Researchers found that compared to people who never exercised, regular gym rats had less reaction to high-calor...
Researchers found that compared to people who never exercised, regular gym rats had less reaction to high-calorie meals in brain regions connected with food rewards. People who worked out also rated these foods lower on a desirability scale_particularly ones with savory flavors like cheeseburgers and fries.
It_s a double-dose: With regular exercise, you burn calories and change the way your brain reacts to certain foods, says study author William Killgore, Ph.D. It could be that exercise enhances sensitivity to leptin_a protein in fat cells that controls appetite and sends signals to your brain to tell you when you_re full. Or it could be that because you often feel better after a workout, exercise acts as its own mental reward making you less likely to need a high-calorie snack to munch on and lift your mood, says Killgore.
It_s not too hard to stimulate this brain benefit. Exercisers in the study sweated it out three days a week for about 40 minutes on average.
Men's Health | BY BRIAN DALEK,