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Does Resistance Training Reduce Appetite?

From muscle building to calorie burning to keep your heart strong, resistance training and exercise affect your body in several ways. Exercise — mostly the long and intense forms can change your body’s response to hunger cues.

Here’s what you need to know about resistance training and appetite.

How resistance training impacts hunger and appetite

When you exercise, your body becomes hot, and a flush feeling comes up. But that’s not all: your appetite decreases after workouts. Several studies have been carried out to discover how this happens.

You see, part of why you do not feel hungry during resistance training is that blood is diverted from your stomach to fuel your muscles. This explains why food doesn’t digest as easily when working out.

But incidentally, slow digestion is the primary culprit for nausea and vomiting during workouts. And you don’t quickly feel hungry when your gut is nauseated or churning.

Exercise affects hunger regulating hormones

For instance, a study in the American Journal of Physiology shows that running for 60 minutes can cause a drop in ghrelin levels (ghrelin is an appetite-stimulating hormone). However, the 60-minute run also causes a rise in peptide YY. Peptide YY is a gut hormone responsible for suppressing appetite. A 90-minute resistance training session was also found to lower ghrelin levels, although it did not affect Peptide YY level, suggesting that the mode of exercise plays a role.

The intensity of exercise is another factor to note. For example, a studypublished in the Journal of Endocrinology found that high-intensity short distance running (36 minutes at 75% max heart rate) had a more significant effect on ghrelin levels than low-intensity long-distance running (55 minutes at 50% max heart rate).

Temperature plays a role as well. During long and intense workouts, you get hot, and when you are hot, the hunger doesn’t come.

Your appetite remains suppressed for a period after your workout is over, but how long this lasts depends on the intensity and duration of the exercise. In many cases, people don’t feel hungry until the body has cooled down.

Low-intensity or short exercise may suppress hunger, but more intense or prolonged exercise is more likely to happen. This is probably because the intensity or duration of the workout isn’t sufficient to get the same blood shift or hormonal effects.

What if your goal is performance or weight loss?

Whether aspiring to improve performance or lose weight, you must refuel after working out. That might be harder to do if you don’t have an appetite, or you may assume that there’s no need for food since you are not hungry.

However, if the goal is to improve your performance or build muscle, filling up after a strenuous resistance training session will help you progress. Protein is essential for muscle repair and recovery, and carbs replenish your depleted glycogen stores. Skimping on food after a workout will get you feeling sluggish during your workout the following day.

What is your typical post-workout meal?

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