Monday, May 11, 2009

Hey, where'd my appetite go??

So I thought the more I exercised, the more my hunger would increase because I would be burning more calories. I would get to reward myself with big portions of yummy, deliciousness every day.Wrong! Well, somewhat. I am burning more calories, but all the intense exercise is actually decreasing my appetite and if anyone who is reading this actually knows me- I *heart* food- cooking, eating, slicing, dicing, all of it! So you can imagine my surprise. I'm finding that I actually have to remind myself to eat! Weird!?

I've done a little research and found out that the higher the intensity and temperature, the longer your appetite will be suppressed after a workout. In addition the endocrine and cardiovascular systems of the body play a role in appetite suppression. The hypothalamus, a gland in the brain, suppresses hunger and is triggered to release hormones when you exercise at a moderate to high intensity. These hormones are responsible for suppression of hunger. Another reason exercise helps to inhibit hunger is that when you exercise the blood is being taken from the stomach and sent throughout the body. Okay, this is making sense...

I was also reminded to make sure I eat before I workout. If you approach a workout session on an empty stomach or a stomach that has not been fed any carbohydrates for hours, you will suffer the consequences two-fold. Firstly, you will be breaking down muscle instead of building it and secondly, your body will crave those carbs in abundance post exercise setting you up to fail at your exercise efforts.

Food for thought: The average person believes he/she burned 600 more calories than actually were burned and the average overweight person will overshoot by 900 calories. That’s a lot of calories!

This appetite situation is definitely making my 6 small meals a day easier, but there's certainly some mental re-training that's involved. In the meantime, I'm off to lunch! I actually have an appetite, so let's EAT!

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