Post-Workout Cravings: How to Manage the Hunger

Depending on the length and intensity of your workout, it can take a lot of dedication and persistence to make it through all the way to the end.  However, the hard-earned, valuable benefits of your workout can be completely undone if you give in to the hunger cravings that often hit just afterwards.  It follows, then, that exercise is only as lastingly effective as one is able to manage post-workout hunger.

Managing the Hunger

During and immediately after exercising your appetite is often suppressed.  Hunger hormones can surge after your workout while at the same time the hormones that signal fullness can decrease, which combination causes you to crave food and then overeat.  The way to manage your post-workout cravings is to understand where your hunger is coming from.

● Happy hunger.  A sense of accomplishment can drive you to want something delicious right after exercising.  Despite this, you should try to eat no more than fifty percent of the calories you just burned on healthy, filling foods, like a sliced apple and almond butter.

● Fear hunger.  A concern that one shouldn’t eat before working out can lead to intense hunger and less energy to work hard and burn calories during an exercise routine.  Manage your hunger by eating a two hundred calorie snack, like an apple, before working out.

● Rebellion hunger.  Ignoring post-workout cravings can lead to more intense cravings of fatty food.  You can manage this by eating a one hundred fifty calorie snack, like a low-fat yogurt, after working out so that you don’t want brownies and ice-cream later.

It is also very important to realize that thirst can often be mistaken for hunger.  Some individuals will eat a healthy snack after exercising and feel frustrated that they are “starving” a short time later.  Drinking sufficient water before, during and after exercising can help, as the brain often confuses a lack of proper hydration with a lack of food, which triggers hunger pains.  If you drink eight ounces of water before eating, you may discover that you’re just thirsty.  If you still feel hungry, continuing to drink water with your post-workout snack can help to fill you up.  Finally, make sure you get enough sleep each and every night.  Some individuals notice they tend to consume more sugary carbohydrates when they sleep less, like five to five and a half hours a night, than when they sleep around eight hours a night.

Erica D'Arcangelo is an Internet Marketing Expert and co-owner of Fresh, Healthy & Fit where she is a regular contributor. Erica has been active in the health and fitness industry through spinning, yoga, HITT training and much more over the last decade. She's a fitness enthusiast and has also helped others with healthy living through her own blog.