Prof. Dr. Karsten Köhler, head of the Assistant Professorship of Exercise, Nutrition and Health, recently appeared on the ZDF magazine show Terra X. Under the title "Do we really lose weight through sports?", the nutritionist talked to the graduate biologist and science editor Jasmina Neudecker about three misconceptions on the subject of sports and losing weight.
As first error the statement "sport burns many calories" was discussed. For example, a 30-minute running session burns only 300 calories. "We consume little energy because the prehistoric man in us had to walk many miles to obtain food. Compared to other animals, we are insanely effective at running long distances while consuming little," says Prof. Köhler, explaining why. "We are actually made to be active, to go hunting, and thus to be able to bridge periods of hunger."
Misconception number two, which Prof. Köhler and Jasmina Neudecker have investigated, is that "athletes burn more calories than couch potatoes". The TV report explains by way of example how the energy metabolism of a physically inactive woman changes when she starts doing sports. Although sport burns additional energy, at the same time the basal metabolic rate and also her activity metabolic rate are reduced due to adaptation processes in the body. "The body does all this because it is evolutionarily adapted to conserve energy," Neudecker explains. "Accordingly, the metabolism is adjusted and the metabolism is shut down."
The third misconception uncovered is the statement that "exercise has no influence on our eating behavior". "We see in our subjects that they want to eat more after exercise," says Prof. Köhler of the results of his study on compensatory eating. "They also want to eat more acutely, which means more urgently, and they also eat more fatty food, which provides a lot of energy. That's a combination of our psyche wanting to reward us for exercising and also releasing adrenaline, and physiology, meaning there are regulating hormones that stimulate the body, stimulate the feeling of hunger and make us eat more."
Finally, the head of the Assistant Professorship of Exercise, Nutrition and Health gave tips on how to regulate your hunger after exercise: "I have to watch my diet, that is, I have to ignore that hunger after exercise and trick myself in the sense that I don't become a victim, then eat more again, compensating for what I burned before."
Prof. Dr. Karsten Köhler
Assistant Professorship of Exercise, Nutrition and Health
phone: 089 289 24488
Text: Romy Schwaiger
Photos: „Terra X“