Despite the fact that a tough workout might make you want to eat enough for a family of four, your exercise routine probably isn’t making you consume extra calories, according to a new research review.
“It is commonly believed that individuals increase energy intake in response to physical activity or exercise training,” the review’s authors write. “However, overall we found no consistent, compelling evidence that any level of increased physical activity or exercise has any impact on energy intake.”
As Runner’s World points out, this is especially good news for fitness fans who have weight loss on the brain. Despite an increase in physical activity, most people aren’t undoing their hard work by overcompensating with food after their sweat sessions has ended.
The researchers also found that exercisers did not increase calorie intake in relation to a specific type, intensity or duration of exercise or in relation to a host of “participant characteristics including age, gender, weight or physical activity level,” they wrote.
While exercise can lead to weight loss — and particularly fat loss when compared to weight loss from calorie restriction alone, the authors note — it likely won’t produce dramatic results without an accompanying dietary change. While a regular fitness routine is certainly part of an overall healthy lifestyle, a low-calorie diet has been shown to be an easier way to drop pounds, and dieters more consistently stick to an eating plan than an exercise one, the New York Times reported.
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