Skip to main content

EMRL logoThe overall focus of the Energy Metabolism Research Laboratory (EMRL) is the effect of exercise and nutrition on energy balance which is the difference between energy intake (food) and energy expenditure (physical activity/exercise). We have been very interested in the effects of exercise intensity on both energy intake (specifically appetite-regulation, for which we are funded through NSERC) and energy expenditure both during and following exercise.


Research Projects

Appetite Regulation

Appetite regulation involves the integration of the orexigenic (appetite stimulating) and anorexigenic (appetite inhibiting) hormones in the hypothalamus. While eating is known to influence these hormones, the long-term objective of my NSERC-funded research program is to understand how exercise affects these peripheral signals in humans. Using an integrative approach where exercise and nutrition are used to alter appetite regulation and study the effects of key peripheral appetite signals (i.e., acylated ghrelin, PYY, GLP-1), we are advancing understanding in the fields of energy intake regulation, metabolism, and nutrition.

It is important to explore and understand how exercise suppresses appetite. Improving our understanding appetite regulation is integral in the application of mechanistic research focused on how exercise can be structured to suppress appetite, and therefore improve body composition and overall health.

High-intensity Interval Training

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves brief repeated bouts of near maximal exercise (80%–100% maximal heart rate interspersed with short recovery periods and has been shown to elicit comparable health and performance benefits to moderate-intensity (70% maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max)) continuous training, albeit with much less time-commitment and exercise volume.  Similar benefits are achieved with a more intense form of intermittent exercise known as sprint interval training (SIT) that involves supramaximal (>100% VO2max) work bouts, traditionally structured as four to six 30-second “all-out” efforts separated by four minutes of recovery.

We are interested in the effects of both HIIT and SIT on energy expenditure, substrate oxidation, and its ability to promote fat loss in response to a training program.  While exercise intensity appears beneficial to these physiological processes, a common criticism is that people will not participate in interval training on a regular basis despite its ability to improve health and fitness.  To address this issue, we collaborate with Dr. Jennifer Roberston-Wilson and Dr. Mark Eys (both of the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education at Laurier) to investigate the psychological responses to interval training.


Partners At Laurier

Collaborators Outside of Laurier


Student Researchers



Funding for EMRL is provided by Laurier, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

NSERC logo CFI logo

Tom Hazell

T: 519.884.1970 x3048
Office Location: Northdale Science Research Centre, Waterloo

Faculty Profile