Tory Tedrow is a RD, CNSC for SugarChecked a mobile application that assists users with cutting out or reducing sugar intake. The app scans the barcodes of packaged food items, cross checks it against its expansive nutrition database and alerts the users of the types of sugars within. Upon scanning the item, SugarChecked gives the user an alert based on their personal dietary sugar/sweetener preferences. If the product is deemed undesirable for the user, then the app suggests suitable and related alternatives. SugarChecked will not only help users avoid unwanted sugars/sweeteners that are hidden in products, but also aim to educate the user on what the four types of sugars are, and why they may or may not want to avoid them. As part of the team on nutritionists, Tory assists with fact-checking information on food labels and provides clinical research for the team.
Having an app on your phone that checks food labels is certainly a great idea when you’re trying your best to watch your weight and your sugar intake. That’s why the new Weight Watchers app, inspired by none other than Oprah Winfrey lets you track away by hitting those food labels with a beam. You can know exactly how many smart points you’re getting in that can of soup. In fact, with the SugarChecked app and if you choose to join Weight Watchers you really have no excuses to ingest more than your daily allowances of sugar.
So you know have a good idea of what you are choosing to eat. But, after that workout your appetite doesn’t want to wait around while you’re checking your sources. How do you control those post work out cravings without sabotaging your weight loss efforts? Our bodies are designed to crave food, particularly sweet foods, after working out. Unfortunately these cravings often lead to consuming 2-3 times the number of calories burned during exercising, which can lead to weight gain instead of loss. Fortunately there are ways to control these cravings while optimizing our body’s natural recovery process after a particularly tough workout.
Wouldn’t you like to understand why we crave junk food after workouts? Often it seems that’s all you can focus on is the closest fast food restaurant because otherwise you feel like you just might die. Why Do We Crave Junk Food After Workouts? When we workout our bodies use glycogen, a form of carbohydrate stored in our muscles, as fuel. In order to ensure these glycogen stores are replaced post workout, our body sends hunger signals to the brain. The simplest and most easily absorbed form of carbohydrate is glucose i.e., sugar. Our bodies crave this in order to replenish our stores ASAP.
Here’s how to control these cravings. The best way to combat a strong junk food craving is to fuel your body with the right foods as quickly as possible after working out. Replenishing carbohydrate stores as soon as possible is beneficial for both muscle recovery and preventing cravings. Ideally you want to consume a food or beverage that contains carbohydrate and protein in a 3:1 ratio within 15-20 minutes after exercise. If this time frame is too tight, refueling within the hour should keep post workout cravings at bay.
It’s always good to have the food you should eat on hand to keep from grabbing all the wrong foods. Here’s the go to recommendation from many registered dietitians for post workout recovery.
- 8 ounces of lowfat chocolate milk due to its convenience and ratio of carbohydrate to protein.
- 6 oz plain greek yogurt with berries
- ½ turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with mustard
- 1 scrambled egg with a side of toast and jelly
- ½ banana with 2 Tbsp of peanut butter
Other Tips and Tricks
- Never workout hungry. Even if you exercise first thing in the morning make sure to fuel your body with some easily digestible carbohydrates such as ½ a banana or a piece of toast prior to working out to lessen post workout hunger.
- Get enough sleep. Exercise induced cravings aside, studies show that lack of sleep leads to increased food cravings.
- Keep a nonperishable snack in your gym bag such as a high protein granola bar to ensure you have fuel available regardless of what pops up on your schedule.
Eating the right foods after a workout is the best way to control cravings while providing your body with the right nutrients to optimize recovery and performance while managing your weight. Not only do you have great suggestions on what to eat post workout, but you also have an application that can help you know what you’re eating. Not everything that says it’s heart healthy is. Take a diet coke for instance. It sports the Red Dress, representing prevention and control of women’s heart disease, but it’s rarely a recommendation for someone to drink diet soda. And how many other grocery items do we see with a heart, or heart healthy on the label, never giving into account that their serving size is half a half a half of what normal people consider a serving.