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What level of exercise deserves pre-post workout meals?


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Hi everyone,

I’m staring a second round of whole 30 next week. I currently workout at home and am doing Lift4 on Beachbody on demand which is primarily strength training (with a small amount of cardio). I also do an extra day of cardio, and some yoga. I burn around 300 calories when doing the Lift4 program. I’m wondering if I really need pre and post workout meals, If I’m only burning around 300 calories (per my Fitbit). At what point should we not consume those meals? Or should I still consume those meals?

When I did my first round of whole30 last year I was primarily doing cardio workouts where I burned around 450-500 calories. I did follow the meal plan template exactly and did have pre and post workout meals.

Basically my concern is that I may be overeating if I consume pre-post workout meals this upcoming round, because I don’t burn as much calories with the strength training via Lift4. 

My main reasoning for doing a whole30 isn’t weight loss, but I am or have been working on losing weight and this is why I’m bringing it up. I tried searching for concrete info on this and really couldn’t find anything. I would appreciate any and all feedback. 

Thank you,


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Pre-wo is most important if it's been several hours since you ate -- for instance, working out first thing in the morning, or working out after work when you haven't eaten since lunch time. If you aren't hungry and feel okay during your workouts without it, it's okay not to have it.

Post-wo is a little different, in that it can help aid muscle recovery, so it may be more important after strength training than it would be after cardio. This article explains a little more about that:  http://whole9life.com/2015/02/eat-post-workout/. Even this is somewhat variable for each person, though. If you're eating starchy vegetables with meals, your post-workout may just be a few bites of lean protein. If you're not eating starchy vegetables with meals, you may also need some with your post-workout. And on days when you just do cardio or just do yoga, you may not need pre or post at all, but if you find you're not recovering well, if you're getting more and more tired and worn out over time, you can try adding them.

For whole30 purposes, it's not really about calories, it's about giving your body the fuel it needs to perform and to recover.

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