The last time I was this hungry I partied all day at the beach then went to see AC/DC later that night. Man did I have the munchies after that concert. That was 20 years ago. Those same munchies I had yesterday following an intense workout. What do these two completely opposite situations have in common? First, let’s look up the definition of munchies.
(The craving for food) that’s the first thing they have in common. I always have this deep craving for food a couple hours after my workout.
A study conducted by Purdue University found that moderate consumption of alcohol enhances the taste of salt and fat, which is why that cheese pizza tastes so friggin good. After working out I do crave salt and fat, but working out does not enhance the taste.
There’s research that proves the body needs to be refueled after burning calories during a workout. Some research even suggests exercise can be a deterrent to weight loss because we are so damn hungry we eat whatever is in sight.
When we consume a lot of alcohol our body doesn’t feel full from the excess calories and will want food to fill up. This will add weight, which means our (after workout) and (drunken) munchies are the same if we eat the wrong foods.
So if we eat junk food following a workout we could actually gain weight defeating the purpose of working out.
The “smart me” says “You’re smart and you know what real food is, so stop eating crap.”
The “not so smart me” says you just worked out you can eat whatever you want.
Yoda says “Eat more real food, you must. Eat less junk food, you will.”
“There’s this hunger issue,” says Kendrin Sonneville, RD, a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health. Her study about how kids who exercised the most ate back all the calories they burned off, and then some, was featured in a Time cover story, “Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin,” last fall. “After the article came out, my sister called me and asked, ‘So, is exercise a waste of time?’ ” Sonneville’s reply: “No, but it’s not a panacea for weight-loss either because it does increase your appetite. The food-exercise equation is imbalanced. It may take an hour to burn 500 calories but only five minutes to eat them back.”
So when your body senses that you’re burning fuel from exercise, it wants to be sure you replace it pronto. They say it’s worse for women. In my case, I know how those ladies feel because I want to eat soon after a workout.
The goal is to not starve but to replenish my body with what it needs to function at it’s highest level.
Protein and carbohydrates are our bodies essential fuels to function. Let’s look at the differences.
Protein: When you exercise, your muscles are broken down and then use protein to rebuild themselves stronger while recovering. Protein absolutely NEEDS to be a main component of every meal. Aim for one gram per pound (two grams per KG) of lean body weight, or just do one gram per pound of body weight if you don’t want to do the math – with an upper limit of 200 grams. Sources of protein include chicken, eggs, beef, pork, fish, nuts, legumes, quinoa, and most dairy products.
Carbohydrates: When you eat carbohydrates, they get converted to glucose (sugar) in your system, which is then used to provide energy for all sorts of body functions to take place. Vegetables and/or fresh fruit are quality sources of carbohydrates, with grains being less so in my opinion…but we’ll get to more grains later. There are certainly bad carbohydrates (processed carbs, refined grains, and more), and those are the ones we want to avoid. Unless you’re a marathon runner, you can function with WAY less carbs than you’re probably consuming now.
I’ve lost 15 pounds in the last year which I discussed in previous posts. The first thing I did was cut down on useless carbohydrates. I didn’t completely cut them out, I am allowed to cheat once in awhile. If you do a little research you’ll find the carbs which convert over to glucose can do a lot more harm than just putting on extra weight.
I work out, I get hungry, and then I fight those damn munchies. I party, have a good time, and then I fight those damn munchies.
Do I win the fight all the time….no way. But I’m aware of what will happen if I let it get out of control. Number one I feel like shit and look like shit. Also, my quality of life and my life years are diminished because of my ignorant cravings.