Some people love exercise and others hate it. Recent research was focused on understanding anecdotal evidence that many people don’t lose weight as quickly as expected when they start exercising. It turns out that our attitude about the activities we do may have an impact.
The research consisted of 3 experiments. The first two experiments had groups of people walking an identical 30 minute course. Some people were told the purpose was for exercise. Others were told that the purpose was enjoyment and to have fun.
In the first experiment the subjects reported about their experience. The group that was told the walk was for exercise only reported being more fatigued and grumpier than those that walked for fun.
In the second experiment subjects were offered a plastic bag to fill with M&Ms after their walk. The subjects that were told the walk was for exercise took, on average, twice as many M&M’s as those that were told the walk was for pleasure.
The third experiment interviewed people as they finished running a 5k or 10k race. The runners were then offered a choice of a chocolate bar or a healthy snack. Runners that reported that the run was difficult or not enjoyable more often chose the chocolate bar. Those that enjoyed the run tended to choose the healthy alternative.
If you want to use exercise to lose weight, know that your attitude can impact your mood and eating choices. So make your exercise something fun to do!