After a long, taxing workout many of you probably feel extremely hungry. This is normal as we burn many calories while we workout, boosting our metabolism and increasing our hunger levels. Although this is normal, we want to avoid stuffing our faces as soon as we are done. If we choose the wrong foods our workout will go to waste so we should focus on our recovery, rehydration, and refueling while staying in a reasonable calorie limit.
1. Be honest with yourself about your hunger level
Before you dive into every food you are craving step back and ask yourself, “Am I really this hungry?” You may feel a lot hungrier than you are which is why you should take a deep breath and assess the food around you, be honest with yourself about just how hungry you are.
2. Stick to your plan
If you are following an eating plan, or tend to “eat clean” after workouts stick to whatever foods you have been eating in the past. Make sure you are being mindful of your diet, and avoid processed foods and sugars. Just because you are starving does not mean you have to steer away from your usual healthy habits. Remind yourself not to sabotage your efforts by making quick poor decisions that you will regret moments later.
3. Drink Water First
A lot of times dehydration disguises itself as hunger. Drink a large glass of water before you eat, this can calm your hunger pangs. If you’re still hungry after drinking water then eat something that still fits into your healthy diet plan.
4. Make sure your workout and eating plan work together not against each other
If you feel you are starving after many workouts start scheduling them right before a meal. This will help you prevent eating unplanned snacks throughout the day and avoid extra-unneeded calories. After a workout incorporate carbohydrates to replenish energy, and protein to rebuild fatigued muscles.
5. Food isn’t a reward
Change your mindset when it comes to food. Many people think that they can eat whatever they want after a workout because they believe they burned a lot more calories than they actually did. Start thinking of food as fuel that maximizes the benefits of your efforts instead of a reward.
6. Eat more throughout the day
If you are consistently feeling starving after a workout it may be due to under-eating the rest of the day. Make sure you have enough food before workouts as well or your performance will suffer and you will crave extra calories afterwards. Eating a healthy meal or snack prior to workouts may reduce your post-workout hunger.
7. Break the overeating habit
If you are coming home from your workouts and eat a high-calorie meal consistently you will most likely begin associating the two with each other. Switch your snack today and eat mindfully after every workout, the sooner you break this habit the easier it will become.