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Member Question

Posted Mar 20th, 2014 in Blog, General, NUTRITION

Member Question

"I wondered if you could provide feedback as to why a persons appetite goes way up after a good hard workout and how to deal with that problem if one is trying to loose fat?”

A person gets hungry after a workout (talking specifically about CrossFit) because you've just finished using a lot of carbs, fats (both are energy sources) and breaking down muscle tissue which requires protein for rebuilding.  Just like a car burns more fuel when you put the gas pedal to the floor compared to when it's idle at a stoplight, your body burns more fuel doing intense exercise than it does sitting for that same hour.  You get hungry because this is your body telling you "HEY! if we're going to keep doing this multiple times a week we're gonna need a lot more fuel and protein to recover than we did when we weren't doing this stuff."  You NEED more food to fuel the extra activity.

Now your next question might be "How do I eat more food and not get fat?".  The answer is in the TYPE and QUALITY of food you're eating.  If you're eating more lean meats, vegetables, some fruits and good fats, all things your body needs to rebuild and recover.  Then you will most likely turn the extra food into fuel and muscle. Remember that NOT eating enough food will give you the opposite effect.

Your body is always doing the long term math.  If you start exercising and expending energy, but don't increase food intake, or worse, decrease food intake, your body will think "Jeez, if we keep using this much, and only get in this much, we're not going to last.  We better slow our metabolism down and start storing more energy(in the form of fat).  Your food intake needs to support your activities.

If you eat lots of bars, energy drinks, or other items high in sugar this is where you could start turning things into fat instead when consumption increases.  Remember that fat DOESN'T make you fat, too much sugar(carbohydrates) will cause insulin regulation disruption and fat storage, specifically around the belly.  This does not mean all carbohydrates are evil, you just need to be mindful of how much, when and what types of carbohydrates you are consuming.  Try and consume most  if not all of your carbohydrates during the part of your day after your workouts.  If looking to increase carb intake to help recovery keep them primarily from vegetable sources (more carb dense vegetables are root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, yams, beets etc) if you can, or fruit.  If looking to lose fat, you may need to decrease carbohydrate intake, but not to the point where performance and recovery suffer.

Remember there no are quick guidelines or magic numbers you can automatically follow.  Everyone is different and their bodies will respond differently to different stimuli.  Start with the basics, eat lean meats, lots of vegetables, some fruit nuts and seeds and drink 2-3litres of water a day.  Eat when your hungry, stop when your full.  Decrease or eliminate consumption of wheat, dairy, excess sugars and processed foods.

For more personalized info we have nutrition sessions and packages starting at $65 that we encourage you to take advantage of to accelerate your fat loss and performance gains.

-Rob

If you have questions don't be shy! Others are probably wondering the same thing.  Email questions to rob@crossfitstcatharines.com or ask us on Facebook.

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