pre and post work out meals


Vian

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I like to work out first thing in the morning. I'm usually not hungry when I first wake up, so I usually just throw on some yoga pants and tennishoes and start my workout right after I roll out of bed. Then I eat breakfast after I workout, which is usually eggs and veggies cooked in butter or ghee.

 

I'm trying to lose fat, so while I know whole30 discourages counting calories and the like, I would like to err on the side of a calorie deficit. So are pre and post work out meals really necessary? I know they are very beneficial for people who are already at a healthy weight to be able to maintain condition and have enough energy to fuel their activity and repair muscle, but what about people who are trying to lose weight?

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The purpose of a pre-workout meal is to send a signal to your body to get ready for activity, not to provide fuel or energy for the workout. As noted in the meal template - http://whole9life.com/book/ISWF-Meal-Planning-Template.pdf - something is better than nothing. Sometimes I eat two or three brazil nuts. If I am actually hungry, I eat a boiled egg. I don't understand the science, but the Hartwigs would not recommend it if it were not important.

 

The purpose of a post-workout meal is to feed hungry muscles during the short window after a workout when they are especially ready to eat. Consuming lean protein within 15-30 minutes of working out maximizes recovery. If you eat fat with your post-workout meal, you slow digestion and may impair muscle recovery. Consequently, eating whole eggs with butter or ghee is not a good meal just after a workout. Your best bet is to eat something lean like chicken breast or (my go-to) tuna packed in water. You can eat eggs and ghee not long afterwards, but the idea is to maximize muscle recovery by eating lean protein without fat immediately after the workout. 

 

Maximizing muscle recovery is good for fat loss. When your muscles are big and healthy, your metabolism is faster and you burn fat more easily, so eating a post-workout meal is a good choice. 

 

Having said that, I do not eat post-workout meals if I am doing something gentle like yoga. I save post-workout meals for after lifting heavy weights or doing hill sprints. 

 

Trying to speed weight loss by eating less than we recommend in the meal template often backfires. Eating less tends to slow your metabolism and makes you burn less fat than you would if you were eating enough. So you suffer discomfort and don't get the payoff you want. 

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In another post similar to this it was said that if you are not bothered by no food before an early workout, then you do not have to eat a pre-workout meal. Alternatively, you could have something as small as a hard boiled egg just to signal to your body that activity is coming. It's your call.

I workout super early in the morning as well and its better for me and my tummy that I do NOT eat beforehand. I just make sure to have my meal ready for when I'm done so I can eat soon.

 

Edit: Here's that topic:

http://forum.whole9life.com/topic/14998-post-wo-meal-query/

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This information is very helpful.

 

I workout at 7pm, so last night I ate half my dinner before I worked out and then the other half of my dinner after my workout.  Does this work?  I  didn't want to eat my full dinner at 8:30 or 9 when I get home from the workout.  What's the best plan of action for this kind of schedule??

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  • 1 year later...

 Having said that, I do not eat post-workout meals if I am doing something gentle like yoga.

 

Hi Tom, 

 

That's a great and a very comprehensive explanation! Canned tuna (in water) is a brilliant idea, I'll eat it next time. 

 

Re.yoga: in my opinion, it is not always so gentle. Ashtanga yoga is actually pretty demanding, especially if you are going for the full sequence.

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