and then each group was shown a series of food images (nice tasting, boring food, and neutral images were used).

 

Brain activation was recorded by functional magnetic resonance imaging technology (fMRI), a device that records blood flow, thereby suggesting areas of stronger activation in response to the visual cues. Exercise, compared to not, significantly reduced neuronal response to food, which could be detected in a variety of areas in the brain. Most importantly, exercise led to a significant reduction in activation in the parts of the brain that are associated with food craving, reduced incentive motivation, and reduced anticipation for food.

 

I’m not sure if we’ll ever be able to exploit the mental and physical health benefits of exercise in a pharmacological sense, anyway. And who would want to? During the summer when you can jump outside for a run or swim, there’s never a better time like the present. Knowing that a bike ride can objectively diminish curly fry craving ought to help a little bit.

 

Have a great afternoon,

 

Dr. yL

 

*Oh, trembling fingers at the key board- please let the gods of academia allow for these published?

 

Evero, N., Hackett, L. C., Clark, R. D., Phelan, S., & Hagobian, T. A. (2012). Aerobic exercise reduces neuronal responses in food reward brain regions. J Appl Physiol, 112(9), 1612-1619.

 

6 responses on “Can Exercise Reduce Food Cravings?

  1. It is really a great and useful piece of information. I am happy that you shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hello! I just want to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice data you
    may have right here on this post. I can be coming back to your weblog for more soon.

  3. When someone writes an post he/she maintains the image of a user in his/her brain that
    how a user can understand it. Thus that’s why this article is outstdanding. Thanks!

  4. Have you ever thought about publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other websites?
    I have a blog based on the same information
    you discuss and would really like to have you share
    some stories/information. I know my subscribers would appreciate your work.
    If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.

  5. Antoine says:

    I am genuinely happy to read this blog posts which carries tons of useful data, thanks for providing these
    statistics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>