Is It Harder To Say No to Food After Exercise

Eating and Exercise

Eating and Exercise

The formula:  It has long been established, calories in… calories out, balance the two and maintain your weight, create a deficit and you’ll lose weight.  Alright so why are so many Americans in general getting fatter?  First, the general public without restraint or concern for health would not be reading this article.  However, losing weight can be a very tough and frustrating even for those doing all they can do.  As I’ve proven in my own life, this formula leaves out the individual metabolism, hormonal effects as well as a host of additional variables.

Why Am I Gaining Weight Even Though I Exercise?

After physical activity we experience the effects of the energy expenditure.  Compensation eating can seem like the natural thing your body is telling you need after exercise.  After all you are depleting your body of many essential elements.  However, many people take license and eat more junk food after going to the gym.

They make the mistake of thinking to themselves, “I deserve this because I’ve done well at burning calories”.

Women Have It Tough

As it turns out curbing appetite can be more of a challenge for women than for men.  According to scientists at the University of Ottawa, Canada, exercise does not suppress hunger the same way for women as for men.  The study says that the sensory attractiveness of food increases for women post exercise.

So, what does this mean for those left with the munchies after exercise?  It means we must arm ourselves with a strategy to combat it when it strikes.  This may surprise some but, eat more.  The primary defense is eating a balanced diet.  If you’re skipping meals because “you don’t have time”, then you’re already setting yourself up for failure.  I like the king(breakfast), prince(lunch), pauper(dinner) principle for this.

Starting your day off with your highest calorie meal at breakfast can help set the tone for your appetite control at lunch and throughout the day.

Stop Exercising So Hard, You May Find…You Eat Less

Everyone is different in the approach that works to battle increased appetite.  The take away idea here is that you have a plan.  From the research done at Ottawa, some women decreased the intensity of their exercise and reported a decrease in appetite as a result.  Man or woman, it’s a good idea to vary your intensity as a strategy for reaching your fitness goals.  If lowering your exercise intensity helps decease your appetite, use it.

Get VO2 or Maximal Oxygen Uptake Tested

If your primary goal is to burn fat and lose weight, you’ll need to know two things, Your resting metabolic rate RMR and your maximal oxygen uptake or VO2.  There is a level of intensity that your specific body burns fat.  Find it and set a goal to achieve it each time you exercise.  Again, less intense, less food cravings.

Timing Is Everything

The timing of your exercise can help when developing a plan of action.  Eating one of your scheduled meals within an hour after exercise can help with post workout hunger according to Caroline Bollinger, Prevention’s fitness editor.  Since hydration is a goal for health and certainly after exercise, fill up on water.  It has been shown that people who drink more water, ate 200 fewer calories each day.


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