Do you crave cheese burger and fries while on diet? A study done on rats found that doing high-intensity exercise while dieting can reduce your craving for fatty foods.
In a study led by Washington State University, rats on a 30-day diet that underwent intense exercise resisted the cues of favored, high-fat food pellets, offering hope for human dieters.
The experiment was designed to test resistance to a phenomenon known as “craving incubation,” meaning that the longer a desired substance is denied, the more likely it is to ignore cues for it. gets difficult.
The findings, published in the journal Obesity, show that exercise controlled how hard the rats were willing to work for cues associated with the pellets, indicating how much they wanted them.
Travis Brown, a physiology and neuroscience researcher at Washington State University, said while more research needs to be done, the study may indicate that exercise can help with certain foods.
“An important part of maintaining a diet is having some brain power — the ability to say ‘No, I’m craving it, but I’m going to abstain,'” Brown said.
“Exercise can be beneficial not only physically for weight loss but also mentally for gaining control of cravings for unhealthy foods.”
In the experiment, Brown and colleagues at WSU and the University of Wyoming put 28 rats through training with a lever that, when pressed, turned on a light and made a tone before being given a high-fat pellet.
After the training period, they tested to see how often the rats pressed a lever to receive only the light and tone cues.
The researchers then divided the rats into two groups: one underwent a high-intensity treadmill walking regime; The other had no extra exercise other than their regular activity. Both sets of rats were denied access to high-fat pellets for 30 days.
At the end of that period, the researchers gave rats access to a lever that once again fired pellets, but this time when the lever was pressed, they gave only light and tone signals.
The animals that did not receive exercise pressed the lever significantly more than the exercised mice, indicating that exercise reduced the craving for pellets.