Friday, July 12, 2013

End the Hunger Games: Avoiding Post Workout Gluttony

My Nordic Track Ultra Lift weight machine: Pigging out after sets is not an option.

One of the problems with engaging in intense exercise is thinking we've burned more calories than we actually have. There was a study which showed this: A hot dog cart was positioned outside of a fitness gym offering free wieners to people who had completed their work-out. Most stopped and had a 400 + calorie hot dog even though it was highly unlikely that they burned that much during their gym session.

We all do this!  After a little exertion, we feel almost entitled to a big meal or a rich dessert. The reality is that just like those people caught in the "hot dog trap", we can easily overshoot the amount of calories burned during an activity. Then we feel betrayed because the pounds aren't coming off but piling on.  Here are some tips to help break this post work-out cycle of over-eating:

End the Hunger Games

1.) Hydrate first. I'm not talking about Gatorade either. Before reaching for something to eat, try downing at least 12 ozs of ice cold water. This will help cool down your core while giving you time to reset your appetite. Keep in mind that oftentimes "hunger pangs" are just thirst signals in disguise.

2.) Stretch after your work out.  Rather than running to the kitchen right after your last set, try cooling down completely with a few static stretches. This will give you time to rethink your feeding frenzy mode so you can make better choices about what to refuel with.

3.) Recover with low fat protein. If you are still feeling hungry after your fitness routine, try having a protein shake specifically designed for recovery. Pick one that is low in sugar as you can add your own berries or even 1/2 banana to sweeten to your liking.  Easy to digest, whey protein shakes are a great meal replacement or snack. I am trying a new product by NeoCell, their Collagen Sport Ultimate Recovery Complex.
Made with natural flavorings, the French Vanilla tastes like a vanilla ice cream float. Very creamy.
Neocell Collagen Sport. My new go-to recovery drink.
More than just a recovery formula, this powder has added collagen to support healthy joints and ligaments, vitamins and antioxidants.  Really that's oftentimes what hurts when you're done anyway, your muscles, joints and ligaments! Try a serving of a whey based high protein shake like this and see how quickly you get a handle on things.

4.) Re-Body Hunger Chews 
Rebody Hunger Chews in Mandarin Orange and Pre-3 Max
These are simple, yummy Starburst-like little chews that you can take before a meal to help keep things from getting out of hand. They contain a natural hunger regulator, (a Saffron extract), that helps you feel a bit more satisfied with less. As you are preparing your post training day meal, pop one in your mouth. You may find yourself dropping that desire for a second helping. I like them because they put an end to all that night time recreational eating we can fall into. These really work and offer a simple, natural solution to post workout gluttony or anytime you are tempted to eat more than you should.

5.) Have a little FAT. I know this sounds counter-productive but including a little of the right kind of fat, (Omega 3's), is good for you and will help keep you satisfied without the temptation to binge.  I'm talking about real food like: salmon, walnuts, pecans, almonds, avocados, coconut oil, sardines, etc.  
Add some Extra Virgin Coconut Oil to your diet to help boost your fat metabolism.

Try having at least one serving per day of one of these Omega 3 heavy hitters to boost fat metabolism and you could also find your muscle and joint soreness has become a thing of the past.  In addition to helping deal with the munchies, these foods help fight inflammation. The double whammy!

The RIGHT fats can make a difference.  Grilled salmon, oven roasted sweet potato fries and organic greens make a balanced, post workout meal.

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