You may have questioned it before – why aren’t you hungry after certain workouts? Sometimes you can be ready to eat a horse while other times you don’t feel like eating at all. You shouldn’t ignore hunger signals, they’re your bodies way of saying that it needs fuelling, but overeating after a workout can be a huge problem if you’re confused by what your body is telling you!

So, Why Am I Sometimes Hungry?

Research suggests that a long, slow workout is the most likely to make you ravenous. This might be why you seem starving after a long yoga sesh, but not after an intense HIIT workout! Your body can mistake these long periods of exercise for famine, meaning it will desperately signal that it needs food. The body can also mistake thirst for hunger, so remember to stay hydrated and you’re much less likely to overeat and negate your calorie burn with an post-workout binge!

It’s easy to overestimate how many calories you’ve burned during a workout, especially if you’re new to fitness. Couple this with a feeling of hunger after a workout, and you’re more likely to overeat and not see results as fast as you’re expecting!

What’s The Deal When I’m Not?

It’s a weird feeling when you’ve just gone all out during a really intense workout and you’re not hungry after. Don’t your muscles need fuel afterwards? Why are you so much hungrier after a long, slow workout? The culprit is the hormone that makes you feel hunger – ghrelin. During a short intense workout like interval training, your ghrelin levels are suppressed, meaning you won’t feel hunger immediately after. Science suggests that during an intense workout, your blood flow is directed to your muscles and away from your digestive system – your stomach basically shuts down!

Another reason you’re not feeling hungry is your body temperature – if you’re doing bikram yoga or have a particularly hot and sweaty workout, you’re less likely to want to chow down afterwards. This could be due to the blood flow being redirected from your stomach, but it also comes back to dehydration – your body can crave salt and sugar more when you’re dehydrated, so try a nice cool class of water before you whip up a huge meal!

So there it is – exercise-induced hunger (or a lack of it!) explained. Have you noticed differences in your hunger levels after certain types of workouts? Let us know your thoughts!

8 thoughts on “Why You’re Not Hungry After A Workout

  1. legyptien says:

    Most of my workouts are intense and I am not neither hungry nor thirsty. I drink a lot during and before my workout but after an intense workout I’m not thirsty too and that makes me more worried than not being hungry…

    Anyone who feels like that ? should I force myself ?

    Thanks

  2. Yes, I have same case. I don’t feel hungry after workout sometimes. Well, thanks for this post. Now, I know the reason behind it.

  3. Charly john says:

    Good … Now I understand … I was wondering if there was something wrong with me after I have 4 km walk or even a 10 km walk I don’t feel hungry. In the evening I do a 4 km walk and on reaching home I am not hungry. I drink a lot of water and I go to bed without dinner. I thought there was something wrong with me as I was feeling hungry and my weight was dropping by around 1 kg per week or 2 weeks

  4. Carley says:

    Awesome! This makes so much more sense now! I have always wondered why swimming for 2 hours creates me to feel like I am starving! Yet a 20 minute HIIT workout I feel the opposite! 🙂

  5. Dean Chadwick says:

    This actually makes sense to me. Ive been training mainly lifting weights, slow negatives and nothing really intense and always hungry after. Im now doing more circuit based routines and im not feeling hungry at all afterwards.
    Just remember people, protein synthesis goes on for a long time, approx 36 hours, so there’s no need for the instant protien intake straight after a workout. Don’t stress yourself over it or you’ll just release cortisol which is even worse.

  6. Sanya K says:

    Hi All,

    I’ve been doing cardio for the past one month about 2-hours session thrice a week. Been 3 weeks now that I’ve started with 1-hour cardio and 1-hour intense workout including weight lifting as well. I don’t feel hungry at all and on the contrary am very thirsty whereby i can drink about 4-5 liters of water per day. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?

  7. Nonya Bsnss says:

    Cool, I was always wondering why after doing a 3.3k/3.5k run I never felt hungry afterwards and didn’t need to eat for a couple hours…THANKS for the info

  8. Kaina says:

    What a great explanation!
    I am on 1300 calories and run 4 kilometers and burn between 500 to 600 calories 5 days a week. I never feel any extra hungry. On the hand hand my friend is doing same diet but doesnt do any excercise and she gets hungry all the time and she cant maintain her diet plan.
    I even dont care about kfc, mac and sweet things anymore bec of decrease apetite. I do agree that excercise has much impact on ur apetite. I already lost 19 kilos since august 2019.

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