You’ve just finished a 5km run. Pleased with yourself, you walk to the bathroom for a shower, only to be greeted with a loud growl in your stomach: you’re so hungry, you could eat a cow. But, indulging in a hearty meal after exercising isn’t the best thing to do especially if you want to shed some weight, right?
Why do we get hungry after a workout?
Studies point to a few reasons. The first is that your body is dehydrated and mistake it for hunger. Another study says that it could be your body asking for a “reward” in the form of food after a workout. This is especially true for those who just started engaging in more physical activities.
Try these tips to curb that post-workout hunger
- Hydrate yourself adequately: Drinking up means that you’re satisfying thirst, so your body can properly discern the feeling of hunger.
- Stick to a routine: A regular regime helps your body get used to your fitness habit, and curb food craving after workout.
- Go for HIIT (high-intensity interval) workouts: Study shows that these can alleviate hunger pangs by suppressing the hormones responsible for making you feel hungry.
- Don’t neglect strength-training: Slot in some strength-training exercises to build muscles, which can increase your metabolism. While this may not stop you from feeling hungry, it can help you burn more calories.
- Eat before you exercise: Have a high-protein snack 30 minutes to an hour before your workout. This helps ensure that your energy won’t be depleted after you exercise.
- In fact, snack throughout the day: Having smaller, but more frequent meals helps regulate your energy input so you won’t feel hungry as easily.
- Make your workout fun: Scientists have found that exercises that are considered “fun” by you will make you less likely to try to reward yourself with a food treat.