This Workout Will Help You Make Better Food Choices (According to Science)

Here’s a scenario many of us are all too familiar with: you open your pantry and see a box of cookies. The right decision is obvious. You know what you should do: step away from the sugar.

So, why does the healthy choice take so much willpower? Breaking bad eating habits isn’t easy. Surrounded by so many unhealthy food options, temptation is hard to avoid.

Well, what if there was a way to make decision-making less painful? According to a recent study published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, people who include sprints in their exercise routine make healthier food choices after their workout.

Researchers observed 40 physically inactive men and women who took part in two group exercise activities: sprint-interval exercise (SIT) and moderate-intensity continuous exercise. They specifically looked at the impact of SIT on appetite post-workout and how it affected their mental state.

Lead author Natalya Beer explained, “participants enjoyed the sprint-interval exercise more than the moderate-intensity continuous exercise, even though it required more exertion, and led to a higher heart rate and higher blood lactate.”

In other words, even though participants exerted more energy during the sprint interval exercise, they found it more fulfilling. Their appetite also went down after SIT and they ate less in a social setting.

Although it’s difficult to work out and make healthy eating choices regularly, this research proves short sprints will assist you with both.And if you want to get the most out of your sprint interval exercise, workout with friends! This study confirms the health benefits of group exercise.

Why Sprint Interval Training is Effective

This type of high-intensity training not only boosts your endurance, but also burns more calories and fat pre-workout and post-workout.

Here’s why it works: sprinting raises your metabolic rate. So even when you’re done with your workout, you will keep burning calories. The “afterburn” or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) is higher after SIT training compared to other forms of low-intensity aerobic exercise.

Ready to get started? Try out this 20-minute sprinting workout for beginners:

    1. Walk or jog for 5 minutes
    2. Sprint for 30 seconds at 80-100 percent
    3. Walk for 90 seconds
    4. Repeat this circuit 5 times
    5. Walk for 5 minutes (and stretch if needed)

As with all exercises, don’t forget to warm up and cool down! And, if you’re looking for a more comprehensive workout routine you can do from home, try this.