How to curb your “after work-out” cravings
After a workout, it’s quite easy to consume twice the amount of calories as you’ve just burned. Ever heard yourself saying “I deserve it – I’ve just done a great workout”?
The reality is that you’ve just used valuable time & effort to make it to the gym, you’ve worked hard, sweated, pushed yourself harder and all that hard work can easily go to waste if you don’t watch what you eat when you get home.
The key is to plan your normal daily meals around your workout. If you like to exercise first thing in the morning, then have a banana half an hour before your exercise, then have your breakfast afterwards. Or, if you like to exercise after work, make sure you have a mid-afternoon snack before your workout then have your evening meal when you get home. If you like to work-out later in the evening, after 7pm, try to have your evening meal early – around 5pm then when you get home after your workout, have a snack of fruit or soup or a bowl of porridge.
This way you won’t be consuming extra calories on top of your planned daily allowance and you won’t be undoing all of the hard work you’ve just put in to your work-out.
The type of exercise you do also has an effect on how hungry you feel after a workout and what kind of foods you crave.
Running in hot conditions tends to supress the appetite because it causes levels of the hunger hormone Ghrelin, to drop. Swimming on the other hand increases levels of this hormone, which in turn increases hunger.
The temperature of your surroundings has a big effect on appetite, as does your workout intensity. Researchers at Loughborough University found that doing intensive aerobic exercise elevates your temperature and diverts blood away from the digestive system. This depresses your appetite and would explain why you don’t feel hungry for a while after, say a Blast or Fight FX class or after a long hard cardio workout. It also explains why swimming in cool water can leave you hungry for high calorie foods.