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Old 12-20-05, 05:00 PM   #1
Jed19 
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Hungry After Gym Workouts

I need some help with a phenomenon that seem to always sabotage my exercise programs. I go to the gym about four times a week, although I sometimes have problem mustering up the energy to go at the end of a long day, I have never had a bad workout in my life. Once I can get to the gym, I can always turn it on and have a fantastic workout. A huge problem for me though is that I always come back very hungry, and then proceed to eat as if I had not eaten dinner before my exercise at the gym. I would like to stop this. I have just started using a heart rate monitor so as not to overwork myself, as I thought the heavy intensity of my workouts might be the reason for my heavy post-workout meals, but the phenomenon has not stopped. I also started drinking some diluted Gatorade (50-50 water and Gatorade) during and after my workouts, but no help there.

If it helps, my program consists of a hard 30minutes on the Life Fitness exercycle at a range of around 85% to 95% of my maximum heart rate, and then another 30minutes on a stair climber elliptical at around the same heart rate. I then finish with about 100 crunches and 60 leg lifts. About two times a week, I add a quick 45minutes of weight training to the aerobics program by concetrating on the big muscles. I really like my program, but is there anything I can do to not come back from the gym hungry and thus eating all that is not "nailed down"?

Are there post-workout drinks or nutrients, apart from Gatorade that I should try?

Thanks for your response.

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Old 12-20-05, 05:14 PM   #2
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Why are you wearing a heart rate monitor at all? Was there a problem before you started?

You don't need an HRM to get a good workout. Also, no one can train for 30 minutes at 95% (or 90%) of their max heart rate. Sorry, but Lance, Eddy, or Miguel aren't able to do that, and odds are significantly against you being able to as well. Just train within yourself and you'll be good to go.

Also: if you can eat after your gym workouts and not gain wait, do it. Since when is being hungry and then eating a bad thing? Your body is telling you it needs fuel. Listen to it.

Essentially: Don't limit yourself to what your HRM tells you, and eat healthy meals if you're hungry. Its pretty simple.
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Old 12-20-05, 05:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent
Why are you wearing a heart rate monitor at all? Was there a problem before you started?

You don't need an HRM to get a good workout. Also, no one can train for 30 minutes at 95% (or 90%) of their max heart rate. Sorry, but Lance, Eddy, or Miguel aren't able to do that, and odds are significantly against you being able to as well. Just train within yourself and you'll be good to go.

Also: if you can eat after your gym workouts and not gain wait, do it. Since when is being hungry and then eating a bad thing? Your body is telling you it needs fuel. Listen to it.

Essentially: Don't limit yourself to what your HRM tells you, and eat healthy meals if you're hungry. Its pretty simple.
I started using the HRM because I read somewhere that the HRM helps in self-regulating the intensity of your workouts. Also, I said range i.e. my HRM is set at 146BPM for the low, and 165BPM for the high. I am using the 220 minus age formula for MHR. My age is 46. I do take about 10-12minutes to get past 146BPM, but I get quickly to 165BPM and sometimes to 170BPM before I slow things down to 165BPM again.

I do want to lose about 15Ibs or so, hence my worrries about post-workout eating.

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Old 12-20-05, 05:38 PM   #4
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I have had a similar experience. I also use a heart rate monitor (and love it).

A few things I have found to be helpful . . .

*pack a balance bar, 1/2 pb sandwhich, some figs, or a banana in your gym bag and eat them right after your workout.
*eat a sweet potato or oatmeal right before or right after

One of my favorite fast smoothie drinks that I have had before or after:
10 oz. (soy) milk, 1/2 banana, 2 tbsp. ground flax, 1.5 ounces whey protein

On days I do strength training, I try to eat protein within the hour of my workout which means I am usually packing food in my bag.

I think it has to do with waiting too long or a need for carbs or proteins. When I first discovered this intense hunger, I was noticing it always hit about 2 hours after an intense workout and I could easily eat an entire box of cereal with very little effort. Now, I fuel my body with a snack which gets me to my regular meal time.

I hope this helps.
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Old 12-20-05, 05:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SandySwimmer
I have had a similar experience. I also use a heart rate monitor (and love it).

A few things I have found to be helpful . . .

*pack a balance bar, 1/2 pb sandwhich, some figs, or a banana in your gym bag and eat them right after your workout.
*eat a sweet potato or oatmeal right before or right after

One of my favorite fast smoothie drinks that I have had before or after:
10 oz. (soy) milk, 1/2 banana, 2 tbsp. ground flax, 1.5 ounces whey protein

On days I do strength training, I try to eat protein within the hour of my workout which means I am usually packing food in my bag.

I think it has to do with waiting too long or a need for carbs or proteins. When I first discovered this intense hunger, I was noticing it always hit about 2 hours after an intense workout and I could easily eat an entire box of cereal with very little effort. Now, I fuel my body with a snack which gets me to my regular meal time.

I hope this helps.
Thanks SandySwimmer, I'll give your recommendations a try. I think I'll try keeping a banana or/and an apple in my gym bag and eat one or/and the other immediately after my workouts and see if this works.

I should ask if the whey protein route really works for post-strengthtraining workouts. If you recommend it, I might try that too.

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Old 12-20-05, 07:14 PM   #6
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Whey protein is quick and easily digestable. I can drink the smoothie before a workout without noticing it in the stomach.

Sometimes I have both a piece of fruit and a source of protein (apple slices dipped in pb is also good). You'll have fun experimenting.

If I have an early morning workout scheduled, I can have the sweet potato or oatmeal before I go to bed and it seems to fuel my morning workout. Raisins and nuts are also a good carb/protein combination after a workout.
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Old 12-20-05, 08:59 PM   #7
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A word about your new HR monitor and the "formula" you are using to determine your max HR and thus your zones. You can search this forum since the topic has been discussed practically to death.

A monitor and zone training really only has value if you know your true max HR. The "formula" is notoriously low, although for some people it actually works. Take me for example. I am 54 and my max HR is above 200 (possibly 205 maybe a bit less). According to the formula it should be 166. Using 166 as my max all my zones would be off the charts below what they actually are. If I followed them, I would think I was getting great workouts, when in fact I would be going at a much lower intensity than I should (if I wanted to use zone training).

I went through the whole HR monitor thing and decided it wasn't for me, and I knew pretty much what my zones were. They might be ok for recovery rides because its pretty hard to keep your HR low enough to actually help recover.
If you continue to use the monitor I suggest you get tested for your true max HR at a sports lab, or search how to self determine your max.
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Old 12-23-05, 10:12 PM   #8
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It's not unreasonable to be hungry after your workouts, considering you've probably burned much of what you consumed pre-workout during exercise. Post-workout nutrition, if you want the best results, is a factor that cannot be ignored.

Post-workout, you should consume a protein/carb meal, most conviniently in the form of a recovery drink/shake. Whey protein, dextrose, and maltodextrin are ideal sources for PWO nutrition. Whey protein is a quick digesting protein that, with the help of dex and malto, will be shuttled to muscles where it will go to work repairing them (exercise damages muscles, gains come when the damage is repaired and muscle is built-up in anticipation of future use). As a general rule of thumb, avoid fat and fiber in your post-workout meal, as both of these nutrients slow the absorbtion of nutrients.

You should build into your diet pre and post workout meals to provide you with energy to fuel exercise, and the nutrients to recover afterwards. If you don't provide your body with what it needs, it will dip into fat stores, but will also cannabalize muscle tissue. You don't want this. Try searching for post-workout nutrition on google, or a site like bodybuilding.com (nutritional advice for all athletic types) for more info.
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Old 12-24-05, 12:31 AM   #9
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I always replenish myself after a good workout. If I've been doing the weights, I might take some whey protein, but mostly my body craves carbs. When I'm bad, it might be sugar, but, usually, I have some complex carbs as they satisfy more evenly on the long run.
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Old 12-24-05, 02:42 AM   #10
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Your first hunch was correct - you're overdoing it. It seems everone thinks they have to train for the Oympics around here. Just slow down and don't work out so hard. Try to be more active throughout the day instead of doing it all in 1-2 hours of all-out exercise. Walk more, even 5-10 min errands. Do yardwork. Ride a bike at 50-60% of your max (great for fat loss). Try doing 15-20 min of pushups, crunches and light dumbells in the morning also, as a warmup. In this way the body gets plenty of exercise but not the massive energy drain, muscle depletion and carb cravings.

This is the way people used to stay fit - they did more throughout the day. I have lost 12 lbs this year doing this new regimen, 4" off my waist, have hurt myself less and enjoyed myself more, actually it was the result of a couple of over-use injuries that got me going in this direction. I'm 50, and realized I was more interested in getting leaner and more flexible, building endurance, and staying fit long-term, than pounding out workouts and obsessively training.

Last edited by mtnroads; 12-24-05 at 02:49 AM.
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Old 12-24-05, 03:18 AM   #11
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So ah.. what kind of workouts are you doing in the gym? It's fine to have a goal of losing 15lbs, but you cannot do it by starving yourself; your body will end up tearing muscle apart to feed itself and you'll end up losing muscle as well as fat. Try eating an energy-bar every 30-minutes while in the gym. You'll find that you won't be as hungry afterwards and will not have any desire to pig out. Also make sure you eat before the workout as well.
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Old 12-24-05, 02:29 PM   #12
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So ah.. what kind of workouts are you doing in the gym? It's fine to have a goal of losing 15lbs, but you cannot do it by starving yourself; your body will end up tearing muscle apart to feed itself and you'll end up losing muscle as well as fat. Try eating an energy-bar every 30-minutes while in the gym. You'll find that you won't be as hungry afterwards and will not have any desire to pig out. Also make sure you eat before the workout as well.
Yes DannoXYZ, I understand that I cannot lose weight by starving myself. Actually, I feel good about my gym program. It consists of a quite vigorous 30minutes on the Life Exercycle, concetrating on spinning a high cadence (90 to 95RPMs) and an immediate 30minutes on the Stairclimber. I then finish with 100crunches and 60leglifts. I do this cardio 4x a week.Two of those days a week, I add a weight program that is 4Sets and 10Reps each of the following: Benchpress, Incline Press, Lat Pull-downs, Leg Extension, Standing Hamstring Curls, Back Extension, Rotary Torso Twist, Cable Row, Machine Crunch and Seated Calf Press.

One thing I am about to start doing is to keep a banana or/and an apple in my car for consumption right after my workouts. I am hoping this can help to quickly replenish some of the energy expended working out, thus not having to pig out when I get home.

By the way, feel free to comment on my program. I have really learnt a lot by reading some of your responses to issues raised in the Training and Nutrition threads. It has been even more educative when you support your responses with scientific treatise(s). Keep it up.

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Old 12-26-05, 12:53 PM   #13
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I've read in a few places that the horomones that help you gain muscle and lose weight are more abundant before meal times. So to get the best workout possible, you should either workout first thing in the morning, or a few hours after lunch if you have trouble maintaining blood sugar levels.

I like to workout just before dinner, because I get the same ravenous cravings after I'm finished. Eat a high-carb snack immediately after your workout to start your recovery quickly.
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Old 01-04-06, 03:04 PM   #14
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the only thing i have to offer is mix up your workout.. dont get stuck in a rut.. add some variety, maybe of how many reps in a set, or of the actual excercises... as for the post workout meals.. i cant help.. i cannot get enough food... its hard for me to gain weight, so i drink a 2000 cal shake, and then go home and eat a few thousand cal meal.
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Old 01-04-06, 08:40 PM   #15
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I looked at the subject and thought "what's your point??"

If hunger is out of control after the work-out, try eating more before the work-out. Like 2 hrs before, so food can digest and energy available for the work-out. Afterwards, eat appropriately for recovery. Fuel the work-out and recovery. Similar rules to pre and post race eating, maybe relaxed *a little*.
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