Exercise “FUN”

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fun is good.drseussAn interesting premise of the article Think “Fun” When Exercising to Eat Less Later, written by Sandy Todd Webster states “Anything that brings a smile is likely to get you to eat less.”

Based on research conducted by Marketing Letters, people believing they were exercising for FUN ate less food than individuals under the impression they were “working out.”

In the first study, adults were led on a 2-kilometer walk around a small lake; some understood they were taking an exercise walk, while others were told it was a scenic walk. Fifty-six adults completed their walk and were then given lunch. Those who believed they had been on an exercise walk served and ate 35% more chocolate pudding for dessert than those who believed they had been on a scenic walk.

In the second study, 46 adults were given midafternoon snacks after their walk. Those thinking they had taken an exercise walk ate over twice as many M&Ms (124% more, or 206 more calories’ worth) compared with those who had been told they were on a scenic walk. “Viewing their walk as exercise led them to be less happy and more fatigued,” says lead author Carolina Werle, PhD, professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management in France.

Together, these studies point to one reason why people in exercise programs often find themselves gaining weight. According to Werle, the notion is that some exercisers have a tendency to reward themselves by overeating after a workout.

Even though food consumption should be based on the calories we use throughout the day, this article speaks to psychological and emotional feelings of “entitlement” for many exercisers. Could this mindset change impact YOUR relationship with food?

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