We have all been there. Had a great workout and soon after we are ready to eat up the whole kitchen. I call this workout hunger, it is a common occurrence and a big reason that weight and fat loss can stall. When we get that hungry our survival instincts take over and instead of searching for the best thing we just search for anything that will fill us up (seriously, who searches for fruit when they are hangry LOL?). Letting the body get to that point can cause metabolisms to adjust downward, decrease muscle mass, increase recovery time, etc.
Follow these steps to lessen the chances of overeating after a workout:
- Eat before you work out. Eating a small carbohydrate and protein-rich meal/snack 1-2 hrs before a workout helps fuel you through your workout and will help burn more calories.
- Eat a snack as soon as you can after the workout. Even if it's just a piece of fruit or protein shake this will help regulate blood sugar after a workout and buy you some time before dinner. Which leads us to…
- Eat a meal within 1-2 hrs after a workout. This will help in the repair process and get you ready for the next workout.
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after working out. Sometimes we think we are hungry when we are just thirsty. Aim for 8oz of water every 15 minutes while working out and 8-16oz at the conclusion of your workout.
- Plan ahead. If you know what you are going to eat after the workout then you are ahead of the game. It can be something already meal prepped at home, meal replacement shake, healthy snacks in your car, etc.
We sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that because we worked out we can eat whatever we want. Following these steps will not only help you with your weight and fat loss goals but can potentially improve your workouts. Find a strategy that works for you and run with it!