A new US study suggests that individuals who want to make healthier diet choices may find that starting an exercise regime could help, as results indicated that regular exercise is linked to better eating habits.
The findings, published in the International Journal of Obesity, showed that despite being told not to make any diet changes, after several weeks of exercise participants naturally started to opt for healthier food, such as lean meats, fruits, and vegetables. Their preferences for fried foods, sodas and other unhealthy options also decreased.
“The process of becoming physically active can influence dietary behavior,“ said corresponding author Molly Bray. “One of the reasons that we need to promote exercise is for the healthy habits it can create in other areas. That combination is very powerful.”
“Many people in the study didn’t know they had this active, healthy person inside them,“ Bray said. “Some of them thought their size was inevitable. For many of these young people, they are choosing what to eat and when to exercise for the first time in their lives.”
Bray also added that she believes that the findings are probably applicable to other age groups who started an exercise regime.