Has eating after working out become a serious problem? Do you find that you burn a ton of calories, only to consume even more of them than you’d burned away? Is it starting to feel as though you’re working against your own goals?
We all mean well by pouring everything we have into our gym sessions. However, many of us struggle with a powerful hunger once we’re done. Eating after working out can be a serious issue. That said, it can also be avoided. You just need to know what to do and take the right steps.
Eating After Working Out to Build Muscle
When you’re serious about bodybuilding, you’re working hard to stick to your workouts every day. But you can set your efforts back if you give in to that desire to pig out every time you finish.
It’s difficult not to submit to this sensation because it isn’t just a short, passing symptom. If your workout is first thing in the morning, it can last all day long. You likely won’t be surprised to discover that research has found that this is a very common experience.
What Does the Research Say?
In a study conducted at Louisiana State University, dieters who worked out the most loss less weight than those who exercised less, despite the fact that they were expected to lose more. According to a New York City exercise physiologist, Mary Jane Detroyer, R.D., “too often, people overcompensate for exercise.”
She explained that one of the primary problems causing people not to lose weight as they are expecting is that they work out to the point that they are very hungry, leading them to eat more than what is recommended in order to reach their goals.
Tips to Keep Your Hunger Under Control
If you’re finding that your bodybuilding efforts are being hampered by your eating after working out, then use the following tips to keep your cravings for food under control:
- Bring a snack with you – This is one of the best things that you can do because if you pack a snack then you’re more likely to eat the right kind of food at the best time. It will give you the opportunity to refuel properly as early as possible. If you eat it when you’re the least hungry – before you allow yourself to build to the “starving” feeling – then you’ll dampen your appetite so that a powerful feeling of hunger won’t hang around all day.
One of the best foods you can eat after your workout is watermelon. Not only is it hydrating and high in fiber but it has also been shown in research to aid recovery. This supports your progress toward your goal on many different levels.
Gyms are notorious for selling foods with all the right labels. That said, as good as those foods sound, most of them don’t necessarily align with the average person’s workouts and nutritional needs.
- Don’t fall into the trap of rewarding yourself – You need to build the mindset that your workout is its own reward because it brings you a step closer to your bodybuilding goals. If you eat a big meal or a treat as a reward for completing your workout, then you’re just taking away from everything you worked hard to achieve.
Rewarding yourself is still a possibility, of course, but doing so with food will be contrary to your goal. Eating after working out as a reward for exercising will only set you up to build an unhealthy relationship with your exercising and your food.
- Drink water – This is not only great for preventing dehydration and keeping your body running at its best, but it will also help to stave off that feeling of having an empty pit in your stomach. Proper hydration is also vital to the recovery and healing process after each workout.
Make sure to drink water before, during and after your workout. Choose plain water, filtered water, water with lemon or water with cucumber. Water with watermelon can also be great to control eating after working out. However, avoid adding anything to your water that will spike your sugar or calorie levels.