Feeling peckish How skipping can banish hunger by making you feel full upRapid up and
down movement disturbs the gut and interferes with the release of hunger hormonesWeight-bearing exercise such as skipping is better at reducing appetite than other forms such as cycling
12:40 GMT, 20 February 2013
13:00 GMT, 20 February 2013
It brings a whole new meaning to the expression 'skipping meals'.
But it turns out that spending just a few minutes skipping with a rope could be the perfect way to curb your appetite and get slim.
New research shows that resorting to the playground pastime is one of the best ways of banishing hunger pangs and reducing calorie intake.
Skip yourself slim: Researchers find that the up and down motion of skipping helps to curb your appetite
Volunteers who took part in a study to see which form of exercise had the most powerful effect on appetite were much less likely to snack if they skipped for a few minutes than if they rode a bicycle.
Although the activity – hugely popular with both amateur and professional boxers – is known for being an excellent form of aerobic exercise, this is believed to be the first time scientists have demonstrated its powerful effect on hunger.
Exercise of any kind can act as an appetite suppressant but scientists believe some forms of activity are more effective than others.
Researchers from the Faculty of Sport Sciences at Waseda University in Japan believe skipping is the most effective way to slash calorie intake because it is weight-bearing exercise, where the body's major muscles and joints bear the repeated impact from hitting the ground.
Cycling is a great way to get fit, but does not help to keep hunger pangs at bay in the same way that skipping does
Cycling, on the other hand, is not weight-bearing and although it is also an excellent way of getting fit, it won't curb hunger pains as much as skipping does.
Their theory was that rapid 'up and down' movement in load-bearing activities, such as skipping or running, disturbed the gut and possibly interfered with the release of hormones that govern appetite.
The researchers recruited 15 young men aged in their mid-twenties and asked them to fast for 12-hours before taking part in an experiment to see which form of exercise worked best.
The men then took part in three separate trials.
One involved skipping with a rope for ten minutes, followed by a five minute rest. After doing this three times they rested for two hours.
They repeated the exercise but this time used a static bicycle and, in the third test, did absolutely nothing but rest for two-and-a-half hours.
Throughout the experiments, the volunteers were asked how hungry they felt and were also tested for levels of certain hormones in their blood known to be involved in controlling appetite.
The results, published in the journal Appetite, showed the men were less hungry after skipping than cycling. Both activities left them much less hungry than doing nothing.
As expected, skipping did lower levels of certain hunger hormones, such as ghrelin, which stimulates appetite.
But there was little difference in hormone levels between the two activities, scientists said.
This suggests skipping does not necessarily work by causing a bigger drop in hunger hormones than riding but by some other mechanism.
Now they are calling for more research to establish exactly why weight-bearing exercise is better at curbing appetite.
In a report on their findings the researchers said: 'The suppression of hunger during rope skipping was greater than that during the bicycle exercise, despite the similar energy expenditure between them.
'This suggests weight-bearing exercise may induce greater suppression of appetite than non-weight bearing.'