Craving Rubbish

So… Recently started structured training and increased my nutrition intake to try and keep up with the demand but still find im craving less optimal food (cakes, sweets, etc). I guess the body searching for easy energy. Im not at all in a weight loss phase and really more a build and gain phase.

Does this show im still under fueling / under-carbing the days? and or any idea / tips for snacks or things to beat the cravings with more nutritious items.

I normally get this when I’m under fuelling - particularly protein. I tackle it by adding an extra recovery shake. How are you fuelling during sessions?

If you recently started training I wouldn’t think too much of it. The biggest thing is changing your impulse to grabbing some fruit rather than candy, or air-fryer fires or vegetables.

It’s completely normal to have increased hunger post workout and is something you’ll experience even years into training

Protein is definitely fine as a track this coming from a strength background.

Session wise always early like 6am. Coffee and banana+1/2 scoop whey pre then maybe 20g carb on the bike in the hour session if i feel like i need it. Sessions are generally no longer than 75mins if they are i make sure i have another banana or so.

Increased hunger is just post workout more in the evening im finding

Cool - I get you. I suffer with the evening after dinner hunger pains too - this is when I add that additional recovery shake. I have my weekday meals sorted for me so I know I’m having a consistent baseline, I used to really struggle with undereating some days and then needing big re-feed days later in the week. Now I just top up on days/times when I have the real hunger with a pre-defined shake rather than a random snack.

Yeah makes sense. Think I have a habit of under doing it a bit to probs on the carb front.

I guess if hit a bit more for a few days and if the craving subside shows what it was.

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It could be two things, based on some experience with the same thing.

The first thing that helped me was refuelling directly after getting of the bike. 600ml skimmed milk with 36g of Nesquik. This to quickly replenish protein and carbs. Having this right after you get of the bike gives you plenty of time to shower, stretch and get some proper food prepared.

Second thing, it could just be that you’re tired, and the body looking for sugar to “fix” that tiredness… Do you sleep enough?

If I get some craving I usually whip up some banana pancakes (100 kcal each) and have some greek yoghurt and sugar free jam with that… makes me full and settles the cravings.

Also, if you aren’t doing it, try maybe a few days of tracking micros. Get a scale and measure it all, and keep track of what you eat etc, just to make sure that you aren’t eating too little…

I use LifeSum and it imports calories from Health (which imports from Strava) so I know how to eat back those calories that I’ve burned. I have 1700 calories as base intake, and then add to that depending on what I burned during the workout. Gone from 82,5kg to 76,5kg in 4 months :slight_smile:

Counting macros has been great, always full, never over eating, and also never under fuelling.


Jesus! Good work on that, I struggle with 2800 as my minimum daily intake and I’m 70kg. Most days I hit ~3500, daily average exercise burn over the last year being ~1150.

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Iv tracked a bit and usually average around 2.5k ish. Im pretty light and like i said looking to gain so i guess this could be where im falling down just not enough overall intake.

Sleep is good 8 hours min i track it.

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Jealous of your metabolism :smiley: doing 1700 for me results in good and stable weight loss, not hungry and sleep well… so gonna keep at it until I get bored of it…

I am doing desk job at home as well, so burning absolutely 0 kcal at home during the days…

Workouts during the week (3 workouts a week) are around 850kcal each. Then around 2000kcal for weekends due to 3-4 hour z2 rides!

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If you have no weight goals, up or down, just eat if you want to eat :slight_smile: But make sure to eat quality, protein, good carbs etc.

Skip the junk!

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Exactly the same. 2500 is my floor to survive normal life :). 3500 (and it is hard to achieve in good food) is my optimal intake that I am well fed and feel good on the bike - currently 70 kg. I cannot cope with anything above 3500 as I feel too full.

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Yeah thats a good one. I have found any sugar before bed and my sleep is all over the place. Keep sugar to PWO or intra really or i go up and down like a yoyo!!! Guess that shows im pretty insulin sensitive.

The quick shake just iff the bike i interesting, usually have a shower etc before reaching for food. My go to is generally rice porridge with protein nut butter etc. Though guess i could have a shake then make some other meal after the shower. Does 20 mins really make that much of a difference?

The tired thing could be true but not from sleep and more just training stress so the body trying to recover.

I am interested to hear responses to this as well. I am new to indoor training this winter with a smart turbo being my take-my-mind-off-lockdown purchase. It has been a revelation, my opinion of indoor training had previously been formed from sessions on a fluid turbo in a dark garage staring at a brick wall with a stopwatch for company. Now with structured workouts, some entertainment on top its great.

I did SSBI, now into SSBII and struggling a bit with outside influences (work, parenting etc), have toned down bit but think I am back on track. The problem is I am just getting really hungry, all the time (and I eat 3 proper meals a day). I realised I have unconsciously been hitting the biscuit tin multiple times a day whenever I make a hot drink, and worse I actually feel like I am putting on some flab… Not sure it is helping my energy levels too. Like you would be interested in what healthy snack alternatives there are…

What helps me.
1:Fuel the workouts to the fullest extent i can tolerate
2:Eat after a bike ride, something High on the glycemic index
3: if I feel hungry, eat something that is high in fiber and protein. Like a peanut butter banana sandwich
( no jelly)
4: don’t get mad I am hungry, it means I am hungry and should eat. Emotions don’t make life easier.
5: eat the food my mind is craving (large pizza for example)

The biggest help for me is fueling workouts
I can get away with 120g an hour before getting stomach issues. That and I usually have a bowl of cereal as my “recovery” .
Hopefully that helps someone, it helped me.

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I tend to have lots of pbs with food also, and here is the tactics I use now:

  • avoid eating too much sugar during the day. Sugar triggers the hunger feeling even if I eat decent amounts. So no more huge amounts of chocolate spread in the morning, replaced with Weetabix.
  • no more constant snacking in the afternoon, especially sugary things or coffee with sugar / tea with sugar.
  • With all my training in the evening, having a proper mid afternoon calorie intake makes sense. For me it is overnight oats (actually mix of oats and Rye flakes which help recovery), with Chia seeds, and a shaker of milk with cinammon and some protein powder. Topped up honey, blueberries, some seeds mix. I need to eat this 1.5h/2h before training to avoid any stomach issue on big intervals.
  • During interval training I definitely cannot fuel. Don’t hesitate to use tables in your water if sweeating a lot.
  • After workout, I usually go for a recovery shake (rego from SIS). I also have my dinner already ready so I have no excuse to snack (I usually have dinner then cook for the next day(s)). It also allows to get most of the food within the famous 30 min window.
  • On the week-end on a long bike ride I would definitely fuel regularly, and until the end. Usually targeting for one bar / rice cake per hour. And again until the last moment to avoid eating all the junk food I see when I come home (Not buying any junk food or only really limited amounts also helps limit the temptation).
  • Drinking a lot of water. If you feel hungry during the day, drink decent amount of water will help. You will actually find a video of Phil Gaimon on how to reach race weight… and he drins a lot of water.

I am definitely not perfect, and still find myself eating huge amounts of food after my long rides if I have been smashing it beyond reason. I have also found that lack of sleep definitely impact my capacity to structure food intake and my food cravings.


According to my coaches its to replenish carbs and protein as fast as possible, while the body uptake is at its highest. It also takes away the stress of making a meal, showering fast etc away. I can’t really comment if 5min vs 20min makes a difference… but I like to drink my chocolate milk during stretching…

Its pretty much a protein drink, lots of protein from the 600ml milk and then the carbs from the Nesquik!

Also good to note is that intake of drinks are faster than when the body has to break down food before lots of it is taken up.

On the other hand, my nutritional coach has also said that if I have a meal ready (lets say rice with chicken breast, greek yoghurt and som chili sauce - lots of good carbs and protein) and I eat that straight after working out, then I don’t need to take a shake :slight_smile:

So I think its more to get into to the habit of actually planning the meals, so you don’t just eat whatever after the bike, and then you go past that window of fast replenish…

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That is crucial. Unfortunately I have recently developed a feeling of “have to throw up” drinking water. It is so ugly. Dont know what is happening. Adding a sip of juice or lemon or anything helps.

Is the water you drink high in chlorine? I know that some tap waters are disgusting, even though its safe… Tap water here in Sweden tastes like bottled water, but have been places where its almost icky to drink… :frowning: