At the end of a long day, do you always crave junk food? Research suggests you might be able to combat these kinds of food cravings with exercise.
Dr. William Neumeier and his colleagues conducted a small study that hints at the power of exercising when you’re low on energy. Working out can help curb cravings for foods high in calories but low in nutritional value.
After a long day, you’ve used up a lot of the sugar your brain needs to think and perform tasks. When your brain and body don’t have enough sugar, you start to crave carbs. Carbs break down into sugar once you eat them. When you exercise, your brain can use the energy your body produces from your workout, at least for a little while.
This gives you a little bit of time to think more clearly about what you want to eat. No need to setttle for the closest and/or most convenient thing you can grab.
Much more large-scale research on this topic is necessary. But Neumeier’s work makes a pretty good case for evening workouts and eating less junk food, at least.
MP’s Take: This is just another one of many benefits of regular exercise. It’s also a pro to working out in the evening instead of first thing in the morning (if that’s your workout time of choice). Really what this tells us is that exercise can not only give you more energy, but it has the potential to help you make healthier food choices. This is especially important when you’re really focusing on your training and need to pay close attention to your food intake before an intense workout. Sometimes when you’re feeling mentally and physically drained, working out can really help you turn those feelings around.