Ever finish a weight training session, a long run, or playing a sport and then feel like you wanted to eat everything in your kitchen? The good news is you’re not alone, but it doesn’t mean you should indulge that desire either.
Getting regular physical activity is important for good health, especially if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. However, working out doesn’t guarantee weight loss if it’s not complemented by a healthy, balanced diet. Often, people become hungry after exercising and wind up eating more calories than they had burned.
Keep in mind that it’s fine to eat after exercise, but be careful to stop before you’re full or stuffed. The key to avoid gaining weight is to be aware of what you’re doing.
Here are a few tips on how to stop overeating after a workout.
Drinking water before a meal has been shown to lead to weight loss. So when you’re about to exercise and you think you’ll be hungry after you’re done, it’s important to know how to hydrate strategically.
Make sure you get your H2O before you hit the gym. To balance the fluid losses you’ll experience during your workout, you should be well hydrated before you exercise and drink enough water during and after exercise. The best way to do this is to drink water 2 hours before you exercise and keep your body hydrated throughout your workout with small, frequent sips of water. After your workout, refuel with more water.
There’s another benefit to hydrating that can help you learn how to stop overeating after exercise. Water has zero calories and fills up your stomach—the perfect mix of qualities to create a full feeling that discourages you from eating many more calories than you need after you exercise. Also, make sure you choose water over sweetened drinks because the sugar in sweetened drinks will cause you to take in too many unnecessary calories.
When you’re finished exercising, try to eat a meal that contains both protein and carbohydrates to help your muscles recover. Be careful not to overestimate how many calories you burn through exercise or you’ll wind up eating too many calories after you’re done with your workout.
Complement your post-workout meal with foods that are low in calories and fat but will still make you feel full. Choose foods with lots of water and fiber in them, which are considered “low-energy density” foods, including:
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables (like grapefruits and carrots, for example) often contain a lot of water. They provide you with volume and weight that helps you feel full without excessive calories.
Foods high in fiber, like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, provide volume and they take longer to digest, which makes you feel full longer on fewer calories.
Another fantastic way to get the fiber you need is with the super fiber supplement, Meta Appetite Control, which is from Metamucil. It contains the perfect combination of water and fiber to increase your daily intake of both; it helps you feel less hungry with fewer calories; and it helps you control your appetite between meals.* Psyllium fiber, the super fiber in Meta Appetite Control, forms a gel in your digestive system. This slows absorption and digestion, which aids in the sensation of fullness.
You can take Meta Appetite Control with 8 or more ounces of water up to 3 times daily. It’s a natural way to increase the amount of fiber and water you take in every day.
Fat is very energy-dense, meaning it has more calories per volume than other foods like protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. For example, one pat of butter has the same number of calories as two cups of raw broccoli. Try to avoid high-fat foods when you want your workout to count.
Banish Binge Foods
You’re more likely to eat more when you have easy access to food. Make sure the foods you crave—but often regret having eaten—are not easily available. Don’t keep foods like cookies, candy bars, ice cream, or chips in the house. If you’re going to eat them at all, make them a rare treat you allow for yourself for a special occasion.
Chew Sugarless Gum
Chewing the gum plus tasting gum’s sweet flavor will help calm your cravings for sugar and avoid eating other foods with more calories.
Keeping yourself busy will help take your mind off food and avoid giving in to cravings. Some non-eating activities you can do to divert your attention are to go for a walk, talk to a friend, read, play music, enjoy your pets or children, take a long hot bath, or do some physical work around the house or garden.