Fitness Friday: Exercise Curbs Hunger Better than Eating Less

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TGIF! Since I'm sharing my workouts for the week on Sunday now I'm not sure if I should be recapping them again on Friday. I still like the idea of devoting Friday to discussing a fitness or health related topic, so I think I may start sharing some of my favorite health news from the week. I love reading news online every morning and always come across articles I think you guys would love to know about!

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When my husband and I ran a marathon the day after our wedding! I don't think I've ever shared this photo before.

This week a study was published that found working out was a better method of curbing hunger than food restriction.

Where an energy (calorie) deficit was achieved by food restriction, participants showed increased levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and lower levels of a hunger suppressing hormone peptide YY. They also ate almost a third more at a buffet meal compared with another occasion when the same energy deficit was created via exercise (participants ate an average 944 calories following food restriction compared to 660 calories after exercise).

I've always found that working out helps keep my diet on track. When I work out I feel amazing after, and usually want to keep that feeling going by eating something healthy. If I have a killer workout the last thing I want to do is go eat a bunch of garbage junk food!

Which brings me to the other article I wanted to share. More than 50% of the average American diet comes from ultra-processed foods.

Ultra-processed foods include sodas, sweet or savory packaged snacks, candy and desserts, packaged baked goods, instant noodles and soups, and reconstituted meat products, such as chicken and fish nuggets. Ultra-processed foods are concoctions of several ingredients, including salt, sugar, oils and fats. They also contain chemicals not generally used in cooking, such as flavorings, emulsifiers and other additives designed to mimic real foods.

You know the best way to avoid those foods, and the nasty chemicals in them? EAT REAL FOOD! It's not that hard! Of course I say that and eat a Cadbury cream egg or a half a bag of marshmallows, but I'd say that's about 10% of my diet. Hey, we're all human.

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I know my diet and fitness will never be perfect, but that's why I'm always looking for ways to motivate myself to do better. I'm almost two weeks into a carb cycling program that focuses on eating only real foods and I've noticed such an improvement in my energy and digestion.

What are your weekend plans? What's one processed food you just can't give up?