Can you remember the last time (or okay, most times) you knock out a good workout and eat like you’ve never ate before? Pasta. Potato chips. Ice cream. It’s as if America had only three food groups: Salt, Sweet and Crunchy – but you want it.
At the same time, you know giving into cravings works against your workout goals. However, there’s a way to prevent your cravings from happening next time after a good workout. Try exercising before dinner or before you think about giving in to that snack or dessert. Cravings are associated with a decrease in dopamine which is a neurotransmitter that fuels our desires, motivation, rewards, and cravings – and addictions. Addictions cause a decrease in gray frontal cortex gray matter, which is associated with less dopamine creation in the frontal lobes. Less gray matter is called hypofrontality, and correlates with poor impulse control.
Aerobic exercise restores the increase of dopamine and dopamine receptors which is just one alternative to develop self-control over reducing cravings.