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How to eat less: exercise, then eat?

October 9, 2011



How to eat less: exercise, then eat?

I was browsing around last night and found an interesting flat belly article that I want to share with you guys. According to Fitbie on MSN, “Research suggests that the best way to eat less at a meal is to work out right before it.”

I thought about it for a sec.

You know what? This is true. Very very true. I always feel like I don’t have to each very much after a workout. The author of the article goes on to say, “This works in several ways: First, you’re less hungry when your metabolism is revving, such as right after a workout. Second, you’re thirstier, so you drink more water, which uses up space in your belly and relieves hunger. Third, the calories you do eat get burned for energy pronto—not stored as fat.”

YES, YES, and YES.

I notice that when I am around the house doing nothing I tend to be ravenous all the time. Maybe it is because my mouth is bored. But after a good workout, all I want are fruits and water. Especially in the summer! Isn’t it lovely how one good thing leads to another? Perfect cycle. Perfect circle.

For those of you looking for a way to consume less calories and be less hungry on your weight loss journey, this is a good tip. However, I want you to know that you should NOT skip eating all together after a workout. In fact, eating within 30-60 min after a workout is one of the MOST important things you can do as an exerciser. During this window, nutrient absorption is high! If you want to build muscle, burn fat, and prevent muscle loss, you must take this seriously!!!

According to SparkPeople, you’ll want to have about 4:1, carbs:protein. The carbs are used to replace muscle fuel, known as glycogen, which is used to prepare you for your next workout. Remember, stay away from refined carbs like white bread and white rice! These carbs can be fruit carbs, whole grain carbs, vegetable carbs etc. Your protein, whether it comes from a powder or a chicken breast, is needed to stop your body from breaking down muscle tissue for energy. THIS IS BAD. You never want to break down muscle for energy! You want to break down fat for energy! So eat your protein!!

Some bodybuilders do a 2:1 ratio. But it depends on how you feel the next day for your workout. Are you energetic? or super cranky and low energy? If cranky, maybe do a little bit more carb-ing 🙂 Get to know your body.

How do you guys feel after a workout? Are you hungry? Do you eat everything in sight? Or do you feel like you don’t have much of an appetite?


23 thoughts on “How to eat less: exercise, then eat?”

There are 23 comments posted by our users.

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  1. Celadon says:

    I always THINK I’m really hungry after a workout, but then when I sit down to eat, I consume a very modest portion before quitting.

  2. Ella Stern says:

    That’s true! Even though I always feel like I could eat a bit more because I burned calories during a workout I just don’t because I’m not even that hungry. I already noticed that! And also when I exercise, I somehow feel obliged to eat clean afterwards, cause it somehow would destroy the good start in the day. Thanks a lot for that great article

  3. LC says:

    hmmm…I’m always SO hungry after I work out. Even though I’m drinking lots of water during and after working out, and eating healthy foods, I’m eating way more than I did before I started working out. I don’t think I’m losing any weight! Any suggestions?

  4. Exercise is essential if you want to keep in trim. Get down the gym or purchase your own equipment to do it in the privacy of your own home.

  5. Des says:

    I heard that if you do Ab workout while trying to lose tummy fat just makes it worse and builds on a layer of muscle, but makes it look even more bigger. Is it true?

    1. Eden says:

      I’m not much of an expert but the way I understand it is that it’s extremely important to be cautious when doing core exercises. When you overwork those muscles you start to turn the layer of fat above your abs into hard muscle. This could make you look bigger. So do less core work and give your abs ample time to rest.

  6. Tisha Elsayed says:

    After a workout I’m less hungry so I don’t eat a big lunch (I work out anywhere between noon and 2:00pm) and then a normal dinner, VERY light on the carbs (usually just a salad and some chicken or fish, sometimes beef) but my problem is I am ALWAYS hungry at 10pm (I go to bed around midnight)…and I’m trying to stick to a 1700 calorie diet!!! Any advice would be helpful 😛

  7. Reina says:

    So true!! Plus you don’t want to “waste” the effects of the exercise by munching on cookies so it’s probably psychological too

  8. milli says:

    I totally figured this out a while ago. I would work til 5:45, drive the hour commute home, sit and eat and eat and eat, THEN go to the gym. Depending on what I ate, I would feel sluggish and maybe possibly eat even more when I came home.

    Now, I have breakfast at home, a lighter lunch mid-day, and a snack right before I leave work (no eating in the car!). I go straight to the gym, workout for a few hours, then come home. Now, I know everyone says that eating after 8:00 is bad for you, but I’ve lost more weight this way. I do not feel as hungry and my day feels more complete knowing I am home for the day and bedtime is approaching.

  9. Selina says:

    Great article, I do feel less hungry after my workouts and my energy level is always high that every day I want to work out.
    Thanks for the article.

  10. Renate Meyer says:

    Hey Cassey!

    I did a little research on the matter today, a physical one!
    I started with the fat melting routine x2 and did some pilates after. I was so hungry when I started working out, hadn’t had my breakfast yet. But when I was done with the workout.. all I needed and wanted, was an ORANGE! That was kinda weird. But yep, it’s true alright!
    But knowing that isn’t as healthy, I will however make myself a big and well deserved breakfast now 🙂

  11. Fashimi says:

    How funny you post this article today as I was just talking about this with my boyfriend! An old gym instructor told me this and it’s stuck in my head ever since. A great tip, I think!

  12. Sina says:

    Nice article 🙂

    It depends on the kind of workout, I am not hungry after poppilates and after a nice walk or jogging.

    But I am hungry, after my team sports. I have to run realy fast and erverything is bruning after that and I have to catch my breath. And I realy could eat everthing. My favorit: Potatos curd cheese.

    I don’t know why is I am that hungry mayby because I brun manly fat by jogging walking and pilates and carbs by doing my team sports?

  13. Manenkoto says:

    I don’t have time to read all of article but i see that it’s about workout and than eat. I do the same everytime when i workout. First i drink some water and catch my breath and than i sit to eat. And i eat less because in this time i’m not hungry and i take only a small pices of my food and than i don’t feel hungry for a long time. But i’m going to read the article when i have time. I also was read that if u want to have muscles, you should eat 30 min after your workout. And this is the opposite of workout and than immediately eat.

  14. Julie says:

    My stomach rumbles so I know it needs food, but surprisingly, I don’t get the signal in my head!

    Same here. I also feel like I eat better on days I work out. I think it’s to maximize performance. When I don’t work out, I don’t feel like I need to eat as clean. :/

  15. Megan Wooding says:

    This is so true. My favorite thing is grabbing a protein shake at the gym after I do cardio. It alway fills me up for a few hours.

  16. Gio Marie says:

    Omg I am HUNGRY after a good run, but usually I’m so thirsty that a bottle of water maybe half of another and a protein bar do the trick! I thought i was just a weirdo lol great post cassie

  17. Michelle says:

    Great article, I’m almost never hungry after working out… a smoothie always goes down though!

  18. Gwgw Sourouni says:

    Sounds right to me..i also have great cravings when at home with nothing to do!!Today i woke up late and i started the day with your new pop cardio vid (yea the one with the elf move:P ) i did it x4 and then tried the bruno mars total workout and.. quess what afterwards was lunch time(!) ..perfect time to check the above theory:) and i got to tell you that ~yes i was thirsty (the cardio made me sweat soo much) so i drunk 500ml water and~ 15 minutes later had my lunch and found myself in good control(no cravings of extra food or bread and stuff just my plate and salad!!:))So from now on maybe a bit of workout before lunch is a really nice idea!

  19. Diana says:

    I’m not hungry immediatly after I exercise. But if I don’t eat within an hour I’m STARVING!

  20. Renate Meyer says:

    Fantastic <3

  21. jodie says:

    I tend not to be hungry but always eat within an hour after.

  22. Maud says:

    great article Cassey!
    I ‘ve already noticed that I eat less after woring out…now I understand why! thanks so much!!

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