You are here

Fueled by Treats

Exercisers Frequently Reward Themselves with Food

Exercisers Frequently Reward Themselves with Food

Exercisers often reward themselves with unhealthy treats after a workout

In order to resist unhealthy foods after a workout, make your workout fun

Scroll down to read more... 

Simone Dohle, Brian Wansink, and Lorena Zehnder (2015). Exercise and Food Compensation: Exploring Diet-related Beliefs and Behaviors of Regular ExercisersJournal of Physical Activity and Health. doi: 10.1123/jpah.2013-0383

Why do dieters start exercise programs and gain weight? It may be because they give themselves permission to eat afterwards.

A new ETH Zurich and Cornell University study analyzed exercisers' eating behavior. While some rewarded themselves for a good workout with chocolate or pastries, others overate believing they were “building their strength,” said Simone Dohle of the Department of Health Science and Technology, ETH Zurich.

These findings – published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health – add additional credibility to recent discoveries that exercisers can eat as much as 44% more dessert afterwards and 32% fewer vegetables!

"If you want to avoid being an overeating exerciser," said co-author Brian Wansink, author of Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life and Professor and Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, “do whatever you can to make your workout fun. Play music, watch a video, or simply be grateful that you’re working out instead of working in the office.” “Anything that brings a smile is likely to get you to eat less,” he added.

Summary by Brian Wansink