Wait to eat after exercise

  • I have read two conflicting bits on eating after exercise.  Body-for-Life the book recommends waiting at least 1 hour before eating anything.  Myoplex shakes recommend drinking one within 30 minutes of exercise.  Are shakes an exception? However, Myoplex has carbs and I thought the reason for waiting was so your body would burn body fat and not carbs resting in your system.


  • Thanks for posting this!  I've been confused on this too.  I hear people saying they have more success when the tweak the program (ie. doing extra cardio, not indulging in a free day/meal or working out on that day, etc.) and then people say, do only as the book says.  We all want tips to get there faster and use every second wisely. I'm just not sure which "tips" to follow.  ???


  • When doing HIIT cardio your body continues to burn fat even after you finish. Wait an hour before eating so that you do not interrupt that process. On upper & lower body days you stretch, pull & tear muscles. Your body needs protein & carbs to repair & rebuild so you want to eat within 30 minutes on those days.  

  • Ah, thanks Grandpa Hiker.  I think that is the piece I was missing.  Wait on cardio days, don't wait on weight lifting days.

  • this couldnt be further from the truth. It's all broscience, meaning it sounds good in theory, but it doesn't work that way. If you are eating in a deficit, then you will lose body fat. I lost 130 lbs in 18 months and i ate as soon as i got home from the gym after cardio and after weights.

  • I hate to disagree Charlie, but the original book says to wait an hour.  I think it falls into those BFL basics.  Yes, it can work like you say when you have alot to lose (I'm in that category), but since were all trying to do BFL, I think its good to follow the plan.  However, since the shakes do say wait 30 minutes, I'm thinking it would depend on your goals.  Eating at the 30 minute marker would seem to fall into the building muscle, not necessarily the fat loss category.

    But those are just my thoughts.  Since they're free, you know what they say about free advice.  (-;  Best wishes Robfab on your challenge!

    "Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out." - Robert Collier

  • I think Grandpa Hiker offers the most solid advice.  If you can wait to eat after cardio, you will burn more fat.  Having a protein shake after weights is the quickest way to feed the muscle the glycogen it is looking for.  There are many well documented studies supporting this.

    There are several people who will chime in on this...so I think it is best to find what works well for you.  I, personally, waited approximately 1 hour after cardio and then had a shake.  I would have my shake immediately after lifting on weight days.  It seemed to have worked just fine for me.

    "The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday!"

  • Thanks Charlie for your bluntness.  My question is about efficiency.  I think anyone who is over weight and works out for 18 months will probably see results whether their workouts are efficient or not.  However, I want to be as efficient as possible and if waiting 60 minutes can help out a bit, I'm all for it.  If it makes very little difference, then I'll still do as prescribed.  If it is inefficient and goes against what I am trying to do making me less efficient, then I want to know.

  • RobFab,

    IMHO  it is best to wait one hour after cardio. This is prime fat burning time and in fact the whole point of 20 min HIIT over long slow cardio. I do eat right after a weight training session. If it was all about caloric deficit then why not eat all your calories at once and be done with it. There is a time and place to eat. I firmly beleive in following the BFL book as written and it is quite clear on the eating one hour after cardio issue.

    just my two cents


  • Hey RobFab,

    I'm glad you post this question as well. I'm in week 7 and finally came to the conclusion on my own about it. So I got to agree with the other guys, wait  one hour after cardio and eat immediately after weight trainning. One componet you didn't mentioned since you are concern about efficiency is to do both workouts on an empty stomach. BFL recommends immediately upon waking up. Then follow the recommended eating style for which workout you'r on. It also says if you miss the morning, to exercise on a meal time then follow the recommended eating style for the workout you're on. One more thing dont focus on perfection, just continue remembering that you are XX days ahead not behind. Hope this helps

  • I couldn't decide what to go with, so I figured if I waited to eat about an hour from the MIDpoint of my exercise, that that might be a good idea.  My weights take about an hour to do.  But the cardio's are short.  If I started weights at 5:00, be done at 6:00, that seems like a long time if I don't eat 'til 7:00.  I feel like the longer workout needs food replenishment faster.  

    During my first C1 awhile back, I would do the 1-hour rule for any exercise day, even weights.  I often felt shaky, tired and starving when I would wait that long after weights, but not cardio.  I guess the popular theory here explains my problem back then.

  • Honestly it probably doesn't make a difference whether  you eat immediately or wait 1 hour after working out, heck I would even go as far to say if you were to eat a meal before cardio it  wouldnt make a difference as long as overall calories for the day remain the same, however your following bodyforlife and while its good to get different peoples opinions here the problem with that is that you will get different ones and be just as confused before you asked the question, the following is not my opinion but its what bill phillips recommended when he wrote bodyforlife which is this ,

    If fatloss is your goal then you should workout first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and this goes for all your workouts cardio and weights,he also said to wait 1 hour after you have finished your workout before eating and this includes the weightraining workouts

  • say and believe what you want. your body burns X amount of calories a day/week/month/year. Lets say eating 2000 calories gets you a fat loss of 2 lbs a week. You are not going to lose 3 lbs a week if you delay those 2000 calories by 60 minutes. Assuming that since you are waiting an hour to get to meal 1, that if would delay all other meals by an hour as well.

    I know what BFL says, I have read it several times. Not everything in the book is true. Like the comment about how saturated fats are bad for you. We all know this is not true, or at least you should. They boost test levels which is needed for muscle growth.

    If Bill believes that saturated fats are bad, then let him believe it. If you think that you should wait an hour to eat cause you will lose more body fat, then do so.

    However as someone who is a walking billboard for BFL, who dropped from 52% bf to 16%bf in 18 months, I can tell you that eating an hour after workouts is not going to speed up fat loss.

  • Charlie - I would love to see your pictures. You must be so proud!!

  • Hi Rob,

    Wait for an hour if you want to lose fat, drink the shake in half an hour if you do not want to lose fat. Some people are on the program to bulk up and gain weight.

    Courage isn't lack of fear. It's our ability to carry on despite our fear