But if sweat sessions make you want to eat less, then why aren’t exercisers everywhere losing weight like crazy? “In most studies, there is a poor correspondence between appetite and actual food intake,” says Braun. In other words, just because you may not feel as hungry as normal, it doesn’t prevent you from eating too much after a workout anyway.
So what can you do to avoid post-workout binging?
1. Stop rewarding yourself with food. You don’t want to train your brain to expect a treat every time you burn some calories.
2. Keep a log. For one week, write down everything you eat. Studies show that simply logging your meals can make you eat less. And remember: That energy bar, that handful of peanuts or square of chocolate counts, too.
3. Don’t skip the gym. “Exercise gives you benefits that dieting alone cannot, such as increased fitness, decreased stress, and increased muscle mass, which helps you burn more calories and fat at rest, ” says Kym Guelfi, associate professor at The University of Western Australia, and co-author of the Metabolism study.