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!