This study investigated the acute influence of exercise on eating behaviour in an ecologically valid setting whereby healthy active males were permitted complete ad libitum access to food. Ten healthy males completed two, 8. h trials (exercise and control) in a randomised-crossover design. In the exercise trials participants consumed a breakfast snack and then rested for 1. h before undertaking a 60. min run (72% of VO2 max) on a treadmill. Participants then rested in the laboratory for 6. h during which time they were permitted complete ad libitum access to a buffet meal. The timing of meals, energy/macronutrient intake and eating frequency were assessed. Identical procedures were completed in the control trial except no exercise was performed. Exercise increased the length of time (35. min) before participants voluntarily requested to eat afterwards. Despite this, energy intake at the first meal consumed, or at subsequent eating episodes, was not influenced by exercise (total trial energy intake: control 7426. kJ, exercise 7418. kJ). Neither was there any difference in macronutrient intake or meal frequency between trials. These results confirm that food intake remains unaffected by exercise in the immediate hours after but suggest that exercise may invoke a delay before food is desired.
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