Are you starving the minute you step of the treadmill? Are the Golden Arches beckoning whenever you leave the gym? What’s up with the cardio makes me hungry phenomenon anyway, and what can you do about it (other than cutting out the work out)?
Believe me, I get it. If the answer to weight loss is calories in calories out (it isn’t – despite what you’ve heard) then what’s the point of ticking away those calories on the treadmill when you’re just going to replace them (and more) when you’re done in a post-workout binge?
It’s kind of a motivational buzz kill, isn’t it?
Check out some internet forums on the cardio makes me hungry and you’ll get a range of answers – from eat more protein to eat more carbs (either before or after) to pause in the middle of your workout to eat some fruit. And, though eating seems like the right approach to the cardio makes me hungry dilemma, changing up the type of workout you’re doing may be the real answer.
A recent study in The International Journal of Obesity found that high intensity exercise (interval training specifically) actually suppresses hunger (mostly be decreasing gherlin (the hunger hormone) and elevating blood lactate and glucose).
Another study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that low intensity walking can also suppress your appetite – even when it burns the same number of calories as more a intense walking workout.
So, if cardio makes me hungry is one of your post-workout refrains, either slow your treadmill time down to a leisurely pace or pick things up with an interval style workout (push hard for 15 seconds then do a minute of recovery, then push again). Check the Free Weight Loss Resources page for a couple of interval workouts to get you started. Give it a try, and let me know how it works for you in the comments section below.