Are you one of those people who feels very hungry after workout and then goes binging on junk food only because you think you have sweated it out so it is OK to eat? After exercise, there is soreness in the body and there is glycogen depletion. The body craves for high-energy foods (which could be high in calories too). But it is not correct to indulge in dense in calorie foods after sweating it out rigorously. On the contrary, it would be foolish to waste your effort of workout by consuming those calories. Many of my clients ask me how to curb those hunger pangs post workout. So here are few of my tips and some smart ways to refuel the body without gaining weight.
1. We all know that workout should not be done on full stomach. Rather choose to workout before your mealtime. So after your workout, you can indulge in a meal. This way, you will avoid extra snacking or eating and ice cream.
So either you can hit the gym before breakfast in the morning or during your lunchtime and then you can pick up a sandwich on your way back or if you go to gym in evening, keep the dinner ready so that you only have to come back and reheat it and eat.
2. Do not eat out of habit. Just because your gym buddies are going for drinking, you do not necessarily accompany them. Or you do not have to grab the same smoothie out of habit after the gym. Learn to recognize your hunger. Do not force yourself to eat.
3. Make sure your exercise is fun and something you enjoy not something you dread and look as chore. Boring activities tend to make you eat more.
4. Consume lots of proteins and also carbs. Try to avoid sugars and fats. You can have a protein shake or protein bar. Also replenish the fluids. Try to have water and not sweetened drinks. Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger. So fill yourself with water before heading on to eating a big meal.
5. Have lots of milk, fruits and vegetables. These fill the stomach fast. Low fat dairy is good way to recover post workout.
6. Snack throughout the day. Have small meals at small intervals. This will not make you super hungry. It also helps to keep the metabolism escalated.
7. Wear a heart rate monitor that will accurately tell you the amount of calories you have burnt. So you will not overestimate nor over eat.
8. Keep a record or journal of what you eat. This will help you to keep a check.
9. Choose wisely and have options. If you are craving for sweets, instead of having a cake or chocolate have prunes, figs or raisins. Instead of having a fruit juice, have fresh cut fruit.
10. Do not cheat and convince yourself ever that you will compensate overeating by working out extra tomorrow. That tomorrow never comes.
Follow these simple guidelines and reap the benefits of your workout instead of overeating.