|High intensity thinking - intelligent weight loss workouts|
Well,... now that I take a closer look at the results of this recent study from the University of Quebec here, I have to realize that this will only work if you are a man. But don't worry, I am pretty sure there is something to be learned for the ladies in the last SuppVersity article of 2014, as well ;-)
All jokes aside, your brain is a sucker for energy!
I guess you will be familiar with the over-cited fact that "the human brain is only 2% of the weight of the body, but it consumes about 20% of the total energy we need every day"... I know that's boring, but actually that's quite an important point, because it tells you that your brain is not just a sucker for energy, but also a sucker for new information, which will in turn increase the energy requirements of the insatiable heap of neurons in your skull. Why? Well, our brains need energy to process each and every of these information chunks - max. 30W per opeartion, if the currently heralded estimations are correct. I know that sounds tremendously much, but if we performed only one of these operations per minute, you would hardly burn the energy equivalent of 1/25 of a 70-85% chocolate bar during your high intensity thinking sessions.
Against that background it's all the more impressive that Emilie Pérusse-Lachance and her Canadian colleagues were able to measure a significant increase in energy expenditure, when they had their 35 subjects (22 men and 13 women; aged 24 ± 3 years) read a 10-page text and write a summary of approximately 350 words using a computer in the "mental work condition" of their study.
|Figure 1: Energy expenditure in kcal/45min in the control and the mental work condition, left; energy intake during the buffet ca. 15min after the control and mental work condition, right (Pérusse-Lachance. 2013)|
I would even guess that the women did not even notice that they were overcompensating. If you take a look at the subjective hunger scores that have been assessed by seven visual analogue scale questionnaires the participants had to fill...
- at the beginning (T-60/60 minutes before the buffet),
- after the experimental session (T-15/15 minutes before the buffet), and
- after the buffet-type meal (T0, T60, T120, T180, and T240).
- Chaput, J. P., & Tremblay, A. (2007). Acute effects of knowledge-based work on feeding behavior and energy intake. Physiology & behavior, 90(1), 66-72.
- Chaput, J. P., Drapeau, V., Poirier, P., Teasdale, N., & Tremblay, A. (2008). Glycemic instability and spontaneous energy intake: association with knowledge-based work. Psychosomatic medicine, 70(7), 797-804.
- Pérusse-Lachance, E., Brassard, P., Chaput, J. P., Drapeau, V., Teasdale, N., Sénécal, C., & Tremblay, A. (2013). Sex Differences in the Effects of Mental Work and Moderate-Intensity Physical Activity on Energy Intake in Young Adults. ISRN Nutrition, 2013.