In the last little while I focused on how to tame hunger with food.
What about taming hunger with, guess what? Exercise! Specifically, with types of exercise you do and when you do them. This can be applied to any diet, not just raw veganism.
You exercise, right? If not, then you better start today. In my opinion, you need it as much as food. Think about it: being alive is essentially being able to move.
If looking at the big picture, there are two types of exercise: low-intensity and high-intensity. Like jogging and weight-lifting, respectively.
Both to a varying degree lower hunger. Via the following:
- By affecting the appetite-regulating hormones
- By pumping you with “feel good” hormones. Which, otherwise, on the subconscious level, you might want to get from food. The effect is enhanced if you are out in the fresh air, in beautiful nature
However, in terms of energy expenditure, the effect of high-intensity exercise on hunger is quite different than that of low-intensity.
In most cases, high intensity exercise will make you hungrier than low-intensity. Here is the science behind this claim:
Crazy hungry after weights? Here is why
When you lift weights you need a lot of energy and fast. Which is obvious.
The quickest way for your body to get that energy is to take up available glucose from blood. Plus break down glycogen and convert it back to glucose. You are not using fat as an energy source in this case. That’s because fat takes longer time to turn to energy. For this reason, it’s only used to power low-intensity exercise where the demand for energy is lower.
In short, when you lift weights you use a lot of glucose.
And since glucose is a major fuel for many life processes, and the only fuel used by brain, your body obsessively starts to fire hunger signals to get more of it. Hence, you feel more hungrier.
Moreover, the damage done to your muscles requires energy to be repaired (this way making muscles bigger and stronger).
Although the repair is fueled by glucose AND fat, it means that you continue to burn energy after you are done exercising. This is not the case with low-intensity. Hence, weight-lifting would always leave you more hungrier than jogging. This is especially true if you do it in the morning or on an empty stomach.
Leave strenuous exercise for the second part of the day. Closer towards the evening you have a full day of eating behind you. And therefore lots of stored glucose.
Bear in mind that after meals excess glucose in blood is stored as glycogen in your muscles. So, to power your weightlifting, say, in the late afternoon, your body would convert glycogen back to glucose, use that, plus it would use any available glucose from blood if it needs to. Because at this time of the day your body would have access to all glucose it needs, it shouldn’t be bugging you with hunger signals too much.
For example, I find that towards the late evening works well. You also kind of tricking your body – if hunger comes, hopefully, you would be long asleep. Sometimes I do it even 20 minutes or so before sleeping. The downside of this, is it may mess up with your sleep (I do it for no more than 5 minutes, so doesn’t affect mine).
Correspondingly, do low-intensity exercise in the first part of the day. It uses less glucose. And thus your body won’t be begging so much for food. Even if you do it first thing in the morning.
In fact, to power low intensity activities your body prefers to use fat as a fuel source. That’s why professional marathon runners are pure bones and muscles.
In addition, low-intensity exercise, also shrinks your hunger. How? By boosting the level of an appetite-suppressor hormone, peptide YY. Whereas high-intensity exercise has no effect on it.
But, note, that both, low and high-intensity, shrink hunger by decreasing the level of ghrelin, an appetite-stimulant hormone.
To re-cap: yes, strenuous weight lifting and push ups can make you go wild from hunger.
Yet avoiding high-intensity workouts because of the above is not smart. For a truly full-body workout, you need both: low-intensity and high-intensity.
Things to remember
- Regular exercise is a must
- Any exercise curbs hunger
- To account for effects of glucose expenditure on hunger:
– Do high-intensity exercise more towards the evening
– Do low-intensity exercise in the first part of the day
That’s it. Not complicated.
Are you vegan eating mostly raw or trying to? What does exercise do to your hunger? Tell about it!