Your question may be, “Does weightlifting make you hungry?” The general answer to this question is: Yes. Lifting weights do affect your appetite.
Whether you want to lose weight or simply not gain weight, you wonder how weightlifting fits into the picture.
Weightlifting and Dehydration
Any physical activity can cause perspiration, but with weightlifting, it can be extreme. Whenever you perspire, you lose essential fluids from your body. When you perspire during workouts, it is easy to become dehydrated.
Dehydration can cause a number of problems, some of which can be serious. One problem that is less serious, yet bothersome, is hunger.
Hunger from dehydration is rarely for nutritious foods. Instead, you are more likely to crave salt or sugar. As you will not find these ingredients in healthy foods, avoid hunger caused by dehydration.
It is not difficult to avoid this type of hunger. All you need to do is stay fully hydrated when you lift weights. One of the best options is fresh, pure water. Drink water during your workouts, and after you have finished a session.
A second option is a sports drink. You can choose a sugar-free variety if you wish. It will keep you hydrated, and will also provide key electrolytes that your body loses when you work out.
Whether you lift weights at home or at the gym, stay hydrated during and after your sessions. You do not need to experience hunger and cravings from dehydration.
Weightlifting and Your Metabolism
The chemical processes in your body change when you lift weights. Weightlifting increases your metabolism. As you are burning more calories, you experience the need for more calories. You can become hungry after your workout is over.
Although your muscles lose sugar when they break down during weightlifting sessions, this does not mean you must supply your body with more sugar. There are healthier ways to end hunger after you work out.
As muscles need protein to heal and repair, protein after weightlifting can be beneficial. It can stop hunger, and be good for your muscles. You can have lean cuts of meat, fish, poultry, low-fat yogurt, or eggs. Choose soy products if you prefer vegetarian foods.
Carbohydrates provide energy. Some examples include whole grain bread, whole grain rice, dried fruits, blackberries, blueberries, and most fresh vegetables. In addition to fuel and energy, it is a healthy way to end your hunger.
When you lift weights, it strains your hormonal system. You need healthy fats to help your body recover after a workout. Both Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids should be in your diet.
The polyunsaturated Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in Atlantic mackerel, walnuts, Chia seeds, and herring. Other sources include Alaskan salmon, egg yolks, and Albacore tuna. For vegetarian diets, Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables can increase your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-6 fatty acids can be found in peanut butter, walnuts, and tofu.
You can reduce post-workout hunger by including protein, carbohydrates, and both forms of fatty acids in your diet. You can enjoy them in small meals after workouts, too. All of these nutritious foods are low in calories.
Weightlifting and Activity
Any physical activity can increase your appetite, and result in a larger appetite. This may not change even if you skip a day of working out. It is completely natural for a person to have a stronger appetite after taking on strenuous physical activity.
This does not mean you need to gain weight or reduce the health benefits of weightlifting. It can be an opportunity to make healthy eating a part of your lifestyle. Along with your new appetite, have a balanced diet.
Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates can be the foundation of a good diet. Remember to drink water throughout the day.
When you focus on a balanced diet, you will have better overall health. Weightlifting will be a better, easier experience. You will also be less likely to experience hunger pangs and cravings for unhealthy foods.
You will find, too, that nutritious foods are usually low in calories. You can be completely satisfied with your meals, and not gain weight.
Weightlifting and Your Efforts
It is human nature to want to congratulate yourself for a job well done. After you have finished a workout session, you may mistake this for hunger. You feel you earned a treat and deserve a treat, even if you are not necessarily hungry. You may think you are, even though you are not.
A treat or reward after weightlifting can help you stay motivated. It can help you feel good about yourself and your accomplishments. Before you open a box of ice cream or order a pizza, keep a couple of points in mind.
First, when you are not actually hungry, a treat does not need to be food. There are many other ways you can enjoy your accomplishment other than eating or drinking. Treat yourself to a movie or read a book. A job well done does not have to mean extra calories.
Second, develop the habit of choosing low-calorie, nutritious snacks. You can learn to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables instead of candy, cookies, and cake. You can take the edge off hunger, and reward yourself at the same time. You can have the added benefit of new, healthier eating habits, too.
Control Your Hunger When Weightlifting
If you are new to weightlifting, you can start with some additional tips to help control your hunger. You do not have to battle hunger every time you lift weights.
Make a point of controlling the duration of your workout sessions. If you work out too long, your body will feel like it is starving. You can experience ravenous hunger after you finish working out. Instead, take it slow from the beginning.
Short workouts will produce results, and you will not feel as hungry afterward.
Avoid lifting weights on an empty stomach. If you are afraid to eat before you work out, your body will lack energy. It will be difficult to push through a workout session. Your workouts will be shorter and less productive.
You will burn fewer calories when you lift weights. Instead, increase your energy with a small snack before you start a session. A small piece of fresh fruit is a good example.
You should not be concerned over some extra calories before a weightlifting session. Lifting weights burns calories. You can easily work off the 100-200 calories from your pre-workout snack.
You will experience less hunger when you eat nutrition-packed meals. When you decide to lift weights, it is not the time to skip meals. Many people who lift weights even find four or six small meals are better than three. Whichever your preference, eat healthy meals every day.
Sleep is essential when you work out. While it helps your body recover after weightlifting, it also controls your appetite. If you do not get enough sleep, it affects the hormones that stimulate your appetite.
Most adults benefit from at least eight and a half hours of restful sleep. Do not reserve sleep for only nights after you have lifted weights. Make it a priority every night. You will be healthier and more refreshed, and your appetite will be under control.
Focus on clean, fresh, whole foods whenever possible. Optimum health and fitness do not occur from processed foods, junk foods, alcohol, or too much sugar and salt. Some people find these products only increase their hunger, and lead to unhealthy eating binges.
Your diet should consist of lean protein, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, fiber, and water. Your eating habits can lead to better health while reducing hunger.
Realize that hunger is not necessarily your enemy. It is your body’s way of telling you it needs something. It is only a problem if you eat too much food, the wrong food, or at the wrong time. Sensible eating and good health go together, especially when you lift weights.
Weightlifting and Appetite: Be Prepared
Everyone has his or her own priorities and goals for weightlifting. If you are new to weightlifting, it is helpful to know in advance what you can expect. One example changes in your appetite.
Hunger pangs, ravenous appetite, and cravings for unhealthy foods do not need to sabotage your efforts. In most cases, these issues can be prevented. If you do experience hunger, you can deal with it with these simple solutions.
You do not need to gain weight, fail to lose weight, or experience health problems. You can enjoy all the benefits of weightlifting.
Someone may ask, or you may wonder yourself “Does weightlifting make you hungry?” You should not be surprised to find the answer is “Yes.” However, many times you can avoid hunger, and other times you can deal with it effectively.
When hunger does not rule your life, you will have better results from lifting weights. You can be slim, lean, and physically fit. Muscle will replace body fat. Your life can be more rewarding and exciting because of weightlifting.
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