The Hunger

I was forced to apologize to my friends and loved ones earlier this week because I ate all the food. All of it. It was terrible but oh-so-tasty.

The day after I work out, I have no further ambition than eating as much as I can possibly get away with and then eating just a little bit more. I actually gave myself pretty bad indigestion Monday night after going well over 1,000 calories more than what I should have.

One of the things that’s always been difficult for me when I’m working out is trying to manage the sheer amount of food I want to eat. At that point, it actually becomes a motivator to stay active, so at least there’s a fringe benefit of fatty eating all the food. There’s this weird guilt that comes from knowing I’m going to eat all the food, so I should probably at least pretend to be active. So far this week, I’ve managed to do something active after work, whether it was running, yoga, or just bowling.

Now as I start the prep for my 5K per month journey, I was also hoping to get a bit leaner. I’m by no means fat, but I’m carry a bit of extra weight, which I can feel the effects of, especially in my knee. This of course makes it more difficult to stay active. Not a fun game to play.

Once I cross the 180 threshold, it starts to take its toll. And then I hit 200 earlier this year for the first time, so I’m beginning the slow fight to get back under 180.

Can’t say that I’m doing terribly great, but I managed to turn the direction of my weight change and got close to 190, though I’m stalling out now that I’m running again.

Weight loss isn’t my goal, but I do think it’s a part of reaching my goal. The fact is, the 5K per month business isn’t a real goal; it’s just a measurable I’m using to help ensure that I’m staying active and taking care of my body.

And so I run. And I hunger. J’ai faim. Tengo hambre.

I just want more and more and more and more. It’s more of a battle to not overeat when I’m active than it is to actually stay active.

And of course, I’m being careful not to undereat or miss out on eating a balanced meal, but it’s no fun sitting at home in the evening contemplating a second supper. I don’t want to hurt myself, and I’d rather be a bit fat than malnourished.

This hunger has always been the case; I’ve just tried to be smarter about it.

I felt like a champ at 18-19 when I figured out I could eat healthier options without really cutting down the amount of food I ate, and I ended up trimming off 10 pounds of fat in a month or two. I was also lifting most days and running a fair amount. And I was still a teenager. Damn teenagers and their intact metabolisms.

At least I know I’m not the only one who deals with it.

When you look up this type of thing, the most common thing I see is about what foods to eat to help you feel full. Being careful about what I eat helps a little bit. A very little bit. No amount of protein and fiber makes me feel full (in fact, too much fiber has the opposite effect and leaves me feeling drained instead).

In terms of workouts, yoga’s been the best at keeping my appetite under control, which is in line with some research on the matter. Guess it’s partly the mindfulness and partly the lower intensity of yoga compared to weight lifting and running.

At the end of the day, the big thing that works for me is tracking. Even if I don’t always win the day, I’m at least holding myself accountable and seeing where I’m messing up.

I use a Fitbit to monitor my activity, though I don’t treat it as gospel knowing it only guesses. I use myfitnesspal to track my food, and so these two apps give me a good idea of when it’s been a good day and when it’s been a bad day. At least starting to run again has gotten more more good days on the Fitbit.

The following are some articles on the matter.

A pretty comprehensive article: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/weight-loss/eating-help/control-cravings/control-your-post-workout-appetite/

Short article on food choices http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2012/08/12/how-to-deal-with-post-workout-hunger/

And the article that tells you not to beat yourself up so much http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-blog/exercise-and-hunger/bgp-20056155

-Q

#ihaterunning

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