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Confused about 3 meals + work out meals! Okay to skip breakfast??


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Hi -- I've read a bunch of posts on this topic but i'm still a bit confused as to how I should approach the 3 meals + workout + pre and post workout meals given my preferred workout times.


I'm a woman in my early 40s and I'm starting the Whole30 with the intention of trying to get better control of my sugar dragon, reigning in snacking, and also to help determine what foods seem to interfere with proper digestion.  I would also love to lose 5 lbs and decrease body fat % by a couple of points.  


Having said that, I tend to work out about 4-5 days/week.  My workouts are fairly intense and range from 45-60 mins of some combination of weight training, high intensity interval cardio training, or moderate but endurance style cardio training. 


I usually am up by 6:30am and start my workouts anytime between and 8 and 10am.  I don't generally eat breakfast, and typically, I only have coffee (with cream!) before my workouts.  


I don't think it'll be a problem to change my routine so as to have a small pre wo meal, consisting of a hard boiled egg or some nuts.


But I'm a bit confused as to what I do after my workout.  


I *think* the recommendation is that I eat a post wo meal immediately after my workout (which i understand should be a lean protein, no fat, no fruit, and a starchy carb).


If i do this, I'd be eating that post workout meal sometime between 9:30 am and 11:30am.  


In either scenario, my first real full meal would be my lunch, I believe, which i'd either eat very shortly after my post work out meal, or a couple hours later.   I can't imagine having a pre work out meal, working out, having a post work out meal, then having breakfast and then having lunch, all within a 6 hour window!


1) if my workout goes from 9am-10am and i eat my post work out meal at 10:30/11am, is it okay to then eat lunch an hour or so later?


2) is it okay to not really have a true breakfast and instead to rely on my pre and post workout meals plus lunch and dinner to provide necessary food intake?  


Remember -- I would like to shed some pounds here and I don't want to end up eating a lot more food than i have been to date!


Thanks for any and all advice/suggestions!

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You need to eat within an hour of getting up in the morning. That will start with re-regulating your hormones. You are up 90 minutes minimum before your workout.  At your minimum time, you have time to eat breakfast before your workout -- coffee is not going to cut it, especially since coffee is an appetite suppressant. Eat breakfast. A pre workout meal can be as small as a single hard boiled egg, a chicken leg with olives. You are going for fat and protein. Post workout is lean protein and a carby veg. Plain chicken breast and sweet potato is a big favorite. You only need just a few bites. You are not eating a whole meal. No fat in the post workout. If you doing heavy workouts, you need the pre and post workout meals, otherwise you are going to be shorting yourself on nutrition. You will need the three template meals and the pre and post meals. These are important. Also, please realize that the Whole30 is not a weight loss plan.Yes, many people have lost weight, but realize, you may not lose any at all. You will possibly change your body composition, but it is possible that 5 pounds will not come off.  Also, if you cut out a full meal, you will not be doing a Whole30 and you will be doing yourself a disservice. The science is there to back this up. Also, if you have not read It Starts With Food and/or the Whole30 book, you will be missing the hows and whys of the program. 

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One clarification: I think in this situation it is perfectly fine to skip the pre-workout snack if you don't feel you need it. 


It is not ok to skip breakfast. Have that as early as you can after waking up, and have a post-workout snack ready once you are done with your workout.

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okay, this is super helpful!  thank you to both of you for helping me think through this a bit more clearly.


i normally don't eat breakfast, so this is a big change for me.  And i usually don't like to eat anything close to the time when i work out.  But i'll aim to get up a bit earlier, eat my breakfast as soon as I get up, and push my work out to no earlier than 9am, so that i both eat a real breakfast, but also don't eat too close to my workout.   I will, however, opt to skip the pre-workout snack.  And then i'll plan to have a couple of bites of lean protein and carby starch immediately after working out.  And then an actual lunch sometime after that.  

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