Originally Posted by Wyvrn
"Exercise" isn't all one thing. Low-intensity/high volume ("cardio") has very different, in some ways completely opposite effects on the body vs. high intensity/low volume (resistance) exercise. I have found the former makes me very hungry, and the longer I do it the hungrier I get, and more irresistable the energy bar display by the gym door on my way out. Short, high intensity workouts (a la Slow Burn or Body by Science) don't seem to have any immediate effect on my appetite, though I might want more protein when my next meal rolls around.
I totally agree with this. Even a little cardio does a lot more to my appetite and more for carbs than for protein as a desire.
I think this point is a big deal:
The more compelling information I've seen about exercise and appetite has to do with hunger over the following day, or the following week.
Because I am ludicrously large, I think that maybe I get a lot of effects more noticeably than most other people do. Somewhat larger effect size or extreme or degree, you might say.
I have really paid a lot of attention to what I'd call the more 'subtle' aspects of my appetite, my desire to move (or not), etc. for quite some time. Because I am so big, and mostly sedentary, then insufficient protein, or insufficient carbs or fat depending on what my body's dependent on, or how much exercise I get and what kind, really show up for me.
One thing that I still have a hard time getting myself to act upon -- I know it intellectually hands-down now but it is not intuitive -- is that what I do on Monday affects Tuesday more than Monday most the time, and affects Wednesday about 50% less but still affects it, and will have a smaller effect on Thursday, smaller on Friday, etc. Pretty much, what I intake on a given day, and how I exercise, to a very tiny amount is still affecting me about 9 days later. After about day 10 that has vanished. It goes down in degree each day in what actually seems a pretty straight line statistic. Obviously it gets a little tough to tell the farther out you go (too many variables), but the consistency 'cumulative' effects make it clear those matter too.
So when I fail to eat hardly any protein on Monday, this is going to have a noticeable effect on my energy level even as far out as Thursday, but definitely Tues and Wed. EVERYTHING is cumulative. If I want to be fully protein sufficient I have to eat enough protein every day for about 10 consecutive days. If I miss a day, there's more to make up than just that day because of the consistency issue (in other words it doesn't just go out an extra day to day 11 but might take a few more to recover).
This affects my appetite. I am not referring to hunger. I am seldom hungry and when I am I'm not eating half the time anyway. I am pretty dissociated from my sense of hunger. I compared this some time ago to Dr. Batmanjali's talk about water and "losing the thirst reflex". I think something about my body's history has damaged either my hunger reflex or my "response" to that reflex more likely (as I often realize I'm starving but ignoring it). So I'm talking about appetite here. I am gradually learning to recognize the different 'degrees' of energy-depletion I am experiencing by what I feel like eating, and how much and how intensely I want to eat it. It's kind of funny, it's like a thermometer of sorts.
It's still an imperfect art to say the least. It's affected by oxygen intake as well as by food intake and sleep so... that complicates it. But if I woke up in my body without my food history, I think I'd be able to estimate fairly well how I was doing on protein and carbs and exercise in the previous several days, just by how much physical strength I felt, how tired I felt, how bloated I was, and what my appetite was like and what I felt like eating.
All the above boring text leads to the point (finally). I think one of the huge problems with food and exercise both is that it affects us for vastly longer than it takes to eat it and digest it. So we don't learn well from the experience. And we try to make decisions based on what we've done in the last 24 hours when that may be the wrong data to use for any decision.
If you go to McDonald's and eat crap your body goes, "Sugar, VROOM! I feel good, yay-uh!" and you don't crash into hunger and tired and stupid until awhile later. I think this creates a real problem because it conditions us to positive physical association with the experience even though it has a negative outcome. It's like a killer learning theory loop. Much like Dr. Bat said the body really doesn't know what the hell anything that isn't water even IS -- it just knows it says "water please?" and we go "Pepsi!" and it's going "Agh! I'm being poisoned!" and eventually stops asking for water unless it's a really extreme situation. I think our bodies are conditioned (some more than others) to aim for what we have adapted to.
When I'm eating lowcarb at least a month, which means mostly meat, my body starts craving meat. Just like if I drink a gallon of water a day, my body starts craving water. Sans those conditions, my body will generally crave carbs. That is energy-food plus that is what I have most all positive associations with. If I am getting a little aerobic exercise, my body will want a little more of it. The same goes with strength training. If I am not eating much I will not feel like eating much; if I eat more, my body wants to eat more. It's really quite bizarre in some respects but it seems like what I do Monday, my body instantly starts "adapting" to; it wants a little more of the same. The more consecutive days in a row I have a certain intake OR output, up to about 10 days, the stronger my urge for more of it.
Unfortunately this also applies to carbs.
When I start eating them (esp with grains and dairy) the only reason I end up back to LC before more than a month at most has passed is because there are so many medical side effects (acid reflux, mega-bloating, acne, exhaustion, brainfog, allergies, asthma, back pain, etc.) that it doesn't take long before I feel like I'm dying so I have to go back on plan.
Anyway, but exercise and hunger do seem correlated with me. Aerobic more than weight lifting. Nearly anything is aerobic for me LOL -- even weight lifting unless I go slow and rest a lot as I often do. How much I "feel like" eating -- I am not sure if this is actual hunger, but it is *appetite* -- and even what -- is affected. Aerobic stuff, I want carbs. Weight training, I want protein, unless I am VLC in which case I might also want some carbs (have a problem with too low carbs and weights, often feel like "my battery has run completely out!" and I just have to stop), but not as many carbs as aerobic. When I'm sedentary, my energy ratchets down and I want carbs, energy-food, or if I'm not eating much or not eating a lot of protein, I just don't really feel like eating at all.
The fact that this "pushes forward in time" is what complicates it all. It makes my "responsibility level" for the food and exercise I get on Monday, count for a lot more than Monday. The chances of me screwing up and eating too many carbs on Wednesday is directly related to my protein, exercise and carb intake going back for days. I can track nearly every falling off plan, after the fact, to about a 3 day trigger or deprivation cycle, although sometimes less or more but that's about the average.
So I think the issue of how one day has future repercussions is a huge issue almost never addressed.
I also think the issue of appetite vs. hunger is a huge issue almost never addressed.