exercise-weight loss

Timing Matters….Eating Before Rather Than After Exercise May Help With Weight Loss

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. Dr. Karsten Koehler Department of Sport and Health Sciences Technical University of Munich

Prof. Koehler

Prof. Dr. Karsten Koehler
Department of Sport and Health Sciences
Technical University of Munich

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The primary background is the phenomenon that most people fail to loose (meaningful) weight through exercise alone, which is related to what we call compensatory eating – an increase in food intake to compensate for the increased energy expenditure of exercise. This is been described in a number of studies and is considered a key weight loss barrier – yet few have come up with solutions to overcome this problem. Therefore, we wanted to see if the timing of food choices has an impact on how much and what we want to eat in the context of exercise.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: Our primary findings was that the preferred food amount as well as the preference for immediate consumption increased significantly over the course of an exercise bout when compared to a control condition of rest. This was primarily triggered by reduced preferences (lower amounts, lower immediate consumption) prior to exercising.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Timing matters – our results indicated that choosing your meal after exercising may make you more vulnerable for unhealthy choices, whereas you are more likely (on average) to make healthier food choices prior to exercising – if weight loss is your goal.    

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Since this experiment was done using a single bout of exercise, we’re currently looking into whether this observation also holds true for prolonged exercise programs lasting weeks or months. Likewise, we are also looking at how other exercise variables (intensity, mode, duration) impact the responses.

No disclosures 


Koehler K, Beckford SE, Thayer E, Martin AR, Boron JB, Stevens JR. Exercise Shifts Hypothetical Food Choices toward Greater Amounts and More Immediate Consumption. Nutrients. 2021 Jan 24;13(2):347. doi: 10.3390/nu13020347. PMID: 33498953; PMCID: PMC7911174.




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Last Updated on April 10, 2021 by Marie Benz MD FAAD