Can exercise make us less hungry?

Scientists at Loughborough University are investigating whether exercise can make us less hungry as well as helping to burn fat.

Following emerging research that suggests exercise affects appetite, the new INTAKE study aims to discover exactly how physical activity influences what we eat, and its usefulness for weight control.

To find out, scientists plan to monitor how key appetite regulating hormones are influenced by a single bout of moderate intensity exercise.

Study coordinator Jessica Douglas, a PhD student in Loughborough’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS), explains:

“Because exercise is often prescribed as a method for weight management, it’s important to know how it affects what we eat. 

“It could be that exercise provides a double benefit for weight loss by reducing our appetite as well as burning fat. That’s what we’re hoping to find out through the INTAKE study.”

Researchers are looking for healthy, non-smoking volunteers aged 18 to 65 for the four-part study which will be conducted at either Loughborough University or the Leicester Diabetes Centre (part of Leicester General Hospital).

Participants will need to be inactive or moderately active, with a BMI of less than 40. Four visits will be made to the chosen centre, including preliminary and exercise familiarisation visits (both 90 minutes each) plus two trial days of 8.5 hours, one of which will include 60 minutes of continuous walking or running at a moderate intensity.

Meals and refreshments will be provided during test days and travel expenses covered for all visits. Volunteers will receive feedback on their fitness as well as some aspects of their health.

Anyone interested in taking part or finding out more should contact Jessica Douglas on 01509 226352 or email

The INTAKE study is being conducted as part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit (BRU).

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