Hangry. That kind of hunger that makes you super cranky, irritable unpleasant to be around until you get that first bite of satisfying yum! I consider hangry a level one hunger. Meaning you didn’t get that extra snack after lunch and you are late for dinner.
And yet my friends, there is another kind of hunger. It is a 12 on a scale of 1-10. The ravenous hunger that comes from taking your workouts up a notch. Running faster, lifting heavier, adding an extra day. This type of hunger goes under the RRRrrrANGRY category. It is so intense that you can actually GAIN weight from binge eating when adding that extra intense workout. The justification from the RRRrrrANGRY eating is that growling voice in your belly telling your head that you deserve it, you deserve eat! Eat whatever you want. You are a ravenous athlete! GGGGrrrrrrr!!!!!
So what is the answer to dealing with this ravenous, workout beast appetite?
Pre-empt the RRRrrrANGRY!
Consume flavorful fuel before and after your workout
Let’s face it, powdery shakes and protein bars don’t taste like real food. Even though you might be physically getting the nutrients you need from supplements, mentally you will want more because it is not satisfying. Non-flavor foods can lead to over eating.
If protein bars and shakes aren’t cutting it, try non-processed, whole grain, healthy snacks.
Some of my faves: almonds, banana, chocolate milk, peanut butter sandwich, avocado drizzled with oil.
Hunger or craving?
Take an honest survey of your food intake. Are you genuinely hungry or having a craving? If you are hungry can you add more food at another meal? Try adding extra meat on your sandwich at lunch or add a protein at breakfast. Are you skipping any meals? Are there long periods of time that you go without eating?
Are you craving sugar, fat, fried food? Sometimes a craving can mean you are not getting enough of something in your diet. Take an honest overview of your food intake. Are you getting enough greens? How is your hydration? Are you filling up on processed or starchy food? Make small changes and see how your appetite responds.
Having a scrumcious meal to look forward to might make you put down the box of cookies and save a couple for after the meal instead of eating the whole box and skipping the meal all together. I speak from experience of course. There are so many healthy meal options to go and even delivery right to your front door!
Cold weather comfort food
For those of us in cooler climates, the cold weather might mean wanting to snuggle in front of the tv and snack. Chili is a great high protein warm meal, as well as soups and stews. Warm milk with cinnamon may satisfy a cold comfort sweet tooth. Know your cravings, plan ahead, be prepared!