When we think about exercising for weight loss, we often think about it in terms of burning calories and increasing muscle mass. But according to various research and reviews, exercising can also contribute to weight loss by helping to regulate hunger and satiation.
As one 2021 review published the journal Frontiers in Nutrition1 notes, physical activity “may modulate resting hunger and satiety in older adults.” In another 2018 study published in the journal Nutrients2, the study authors write that exercise facilitates weight control, “partly through effects on appetite regulation.”
Separate research published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine3 in 2011 notes that mixed-intensity aerobic exercise temporarily decreased hunger sensations, acylated ghrelin (AKA the hunger hormone), and relative food intake. Therefore, they say, “Variations in exercise intensity should theoretically be a useful means of weight loss.”