Making Exercise ‘Fun’ Can Prevent Overeating

A new Cornell study suggests that making exercise enjoyable can help you eat less afterwards.

In one experiment, researchers led 56 adults on a one-mile walk, telling some that the walk would be an “exercise” walk and others that it would be a “scenic” walk. Participants who were told that the walk would be an exercise outing ate 35 percent more dessert than those who were told the walk would be scenic.

A second experiment involved giving 46 adults a mid-afternoon snack after a walk. Those who went on the exercise walk ate 124 percent more calories of candy than people who were told the walk was scenic.

“Viewing their walk as exercise led them to be less happy and more fatigued,” study author Carolina Werle, a professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management in France, said in a press release.

Exercise as a reward = problematic

The problem, researchers said, is that people who exercise will often use food as a reward after a workout.

But making exercise fun, says co-author Brian Wansink, might be the key to avoid overeating after physical activity.

“Do whatever you can to make your workout fun,” Wansick said. “Play music, watch a video, or simply be grateful that you’re working out instead of working in the office. Anything that brings a smile is likely to get you to eat less.”

Source: Cornell

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

Find a Treatment Facility Near You

Click on a state below to find eating disorder treatment options that could be right for you.

The information provided on EatingDisorders.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes and we encourage all visitors to see a licensed physician if they believe that they have an eating disorder. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of EatingDisorders.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

Copyright © 2008-2017 EatingDisorders.com.
Company Information

© 2017 EatingDisorders.com. All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of EatingDisorders.com's terms of service and privacy policy. The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.