Bad news for dieters who exercise

apple_measure_tape_1600_wht_13129stick_figure_overweight_scale_1600_wht_3853Why? Because researchers in Boston and Taiwan have found that they put on more weight.

Sounds counter-inuitive doesn’t it? But psychologists explain that exercise , and even the anticipation of exercise, can cause much more dramatic binges in food intake when people are trying to control what they eat.

It’s as if having exercised they have given themselves permission to eat a lot!

They see exercise as a way of buying credits for a heavy snack.

The researchers say, in the Journal of Health Psychology, “Dieters have a greater need to justify food consumption and as such, they have increased sensitivity to entitlement cues, such as exercising“.

“This means that expending effort on exercise provides dieters in particular with a compelling justification to indulge in food consequently dieters will consume more food when the the entitlement cue of exercise is involved in comparison to when it is absent”

In plain English: they eat more when they exercise than when they don’t!

The researchers think the effect might be lessened if the dieters do exercise that are fun rather than those they see as strenuous.

There is also research from 2006 that suggests dieters’ brains respond differently to food. They appear to be more likely to eat fattening food when they believe they have made some progress in losing weight.

But remember; diets only work for less than 10% of people who try them.

And on a happy note for anti-dieters like me, the infamous Dr Dukans has finally been struck off as a doctor and may be declared bankrupt in France.

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One thought on “Bad news for dieters who exercise

  1. […] is not the only example of when people reward themselves for virtuous behaviour. A recent study of people exercising while on a diet showed that they rewarded themselves by binge eating. It seems as if we have a […]

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