The sad reality is that it is far easier to eat a few hundred calories than it is to burn a few hundred calories. If you’ve been exercising consistently and still haven’t seen any movement on your scale, you might be surprised at how many more calories you’re eating and how few you might be burning. The unfortunate math is complicated when you find yourself hungrier after a workout than before. You don’t have to stay in the cycle of burning calories just to eat them back, though. With a few easy tips, you can conquer the cravings and lose the weight.
- You might be thirsty. Dehydration and hunger often have similar symptoms. If you’ve just finished a challenging workout, you may need a glass of water more than you need a sandwich. Before you indulge in a calorie-laden dinner, try downing a glass of water and see if your hunger pangs were really just thirst in disguise.
- Know the numbers. The number of calories you burn during any given exercise session will depend on your body type. For example, someone that weighs 155 pounds and engages in one hour of stationary biking at a moderate clip can expect to burn 739 calories. Just two slices of pizza will cost you closer to 800 calories. Using an app on your phone or even just a piece of paper and a quick internet search will help you better estimate the number of calories consumed versus the number of calories burned in the course of a given day. Knowing the numbers may help you make better food choices after a tough workout.
- You just need more consistency. As your body becomes more adept at handling a consistent workout regimen the less hungry you’ll find yourself after a challenging workout. Like your muscles that gain strength from consistent exercise, your body’s hunger triggers adapt, too.
- Increase your intensity. More intense exercise temporarily suppresses your appetite while lower intensity exercise may make you hungrier. During a particularly intense workout, your body’s blood supply is directed away from your digestive system and into your heart and muscles. If exercise consistently leaves you ravenous, consider adding a high intensity interval training (HIIT) routine to your lower intensity training. Not only will you burn more calories by adding a short HIIT component, but you’ll also be less inclined to over indulge when you’re done.
- Know what your body needs. The smell of drive through fast food can seem intoxicating when you’re sweaty and hungry from a good exercise session. Instead of junk food, your body needs fresh, healthy foods to begin to repair the muscles and rebuild the energy stores you just worked. Opting for protein, vegetables, and water will allow you to ward off muscle soreness, fatigue, and be ready to head back to FitClub again tomorrow.