Smutty Fitness: Workout appetites

Hayley Posted by Hayley at January 20, 2017 20:36:14 January 20, 2017 20:36:14

I'm really hoping you can offer some guidance here because I am struggling. Ok, so here's what's up. I've been working out for about 7 years now consistently. I do a combination of cardio, weight training and Pilates and have recently added some kickboxing into my routine. I've noticed, with the kickboxing, that I'm not typically hungry following a workout (which is VERY unusual for me because I'm always hungry), but then a couple of hours later, I want to eat ALL OF THE FOOD. And the days I'm not kickboxing, I'm just hungry all day no matter what I eat. I've concluded the kickboxing is shocking my body a little bit, but how do I manage the hunger? The biggest challenge is kickboxing classes end around 7:15 so I'm not home until 7:30/45, which doesn't leave a lot of room for me to eat. I also try not to eat large or carb heavy meals that late at night, but I'm thinking that may need to change.



You sound like me when I was training for Ironman for 2 full years. I was ALWAYS hungry and food was no longer something to be enjoyed but rather something to stop me from being hungry. I shoveled anything and everything into my body and, at times, would disgust even myself with how much food I was consuming as well as the combination of food I was consuming. The problem was even though I was training 25-30 hours per week, I was gaining weight. It drove me crazy.

You need discipline to stop this hunger. You need to plan your meals, and you need to slow down when you eat. I notice that whenever I am away on vacation I am barely hungry and can go morning until night without a snack. When I am at work, running around and working myself to death, I get hangry if I don’t eat for an hour. I figure this is because when I am on vacation I slow things down and I take time to eat and enjoy my food, unlike every other day of my life where I shovel it in as fast as I can. So for starters, try this strategy for yourself, in your everyday life. Sit down and eat your breakfast in the morning, take a moment to enjoy a large lunch and give yourself time to have a healthy dinner. Let yourself taste the food and then take a few moments after to relax.

I am wondering if kickboxing is exhausting you so much that you are almost too tired to eat after and your endorphins are flowing at such high levels that your hunger is camouflaged by your workout high.  Most likely, this is why you are famished a few hours later, when things start to settle a little bit. I recommend you force some food down your throat, hungry or not. Take what you would normally eat for dinner and split it into two parts, one small and one big. After kickboxing eat the smaller portion, so your body has some fuel to replenish itself with and then later on, when your appetite has returned, eat the rest of your dinner. Where athletes go wrong is they eat an “extra” meal, a workout snack on top of their breakfast, lunch or dinner, which is what contributes to weight gain. Plan your meals around your workouts so you are not consuming more calories than you need but you are eating the calories when your body needs them.

The days you are extra hungry, especially the days you are not kickboxing I want you to eat a bigger breakfast. Take some of the calories you would have had at dinner and add them to your morning. This will ensure that your body is not playing catch-up all day after waking up from a 7 or 8 hour fast while sleeping. And remember that not all calories are created equally so make sure those calories that you are putting into your body are rich in nutrients. 

One of my favourite meals to start my day with during weeks of high training volumes is a bowl of steel cut oats. I put the stove on and get them cooking as soon as I wake up and then get ready for my day while they cook (they take about 20 minutes). I then add half a cup of frozen berries, half of a banana, some cashews, almonds or walnuts, some hemp, chia or flax seeds and some regular fat, high protein yoghurt. Trust me, this sits like a lump of glue in your stomach and keeps you full for hours.

Attached - Elle Fanning leaving the gym yesterday in LA. 


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