Hungry at night and post exercise eating, advice please

Hello, I have recently increased my training volume and find myself a lot more hungry, particularly at night. So I have 2 questions:
1- what do you eat at night time to curb hunger and not eat junk? I would like to stop eating by about 8 pm, or earlier so I will intermittent fast for at least 12 hours. But I am so sorry hungry I can’t resist eating.
2- I also exercise in the morning quite a bit and finish my workout at around 715 am. I then have my coffee, with coconut milk from a can (something I started recently). I have recently learned post exercise you should have a drink right away, 1 part protein 4 parts carbs. However, as above in am trying to fast for 12 or more hours. I am not hungry but if it is more important to eat I will.

Any help or information is greatly appreciated.
Thank you

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Anything after 7 or 8pm for me is liquids. Fizzy water like la Croix has really helped.

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Bunch of different tricks.

One thing that works for me is brushing my teeth as soon as I’m finished dinner. Somehow that curbs my hunger and draws a line in the sand about food

Try eating low caloric density foods like salads or other raw items that take up a lot of space but aren’t going to add too many calories

Keep healthy snacks on hand and eat those to the exclusion of junk. Have an apple or a hardboiled egg. If you aren’t hungry enough to eat one of those then you aren’t hungry

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I also work out early morning and I found the following works for me and I do not get too hungry…

04:30 - Pre ride snack - Banana
06:30 - Breakfast (after workout) - 1 bowl of Oats with honey and cinnamon, and two eggs
10:00 - Mid morning snack - handful of nuts/seeds/raisins mix + 1 piece of fruit
13:00 - Lunch - Large Mixed Green Salad with some Feta Cheese
16:00 - Afternoon Snack - Chopped raw carrots (2 med sized carrots)
18:30 - Dinner - Chicken Breast with vegetables
19:30 - Desert (if I really feel like I need it) - Greek Yogurt with chopped fruit and a bit of honey.

I drink about 3 cups of coffee and about 2.5L of water during the day. I find I get the hungriest between Lunch and Dinner, so my 16:00 snack might include a piece of fruit if I feel I need one.

This works very well for me and scores me big points on Matt Fitzgerald’s DQS!

ps… I am 178cm and 93kg

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Worth listening to the guys on the podcast on this, although 12 hours is relatively mild: Intermittent Fasting, Lab Testing, Why Sweetspot is Hard & More – Ask a Cycling a Coach 194

I’d suggest your problem is not eating enough before or during the workout. If you don’t, it has a knock-on effect on your appetite the rest of the day, because you’re playing calorie catch-up.

For my Sunday morning 2-hour workout, I had a big bowl of porridge with peanut butter, sultanas, and honey for breakfast, then 2 large bottles of energy mix and 2 energy bars during. It sounds a lot, but it exactly matched the calories expended. And then for lunch and dinner I ate perfectly normal portions of healthy food, and had no issue with hunger for the rest of the day.

And if this 12 hour fast rule means you can’t do this, then I’d lose it, because fuelling workouts properly is way more important in my book.

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If you train a lot you “need” to eat a lot. Latest podcast had dug deep into that and I completly agree. I see a lot if people not eating for the wrong reasons. Anyway the occasional crap doesn’t really hurt if you don’t over do it!!

I eat a lot of fruit as snacks even just before bed.

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As someone who has experienced the same thing. I fixed the issue by eating at least 1/2 my workout calories prior (bananas/dates/oats/honey/sprouted toast), eat 1/2 my calories per hour burned during workout via gels/scratch, and eat the remaining calories post workout - sometimes going over a bit with a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein mix. For the remainder of the day…lots of veggies, white rice/sweet potato/quinoa, eggs/chicken breast/salmon/grassfed beef liver once a week. Prior to bed I’ll eat a banana or date.

No CRAZY hunger pains anymore compared to last year, 10lbs. lighter and 58 watts stronger YTY. I encourage you to listen to Podcast 193 with Amber Pierce - she nails the nutrition part down pretty good.

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Geez, I’m 70kg and I’m hungry just looking at that.

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This is a great tip. Drinking a lot of water in general is a good thing and help reduce the risk of kidney stones, something endurance athletes are at risk of because of chronic dehydration.

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Carbonated zero calorie drinks such as club soda help.

I have also started making smoothies with a lot of broccoli that I then put into mason jars and freeze. Broccoli is incredibly dense and I have found is great at curbing hunger pangs while still being low calorie and nutritious.

Recipe;
Full head of broc or half bag of buds (costco has this cheap)
Add frozen mango and pineapple to sweeten
1-1.5cups of water
Handful of spinach
Blend in vitamix or equivalent until smooth.

Pour into mason jars leaving 1" from the top, then freeze. The above recipe will make enough for 3 mason jars worth @~100cal a jar. Take out and as required and store in fridge until you need it (lasts 2 days in fridge).

I struggle with late night hunger at various times in my annual plan, so my general rule…more training volume >>> more food volume.

I’ve had luck with the following combination…

  1. More water earlier in the day (up to 2hrs before lights out).

  2. More balanced/real/solid meals before 4/5pm - I don’t enjoy “snacking” because I miss feeling satiated, so I tend to eat two real breakfasts and 2 real dinners

  3. Casein protein an hour or more after dinner (dessert) or 60-90min before lights out (nightcap)

Good luck :slight_smile:

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+1

Curb hunger by eating plenty, and have good food around you. :+1:

I have recovery drinks after a session before I’m hungry. See some fruit? Eat it before someone else does. Raw veg left over in the fridge? Nuts lying about? In they go! :grinning:

I eat apple or a banana if I am still hungry.

One thing I have been trying is gorging on Non starchy veggies before I have lunch and dinner. Example: Airfried Okra, Steamed Spinach, Cauliflower, Broccoli, etc. Then have your usual meal. I recommend starting at a 50-50 ratio of non starchy veggies to carbs and go from there. Play with that ratio and increase/decrease depending upon what you hve going on workout wise that day or the next day.

Bonus suggestion: Make a Workout sandwich. Fuel 2-4 hours properly before a workout and eat your dinner within 1-2 hours after. If you are still hungry, have an apple or a banana.

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Do you count calories? A week or two on MyFitnessPal might help you gauge the degree to which you are fueling below what your body needs.

I find I can maintain a modest 200-350 caloric deficit without hunger being a big part of my life, but too much and training/recovery/my subjective wellbeing really start to suffer.

Going to bed a little hungry or with that “I could eat…” feeling is one thing - going to bed with a gnawing empty stomach is another.

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I’m in the same boat, I prefer to eat early but I’m usually hungry before bed.
If slightly hungry I either go to bed or have some water and go to bed.

For the other, stomach growling days, trying to stay away from junk I’ve tried protein ice-cream which wasn’t particularly nice, protein shakes work but I don’t like them at night.
At the moment I’m snacking on protein chocolate type “sweets” which fill the hole and satisfy my sweet tooth. They’re not that tasty (so I don’t feel like eating loads) but better than eating junk I suppose.

If I was more organised I’d make a frozen berry, yoghurt and protein powder shake, if you get the berry to yoghurt ratio right its like ice cream

Just started on SIS Overnight Protein. It makes a cookies and cream shake. I’m very mindful of total calorie intake, so am more moving day calories to post-workout slow release protein.

First night with it last night, and I actually slept terribly though. Although I think that is the unusually high work stress I’m under right now … time will tell.

This is the compensation effect. :grin: It’s real!

Ghrelin release is a trained response. So SIU for a week or so and you’ll interrupt the periodic release of ghrelin at that time that’s making you hungry. Eating just a little bit or eating raw broccoli or whatever will just prolong the discomfort.

Anecdotally, I’ve heard from folks that fast every other day for some extended period of time, then go on a multi-day fast…I’ve been told that they will continue to get hunger pangs on that same 48 hour cycle. So apparently ghrelin release is not even bound by the usual circadian rhythm that waking & sleeping is.

Avocado is an incredibly good appetite suppressant. I workout after work and usually eat half a sweet potato, raw zuchini and onions, half a tub of cottage cheese or some variation of this.

If you don’t eat for 16 hours you will get hungry at some point. Whatever you eat Arbeit some point you have do deal with that feeling. But you should think about what you eat before bedtime. Maybe a real big portion of vegetables is a good try. Take a look at some frozen vegetables. The kcal are so low that you could eat nearly a kg of it. And schedule your water/drinks. Sometimes hunger is just not enough drinking.

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I get super hungry at night. So much so that I’m prone to sleep eating and this has totally killed my chances at losing weight in the past.

I’ve taken to eating 1 serving of high-fat cottage cheese. It doesn’t really spike blood sugar and is slow enough digesting to keep me satiated through morning.