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hayley52

Not eating pre and post workout meals

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Is it okay to not follow the pre and post workout part of the meal template if you just do your exercise in between two normal meals? For example, on weekends I typically eat breakfast first thing and then a couple hours later will work out. By the time I finish working out it's lunch time. Is this okay? I can't imagine eating again right before my workout when still full from lunch, and then eating two meals after. I just want to make sure I'm not compromising my nutrition by skipping these meals! Thanks!

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The problem is that your muscles are especially open to feeding (and recovering) for 15-30 minutes after a workout. To maximize that opportunity, you need to eat lean protein, no fat, and maybe a starchy veggie to help replace muscle glycogen. If you wait longer than 30 minutes, your muscles are not as open to feeding as they were. If you eat fat with your meal, your digestion slows and the protein gets to your muscles much more slowly - after the 30 minute window has closed. So, basically, not eating a real post-workout meal means your recovery from exercise is degraded. 

 

The other issue is that the amount of food recommended by the meal template is appropriate for people who are not exercising. If you do exercise, you need more nutrition to cover the greater expenditure of energy. The recommended way of getting that nutrition is through pre- and post-workout bonus meals. You can expand the size of your regular meals to provide that extra nutrition, but that extra food will not assist with recovery as well. 

 

I thought the idea of pre- and post workout meals was silly until I came to respect Dallas and Melissa Hartwig enough to actually try following the program for a while to see if it made a difference. What I recognized quickly was that I recovered faster from workouts and was able to train harder after I began eating post-workout protein at the gym before I left to go home and eat lunch. 

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The problem is that your muscles are especially open to feeding (and recovering) for 15-30 minutes after a workout. To maximize that opportunity, you need to eat lean protein, no fat, and maybe a starchy veggie to help replace muscle glycogen. If you wait longer than 30 minutes, your muscles are not as open to feeding as they were. If you eat fat with your meal, your digestion slows and the protein gets to your muscles much more slowly - after the 30 minute window has closed. So, basically, not eating a real post-workout meal means your recovery from exercise is degraded.

The other issue is that the amount of food recommended by the meal template is appropriate for people who are not exercising. If you do exercise, you need more nutrition to cover the greater expenditure of energy. The recommended way of getting that nutrition is through pre- and post-workout bonus meals. You can expand the size of your regular meals to provide that extra nutrition, but that extra food will not assist with recovery as well.

I thought the idea of pre- and post workout meals was silly until I came to respect Dallas and Melissa Hartwig enough to actually try following the program for a while to see if it made a difference. What I recognized quickly was that I recovered faster from workouts and was able to train harder after I began eating post-workout protein at the gym before I left to go home and eat lunch.

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Thank you for the helpful info! That makes total sense. I think what deters me from doing that is it's usually around noon when I finish the workout and Id rather just have lunch instead of eating a post workout meal and then lunch right after. I guess I could try doing that and just waiting a little bit in between the two, so having a later lunch? I will try eating immediately after protein and starchy veg and then a normal lunch an hour or so later.

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Cool, well in that case to keep your thread on point, I'd say working out in between meals is fine depending on 2 factors:

1: the purpose/intensity/type of workout (i.e. weight loss, strength gain, cardio, weight training, yoga etc)

2: how your performance/recovery is

With your current schedule, I'd stick to your standard meals and evaluate after a couple weeks if you want to add more. Keep in mind that many people doing W30 for the first time often end up under-eating due to a combination of elimination of processed foods and grains + years of conditioning to avoid fat, so in that case you might want to add in some workout-centric foods right off.

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Cool, well in that case to keep your thread on point, I'd say working out in between meals is fine depending on 2 factors:

1: the purpose/intensity/type of workout (i.e. weight loss, strength gain, cardio, weight training, yoga etc)

2: how your performance/recovery is

With your current schedule, I'd stick to your standard meals and evaluate after a couple weeks if you want to add more. Keep in mind that many people doing W30 for the first time often end up under-eating due to a combination of elimination of processed foods and grains + years of conditioning to avoid fat, so in that case you might want to add in some workout-centric foods right off.

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Thanks. My meals are a lot bigger than I was eating before Whole30 because of what you said about cutting out so many food groups. I want to make sure to maintain as many calories because I am not trying to lose any weight. With that said you are probably right that I should eat a post workout meal.

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This may seem like a silly question, but what's considered a long/hard enough workout to require a pre/post workout meal? 3 days a week I go to the gym and do a 30 minute strength training/aerobic routine. When I get home from that I take my dogs for a walk/jog, usually about 1 to 2 miles. 2 days a week I run, usually 2 to 3 miles, then take my dogs for a 1 to 1 1/2 mile walk/jog. On the weekend, I ride my bike for approx. 7 miles at about a 5 minute mile pace. I'm just curious about the meals because I couldn't find any info on what is really considered a "workout" that would require them. When I was training for a 10K I would run up to 9 miles and I would definitely eat pre/post. Now that I'm not working as hard, I'm just not sure. 

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On any of the days that you work out, do you feel (1) I would push harder if I had more energy or (2) since I worked out today, I feel like eating more?  That's sorta the gauge, it's a personal thing.

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Along these lines, but I didn't really know where to post it, is my situation and question.

 

What constitutes a workout?

 

I am 200lbs overweight. I have led an extremely sedentary life for over a year. Walking around the block winds me. What would be normal activity for someone else is a workout for me. I'm not going to be at the gym for a while, or lifting weights, and I'm lucky if I can make it 3 minutes on a treadmill, let alone 30. So, where do I determine if I need a pre- or post- workout meal?

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The primary purpose of pre- and post-workout meals is to fuel performance and help build muscle. With your current stats and level of fitness, you would not need to add additional food. Keep doing your walks and as you start to drop weight and your workouts become taxing beyond what your fat stores can compensate for or you begin a weight-lifting program, then revisit the question.

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The problem is that your muscles are especially open to feeding (and recovering) for 15-30 minutes after a workout. To maximize that opportunity, you need to eat lean protein, no fat, and maybe a starchy veggie to help replace muscle glycogen. If you wait longer than 30 minutes, your muscles are not as open to feeding as they were. If you eat fat with your meal, your digestion slows and the protein gets to your muscles much more slowly - after the 30 minute window has closed. So, basically, not eating a real post-workout meal means your recovery from exercise is degraded. 

 

The other issue is that the amount of food recommended by the meal template is appropriate for people who are not exercising. If you do exercise, you need more nutrition to cover the greater expenditure of energy. The recommended way of getting that nutrition is through pre- and post-workout bonus meals. You can expand the size of your regular meals to provide that extra nutrition, but that extra food will not assist with recovery as well. 

 

I thought the idea of pre- and post workout meals was silly until I came to respect Dallas and Melissa Hartwig enough to actually try following the program for a while to see if it made a difference. What I recognized quickly was that I recovered faster from workouts and was able to train harder after I began eating post-workout protein at the gym before I left to go home and eat lunch. 

 

I had also been wondering about timing of exercise with meals vs post workout snacks. Lately I have found the best time for me to workout is before dinner. I have wished to be a morning workout person, but I'm just not. Maybe this will change as a result of the Whole 30, but for now I can't seem to do them in the morning.

 

An egg wouldn't be a good choice then because of the fat? Would it typically be some kind of seafood or chicken then? With some squash or sweet potato? Is it something that people make a batch of and have on hand if they're doing a daily workout? I am really interested in this because I do train 5 days a week. I do a high intensity workout for 30 minutes. I also do CrossFit, although the 5-day program I'm doing (Insanity Max 30) feels like enough for now.

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Hi There Greenhm,

 

If you are looking for a pre workout meal option then an egg is completely fine.

 

Post workout would be lean protein like chicken breast, and a starchy veg like sweet potato.

 

I hope this helps!

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