60 minutes or more, high intensity
I'm working too hard to chitchat. (running, swimming, Spinning)
My workout is in less than an hour. "The closer you get to a challenging workout like this one, the more you need simple carbs that can quickly convert to energy," Reznik Dolins says. Reach for something light (100 to 200 calories) to give your muscles pep, pronto.
Best bite: 1 cup dry cereal (not whole-grain) with raisins, or a few regular crackers with jam
My workout is in more than an hour. When you're huffing and puffing for a long period, carbs are a key source of fuel for muscles, Kristine Clark says. "Have a 400- to 600-calorie meal that contains at least 60 percent low-GI carbs, with the rest protein and healthy fats."
Best bite: 1 whole-wheat bagel with 1 tablespoon reduced-fat cream cheese and 2 slices turkey, or 1 cup cooked oatmeal with skim milk and a sliced banana or 1/3 cup raisins
Run, Done! Now What?
Your go-to workout could have a surprising effect on your appetite, eating habits and future fitness. Know what you're in for to one-up your biology.
Running or biking
If you went hard, you might not feel hungry for another hour. But because cardio uses up your glucose and glycogen, you should have a carb-rich snack, like whole-grain cereal or fruit, within 30 minutes to restock your supplies. "Muscles are most sensitive during this window; the sooner you eat, the more glycogen you'll store to improve stamina in your next workout," Bowerman says.
Taking a dip really works up an appetite. "Immersing your body in cool water makes it lose heat, and this seems to prevent the release of hormones that suppress appetite," says Michael R. Bracko, Ed.D., director of Dr. Bracko's Fitness Consulting in Calgary, Alberta. Fortunately, you can offset après-pool munchies by warming up with a brisk walk or hot drink.
Weight training has been shown to lower levels of ghrelin, a hunger-stimulating hormone, so you might not feel like eating right after you put away the dumbbells. But you should aim to have 10 to 15 grams of protein within an hour—it helps your body repair wear and tear on muscles, Kristine Clark says. Try an egg on whole-wheat toast or ½ cup lowfat cottage cheese.
Yogis are more likely to eat mindfully and less likely to gain weight over a 10-year period than nonpractitioners are, research in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association shows. Learning to focus while in uncomfortable poses may increase your ability to stay present in other tough spots, such as when you are stressed and craving ice cream. Get your Down Dog on!
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