Exercising regularly isn’t a guarantee you’ll achieve or maintain a healthy weight. In fact, adding exercise to a daily regimen may even lead to weight gain in some people. Some reasons people gain weight after starting exercise programs are that they gain muscle mass or eat too many calories. Following a few simple tips will help you avoid overeating after workouts.
Hydrate Yourself First
Drink as much water as you can before, during, and after workouts to avoid dehydration and keep you feeling as full as possible before meals. Following this calorie-control strategy of drinking water before every meal helps you avoid eating more than you should. Some people mistake thirst for hunger, which can lead to overindulgence.
If you overdo it during workouts and over train regularly, you may notice your hunger level begin to rise — and experience drops in blood sugar. If over training causes you to feel sluggish, you may seek out quick blood sugar boosters like sweets and sugar drinks — which can lead to overeating and unwanted weight gain.
Don’t Reward Yourself with Food
Workouts can be grueling and deserving of a reward in your mind. While this may be true, don’t use food as a reward. Burning extra calories through exercise is often easier than controlling calorie intake for many people. Instead of choosing food as a reward, allow yourself to relax, read a good book, go out with friends, watch your favorite television show — or pick something else non-food related you enjoy doing as a reward. You can even buy yourself a new piece of clothing you feel great in.
Reach for Protein, Veggies, and Whole Grains
You will eventually be hungry after working out, and when you do get hungry, it’s important to reach for veggies, protein-rich foods, and whole grains to curb hunger and help you feel full for long periods of time. Reach for grilled chicken breast, shrimp, salmon, tofu, egg whites, high-protein milk, nuts, seeds, legumes, low-fat cottage cheese, reduced-fat cheeses, nonfat Greek yogurt, whole grain breads, whole grain cereals, brown rice, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta, oatmeal, leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, asparagus, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, carrots, olives, avocados — or combinations of these nutritious foods after exercising. It should be mentioned that if you’re working out regularly, you shouldn’t be afraid of eating the right carbs either!
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