You probably think that you deserve a big meal to refuel yourself after a session in the gym. But what if I were to tell you that working out actually decreases hunger for a short period. Think about it for a moment. Have you ever noticed that you weren’t that hungry straight after an intensive workout? If your answer is no, all I can say is that you haven’t trained hard enough. On the other hand, if you’ve happened to notice it, have you ever wondered why? The New York Times looked at studies published in The International Journal of Obesity and PLoS One to see why this was. So let’s have a look at it a little closer:
“The participants’ appetite were noticeably blunted by each of the interval workouts, and in particular by the most strenuous 15-second intervals... They also displayed significantly lower levels of the hormone ghrelin, which is known to stimulate appetite, and elevate levels of both blood lactate and blood sugar, which have been shown to lessen the drive to eat, after the most vigorous interval session than after the other workouts... And the appetite-suppressing effect of the highly intense intervals lingered into the next day, according to food diaries that the men completed”.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat after your workout. The effect being temporary, hunger comes back pretty suddenly. If you wait too long before eating, you might end-up jumping on the food (most often junk food), spoiling your tough session in the gym.
1. Don’t forget to drink
"Mild dehydration is often masked as feelings of hunger when really your body just needs fluids," says Alissa Rumsey, RD, spokesperson for the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Check out our review of the Aquatiser bottle here
2. Listen to your body
Don’t assume that you have to eat, just because you’ve spent an hour lifting, running or dancing. Take a moment to listen to your body. Are you really hungry or are you being greedy?
3. Have a healthy snack nearby
Depending on the activity you’ve been doing, hunger might come back at different times. Have a healthy snack nearby just in case. A piece of fruit, a bar, a cookie or a smoothie will help you resist the urge to grab anything to eat.
To see some more healthy snack recipes, click here
4. Get your meal ready
Most of us have to travel to get to the gym and back. When we’re hungry, we jump on what we can eat immediately, which is likely to be bread, biscuits and any other type of food with high level of calories. So prepare your healthy meal in advance, ready to eat it when you come back.
If you still aren’t hungry once back home, you can still prepare your food because hunger will come back for sure!
If this article has been enlightening, there will be more gems of knowledge like this at our popular ‘Nutrition Theatre’ feature area at BodyPower Experience UK in May 2019, Birmingham.
You will get the chance to see live food demonstrations and get to speak to World Class dietitians and athletes! not bad hey...