Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Does exercise make you hungrier?

I have had a fairly regular workout schedule for about six months now.  On Monday and Wednesday mornings I take a one hour spin class and then a thirty minute abs class. Then on Tuesday evenings, Thursday evenings and Saturdays, I run.  I really like this schedule, but I have been noticing that on my spin days I feel hungrier than on non-spin days. 
I did some research on this and found conflicting information.  I had read and agree that rigorous exercise does decrease the appetite temporarily; I am more interested in what it does for the rest of the day.  On my spin days, I usually eat a packet of oatmeal and a hard-boiled egg before class.  By the time my classes are over, I am starving!  I get home and drink my usual Shakeology for lunch.  It does not keep me full on spin days like it does on non-spin days.  My Mondays and Wednesdays tend to follow a similar pattern of eating but still being hungry all day.  I do not experience this on my non-spin days.  It is so much easier for me to stick to a lower calorie eating plan on days I work out in the evenings. I am thinking about switching up my schedule and moving all my workouts to evenings. 
I am not sure what to do about this.  The calories I torch during my morning workouts, I eat later in the day.  This is contributing to my slow weight loss.  Have you had similar experience with exercise and hunger?  How did you overcome it? 
A dream is a wish…


  1. Personally, I've found that maintaining a regular workout schedule has increased my appetite. However, I find that I want to eat more often throughout the day but in smaller portions. I often have to carry larabars or cliff bars with me to snack on. I try and keep everything low cal for the most part and I try to balance out a lot of my "larger" meals (lunch, dinner). I don't know if that may help or not, but it's definitely been working for me. Good luck!!

  2. The same thing happens to me as well. I have found that it is easier to workout at night and see less of an appetite increase when I do that. Everyone is different so just finding what works for you is the best advice! Good luck!

  3. OMG have I been eating a TON! I've been running regularly all year and I eat a lot and am hungry often, especially the day after long runs. I do eat when I feel hungry, but I'm at a weight I am happy with, not trying to loose. Your body is burning calories during your workouts as well as after. Your metabolism also increases as you workout more as well and that may also be causing you to be hungrier. With longer distance run training, it can be harder to loose weight as you are feeling hungrier and also need to replenish calories and nutrients lost. If your weight is still going down, then that's good! The egg has some good protein in it but also fiber can be helpful with making you feel fuller, longer.

  4. I am training for the Disney Marathon, and I am hungry alot. Runner's world actually had an article discussing this an issue or two ago. It basically said eat when you are hungry, but make smart choices, meaning because you ran 8 miles does not mean you can eat a whole package of cookies. I completely agree with this, because when you are at your ideal weight, you will eat when you are hungry. I have found whole grains with protein work very well after a long run to help hunger.

  5. Amy,

    I just found your blog via the DIS boards. I'm more of a walker than a runner (or I will be putting my orthopedist's kids through graduate school) but I find your writing very motivating. So thanks!