Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Post-Workout: What to Eat

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Post-Workout: What to Eat

Article excerpt

Byline: Kathleen Alleaume

THERE'S nothing quite as satisfying as a solid sweat sesh. The rush of endorphins leaves you feeling alert and ready to conquer the day.

However, a kick-butt workout can often leave you kicking around the kitchen - trying to fight off an insatiable hunger. And if you're trying to drop kilos, binge-eating is the last thing you want to do post-workout. So, what is the relationship between activity and appetite? And can you control it?

Hunger: a primal instinct

Hunger is your instinctive drive to find food. If you go a long time between meals, or eat less than normal, ghrelin (the "hunger" hormone) is elevated, sending signals to your brain to eat.

The relationship between exercise and hunger: Just as exercise and weight loss is a complex relationship, so too is physical activity and appetite. Burning calories through exercise makes your body crave food in order to replenish your energy stores. However, a recent scientific review suggests that certain workouts deplete your energy stores more than others - having greater potential to stimulate growling in your belly.

How to tame the hunger beast

A heightened hunger doesn't mean you should forgo your fitness routine. Getting your 20 to 30 minutes a day is essential to your health for myriad reasons. Instead, try these tips:

Keep hydrated: Your body commonly mistakes thirst for hunger. So, if you're not careful, a big sweat out could leave you thinking you need to eat. Make sure you hydrate before, during and after a workout to avoid misdiagnosed hunger.

Play around with intensity: It makes sense that the more calories you burn, the hungrier you'd feel, right?

In fact, higher-intensity workouts (like a spin class) suppress appetite (at least temporarily); whereas lower-intensity exercise (like pilates) triggers heightened production of ghrelin. …

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