Hi you guys,
I’m writing this blog specifically for all my athletes and super active individuals out there.
Here is a common theme I’ve heard: “I’m super active and I do _____, BUT I’m not losing any weight. Why?”
If this is something that’s popped up in your mind then keep reading!
I was definitely NOT an athlete in high school, but I have heard a lot of these stories and met a lot of athletes in school who can explain to me what happened when they were younger. While it’s great that you are really active and participate in sports almost daily, physical activity is only one piece of the puzzle to being healthy. Remember when I said that health encompasses physical, nutrition, and social-emotional health? Being active is great and sure you’re burning a lot of calories, but how would you describe your eating habits?
I have friends who were in high-division sport teams in college and they would commonly tell me that after practice or a game “you are so starving you will eat ANYTHING“. Can you relate? On one hand you think, OK I must have burned at least XXX calories so it’s alright for me to scarf down some ice cream, chips, and soda, etc. But on the other hand, is that the kind of stuff your body really needs right now?
It’s not always as easy as counting calories in and calories out.
Nutritional health involves not only calories, but also looking at macronutrients and micronutrients (Google this). How many carbs are you eating in a day? How much protein or fat? Fiber? Natural sugars? Processed foods vs natural whole-form foods?
Maybe this applies to you, maybe it doesn’t. But I can say that I have heard athletes wish they were educated on nutrition from when they were young and starting their sport. Just because you burned XXX calories doesn’t give you an excuse to eat whatever you want when you are starving. If you end up eating food that is junk for your body, your body will end up being hungry again very very quickly. And what happens to the junk you just ate? Your body will process and store it as sugar and fat.
So what can you do with this information?
Plan ahead: for those days you know you will be starving after an intense workout, prepare snacks ahead of time that you know will satisfy those hunger cravings and be healthy and nutritious
Tell someone: if your parents pick you up afterwards, or if you have a habit of hanging out with certain teammates, tell them you want to watch out for what you eat after a workout. Explain to them that you need their support and this is something you guys can do together.
Do your own research: go ahead and research what healthy food options after a workout can be. Not everything has to be researched online either, ask your coach, ask your cafeteria lady, ask a teacher.
As always, thanks for reading along!