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TOPIC: Not eating enough after working out?

 
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March 24, 2011 4:25 AM
This is my first posting here and just joined My Fitness Pal this morning after a suggestion from my wife.

A little background. Last year, I started exercising and eating healthier and lost 30 pounds. Then last summer, I kind of hit a plateau, and I stayed around the same weight for several months. Then over the holiday season, I started eating more bad foods, drinking the fatty holiday lattes and drinking more beer and boom I gained back 15 of the 30 pounds.

So, I got back on my regular diet program and started exercising. Over the last month, I dropped six pounds.

But then it hit me back a few weeks ago that what I was doing wasn't enough for my ultimate goal. My goal is not to just take the weight off, but also look at doing some things I have never done in my life like perhaps do a triathlon or run a 5 k.

So, two weeks ago, I pumped up my workout program. Before, I was doing about 20 minutes on the treadmill and then a few crunches and maybe some pushups.

Then I blew up my program. I added running on the treadmill, doing trail running, I added weights into my workouts, I'm doing more intense crunches and leg lifts and a variety of other exercises for the core. The results have been awesome. I got on the treadmill the other day, put it on a good pace and ran for 15 minutes straight for the first time in 15 years.

But I'm noticing a drawback. All of a sudden, I'm hungry and starving and crave more protein. My diet has consisted of eating a bowl of cereal in the morning and then taking a sandwich loaded with veggies on it, a small bag of chips, a granola bar and then some fruits to snack on during the work day.

Am I eating enough now that I'm working out regularly? And am I eating the right foods? Should I be taking some nuts or some other type of snack to help make up for the protein cravings?

I noticed the same thing last year. That's why I stabilized during the summer. It wasn't because I stopped doing things. I got into mountain biking, and my workouts became more intense and I ate more. So I ended up losing nothing.

Thanks for the help.
March 24, 2011 4:32 AM
I'd ask... what kind of cereal, what kind of granola bar... Yea, you could trade in the chips for something else, but some prefer moderation of absence. You want the most nutritionally dense bang for your buck.
If your sodium isn't high, cottage cheese is a good protein, or your typical shake. Maybe string cheese?

Kudos on pushing harder!
March 24, 2011 4:43 AM
i always work out b4 i eat that way im nt hungry, b4 when i used to eat then exercise, made me hungry all the time especially after runningsmile
  5355848
March 24, 2011 4:49 AM
QUOTE:

This is my first posting here and just joined My Fitness Pal this morning after a suggestion from my wife.

A little background. Last year, I started exercising and eating healthier and lost 30 pounds. Then last summer, I kind of hit a plateau, and I stayed around the same weight for several months. Then over the holiday season, I started eating more bad foods, drinking the fatty holiday lattes and drinking more beer and boom I gained back 15 of the 30 pounds.

So, I got back on my regular diet program and started exercising. Over the last month, I dropped six pounds.

But then it hit me back a few weeks ago that what I was doing wasn't enough for my ultimate goal. My goal is not to just take the weight off, but also look at doing some things I have never done in my life like perhaps do a triathlon or run a 5 k.

So, two weeks ago, I pumped up my workout program. Before, I was doing about 20 minutes on the treadmill and then a few crunches and maybe some pushups.

Then I blew up my program. I added running on the treadmill, doing trail running, I added weights into my workouts, I'm doing more intense crunches and leg lifts and a variety of other exercises for the core. The results have been awesome. I got on the treadmill the other day, put it on a good pace and ran for 15 minutes straight for the first time in 15 years.

But I'm noticing a drawback. All of a sudden, I'm hungry and starving and crave more protein. My diet has consisted of eating a bowl of cereal in the morning and then taking a sandwich loaded with veggies on it, a small bag of chips, a granola bar and then some fruits to snack on during the work day.

Am I eating enough now that I'm working out regularly? And am I eating the right foods? Should I be taking some nuts or some other type of snack to help make up for the protein cravings?

I noticed the same thing last year. That's why I stabilized during the summer. It wasn't because I stopped doing things. I got into mountain biking, and my workouts became more intense and I ate more. So I ended up losing nothing.

Thanks for the help.


Sounds like you are very low on protein. Try greek yogurt and/or a protein shake.

As a guy you should eat a minimum of 1500 NET calories. Which means at the very least you should eat 1500 calories plus eat back the calories you burned from working out. Eating less will hurt your progress and risk burning muscle instead of fat.
Edited by erickirb On March 24, 2011 4:50 AM
March 24, 2011 4:55 AM
I agree with Erick. It definitely sounds like you need to eat more. I LOVE greek yogurt after particularly intense workouts. You have to listen to and trust what your body is telling you that it needs. If you are lifting and trying to build muscle you are going to need protein to replenish your muscles. You'll also want to eat something before you workout - something that can turn into energy quickly. I typically eat a banana 30-45 minutes before I work out. And I suggest something high protein in the morning for breakfast like eggs and turkey bacon. It'll keep you fuller until snack or lunch time. Good luck and keep up the awesome work :)
  4565139
March 24, 2011 5:38 AM
Thanks for the replies so far. I had never even heard of greek yogurt until now. I need to check it out.

Jenn, as far as cereal, I usually eat Kashi Cinammon Harvest cereal for the fiber. The granola bar is usually your Nature Valley Oats and Honey. I've been trying out Clif bars a lot lately.
March 24, 2011 6:19 AM
Peanuts and Cashews are a good source of protein as well beneficial to your heart (unsalted), and if you want to boost your HDL at the same time, Almonds.

I useually have a handfull of nuts before working out, then a nice garden salid after, topped with sunflower seeds and/or shaved almonds.

Weekends I useually eat more "normal".
  3140872
March 24, 2011 6:44 AM
Erickirb's advice is sound, make sure you are eating enough to fuel your workouts, keep your metabolism running, and retain muscle.

Honestly, you should enter all your info and goals into MyFitnessPal, and do what it says. Start tracking everything you eat in the food diary. Measure and weigh everything you eat and drink. Eat the number of calories it recommends, including eating back the calories you burn in your workouts. In case you need an explanation on this, since it's a very hot, often misunderstood topic here on MFP, the program already calculates a caloric deficit for you based on the info you provide, so exercising increases the deficit and drops your NET calories, probably to too low a level. Eat those back to keep your daily deficit at the right number.

Also, keep an eye on WHAT you eat. Protein will feed your muscles, which will in turn help to burn fat. Lean meats like chicken, fish, turkey, lean cuts of beef, plus eggs and egg whites, lowfat/nonfat dairy, beans, nuts, etc. will help you meet your protein intake goals. You can also supplement with a protein powder if you like. Next, EAT YOUR VEGETABLES! Lots of them. With every meal if you can. Vegetables are about the best thing you can put in your body, loaded with nutrients, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and even protein. Get them in as often as you can. Also make sure to eat some fats, but try make them GOOD fats like olive oil, olives, avocados, nuts, etc. And then for grainy stuff, try to eat whole grains - 100% whole wheat breads and pastas, brown rice, real old fashioned oatmeal (not instant) or steel cut oats, etc.

I am a strong believer that it's not always a question of how much you eat, but WHAT you eat that makes larger positive impact on your health. Eating the right foods to fuel your body provides more energy to fuel your workouts and your day in general, speeds up your metabolism, and gives you more energy.

Good luck reaching your goals!
Edited by Mike523 On March 24, 2011 6:47 AM
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