If you are a gastric bypass surgery or a sleeve gastrectomy patient, you are probably beginning to adjust your dietary habits and rev up your physical fitness activity. But what happens when these two changes begin to clash? Some people who engage in physical fitness become immediately hungry post-workout while others cannot seem to find the room to eat but a few grapes, so what causes these differences?
Researchers believe these opposite reactions to working out may have something to do with your gender and body composition. Being able to understand why your body feels hungry or doesn’t after your work out session may be able to help you make healthier and wiser choices when it comes to the foods you eat, and may help you avoid overeating.
Here are some factors that may affect whether or not you feel hungry post-workout.
The amount of time you spend exercising may affect your appetite after physical fitness. A California Polytechnic State University study observed the regions of the brain that indicate appetite levels in 30 in-shape regular adults and found those who exercised for one hour showed less interest in food directly following exercise. On the other hand, participants who were inactive were more likely to indulge in sweet treats.
Your body composition may play a role in your post-workout appetite.
Another study published last year suggests that people who are overweight may be more inclined to feel hungry after exercise more so than people of normal weight, which suggests body composition may affect hunger after physical activity.
If you happen to be an overweight female, one research study found that you may be hungrier following physical fitness due your body’s hormones and its resistance to leptin. Leptin is a hormone that may help subdue appetite and helps keep your energy balanced. On the flip side, as your body begins to fall back into a normal weight category post weight loss surgery you may find that aerobic exercise may in fact reduce your appetite as your body alters levels of the hormones ghrelin and peptide YY.
So what can you do to avoid hunger confusion and stay on track with your weight loss goals?
Whether you find yourself hungry or nowhere near hungry post-workout, it may be a smart idea to fuel up before you work out so your body has sustained energy during and after physical fitness. Nutritionists suggest eating a small, healthy snack full of healthy carbohydrates 30 to 60 minutes before exercising to help reduce the chances of you feeling starved by the time you’ve completed your workout. Healthy options could be a small apple with a little bit of almond butter or vegetables and hummus, but make sure to ask your weight loss surgeon if you are not sure that new foods fit with your dietary plan.