This article is from the In-Depth Report The Science of Weight Loss
60-Second Science

Different Exercise Affects Appetite Differently

A study in the American Journal of Physiology finds that aerobic exercise affects levels of two different hormones involved in appetite. Weight lifting only affected levels of one of the hormones. Karen Hopkin reports

[The following is an exact transcript of this podcast.]

Well, here I am on my exercise bike, anticipating the excesses of the holidays. All those cookies and candies and maybe a glass or two of eggnog. At the very least, I figure maybe a few good turns on the exercycle will keep me from snacking before I hit the buffet table.

But a new study from the U.K. suggests that when it comes to suppressing appetite, not all exercise is created equal. The researchers followed 11 male university students as they jogged for an hour on a treadmill or spent 90 minutes lifting weights. And they found that the treadmill workout altered the production of two different hormones that control appetite. Whereas pumping iron only affected one. Which suggests that aerobic exercise is a better appetite suppressant than muscle building.

And the students’ stomachs agreed. Although both workouts curbed the students’ appetities, the run left them even less hungry than the weight lifting, results that appear in the online edition of the American Journal of Physiology.

Lucky for me, it looks like I’m ok with the exercise bike. But don’t worry if dumbbells are your thing. I’m sure lifting weights can also keep you from noshing. As long as you’re holding them while you’re at the party.

—Karen Hopkin 

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