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Exercising regularly seems to be working out a bigger appetite too. However if your goal is to lose weight, you must understand that sacrifices have to be made. The calories you consume on a daily basis should be burnt off at the gym in order to see any differences in your body. Sadly, sometimes those post-workout hunger pangs can be stronger than your will. The secret to sticking to a workout routine and diet while dealing with annoying cravings and stomach rumblings is to understand that there’s a relationship between exercise and energy (taken from food) – it’s your job to find a way to use the hunger to your advantage.
Where does the hunger come from?
Start by understanding the root of the hunger. Many people like to celebrate a challenging workout routine with a high-calorie meal or really nice treat. Even though there are people who exercise, eat a lot and still lose weight; that’s definitely not something worth trying to do.
Assuming that you’ve shed 1,000 calories at the gym, and at the end you head over to McDonald’s to add 500 calories back, there’s no point in being proud of the remaining 500 calories you lost. This approach will backfire sooner or later.
There will be days at the gym where you’ll only shed 500 calories; which is good. But guess what will be stronger? – Your will or craving to head over to McDonald’s yet again?
It’s ok to be hungry after a workout routine, and it’s ok to eat after a workout routine too. But you should make healthier choices. A sliced apple with peanut butter for example, is a delicious alternative; and a much healthier one too.
Don’t be afraid of the hunger
When it comes to working out at the gym, many people (women in particular) are afraid to eat. They just refuse to consume calories because they assume that the upcoming 60 minutes on the elliptical will be useless.
However, if you exercise on an empty stomach you won’t have enough energy to do those 60 minutes on the elliptical to begin with. So basically, you burn fewer calories than if you had if you had eaten something before the workout. A 200-calorie snack is recommended if you’re preparing for a challenging day at the gym.
A banana for example, is just what you need to keep you energized. Then again, you are advised to eat afterwards too; but not in the first hour.
Ward off hunger with water
This may sound trivial but it is important to keep your body hydrated, before a workout routine and after a workout routine. Many people don’t pay attention to this aspect, and that’s because the brain confuses the absence of a liquid with insufficient food supplies, and this triggers your hunger pains.
After you’ve been to the gym, it’s healthy to have a piece of fruit. But after that make sure you drink a glass of water (or maybe two) as well. This will fill you up and it will make your hunger pains go away.
If your properly hydrated, your body will be able to get through a tough routine, not to mention that at the end you won’t feel the need to check into the closest McDonald’s anymore.
Many people are against supplementation before and after a workout routine. However, if you’re looking for the best results, you have to know that proper nutrition is essential. Of course, this also depends on your ultimate goal. Supplements are recommended when you’re lifting weights and you do fitness – because the body needs stamina to keep going. That being said, some of the best supplements after a workout are: whey protein (creating insulin spikes & muscle mass), BCAA supplements (protein synthesis increase), creatine (energy boost), and antioxidants (essential for reducing muscle stress).
It’s tough to beat hunger after a 2 hour workout. However, it’s not impossible either. The better care you take of your body, the better chances you have to keep it in shape. Eat something with at least 1 hour before heading to the gym, drink water during the workout, and once again, eat afterwards. Before you know it, you’ll forget all about McDonald’s and painful hunger cravings.