This study investigated the effects of a long bout of aerobic exercise on hunger and energy intake and circulating levels of leptin and acylated ghrelin. Ten healthy male subjects undertook two, 4 h trials in a randomized crossover design. In the exercise trial subjects ran for 105 min at 50% of maximal oxygen uptake and the last 15 min at 70% of maximal oxygen uptake followed by a 120 min rest period. In the control trial, subjects rested for 4 h. Subjects consumed a buffet test meal at 180 min during each trial. Hunger ratings, acylated ghrelin, leptin, glucose and insulin concentrations were measured at 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 h. No differences were found at baseline values for hunger, acylated ghrelin, leptin, insulin and glucose for both trials (p > 0.05). The estimated energy expenditure of the exercise trial was 1550 +/- 136 kcal. Exercise did not change subsequent absolute energy intake, but produced a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in relative energy intake. A two-way ANOVA revealed a significant (p < 0.05) interaction effect for hunger and acylated ghrelin. In conclusion, this exercise regimen had a positive effect on reducing appetite which is related to reduced acylated ghrelin responses over time. This finding lends support for a role of exercise in weight management.