Any tips for hunger control after running?

I am a c25k graduate and now run between 5k and 10k 3 times a week - varying the distance to suit my feelings on the day. Sometimes I feel really good - and if the sun is shining its a real lift - on those days I might run 15k.

When I run a lot I get very very hungry later in the day. Massive cravings for food. I try to eat healthily but the cravings will not go away. I have been known to give in and hit the chocolate, jam, peanut butter, bread. Usually peanut butter I consider healthy in moderation but loaded up with jam on white toast it is a good choice (tastes heavenly though).

Does anyone else get post exercise cravings? Any tips for controlling the hunger urges? I know that getting a balance of calories and nutrition for the week is probably the answer. Something that won't allow my blood sugar to get too low or to spike too high after I return? I don't seem to be able to get it. Perhaps it is a problem of using food as reward as much as it is biochemical. Any tips on that?


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

9 Replies

oldest โ€ข newest
  • I think this is where running after work comes into its own for me. The other half gets the dinner on while I'm out usually and when I get home I have time to stretch and have a quick shower before I tuck in.

    This means I get my main meal after running and I don't have long to wait until bed time, so not a lot of time to put in with the opportunity of hunger pangs to creep in.

    When I do run earlier in the day it is A LOT HARDER. There are some days where nothing seems to fill me up. I try to eat often and little, but I'm not sure how well that works - I'll have a banana then 30 mins later I'm hungry and it will go on like that!

    I just wondering how much of it could be a hydration issue - thirst can display itself as hunger also...just a thought.

  • Hey there,

    I reckon that you just need to eat more after a big run. Your body is telling you it needs more fuel so listen to it. If you've run 15k, depending on your weight and metabolism, you've probably burnt off an extra 1500cals which is loads and you need to plenlish this and let your body recover properly. Plus your body will be working harder for the next 24hrs at least. Maybe have an extra meal of good quality food (protein to help repair muscles and carbs to replace energy) within an hour if possible after a run and see how you feel, this might mean that you don't end up eating food that you may feel a bit guiltier about (I too love peanut butter toast- ultimate treat).

    I hope this helps

  • I'm with Jen, eat after your runs!

    I try to time mine so I come back to a nice carb load. Apparently that hour or two window after your run is when your body processes most efficiently so maybe the cravings are just your body telling you a bit of tucker is the right move and you should go with it!

    Avoid the hunger temptations before the run.

    Peanut butter is good, don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

  • I wish it were as easy as timing a meal. I think I take care to make sure that my calorie intake is appropriate for the activity level. I try to eat a good mix of protein with carb load also appropriate to my probably glycogen state. Even so, the hunger or gorging need is overpowering. Often I will eat the meal I planned - which is probably a couple of larger meals lunch, afternoon snack and dinner but still the urge to gorge comes on.

    As didntrunthat said - nothing can sate the urges sometimes. I might get 30 minutes of peace but it comes back. I can complete my planned meals and then still lose control ; then I will gorge on "healthy" foods e.g lean meat, fruit, yoghurt, nuts, oats. If the cause is physiological then it must be a sugar urge I guess. Perhaps I should abandon any attempt to stick to my usual healthier diet and just go straight for the chocolate biscuits. They too taste awesome with PB&J, believe me, I know :-).

    Ordinarily peanut butter is a wonder food for me - in ordinary times it can take away hunger pangs with such a small quantity (say 5g on some rye crackers) and the fats it has are not too bad in moderation - although I think we all might want to think about balance and the amount of Omega 6 we are taking in each day.

  • I have read, and tend to agree, that you should fuel up while you're running if you're doing more than 10k. Same with fluid, so it's a good idea to have an energy drink with you on a long run.

    It took me a while to get used to drinking while on the move, but it does make a difference, I think. The old cyclists addage of "Drink before you're thirsty, eat before you're hungry" appies to running too I suspect.

  • been running almost a year & have only just mastered running & drinking at the same time! If I dont drink & run when I do longer runs, say 40 minutes plus, I end up dizzy.

  • Can't comment on nutrition as I'm only on week 4 but I am a Peanut Butter Fan.

    Please try Peanut butter with a smidge of marmite - trust me it really is unbelievably good ! [unless your a hater of course]

    Less sugar than Jam too :@)

  • I heard that mentioned on the radio this week. Think I will give it a try. Love marmite and the salty taste is good for cravings too. Its impossible to eat too much marmite thats for sure.

  • Porridge works for me...kills the hunger for hours. Sometimes I add a chopped banana to sweeten it. ๐Ÿ˜Š

You may also like...