Framing Exercise as Fun May Hold Key to Losing Weight, Study Says
(NEW YORK) — A study undertaken by researchers from Cornell University found that the more fun you have during a workout, the less you’ll eat afterwards.
The study, published in the journal Marketing Letters, involved two experiments in which researchers tested how much adults ate following a period of exercise. In the first experiment, 56 adults were led on a 1.4 mile walk. The walk was alternately called either an “exercise walk” or a “scenic walk,” and afterwards, those who believed it was an “exercise walk” ate 35 percent more chocolate pudding for dessert than those who believed they had been on a “scenic walk.”
In the second experiment, under similar parameters, those who were told they had been on an exercise walk ate 124 percent more calories of candy provided to them than those who were told they were on a scenic walk.
Researchers believe their findings show that one of the reasons people involved in exercise programs may gain weight is because they reward themselves with food after working out.
The key, researchers say, is to make exercise enjoyable. Among other suggestions, they note that individuals planning to begin an exercise routing to help them lose weight should try listening to music during a run, making phone calls during a walk, or watching a video during a treadmill routine.
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