A study suggests that intense exercise when dieting may help in reducing cravings for fatty foods. An integral part of maintaining a diet is to have the willpower to say no to cravings for unhealthy foods. Exercise may not only benefit weight loss physically but also mentally to help get control over these cravings.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
The experiment was developed for testing resistance to the “incubation of craving” phenomenon which means the longer you deny a desired substance, the more difficult it becomes to ignore cues for the substance.
The study results revealed that rats on a diet for 30 days exercising intensely resisted cues for high-fat food pellets. This indicates that exercise helped the rats adapt to how hard they were prepared to work for cues linked to the pellets, which reflected the extent to which they craved the pellets.
28 rats were trained with a lever that made a sound and switched on a light when pressed before a high-fat pellet was dispensed. The rats were tested after the training period to see how often they would press the lever just to get the sound and light cue.
The rats were then divided into 2 groups, 1 group was given a regime of high-intensity treadmill running, and the other group had no additional exercise over and above their regular activity. For 30 days, both groups had no access to the high-fat pellets.
After the 30 days, the rats were given access to the pellet dispensing levers once again, but, they only gave the sound and light cue when pressing the levers this time. The rats that didn't get exercise pressed the levers considerably more compared to the rats that had exercised, which suggests that exercise reduced the craving for the pellets.
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