Why Am I So Hungry After a Workout?

October 2, 2015

Just finished your workout and now all you can think about is FOOD. But, why would you want to go splurge on calories as soon as your workout is over?

Beginning a new exercise regimen or adding new challenges to your current routine may require that you up your caloric intake in order to recover from workouts and keep energy stores full. Our bodies respond by telling us, “HELLOOOO! FEED MEEEE!”

According to a recent study, for every 10 calories we burn, we’re expected to crave at least three—a biological compensation mechanism that ensures we remain properly fueled. However, some people tend to go a bit overboard with calories when listening to their bodies or mistakenly choose the wrong types of food that make your workouts a waste of time.

To get down to it, when you workout, you burn calories, right? Well, when you switch up your routine or focus more on fat burning cardio (such as HIIT), you become even hangrier! This is due to your increased metabolic rate and increased calories burned. Remember what we said above-for every 10 calories burned, we crave at least 3 more.

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Here’s how to stop overeating after your workout:

Eat a pre-workout snack. Letting yourselves get too hungry is a guaranteed setup for a binge and by doing fasted cardio or by skipping a pre-workout snack, you could risk binging afterwards. Some great pre-workout snacks are oats, oat bar, yogurt with fruit, smoothie, egg whites with wheat toast, or a protein shake.

Choose healthy foods post-workout as well. Put down the donuts. I know you need carbs for your muscles to grow, post-workout, but come on. Choose an apple instead with a tbsp of peanut butter, trail mix, rice cakes with peanut butter, a banana, or 10 whole grain crackers with 1 oz. of cheese.

Time your workouts before breakfast, lunch, or dinner. To keep you from overeating, it’s best to time your workouts before a main meal so that you get to eat enough without having to snack mindlessly.

Realize food is not your reward. This is an issue with a lot of beginners when it comes to working out. You think, “YEAH! I killed that workout and my FitBit says I burned like 500 calories so I can totally have my donuts now!” Ummm, no ma’am! Redirect your desire for rewarding into another form such as going shopping for a new outfit or getting your nails/hair done. Your body will thank you later!

Rehydrate properly. Most of the time after a workout, you feel like you are starving, but in all actuality, you are just thirsty as hell because of all of the sweat loss you have endured. Keep that water bottle nearby so you can drink while you are working out or reach for that bottle afterwards before you touch any snack! This will help to control your hunger more accurately.

No matter what, remember that your hunger after a workout is all a mind game. Don’t get me wrong-yes, you’re probably hungry, but you are not as hungry as you may think. Use the tips above to stay in shape to look and feel your best when hunger strikes!

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PLEASE NOTE: Following and/or participating in my blog, daily workouts, meal plans, and any tips or advice is solely your decision. I recommend checking with your physician prior to following any of the workouts or meal plans that I share. I am very open in sharing that I am not a health care professional, personal trainer, nutritionist, or counselor. I provide the workouts, meals, and tips that have worked for me based on my personal experiences.

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