I've noticed that when I spend a week or two off the bike, once I start riding again, my appetite loses its 'off' setting.
The night before last, after arriving home, I threw back a glass of chocolate milk (world's greatest — or, at any rate, tastiest — recovery drink!), then got dinner started. While making dinner, I ate something like four or five cookies and a granola bar. Then I ate dinner — a bowl (normal-person-sized, not super-sized) of beef stroganoff (this was followed lunch that consisted of an Arby's beef-n-cheddar, two mozzarella sticks, and a tiny Jamocha shake [the $1 menu variety] — all things considered, it was a very beefy day). That kept things under control for a while, but around nine PM I started feeling hungry again. I decided that I would use the technique Jens Voigt uses on his legs when they're being recalcitrant: I said to my stomach, "SHUT UP, STOMACH!"
Yesterday I wasn't quite as ravenous. After my super-scientific recovery drink (LOL), I ate only one cookie while making dinner (Korean short ribs with yellow squash and wild rice blend). I did, however, eat several slices of raw squash (it was gooooood). I actually left part of a rib on my plate (OMG!).
This morning, I ate a double-serving of oatmeal before I realized I had bought a scone yesterday afternoon that I meant to eat for breakfast this morning. Scones only last so long before they turn into stones, so I decided to eat that, too, though I was actually feeling pretty full after eating all that oatmeal. I am now quite comfortably full, which tells me my appetite is down-regulating to its normal state. A few days ago, I would have killed off the oatmeal and the scone, then rummaged through my desk 'til I found enough change for some animal crackers, or gone hunting for a bagel, or something.
I'm curious — does this happen to other cyclists, or is it just me? When you take a short break or a vacation or whatever, do you find yourself eating more than usual when you get back on the bike?
P.S. If I have learned one thing this year, it's the value of recovery periods. I don't think I want to take two weeks off in a row again any time soon, but I do feel pretty darned good on the bike right now.
It didn't listen, but I did manage to get to sleep without eating anything else.