Exercise & Appetite – Can You Diet Successfully Over the Long-term?
Yes, you can.
It’s about managing intake.
It’s about thinking about what you put in your mouth.
It’s about not having the whole F-ing pizza and blaming your inability to out train your diet.
Yet somehow there is a collective warped attitude of “I should be able to eat whatever I want and still reach my goals”.
How can you seriously expect to do this if you’re unwilling to make any changes?
It’s like the whole dieting world is a group of spoilt kids who didn’t get what they wanted for their birthday.
Losing weight and in turn body fat to improve your health and aesthetics doesn’t have to be an all or nothing struggle.
Getting in shape is not all about having unlimited reserves of willpower and motivation, it’s about planning ahead, making smart decisions and becoming informed.
A common excuse revolves around the idea that;
“If you increase your exercise levels, your appetite increases.”
When what actually happens is;
“If you increase your exercise levels, your energy expenditure increases meaning you can (if you want / need to) eat more before reaching a calorie surplus.”
Research supports this with one study (3) concluded the following:
“Exercise-induced weight loss is associated with physiological and biopsychological changes toward an increased drive to eat in the fasting state. However, this seems to be balanced by an improved satiety response to a meal and improved sensitivity of the appetite control system.”
Another study (4) summarised that;
“Many studies have demonstrated that acute bouts of moderately vigorous exercise transiently suppress appetite and this has been termed ‘exercise-induced anorexia’.”
Yet, another (5) said;
“Comparisons between sedentary and normally active individuals, or between enforced periods of rest or strenuous activity, generate little or no effect on levels of hunger or daily energy intake.”
Before going on to say;
“intake is not automatically driven up to compensate for energy expended. Reasons why physical activity often produces disappointing effects, rise from inappropriate food choices, a desire for self-reward after exercise and misjudgements about the relative rates at which energy can be expended (by exercise) or taken in (by eating).”
I think that last bit sums this up perfectly.
The Longevity Of Success
Someone once said to me…
“There are no intentional weight loss diets that work long term. But you can prevent yourself from gaining weight by nurturing yourself with food, getting sufficient sleep, and finding joy in your life. Then, maybe, you will drop weight unintentionally, and find yourself in the lucky 5% group of people who successfully maintain weight loss. But no guarantees…no sugar coating here…. just the facts.”
…couldn’t calculating your calorie and macronutrient intake be considered nurturing yourself with food for some people?
I’m pretty sure it could.
Research (6, 7) also supports sustained long-term weight loss:
“long-term weight loss maintenance is possible if individuals adhere to key health behaviours.”
Which makes sense.
You’re not going to sustain weight loss if you go straight back into a calorie surplus.
At the end of the day everyone has their own opinions on this topic and this post won’t please everyone, nor does it have to. Everyone has their own methods for fat loss that work best for them and ultimately you should choose to adhere to whatever training programme and nutrition protocol that works best for you (provided it’s not damaging to your health).
Call To Action
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