T Nation

Lack of Appetite After Workout

I had this problem back when I was in the Army, and now that I’ve been lifting for 6 months, I have it again: I not only have no appetite after a workout, I actually feel repulsed by the thought of food.

This does not stop me from eating, but it makes it mightily unpleasant. It’s similar to that feeling you get when shoveling down the 100th forkful of the same food you’ve been eating several times a day, every day, for many months: You don’t want to eat it, your body doesn’t even want you to eat it. You have to force yourself to chew, and swallowing is a conscious effort, followed by a battle to keep the food down.

In short, the thought/smell/sight of food makes me feel physically ill for an hour or more after a good workout.

Sometimes changing up my diet a bit (variety, not macros or calories) can help a bit, but it never really goes away.

Oddly my thirst isn’t affected, and I don’t leave the gym feeling sick, only exhausted.

I tend to have a peri-workout drink of Grow! (3 scoops), cinnamon, and L-Leucine. I also have some plain water. I eat 30-90 minutes before my workouts, and I avoid carbs almost entirely prior to my workouts. I will sometimes have 1/2 cup of rolled oats for breakfast, however, and I almost always have an apple or some other fruit as part of my midmorning snack.

Does anyone else have this problem, or has anyone overcome this problem? If so, I’d be interested in hearing about it.

[quote]mcl wrote:
I had this problem back when I was in the Army, and now that I’ve been lifting for 6 months, I have it again: I not only have no appetite after a workout, I actually feel repulsed by the thought of food.

This does not stop me from eating, but it makes it mightily unpleasant. It’s similar to that feeling you get when shoveling down the 100th forkful of the same food you’ve been eating several times a day, every day, for many months: You don’t want to eat it, your body doesn’t even want you to eat it. You have to force yourself to chew, and swallowing is a conscious effort, followed by a battle to keep the food down.

In short, the thought/smell/sight of food makes me feel physically ill for an hour or more after a good workout.

Sometimes changing up my diet a bit (variety, not macros or calories) can help a bit, but it never really goes away.

Oddly my thirst isn’t affected, and I don’t leave the gym feeling sick, only exhausted.

I tend to have a peri-workout drink of Grow! (3 scoops), cinnamon, and L-Leucine. I also have some plain water. I eat 30-90 minutes before my workouts, and I avoid carbs almost entirely prior to my workouts. I will sometimes have 1/2 cup of rolled oats for breakfast, however, and I almost always have an apple or some other fruit as part of my midmorning snack.

Does anyone else have this problem, or has anyone overcome this problem? If so, I’d be interested in hearing about it.[/quote]

Ok, I sometimes feel kinda sick after a very heavy leg session. But to my understanding that is quite normal after a good session.
Usually just down a shake, and then if still feeling sick an hour or so after PWO shake I’ll just force myself to eat.

Also you say you are avoiding carbs prior to workout…why? if on some fat loss diet, i’d go for the carbs prior to training, and take it easy on the carbs later in the day…what time of the day do you train?

didnt have time to read your whole post. but listen, yo uahve to try to figure out your triggers. Simply put, some foods out there make us hungry, they trigger certain secretion of digestive enzymes that make us want to eat more.

For me, a slice of those cracker barrel cheeses does it, i mean ill eat one ,and no matter when i ate my appetite just went nuts and i can put away a cow. Now another option is to go to vitamin shoppe and get yourself a bottle of Digestive Enzymes, basically you have enzymes in your stomach that help you digest food.

well this way you intoduce a lot more of them, food gets digested faster and you can eat more often. I did this when i went from 180 to 245 prior to injury. keep fat intake up too, such as fish oils. that will help. umm trying to think of what else i used to help me. Are you having your cheat days once every two weeks? your metabolism might be struggling and hence decreasing your appetite.

Try splurging out on some deliciouys treats in the morning and afternoon one day, jsut eat what ever you want hence “cheat day”. you cant go without these, they do help m,entally and physically. You have to shock your digestive tract and metabolism just like you shock your muscles. i mean, your stomach is just another muscle after all. i know its different kind of muscle (smooth Vs skeletal) but you get my point, i hope.

Try taking a shower after your workout. And alternating hot and cold water. It works for me.

[quote]rock27 wrote:

Ok, I sometimes feel kinda sick after a very heavy leg session. But to my understanding that is quite normal after a good session.
Usually just down a shake, and then if still feeling sick an hour or so after PWO shake I’ll just force myself to eat.

Also you say you are avoiding carbs prior to workout…why? if on some fat loss diet, i’d go for the carbs prior to training, and take it easy on the carbs later in the day…what time of the day do you train?
[/quote]

Mostly because I try to eat the vast majority of my carbs PWO. I tend to work out around 1pm or 2pm in the afternoon due to my schedule (even though I wake up at 7am). I’d say I probably only have 10-15g of carbs before then. Everything else is fat or protein.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m eating around 100g of carbs a day. I’m just not getting the majority of them before I hit the gym.

I’m also not on a fat loss diet. My body just seems to respond best when I’m around 100g of carbs. Too few, and I can’t function well in the gym. Too many, and I just don’t function well at all physically or mentally. I get plenty of calories and plenty of protein (at least, I think that’s the case; I’m currently using a BodyBugg to more accurately nail down my basal and active metabolic rate).

Perhaps it is just because I’ve been lifting quite heavy these past few weeks. It does seem to be tied to exertion…the closer I come to my limits, the worse it is. I’ll pay attention to how I feel after my workouts starting next week, since this is the last (and heaviest) week of my current program, and whatever I switch to next week, I’m certain I won’t be doing sets at 90-95% of my 1RM on my lifts next week, like I have been.

EDIT: Hm. Should probably have mentioned my diet. It does not vary very much, nor is there much variety. So if it’s one of the foods I’m eating, I’m going to have to find another non-shake form of protein:

Typical wake-up:
3 Flameout
2 Alpha Male
2 HOT-ROX
2 tsp cinnamon
1 shot apple cider vinegar
5g creatine
6 BCAA

Typical breakfast:
4 eggs
1/2 cup shredded mexican cheese
1 tbsp heavy cream
4 slices thick-cut bacon

(some days, this is 1/2 cup rolled oats, 4 tsp cinnamon, 2 tbsp natural peanut butter, and 1 cup berries (usually blueberries))

Typical post-breakfast:
5g L-Leucine

Typical midmorning snack:
1/4 cup cashews
1 apple (or pear, or plum. Some form of fruit, to deal with acidity and provide fiber)

Typical 2nd midmorning snack:
1/4 cup cashews

Lunch:
6-12 oz. flank steak or top sirloin
5g leucine
3 Flameout
1 cup of some form of cruciferous veggie

Pre-workout (30-45 minutes):
2 HOT-ROX
2 Alpha Male
6 BCAA

Peri-workout:
3 scoops Grow!
2 tsp cinnamon
5g leucine

Post-workout:
depending on how I feel, either 6oz flank steak or top sirloin, or 6-12oz tuna, and cruciferous veggies (I’m about to start trying Surge, and moving this to an hour or so PWO)

PWO meal: can of tuna, or chicken breast, and cruciferous veggies

Dinner:
usually 6oz steak
5g leucine

bedtime:
1 cup cottage cheese
5g leucine
2 tsp cinnamon
2 TRIBEX

EDIT #2: I /do/ allow myself cheat meals, and I sometimes try to throw them in mid-week, rather than my usual weekends. For example: yesterday (Wednesday), instead of my typical lunch, I had one of the most delicious tortas I’ve ever had. It was the size of my head, and full of all sorts of yummy meats and spiciness.

Carbs? Tons, I’m sure. That bread couldn’t’ve been healthy. But damn, it was good.

Didn’t affect how I felt PWO, though. Had the same ill feeling and lack of hunger I always seem to have. Didn’t feel any stronger or weaker in my lifts. Was just a normal gym day.

Weekends, I’ll usually have one cheat meal out with my girlfriend, and I usually allow myself dessert (a shake, a sundae, pie, cake, flan, etc.)

EDIT #3: My workout, if it has any impact on this.

Monday:
3x3 squats
3x3 bench
3x3 rows
3x3 weighted dips

Tuesday:
Tabata sprints (currently doing 5. I’ve been slowly working up to the full 8)

Wednesday:
3x3 overhead press
3x3 deadlift
3x3 weighted pullups

Thursday:
Tabata sprints (currently doing 5. I’ve been slowly working up to the full 8)

Friday:
3x3 squats
3x3 bench
3x3 rows
3x3 weighted turkish getups

(it’s the last week of the intensity phase of the advanced stronglifts 5x5 program. The lifts are at or above 90% of my 1RM now, which is the reason for the low frequency of each motion.)

Every day is full of incidental motion, such as running up and down 20-24 flights of stairs, usually with about 30lbs on my back; walking a couple of miles; stretching; 2-3 days of sportbike riding for about 1-2 hours each day. And the weekends are full of some rather vigorous sex (3-4 times a day, usually. No, I’m not exaggerating. I love my bottles of Alpha Male, and so does my girlfriend!)

Bodyweight: 230 lbs.

I don’t take those supplements so this is just going by what I’ve read.

HOT-ROX, vinegar, and sometimes luecine are appetite supressants.

The amount of cardio your doing, makes it very hard to eat, and makes food very repulsive. You would need at least a few hours of hydrating before even thinking about sitting down and eating.

Is this post a joke? what is the purpose of your training.

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
I don’t take those supplements so this is just going by what I’ve read.

HOT-ROX, vinegar, and sometimes luecine are appetite supressants.

The amount of cardio your doing, makes it very hard to eat, and makes food very repulsive. You would need at least a few hours of hydrating before even thinking about sitting down and eating.

Is this post a joke? what is the purpose of your training.[/quote]

I just started taking the HOT-ROX and leucine, but this problem existed long before I started taking them (and in fact, long before they existed as Biotest products).

The amount of cardio I’m doing is absolutely fine. The stairs I run throughout the day, as I go into and out of my office, with a backpack on. It’s not like I’m going out to to an hour of cardio. I am /not/ a bodybuilder. I’m training for strength.

The cardio is just for energy systems work. I run the stairs 4 sets at a time, which take no more than 1 minute total, including several seconds’ rest at each landing. Tabata sprints take, in total, 2.5 minutes for the 5 I’m doing now.

The two miles of walking is just the everyday walking that occurs throughout the day, not, “hey, I think I’ll go powerwalk for two miles”.

The motorcycle riding is me commuting on it a few times a week, and some riding for fun on the weekends.

You react as though I’m running marathons. Is your post a joke?

if someone thinks these posts are a joke, dont post. people create these for help and guidance in goals that im sure we are all. so lets calm down the testosterone and help each other out. if your not up for the game, sit on the bench

The loss of appetite could be a sign of overtraining. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you are doing two tabata sprint sessions a week, plus additional stair running with a backback on throughout the day at work.

Depending on the overall frequency and duration of the stair running, that could be your problem. Do you really need all that energy systems work? It might be better to drop the weighted stair running and conserve your energy for your weight training and tabata sessions.

You might think that the amount of running you are doing is fine. But I think that the main issue here is the intensity level of the exercise, and not the time spent doing it.

You are doing weighted stair running and tabatas. Both are incredibly demanding and will most definitely be making huge inroads into your recovery ability, regardless of how brief the sessions are.

I wouldn’t be suprised if you started making faster progess by dropping the excess training. Remember, when it comes to intense exercise, less is usually more.

[quote]roybot wrote:
Loss of appetite is an indicator of overtraining. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you are doing two tabata sprint sessions a week, plus additional stair running with a backback on throughout the day at work.

Depending on the overall frequency and duration of the stair running, that could be your problem. Do you really need all that energy systems work? It might be better to drop the weighted stair running and conserve your energy for your weight training and tabata sessions.

You might think that the amount of running you are doing is fine. But I think that the main issue here is the intensity level of the exercise, and not the time spent doing it.

You are doing weighted stair running and tabatas. Like it or not, both are incredibly demanding and will most definitely be making huge inroads into your recovery ability, regardless of how brief the sessions are.

I wouldn’t be suprised if you started making faster progess by dropping the excess training. Remember, when it comes to intense exercise, less is usually more.
[/quote]

Hm. I hadn’t stopped to think that the stair intensity might be too much. Maybe I’ll just go back to walking the stairs (I do take the elevator on days when I ride, simply because running up stairs in full race leathers with my helmet and riding boots in addition to the backpack is too much).

Of course, I’m facing a perfect storm of intensity right now, between the final week of my program and attempting to increase the cardio. I probably should have waited to start the tabatas until next week, when I start my new program.

On the upside, the energy systems work has really helped my lifting. I seem to recover more quickly between sets.

But I’ll give the stair-running a rest, and just walk up/down them instead for a couple of weeks and see how it goes.

yes after a workout i can just not eat anything, but can drink chocolate milk or ice tea for some reason