Question:

I recently started doing the boot camp class at LA Fitness and I noticed that I get very hungry after class. Any recommendations? I need to lose like 30 lbs., please help.

– Adela C.

Answer:

When your body tells you to EAT (now!) post-exercise, it certainly gets your attention! That hunger may be normal, though disruptive to weight loss efforts if you eat the energy equivalent of what you just burned. A small recovery snack such as a two-inch apple and tablespoon of peanut butter may do the trick. Base it on carbohydrates to replace spent fuel. A cup of dry cereal to munch on travels well. A single ounce granola bar is another convenient option. But if you’re planning on a meal in an hour or so, try to fill up on light fare such as air-popped popcorn, celery, rice cakes, and melon to stave off hunger until then.

Other tips include:

  • Depending on when you work out, consider boosting up your previous meal to give you the fuel you need for vigorous exercise.
  • If you’re exercising over an hour, switch from water to a simple sports drink during your exercise to keep blood sugar up.
  • Include some protein and healthy fat at the previous meal to promote satiety and help keep energy levels stable.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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