Viewing exercise as fun ‘means eating less after’

9 July 2014

By viewing exercise as fun a person is less likely to eat after a physical activity, whereas viewing it as exercise means they will consume more to reward themselves, suggests a new study from Cornell University Food and Brand Lab.

The study involved leading adults on a two kilometre walk around a lake. Participants split into two groups and were either told it was an exercise activity or a scenic walk.

In the first group, 56 adults completed their stroll and were given lunch. Those who were told it was exercise ate 35 per cent more chocolate pudding for dessert than those who were led to believe it was a scenic walk.

The second set of 46 participants were given a mid-afternoon snack after their walk. The adults under the impression the activity was exercise ate 206 more calories on average compared to those who were informed it was a fun activity.

Professor Carolina Werle, lead author, believes those who viewed walk as exercise were less happy and more fatigued compared to the other participants. She believes the findings demonstrate that those who view physical activity as a workout overeat to reward themselves.

She added: “Do whatever you can to make your workout fun. Anything that brings a smile, is likely to get you to eat less.”

Posted by Jeanette Royston


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