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Can working out actually make you crave healthier food?

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Photo: Stocksy/Studio Firma

Simultaneously working up a sweat and an appetite is pretty common. But while health pros have a good idea as to why you’re so hungry after, say, going for a run, they’ve only recently uncovered what makes you reach for certain foods to refuel. And despite how many times you’ve heard someone say, “I just ran four miles…I’m definitely getting the fries,” it turns out your body would probs prefer you opt for a green smoothie instead.

That’s because the so-called “exercise high” that you feel post-work out makes junk food less appealing, according to scientists from Leeds University in England. Researchers looked at 180 adults and their activity levels versus eating habits, reports the New York Post. Those who moved more than three hours a day wanted healthy food and were less interested in not-so-nutritious options.

“Engaging in lots of physical activity may act as a ‘buffer’ against a preference for high-fat foods.”

On the other side of things, the people who were active for less than 80 minutes per day were less able to control their sugar and junk-food cravings.

“The take-home message is that engaging in lots of physical activity may act as a ‘buffer’ against a preference for high-fat foods,” says Graham Finlayson, the lead researcher. Yet another reason to lace-up your bubble-soled sneakers and hit the gym (you know, besides that endorphin kick and libido boost).

In addition to working out, you can also follow Zac Efron’s secret to cutting out sugar cravings—for good. And this is how Karlie Kloss avoids the sweet stuff.