The effects of exercise-induced weight loss on appetite-related peptides and motivation to eat

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Apr;95(4):1609-16. doi: 10.1210/jc.2009-2082. Epub 2010 Feb 11.


Context: The magnitude of exercise-induced weight loss depends on the extent of compensatory responses. An increase in energy intake is likely to result from changes in the appetite control system toward an orexigenic environment; however, few studies have measured how exercise impacts on both orexigenic and anorexigenic peptides.

Objective: The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of medium-term exercise on fasting/postprandial levels of appetite-related hormones and subjective appetite sensations in overweight/obese individuals.

Design and setting: We conducted a longitudinal study in a university research center.

Participants and intervention: Twenty-two sedentary overweight/obese individuals (age, 36.9 +/- 8.3 yr; body mass index, 31.3 +/- 3.3 kg/m(2)) took part in a 12-wk supervised exercise programme (five times per week, 75% maximal heart rate) and were requested not to change their food intake during the study.

Main outcome measures: We measured changes in body weight and fasting/postprandial plasma levels of glucose, insulin, total ghrelin, acylated ghrelin (AG), peptide YY, and glucagon-like peptide-1 and feelings of appetite.

Results: Exercise resulted in a significant reduction in body weight and fasting insulin and an increase in AG plasma levels and fasting hunger sensations. A significant reduction in postprandial insulin plasma levels and a tendency toward an increase in the delayed release of glucagon-like peptide-1 (90-180 min) were also observed after exercise, as well as a significant increase (127%) in the suppression of AG postprandially.

Conclusions: Exercise-induced weight loss is associated with physiological and biopsychological changes toward an increased drive to eat in the fasting state. However, this seems to be balanced by an improved satiety response to a meal and improved sensitivity of the appetite control system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anaerobic Threshold / physiology
  • Anthropometry
  • Appetite / physiology*
  • Appetite Regulation / physiology*
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Eating
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Overweight / metabolism
  • Overweight / therapy
  • Peptide Hormones / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness
  • Weight Loss / physiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Peptide Hormones