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Why am I so hungry in the evening after a workout?

The body naturally does an amazing job at balancing calories consumed and calories burned to keep your weight relatively stable daily. Therefore, when you burn more calories from working out, your appetite will trigger you to replace them, meaning you are hungrier than normal because you burned more calories than when you don’t exercise. This fact also highlights why exercise alone is not considered a weight loss program (see latest study below). You have to restrict calories in order to successfully lose weight -- but you do need to exercise in order to maintain the weight loss and to maintain muscle/heart function into old age. Just like you experienced, exercisers tend to eat what they burn, which is great if you are not overweight or trying to lose weight so don’t worry about the increase in appetite if this is your situation. BUT be vigilant that your weight doesn’t creep up and if it does, start paying attention to your calorie intake. The Sharecare Fitness app under the Topics tab is your best tool for losing or maintaining weight and it’s free to you.

Latest exercise and weight study from JAMA March 2010:
  • 34,000 participants and 13 years later
  • Average weight GAIN of 6lbs
  • 13.3% of those who gained slightly less but still GAINED, performed 60m/d, 420m/wk. of exercise and were normal weight at the start
Conclusion from study:
  • Exercise alone is not a weight/fat loss program for anyone
  • If you’re NOT overweight, you need FAR greater activity than current guidelines (>150min/wk.) to prevent weight gain
  • If overweight, it’s too late to reverse it with exercise alone, you must restrict calories

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.