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Exercise Intensity Influences Food Choices
by Tanya Zilberter, PhD
More vigorous exercise makes you crave fat foods. If you are not an athlete, that is. In the Royal Veterinary, Copenhagen, Denmark, researchers compared food choices made by sedentary people on next day after exercising at 60% or 30% of maximal capacity.
Those who worked out only from time to time, after 60% workout selected higher-fat meals than usual, while those who exercised at 30% or their maximum and those exercising regularly, didn't increase the fat content of meals though they all stayed within their habitual calorie intake.
There is a very practical conclusion: If you are a weekend-only exerciser and don't want to be tempted by high-fat foods, better choose low-intensity longer exercises
To roughly estimate your workout intensity, calculate your maximal heart rate (HR) and take 30% out of it:
First thing in the morning, while still in bed, count your morning HR.
Subtract your age in years from 220 to get you standard maximal HR.
Subtract the your morning HR from your standard maximal HR
Multiply the result of step 3 by 0.30
Add your morning HR to the result of step 4
This will be your target HR zone until you become a habitual exerciser.
Better yet, become a fit person! This is how.
1. First, assess your fitness level: Click here!
2. Plan your aerobics fitness program: Click here!
Klausen, B., Toubro, B., Ranneries, C., Rehfeld, J.F., Holst, J.J., Christensen, N.J. & Astrup, A. Increased intensity of a single exercise bout stimulates subsequent fat intake -- International Journal of Obesity 23, 1282 (1999).
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