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How Exercise Conveys To Your Brain To Curb Appetite?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. C.S. Sidana 91% (104 ratings)
MBBS, DNB, Indian Diploma In Critical Care Medicine
General Physician, Gurgaon  •  20 years experience
How Exercise Conveys To Your Brain To Curb Appetite?

Exercise is an essential part of our daily lives because staying fit is the ultimate objective of every individual. When we exercise, our bodies become warm and we start feeling a bit jaded. From a layman’s point of view, generally after a round of workout or normal exercise, our appetite should increase. There should be an urge to have something to eat to replenish the burned calories but reality is totally different.
Researchers have proved that actually one’s appetite tends to decrease after exercise.

Why Does This Happen?
No matter how much you do aerobic exercises like running, cycling, swimming, your level of appetite would come down as it changes the level of hormones, which driver people’s state of hunger. The question remained of those biological mechanisms which lie underneath remain active and ensure that our bodies to secrete less number of hormones which drive hunger. In search of getting the exact answer, a member of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York got fascinated by the fact that despite his runs for 45 minutes on a daily basis, his craving for food remained a lot less than what it is under normal circumstances. 

Let’s Look At The Reasons
There are specific reasons for which people feel less hunger even after doing workout:

  • Heat Sensations In Our Bodies Lower Appetite: Generally when we have spicy foods by using too much hot chilli peppers on them, automatically our body temperature goes up and we do not feel like eating anymore. This loss of appetite is due to the presence of a compound called “capsaicin” in chilli peppers, which brings about the sensation within a person of being hot and flushed. So, similarly, when we exercise, the heat that is felt in our bodies is due to a substance which not only burn calories but also ensure that we feel less hunger.
  • Feeding Regulated Through Neural Receptors: There are a set of neurons called proopiomelanocortin neurons which coordinate suppression of appetite. The neurons are found in a particular region known as “arcuate nucleus” and some of them are not intercepted by brain-blood barrier. It is a membrane which prevents most of the cells in the brain from being susceptible to the fluctuations in blood plasma composition, hence protecting neural function.
  • More Activity Leading To Less Hunger: The more people indulge themselves into different kinds of exercises, resulting in quite heavy amount of calories getting burnt; their individual appetite would automatically adjust to help one’s body function better. Burning of calories does not necessarily mean that a person would gobble up anything which comes in his way. Rather the opposite happens as the heated body is reluctant to have absolutely no or minimum intake of food till it cools down.

Hence we see the specific scientific reasons as to how after exercise, body itself sends signals to brain, which brings in reluctance to have food right after workout. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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