I hate feeling starved after exercising, so I started trying different ways to stop post-workout hunger. Nothing's more annoying than burning calories only to ruin all your hard work within the next hour. By being a little proactive, you don't have to overeat after your workout. All of these ways to stop post workout hunger are simple and easy to implement. With these, your workouts will be far more effective.
1. Drink Water during and after Working out
Water tends to make you feel more full. Plus, you need the extra fluid after sweating away hundreds of calories. One of the easiest ways to stop post workout hunger is to increase your water intake. Before grabbing a post-workout snack, drink a full glass of water and wait at least 15-20 minutes. You'll notice your hunger dies down quite a bit.
2. Opt for Milk
Instead of eating a snack or meal, drink a glass of low fat milk. It's full of protein which helps you feel fuller. Both plain and chocolate milk are perfect and help you better manage post workout cravings. I do recommend drinking a little water first and resting a few minutes. This helps the milk settle better, especially if you have a sensitive digestive system.
3. Eat High Carb and Protein Snacks
After a long workout, your body does need something to help replenish what was lost. Opt for snacks with a high ratio of carbohydrates and protein. For best results, there should be more carbs than protein. Trail mix and the classic PB&J sandwich are great and simple options. You'll help your body heal and you'll squash your hunger. It's a win-win!
4. Add a Sports Drink to Your Workout
Your body needs carbs and protein after a workout. Without them, you feel hungry and weak. Replenish while you're exercising by drinking a sports drink. A single sports drink will last throughout an average workout. These drinks contain carbs which digest quickly, causing you to feel fuller. You'll feel better and not want to inhale an entire fast food menu.
5. Workout before Meals
Many people, myself included, actually embrace post workout hunger. However, it doesn't mean we eat more. Instead, I plan my workouts to coincide with my regular meal times. I workout before lunch or dinner. By the time I finish and rest for about 20 minutes, it's time to eat. This helps me avoid taking in additional calories from any special post workout meals.
6. Do Something Fun
Cornell University did a study in 2014 that found people who enjoyed their workouts ate less afterwards. Try to make your exercise something you truly enjoy. I know I tend to eat more when I feel low or bored. The same applies to exercise. If your workout doesn't make you feel good, find something new to do. Not only will it be easier to stick to, but you want feel nearly as hungry after.
7. Eat a Snack Right before
Odds are, you'll be far more hungry after a workout than before. Stop hunger in its tracks by being proactive. Eat a healthy, light weight snack before working out. If you have a long workout ahead of you, such as a several hour hike, have a small snack each other to keep your energy up. You'll digest the snack as you exercise. Instead of your body craving food later, you'll already feel full.
8. Break the Habit
For many, the hunger is more of a habit than anything. We've all heard about post workout hunger. We've also heard that you need to eat something after exercising. If you don't actually feel hungry, don't force yourself to eat. This just creates a bad habit. Unless it's time for your normal meals, a healthy snack is all you really need. Work on breaking the habit and you'll find yourself feeling less hungry after exercising.
9. Try Less Strenuous Workouts
Many people tend to gain weight if they push themselves too hard. The reason – they get so hungry after that they eat more calories than they burned. If you find yourself starving after every workout, try a less strenuous option. You might also try a shorter period of time. Though your workouts are less extreme, you'll see better results because you're not eating everything in sight after you're done.
It's perfectly okay to eat a snack after working out. However, post workout hunger doesn't have to control your life. With a few little changes, you can ease the hunger and easily make it to your next meal. What other tricks do you have for stopping a rumbly tummy after exercising?