Eat Great, Even Late: Eating After 6pm

A question we get a lot is, "I workout at night. How late is it okay to eat?" 

During a recent nutrition meeting, Coach Ed addressed the stigma of eating late.

When eating, the 2 things you want to ask yourself are: 

1) Am I hungry?
2) Did I eat in the last 2-4 hours?

If you're hungry, eat. If it's been less than 2 hours, examine what you ate last. If it was enough, you shouldn't be hungry. Plan to eat more next time.

It doesn't matter what time of day it is. "Not eating after 6pm" isn't a thing. If you workout at night, you need to eat afterwards.

What should you eat?

If you just worked out, plan to eat a protein, vegetable and starch (potato, rice, quinoa, pasta). If you're not working out, eat a protein, vegetable and fat. Stick to 0 calorie beverages and you're on the way to healthy eating!

Looking For A Tasty Dinner?

Click the Picture to Download this One-Pan Pesto Chicken Recipe!

Rules of the Road: 10 Nutrition Habits


The 10 Nutrition Habits:

1… Eat every 2-4 hours.

2… Eat complete, lean protein with every meal.

3… Eat vegetables with every meal.

4… If fat loss is your goal, eat vegetables with every meal, fruit with any meal, “other carbs” only after exercise.

5… Eat healthy fats with every meal (except after workouts).

6… Don’t drink beverages with more than 0 calories.

7… Eat whole foods instead of supplements, whenever possible.

8… Plan ahead and prepare food in advance.

9… Eat as wide a variety of good food as much as possible.

10… Plan to break the rules 10% of the time (3-4 times per week).

Cliff Notes:

Q: “When should we have fats, carbs and protein?”

A: Protein, vegetables and fat should be eaten with every meal. Generally, if your goal is fat loss, plan your carbs or starchy vegetables for after a workout to take advantage of the extra sugar (your muscles use the sugar using science to do good things for you). 


Consider the habits above the “rules of the road.” Going from point A to point B requires certain things to happen. Whether you’re driving or trying to reach a fat loss / performance goal, there are FUNDAMENTAL parts to the puzzle that need to be in place for you to reach your destination. 

At RD, most nutrition conversations come back to this list. Starting with rule number one, we explore each habit, in sequence, until we find the point to attack. Now, it's important to note that each member is different, but in most cases, using these rules as a reference gives people the habits they need to make progress.

This weeks question is from a new member. She comes from a military background and has more fitness experience than most. They asked:

“Food placement during the day. When should we have fats, carbs and protein?”

This is a great question and it helps explain why these guidelines are so helpful.

To this person, our first response would be, “What is your goal?” These are general nutrition guidelines. Sometimes, depending on the person and what they're trying to achieve, these habits may need to be tweaked (specifically the "carb" timing).

Let’s say their goal is fat loss. The next question would be, “Are you eating every 2-4 hours?” Why? Because if you’re not eating, when you should eat certain macronutrients isn’t our first concern! In the craziness of diets and quick fixes, people jump chapters ahead without addressing the basics. Are you eating? Do you eat more than once, twice or three times a day? You’d be surprised how many people struggle just to eat more than once in a day. They have hectic jobs and schedules and fall victim to their environment. 

To get back to her question, let’s say, “yes, I am eating every 2-4 hours.” After that, they’d want to consult the list of habits to answer their own questions. If you eat every 2-4 hours, you should be having (2) Compete, lean protein with every meal and (3) vegetables with every meal. (4) and (5) complete her question. 


Right now, RD is launching Fit 101.

These rules are simple but are not easy to implement. Fit 101 is a 4 hour workshop focused on education. We want to help guide you through the foundational things people need to do to live healthy, happy and strong! 

It's about giving you the tools you need to make informed decisions to give you the life you want to live!

Click the button below for a free consultation!

GAINZ (With a Z): Pre and Post Workout Nutrition

Raw eggs and tuna fish… ALL DAY!

Cliff Notes:

Our baseline nutrition habit is eat every two to four hours. Eating frequently helps you get a more appropriate amount of protein, veggies and fat in your diet as opposed to three square meals. 
When it comes to eating before your workout, it’s a process of trial and error. In terms of food, stick to things you trust. If it doesn’t repeat on you, it’s the right decision. In terms of timing, assess when you will be able to eat next.
After your workout, we encourage people to eat within an hour of your workout. Include a starchy vegetable or carb and a protein. In the end, if you have eaten in the last 2-4 hours, you may not be hungry, and that’s ok. Just be prepared when that next 2-4 hour mark hits so you can nourish your body.

Sometimes the littlest details become our biggest obstacles. One of those things for some people is eating around a workout. There’s so much conflicting information that they feel handcuffed. 

What and when do I eat to MAXIMIZE my GAINZ (with a z)? 

The first thing to address is consistency. If you’re not making it to the gym, there’s no pre and post workout. Stop reading now. Starting out, just make sure you get to the gym. The first month, we encourage people to make RD a part of their weekly routine. Once that happens, building nutrition habits is the next focus.

Our baseline habit is eating every two to four hours. Most of the time, people don’t have a problem eating too much, it’s not eating enough. If people consistently “starve” themselves, their metabolism will slow down to conserve calories. Eating consistently isn’t a necessity to make progress, but it makes getting the appropriate amount of nutrition… more… digestible.

Let’s say you’re dominating eating every two to four hours, we can start to address your pre and post workout nutrition. Focus on foods that you’re comfortable with over what’s “optimal.” If a food repeats on you or makes you feel nauseous, that’s bad. Remember you still want to have a good workout. The most important thing is that you’re getting fuel and it’s not negatively affecting your workout. Don’t eat so close that you're nauseous, but not so far before that you’re crashing. In all reality, if you’re eating every two to four hours each day and getting enough energy, then that “exact” timing before the workout is not that important. Until it is…

What does your post workout look like? Lets do some math: If you eat 2 hours before you workout (2 hours), then you have an hour workout (3 hours) and you eat a half hour later (3 1/2 hours), you still fall into that 2-4 hour range. On the flip side, take the same scenario. If you’re not cognizant of the timing, and can’t eat until 2 hours after your workout, that wouldn’t be optimal timing. Bottom line is, each day could be different, so you have to plan accordingly.

When it comes to strength training and fat loss, let how frequently you eat guide your pre and post workout meal timing.  Advanced sports nutrition strategies are not necessary, until you own the basic nutrition and recovery habits. If you need more information on our general guidelines, click here.