Secondary Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Acute and long-term effects of exercise on appetite control: is there any benefit for weight control?

Hopkins, Marka,b; King, Neil Ac; Blundell, John Ea

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: November 2010 - Volume 13 - Issue 6 - p 635–640
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32833e343b
Nutrition and physiological function: Edited by Labros S. Sidossis and Annemie Schols

Purpose of review To examine the relationship between energy intake, appetite control and exercise, with particular reference to longer term exercise studies. This approach is necessary when exploring the benefits of exercise for weight control, as changes in body weight and energy intake are variable and reflect diversity in weight loss.

Recent findings Recent evidence indicates that longer term exercise is characterized by a highly variable response in eating behaviour. Individuals display susceptibility or resistance to exercise-induced weight loss, with changes in energy intake playing a key role in determining the degree of weight loss achieved. Marked differences in hunger and energy intake exist between those who are capable of tolerating periods of exercise-induced energy deficit, and those who are not. Exercise-induced weight loss can increase the orexigenic drive in the fasted state, but for some this is offset by improved postprandial satiety signalling.

Summary The biological and behavioural responses to acute and long-term exercise are highly variable, and these responses interact to determine the propensity for weight change. For some people, long-term exercise stimulates compensatory increases in energy intake that attenuate weight loss. However, favourable changes in body composition and health markers still exist in the absence of weight loss. The physiological mechanisms that confer susceptibility to compensatory overconsumption still need to be determined.

aBioPsychology Group, Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, UK

bDepartment of Sport, Health, Leisure & Nutrition, Leeds Trinity University College, Leeds, UK

cInstitute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

Correspondence to Mark Hopkins, Department of Sport, Health, Leisure & Nutrition, Leeds Trinity University College, Leeds, UK Tel: +44 113 283 7362; e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.