Dealing with Exercised-Induced Hunger
You’ve started working out, and you’re sticking to it; you’re noticing your stamina building and your strength increasing. It’s starting to seem as if you can do this exercise thing, after all. There’s just one problem – you aren’t losing any weight because your workouts are making you ravenously hungry. The extra calories you consume on workout days are cancelling out the calories you burn exercising. Talk about frustrating! But don’t get discouraged – there are ways to get a handle on your hunger.
One way to do this is through mindful (and pre-planned) eating. Set your mind to the fact that you need to eat the same on days you work out as on days you don’t. Unless you are doing serious training for something intense, you don’t need to increase your caloric intake just because you burned a few hundred extra calories on the treadmill. In fact, you want those extra calories to stay gone because this is the very essence of weight loss: more calories out than in. Overeating because “you’ve earned it” by working out sets a harmful precedent and makes it virtually impossible to lose weight.
Another way to control hunger is by choosing the right foods. Fill your plate with foods that have more volume with fewer calories, such as veggies and fruits, lean protein, whole grains, and legumes. Refined carbs such as breads, chips, and sweets are too easy to snack on mindlessly and pack too big a caloric punch even in small amounts.
Protein and fibre are important to focus on because they are filling, and protein provides lasting energy while fibre adds bulk to your meals. And don’t overlook healthy fats, which are great when you’re hungry because they are super satisfying. Nuts, olive oil, and avocados are great examples of healthy, filling foods. Just don’t overdo these foods, because they are high in calories. However, small amounts can make your meals and snacks much more filling and tasty.
If you are the type of person who snacks all day long, try eating smaller meals throughout the day, so you don’t feel deprived. And try hot tea between meals to stay hydrated and enjoy some flavour. There are many ways to control those post-exercise munchies, so don’t let them derail your weight-loss goals!