Food Motivation

Good morning!

Happy end of the week to us all :) We have plans for the weekend, so I am kinda excited to get to that. But, I am also stoked for today too-we have a lil’ date night planned after work (an interesting seminar since we’re geeky like that).

It always feels extra ‘cool’ to go out on a school night, don’t ya think?! 😉

Anyone else pining for the weekend or for this evening yet?


Food Motivation

I came upon a really cool study from my alma mater recently. (cool fact: The head professor of the study was on the board to review my thesis when I finished my Masters, actually). The study is all about brain activity, food images, and exercise.

Essentially the study is about food motivation and what possibilities there are to reduce desire for foods, especially looking at the variable of exercise.

The study, published online, ahead of print in the October issue ofMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, measured the food motivation of 18 normal-weight women and 17 clinically obese women over two separate days.

On the first day, each woman briskly walked on a treadmill for 45 minutes and then, within the hour, had their brain waves measured. Electrodes were attached to each participant’s scalp and an EEG machine then measured their neural activity while they looked at 240 images – 120 of plated food meals and 120 of flowers. (Flowers served as a control.)

The same experiment was conducted one week later on the same day of the week and at the same time of the morning, but omitted the exercise. Individuals also recorded their food consumption and physical activity on the experiment days.

The 45-minute exercise bout not only produced lower brain responses to the food images, but also resulted in an increase in total physical activity that day, regardless of body mass index.

“We wanted to see if obesity influenced food motivation, but it didn’t,” LeCheminant said. “However, it was clear that the exercise bout was playing a role in their neural responses to the pictures of food.”

Interestingly, the women in the experiment did not eat more food on the exercise day to “make up” for the extra calories they burned in exercise. In fact, they ate approximately the same amount of food on the non-exercise day.

Interesting, eh? {You can read the full article if you want!}

In this study it shows that exercise does not necessarily make the women hungrier….in fact, that bout of activity reduced brain activity when shown pictures of food! Fitness rocks!

Of course this can’t be deduced for all persons, but it is very interesting. And you can use it to help you! Just 45 minutes of moderate physical activity could do the trick to reduce desire to eat extra (for those readers looking for ‘easier’ ways to lose weight).

The next thing I want this study to do though? Put the women through high intensity exercise versus endurance exercise, and then see what that does to the brain waves and food motivation.

But…..I guess that study will have to wait until I get enough funding. 😉


Thankful Thursday

  1. I am grateful for scarves. They keep me warm right now because it is chilly at work! And I refuse to turn on the heat (I work from home).
  2. I am super thankful for tissues. They come in handy when you cry. A lot.
  3. I am very thankful for a husband who likes texting me! It adds an extra sparkle to my day.

Love this guy.

And with that, I am off to do a bit of cardio, work, and then the two of us (nerds) are gonna head out on our lil’ seminar date!

What do YOU think about the study–true about YOU or not?? What are YOU usually hungry for after exercise?? What are YOU thankful for today??

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  1. That study does make a lot sense – and is yet ANOTHER great reason to get moving!!

  2. caroline says:

    I am thankful for beautiful fall weather, a day off work and this little monkey growing inside of me =)

  3. Very interesting! It’s pretty true for me though… I’m always motivated to want to eat better and healthier when I get in exercise. It all goes hand in hand!

    Today I am thankful for my hot cup of tea to keep me warm on this COLD morning!

    Have a great day girl! xoxo

  4. Great study!!! After I exercsie, I actually start to make dinner. It’s only because I exercise at 3:30pm and start dinner at 4:30. But on the wekend, after I exercise I normally crave almonds. I don’t know why?

    I’m thankful today for making it to work in this horrible commute! :)

  5. Wow, that is super interesting! And it makes a lot of sense if you think about it too. I love these fun articles. Today I’m thankful for free health care here, since I have to get two tests done at the hospital…which I wouldn’t be able too afford otherwise ha.

  6. Danielle says:

    Great article and super interesting! Last year when I was marathon training I didn’t notice as much of an effect on my appetite as I am now with my half IM training – it makes me feel like there is a balance in there somewhere, but I am still trying to find it :) if I go too overboard with my training, like i have been these last few months, then my body starts to freak out. For me, I feel like I can’t eat enough sometimes after several hours of training, and yet that’s not a healthy thing.
    I crave weird things, lately it’s been vanilla yogurt with bananas and stevia… and baguette with cheese! pure comfort, guess my body needs some extra love, heehee
    Today I am so thankful for my amazing family! We are all getting ready for my younger brother’s wedding next month, and I am a bridesmaid. My sisters and I will have matchign hair pieces, and I’m extra thankful for my sister Ting for finding the cutest ones from Nordstrom’s for only $12 – way to go sis!!!! xoxox Happy Thursday :)

  7. That sounds like a really interesting study! And I would agree with it, I think less about food when I’m exercising and busy than I do when I’m just sitting around.

  8. I am never hungry right after I exercise….and by the time I do eat I want to go healthy to not negate the exercise/sweat I just put myself through.

    (Although, we all have our weak moments where ice cream and or yogurt bars just call our name right?)


  9. Very interesting seminar! I would have thought it would make them hungrier because of the exercise? Ps. Hope you haven’t been crying lots due to the tissue comment? :( Hugs!

  10. I’m actually not surprised by this at all. Me and my roommate were talking about it recently…on the days when we workout, we’re much less in the mood to eat extra sweets or anything after. But on a day when we don’t work out and are therefore more tired/sluggish, we’re craving the sweet stuff, probably for an energy boost!



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