Let’s be honest, who hasn’t pictured the most delicious snack waiting for them after an intensive workout? Or used the phrase “you’ve earned it”, to justify a post-workout overindulgence?
Many use their workout as an excuse to eat whatever they want afterwards. However, what they fail to underestimate is that this rewarding behaviour can cause us to regularly overeat without even noticing. And before we know it, end up eating more calories than we have actually burned. Guilty of the post-workout binge? Then read on to find out how you can control it and what a healthy post-workout snack should really look like.
Why we end up overeating after a training session
The psychology of “the reward”
At first, regular training is tough. We have to leave our comfort zone. We often ask ourselves why we do it. And before results become visible, many search for another kind of reward. This is where the delicious treat comes in. The problem is, this “delicious treat” is in most cases not the healthiest choice, but instead a calorie-loaded sweet version. But it’s ok, ”because I’ve earned it”.
Estimated calories burned
Several studies have also shown that many people completely overestimate the calories they burn during a workout and underestimate the amount of calories in their post-workout snack. They therefore end up eating more calories than they have burned.
How can I stop myself falling victim to the post-workout binge?
Don’t starve yourself. The more hungry you are, the more likely it is that you will end up eating far more than you need. Eat regularly. Try to find delicious snacks and treats that are healthy and won’t ruin your results or training effects.
Second, try to be realistic about your energy expenditure. Do some research on how many calories your workout on average burns and try to eat a healthy, appropriate post-workout snack.
What a post-workout snack should really look like
The post-workout snack should refill your energy stores and supply your body with enough protein in order to increase muscle size/strength and repair damaged muscle tissue caused by the workout.
It should be something nutritious, with carbohydrates and protein, which will also leave you feeling fuller for longer. You could certainly eat a whole-food meal after your workout or prepare a smoothie with fruit and a protein source. Or you can simply let your Nutrition Coach chose a post-workout snack for you.