No appetite after workouts

I have been experiencing a lack of hunger after my workouts and I’m struggling to figure out why.

I usually start the day around 9am with an apple and a glass of Oat milk.
I start my workout around 12. I usually eat maybe 50-80 grams of Gummi bears before during and after my workout.
I then take a vegan recovery shake of hemp protein, oat milk and sugar.
The shake is as follows:
15 grams of hemp powder which is about 10g of protein.
20g of oat milk powder which is about 16g of carbs.
15g of sugar which is 15g of carbs.

I drink this and then jump in the shower and wait until I get hungry again. I usually don’t get hungry for another 3-4 hours. Sometimes I force myself to eat something like a chicken sandwich.
In the evenings I am usually not hungry either but I try to force myself to eat something like noodles with tofu. The other day for example I ate 70g of noodles cooked with mushrooms and carrots and 200g of tofu.

There’s no way this is enough calories for me if I’m burning 500+ calories per hour on the bike but I just don’t feel hungry at all. At the same time, I don’t feel a lack of energy and I’ve been crushing my workouts so far. I’ve been an endurance athlete all my life and I had similar problems when running and not feeling hungry.

I’m thinking it might be the protein shakes themselves causing me to feel full the rest of the day but the shakes cannot be more than 200 calories. At the same time I’m recovering well and doing well in my workouts.

Any thoughts or tips for me? Is there any more information I can provide to help diagnose this?

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How hungry are you on rest days? Hard exercise makes me lose my appetite too, but I make up for it on rest days…


This sounds like a very low amount of food…

What’s your daily total calories? I’d expect to eat about 4 times as much as this in a day.

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Yeah, its a very low amount of food. I feel like my total calories are 2000 but I have never kept track directly. Would it help if I do that?
On rest days I am not any more hungry than usual and also consume about 2000 but like I said, I have never kept track.

I periodically use the MyFitnessPal app to re-calibrate myself a bit. It tends to work out at about 3800 cals per day. (I’m M52 75Kg 185cm and i’ll do about 6-7000 calories worth of exercise each week. if that helps.)

A lot of people find endurance workouts suppress appetite. Not unusual.

What is your estimate of lean body mass and TDEE (total daily energy expenditure)? I’d also high recommend full food tracking for a couple of days to see if you are actually eating what you think you are eating. Most people grossly underestimate what they consume or end up using way more oil or condiments than they think. Are you weighing out all those quantities of food you mention? They seem very specific but if you aren’t measuring that would help pin down your actual intake.

Thanks Craig.
I’m 58kg and 174cm. I don’t have an estimate for my body fat percentage but I would say it is on the lower side so my lean body mass is 50-52kg.
Using this online calculator says my TDEE is 2399 calories.

I don’t always weight my food but that time I did measure those specific quantities. In general I like to cook and I don’t use much oil when I cook at home. I will try measuring my food intake for some days to see what it is like.
I still find it hard to believe that I am anywhere near 2399 calories on rest days and 2900 on days where I burn 500 calories on the bike. I feel like it is closer to 2000 for either day and I’m really forcing myself to eat.

Is your weight steady?

I also have no real appetite to speak of most of the time, and it doesn’t seem to prevent me from doing hard workouts. But even when I feel like I’m intentionally fueling the work (eating constantly, which does improve my performance), I still have to keep my eye on the the scale to make sure I don’t drop too low.

The TDEE calculation includes their estimation / guess at calorie burn which includes exercise if you select it in the activity level, so you wouldn’t add the 500kCal/hr from bike workouts to that number, you’d just take the 2400kCal. For my estimates I set the activity level to sedentary (I have a desk job) and then add exercise kCal as I have a decent estimate from my power meter. For what you linked, its ~1850kCal with sedentary option selected, so that for days off and that +500kCal/hr or whatever your bike workout is for workout days. 1850 / ~2350 seems more reasonable. If you’re eating ~2000kCal/day normally, its probably a wash as you’re a little over on rest days and a little under on workout days.

In the US, calories on food labels are allowed to be off by up to 20% (bonkers) + it might be easy to get serving size wrong on our end, or their serving size might not match the weight, so its ‘best effort’. If you’re in the ball park on calories, aren’t losing weight, feel good, you’re probably close to neutral energy balance or at least enough for govt work.

If you’re concerned about getting enough kCal in after doing some logging, I’d shift your diet towards more calorie dense and less satiating foods to get more in without feeling as much like you are force feeding. Liquid calories are the least satiating, so you could try to consume more calories in liquid form. You could also go for more calorie dense foods and away from high volume / low calorie dense food. Most of us are on the other side, aside from on the bike I don’t ‘drink’ my calories and I lean towards high volume / low calorie dense foods to make me feel more full.

Hey thanks everyone for the replies and ideas. I was definitely not eating enough calories but never got the hungry feeling. I discovered that my stomach doesn’t like oat milk and it caused bloating which would suppress my appetite. I have quite a sensitive stomach to many foods. I switched to rice milk and now I have a much more regular appetite. I’m posting this in case this helps anyone.