How to Work Out in the Morning and Not Be Ravenous All Day Long

POPSUGAR Photography | Ericka McConnell
POPSUGAR Photography | Ericka McConnell

Many of us have been in this scenario: you wake up early for a workout, and you're not quite hungry, so you have something light or skip breakfast altogether and jump right into your run, cardio, HIIT, or weight training. Then, after your sweat-sesh, you're absolutely insatiable. All the food in the world couldn't quench your desire for food, and you've never felt this hungry in your entire life. You eat something, and you're still ravenous. What gives?

According to Tone It Up's dietitian, Lori Zanini, RDN, you're probably not getting enough protein. Here's her trick for getting that morning workout in without sabotaging your diet with the munchies all day long:

"You need three to five ounces of protein, 30 minutes after your workout. That's the sweet spot: exactly 30 minutes." Why so specific? "Thirty minutes post-workout is the optimal window to refuel our bodies, since this is when our heart rates and blood pressure are still elevated, which helps improve the delivery of nutrients to our muscles," Lori told POPSUGAR. "Since the blood flow to the muscles is much greater immediately after exercise, it allows our glycogen stores to refill faster during this time frame."

Seems pretty simple, right? Curb cravings, fuel your muscles, and fend off all-day hunger. Plus, you got a workout in early. Go you!

Lori suggested a Perfect Fit Protein shake; you can make your post-workout protein smoothie with either protein powder, tofu, or cottage cheese (although there's limited dairy if you're following the TIU nutrition plan). You can also scramble some eggs, make a high-protein snack, or whip up a high-protein, low-carb breakfast.