Effects of High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise Training on Appetite Regulation

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2015 Nov;47(11):2441-9. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000687.


Objective: An acute bout of high-intensity intermittent exercise suppresses ad libitum energy intake at the postexercise meal. The present study examined the effects of 12 wk of high-intensity intermittent exercise training (HIIT) compared with moderate-intensity continuous exercise training (MICT) on appetite regulation.

Methods: Thirty overweight inactive men (body mass index, 27.2 ± 1.3 kg·m(-2); V˙O2peak, 35.3 ± 5.3 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1) were randomized to either HIIT or MICT (involving 12 wk of training, three sessions per week) or a control group (CON) (n = 10 per group). Ad libitum energy intake from a laboratory test meal was assessed after both a low-energy (847 kJ) and a high-energy preload (2438 kJ) before and after the intervention. Perceived appetite and appetite-related blood variables were also measured.

Results: There was no significant effect of the intervention period on energy intake at the test meal after the two different preloads (P ≥ 0.05). However, the 95% confidence interval indicated a clinically meaningful decrease in energy intake after the high-energy preload compared with the low-energy preload in response to HIIT (516 ± 395 kJ decrease), but not for MICT or CON, suggesting improved appetite regulation. This was not associated with alterations in the perception of appetite or the circulating concentration of a number of appetite-related peptides or metabolites, although insulin sensitivity was enhanced with HIIT only (P = 0.003).

Conclusions: HIIT seems to benefit appetite regulation in overweight men. The mechanisms for this remain to be elucidated.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Appetite Regulation / physiology*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Dipeptides / blood
  • Energy Intake
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Ghrelin / blood
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Leptin / blood
  • Male
  • Overweight / blood
  • Overweight / physiopathology*
  • Overweight / therapy
  • Pancreatic Polypeptide / blood
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dipeptides
  • Ghrelin
  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • tyrosyltyrosine
  • Pancreatic Polypeptide