Are you one of those people who get home post-workout & feel the raging need to eat everything in sight?!
No shame, I used to be too!
First things first, I want you guys to know that being hungry post-sweat is totally normal. In fact, it’s a very good sign. It means you worked your body hard to power through your workout & your muscles used up their glycogen stores & need a heck of a refuel!
Research shows that challenging workouts cause neural activity upticks in brain regions responsible for food & reward craving, which is one of the main reasons people overeat after a workout. The more the body gets used to regular exercise, the less powerful the urges are. But, in the beginning, they can be HARD AF to fight, let’s be honest!
So, the million dollar question is: How do you prevent the urge to binge, while ensuring you still refuel properly & enough post-workout?
Here are MY tips. Keep in mind that these are the things that work FOR ME. The only way you’ll know if they work for you is through trial & error.
1. Know that eating is as much mental as it is physical. Don’t ignore your body when it asks for fuel, especially if you’re new to exercise & your body is still adapting to these new challenges. But, also, be aware that craving tons of treats might also be your mind’s way of asking for rewards & comfort food it doesn’t actually want. This can lead to an unhealthy cycle of emotional overeating. It’s important to tune in to the difference between physical hunger & emotional eating & to teach your mind & body to eat intuitively.
To read more about cravings & understanding where they come from, click here to read my full post: Everything You Need To Know About Cravings & How To Curb Them Wisely!
2. Never let yourself get too hungry. That’s almost a guaranteed setup for a binge. Being starving also makes us eat faster, which means we miss out on fullness cues (which take about 15-20 minutes to kick in).
Instead, eat something filling, nutritious & good carbs & protein pre-sweat so that you prevent the post-sweat starvation mode.
When eating post-sweat, eat mindfully. Enjoy & savour it. Put your fork down between bites. Chew your food. It’s not a race.
To read more about binging, why it happens & how to stop, click here to read my full post: KITK’s Guide To Understanding Binging, Why It Happens & How To Stop Mr. & Mrs. Binge In Their Tracks
3. Stay hydrated throughout the day. Often, hunger is mistaken for dehydration since their symptoms are similar (feeling weak, dizzy, etc.). So make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day to avoid situations where you may misinterpret thirst for hunger.
To read more about the importance of hydration, click here to read my full post: Hydration Is Key a.k.a. Don’t Underestimate The Power Of The Most Abundant Resource On The Planet: H2O!
4. Do workouts that you love & don’t feel torturous or like a chore. You’ll be less likely to feel an emotional need for a reward & be able to listen to your body’s cues if you love what you’re doing as opposed to feeling like you are being punished or put through hell to get through the workout.
5. Meal prep: When healthy options are ready + easy to incorporate into meals, you’re less likely to binge on everything in sight & more likely to actually sit down & have a meal! Keep it simple: lean protein, good grains, veggies & healthy snacks.
To read more about meal prep & why I swear by it & for some ideas for healthy recipes you can prep in no time, click here to read my full post: Kelly In The Kitch’s Guide to Meal Prep a.k.a. Why The Heck I Swear By Meal Prep!
P.S. Here’s what I refuelled with last night: Boston lettuce wraps stuffed with my Vegan Sprouted Lentil & Veggie Coconut Stew a.k.a. The Plant-Based Lover In Me (& YOU) Strikes Yet Again!, cherry tomatoes, organic Dijon mustard, black pepper & dried herbs.