Natural Hunger Management

December 20, 2008 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

Do you like two-for-one deals? You’ve probably seen a lot of them this holiday season. Buy two DVDs for the price of one! Buy one cheeseburger at regular price and get the second one “free”! Well I’ve got a real two-for-one deal for you today. I’m going to tell you what you can do to decrease your hunger and help manage your weight. Heck, I’ll even throw in an improvement in virtually all aspects of your health for free! What a deal!

There was some really good news reported this past week in The American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. With a name like that, you had better have something important to say. And, they did.

Man on treadmillTreadmilling on Thin Ice

Hunger is a complex mechanism that is influenced by hormones, an area of the brain called the hypothalamus and the gastrointestinal tract. We may feel hunger because we haven’t eaten enough food. Or, we may experience hunger because we’re feeling stressed or upset and our bodies want to soothe that pain. Another possibility is that we may be over or under expressing certain hunger controlling messengers.

In this current study, the researchers decided to measure the effects of two different kinds of exercise on two specific hunger regulating substances:

  • #1: Ghrelin – a hormone that stimulates appetite
  • #2: Peptide YY – a protein that suppresses appetite.

No Hunger Pangs, No Hunger Gains

The researchers decided to experiment on a group of male university students. The two forms of exercise selected were 60 minutes on a treadmill and a 90 minute weight lifting session.

Each student participated in three different arms of the experiment. In the first, they ran on the treadmill for 60 minutes and then rested for 7 hours. In the second arm, they engaged in 90 minutes of free weight lifting followed by 6 1/2 hours of rest. Finally, in the third portion of the experiment, the students simply rested for 8 hours.

DumbbellMeals were provided at the 2 hour and 5 hour mark of each session. Hunger surveys and blood tests were administered throughout all three sessions as well. Here’s what the results of the experiment showed:

  • Running on a treadmill for 60 minutes lowered ghrelin and increased peptide YY levels. Both of these reactions are linked to a suppression of appetite.
  • The 90 minute free weight lifting exercise also caused ghrelin levels to diminish, but it didn’t affect peptide YY levels.

So, there you have it. Vigorous aerobic exercise appears to keep hunger at bay better than weight lifting. But, both weight lifting and running offer health benefits. What to do? What to do? Exercise! Most us just need to get moving more than we currently do. By doing so, it’ll improve physical and mental health, and it just may help to keep the hunger monsters in the dark where they belong.

Be well!


Referenced Material

Link – Hunger and Exercise Press Release

Link – Hunger/Exercise Study Abstract

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink

10 Comments & Updates to “Natural Hunger Management”

  1. G Paul Fanton Says:

    Hi JP,

    Great article! I think this is one of the pearls in the necklace of articles you will probably be adding to your blog for those of us interested in the fight against obesity, diabetes etc..
    Keep it up!


  2. G Paul Fanton Says:

    Hi JP,
    I think this is one of the pearls in the necklace of articles you will probably be adding to your blog for those of us interested in the fight against obesity, diabetes etc..
    Keep it up!


  3. JP Says:

    Thanks, Paul!

    I appreciate your kind words. I’ll do my best to keep posting articles of this quality and hopefully even better!

    Be well!


  4. Lynne Says:

    very interesting. This is motivation to do the couch to 5K again!

  5. JP Says:

    You can do it, Lynne!

    Recently I’ve been playing a good deal of tennis. It’s a lot of fun and it really works you out!

    Be well!


  6. Sylvia Says:

    Hey JP

    That was really interesting info as I’d hear a variety of things about exercise and weight loss and about weight lifting increasing metabolism. It’s the eliptical machine for me–now if I can only work up to an hour! 😉

    Thanks for helping clear things up with those concrete results!


  7. JP Says:

    Thank you, Sylvia!

    An hour would be fantastic! Keep up the good work! 🙂

    Be well!


  8. Mia B. Says:

    Hello JP ~ wanted to just express thanks and extend gratitude to you for your insight-laden, wisdom-filled, and research-based/backed info for the good of our health. Kudos to you for being your own best “patient’, also! I will often ‘tag’ certain topics to reread @ a later time, & this falls into that category for me this day-! I’m thinking I will make you my “main-motivator-for-my-metabolism-boosting-&-monster-hunger-busting” guy (TO START!)! I know I do need to make some healthful changes sooner than later… thanks for providing valuable & “condensed” forms of information to that end, always!
    Mia B.

  9. JP Says:

    Many thanks, Maria!

    I know you can make the necessary changes. If I can do it, you can as well. I’ll be happy to help in any way that can. 🙂

    Be well!


  10. JP Says:

    Update 04/28/15:

    Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: Post Acceptance: April 18, 2015

    Effects of High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise Training on Appetite Regulation.

    Objective: An acute bout of high intensity intermittent exercise suppresses ad-libitum energy intake at the post-exercise meal. The present study examined the effects of 12 weeks of high intensity intermittent exercise training (HIIT) compared with moderate intensity continuous exercise training (MICT) on appetite regulation.

    Methods: Thirty overweight, inactive men (BMI: 27.2 +/- 1.3 kg/m2; V[spacing dot above]O2Peak: 35.3 +/- 5.3 were randomised to either HIIT or MICT (involving 12 weeks of training, 3 sessions per week) or a control group (CON) (n = 10 per group). Ad-libitum energy intake from a laboratory test meal was assessed following both a low-energy (LEP: 847 kJ) and a high-energy preload (HEP: 2438 kJ) pre and post-intervention. Perceived appetite and appetite-related blood variables were also measured.

    Results: There was no significant effect of the intervention period on energy intake at the test meal following the two different preloads (p >= 0.05). However, the 95% CI indicated a clinically meaningful decrease in energy intake after the HEP compared with LEP in response to HIIT (516 +/- 395 kJ decrease), but not for MICT or CON, suggesting improved appetite regulation. This was not associated with alterations in the perception of appetite or the circulating concentration of a number of appetite-related peptides or metabolites, although insulin sensitivity was enhanced with HIIT only (p = 0.003).

    Conclusion: HIIT appears to benefit appetite regulation in overweight men. The mechanisms for this remain to be elucidated.

    Be well!


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