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 loss does not happen, no matter how much we exercise. In the time it takes for you to go from famished to full, you have effectively eaten all the calories that you burned working out.
When we get that hungry, our survival instincts take over and instead of searching for the best options, we just search for anything that will fill us up. Letting the body get to that point can cause metabolisms to slow down, weight gain, decreased gains, increased recovery time, etc.
Follow these steps to decrease the chances of overeating after a workout:
1. Eat before you workout. Eating 1-2 hrs before a workout helps keep your blood sugar steady during and after working out.
2. Eat a snack as soon as you can after the workout. Even if its just a piece of fruit or protein shake, this will help increase blood sugar after a workout and buy you some time before dinner. Which leads us to………
3. Eat a meal within 1-2 hrs after a workout. This meal will help speed up metabolism and recovery.
4. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after working out. Sometimes we mistake the thirst signal for the hunger signal. Drinking a few glasses of water can buy you some time to get to the post workout snack or meal.
5. Plan ahead. If you know what you are going to eat after the workout then you are ahead of the game. Planning limits overeating by taking the guesswork out of the next meal.
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 loss goals but can potentially improve your workouts. No need to workout hard only to have it cancelled out. Find out what works for you and run with it.