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Hungry for More: How to Manage Post-Workout Cravings

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Your All-Day Diet Plan

The biggest piece of the hunger puzzle is knowing what, when, and how much to eat to stoke your body's engine 24-7. It's the peaks and dips in energy levels, set off by inconsistent eating habits, that send cravings into overdrive. To keep things on track, follow this around-the-clock advice.

In the morning...

Make your digestive system work. "If you put sugary cereal in your mouth, it literally dissolves. With shredded wheat, you have to work to chew it," says Sonneville. "The same thing happens in your stomach; it has to churn away to digest high-fiber foods, making you feel fuller longer." Aim for 25 grams of fiber a day.

At lunch...

Be a meal splitter. If your good in­tentions in attending that noontime boot-camp class are regularly squandered because you're too hungry to push yourself through it, give your efforts an extra edge by eating lunch twice -- half at 11 a.m., the other half when you get back from the gym. Look for a mix of three carbs to one protein; banana and peanut butter on whole wheat is a good option. Have half the sandwich an hour before you exercise, the other half immediately after your workout. You'll be amazed at how much more energy you have during your session, without the hunger pangs afterward.

For a snack...

Do the apple test. "Ask yourself, 'Does eating an apple sound good right now?'" Blatner says. An apple is a stomach-filling food, so if it is appealing, you probably are hungry and should break for a healthy snack. If an apple isn't calling your name, you may be turning to food for other reasons, like boredom or stress. Drink water instead.

At night...

Turn in earlier. A recent study found that participants ate significantly more calories from sugary carbs after five and a half hours of slumber than they did after eight and a half hours. Experts aren't sure why, but some suspect that less sleep causes ghrelin, the appetite-stimulating hormone, to spike. You already know that more sleep equals a better workout, so hit the sack an hour earlier tonight.

Ultimately you've got to approach hunger the way you do your workout: methodically and consistently. "People who manage hunger well are those who eat mindfully," Sonneville says. "You do yourself a disservice if you just count calories. You've got to pay attention to how you feel and how your workout is being affected, too." Don't snack excessively before or after exercise; many active people don't need additional calories to fuel their daily 30 to 45 minutes. Hydrate during your workout, and when you feel hungry, drink water first. At mealtimes, eat slowly, and with every few bites, ask yourself if you feel full. "After a while, you may not even be tasting or enjoying the food. Many people just eat until the food is gone," Sonneville notes. "Pay attention to your body's cues." And remember, if your workout makes you hungry, don't skip the gym so you can stick to your diet. A small increase in calories before exercising will power you through your cardio session and reap you far greater rewards than no workout at all.

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kidsareme wrote:

It really doesn't tell you how not to over eat after the workout. This seems to be a big problem for all of us.

9/28/2012 12:16:33 AM Report Abuse
whitty_313 wrote:

No , like after u work out u shouldnt eat! Even though you totally wanna, just fill up your stomach with water and go to bed!! Youll be happy in the morning u did!

9/14/2012 09:29:58 PM Report Abuse
a3984502 wrote:

Right now I am following the Diet Plan for You blog by nutrition specialist Kate Hill. Kate helped me lose weight in a healthy way in few weeks, without starving! If you want to lose weight, just visit Kate's blog at: http://dietplanforyou.blogspot.com

3/4/2012 03:26:32 AM Report Abuse
hannahll1993 wrote:

How can I beat the 9 pm cravings? I eat right and exercise, but come 9 pm, I'm so hungry! Should I eat more at supper?

1/6/2012 09:32:10 AM Report Abuse
yoliyarcia wrote:

Guide will be: Stay nourished before and after workout.

11/2/2011 03:18:05 AM Report Abuse

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