Folks training late in the day, what's for breakfast?

Hi all. I’ve tried searching this forum for a really long time but all I can find on structuring nutrition always seems to include training in the morning. My work hours mean I can only really train late in the day before dinner and given I’ve been struggling to lose weight, I wanted to post this and ask for any advice on when to eat what when training late in the day, e.g. 5pm? I used to eat overnight oats for breakfast with sandwich/pasta/leftovers for lunch, and usually need to have something else to eat before a workaround around 4pm because I’m starving already (my work day starts at or before 7am). Should I be switching my breakfast and lunch maybe, have more protein early and try to get all the carbs late? I appreciate any advice on this! Cheers.

Like you I eat oatmeal/fruit/milk most days for breakfast. I try to ensure I have a protein at every meal. Most of my weekday rides are before dinner. I find it best to eat lunch in the 12:30 to 1pm timeframe. If that doesnt fit your schedule I would grab something to eat an hour or so before a ride. I tend to eat items like cheese or yogurt in the afternoon if I am hungry. I do find a coffee or a hot drink does also help me feel full.

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Thank you! This sounds very similar to my current eating. I’ll stick with it but maybe try to reduce some calories here and there

I also train after work in the evening. I find I have to eat a lot of carbs at lunch and then still have a pre-workout snack (usually granola) in order to feel well fuelled during my workout.

When I was losing weight, what worked really well for me was to delay my breakfast and lunch as late as possible and then I wouldn’t need to eat again before my workout. So I wouldn’t eat anything until breakfast at around 10:30 am, lunch at 3 pm and then train at 5:30 pm.

Sounds a bit boring but I just try to get a good balance of carbs and protein in every meal. That way, my baseline level of fuelling is always very consistent, and I can just top it up with gels/drink mix/sweeties etc depending on the ride that I’m doing.

I often don’t eat breakfast and that doesn’t seem to impact my fuelling for my evening sessions, even on days when I ride the trainer after commuting to work on the bike. I think glycogen is stored for at least 24 hrs (someone please tell me if I’m wrong) and therefore, even if I skip breakfast, I have the previous night’s carbs, plus lunch and snacks to keep me fuelled for the evening ride.

Maybe you could try tracking your calories and find out why your body is starving. Feeling hungry and being low on fuel can be two separate things and you may need to address them separately.

There was a great article by Matt Fitzgerald about 12 years ago when I was in college and getting into endurance sport that really helped me lose weight. It was called “Get lean, not light” and was printed in Bicycling Magazine.

If you google that title I believe you can still find it on a really random blog post. At the end there is a one day food plan for someone who weights 165 lbs and help them lose fat, not muscle.

Well I started following that daily plan at about 195-200 lbs and got to 165. There was a ton of food in it daily and I pretty much stuck to that with the exception of a chipotle burrito sometimes and a Tuesday night wing night with my buddies.

Breakfast on that plan was 2 eggs, 2 egg whites, 1/2 cup of oatmeal fruit & nuts, plus coffee and water. You feel full eating it for sure but it gets the job done. Lunch then leads into a big salad and fruit. Half pb sandwich before a workout and a lighter dinner.

I’ll second his work. I like the endurance diet book. This am I had 2 eggs + oatmeal (w/ 4 apricots and a tbs of pumpkin seeds for breakfast). Made a pot of his Moroccan stew recipe yesterday that I’ll eat for lunch all week (68g of carbs & only 400 calories per huge serving).

My usual breakfast when I’m not riding in the morning is:
Few spoons of Greek yoghurt (Fage or one of other high-protein strained ones)
Some grapes cut in half
Pumpkin seeds
A small scoop of muesli
Small handful of chopped mixed nuts

(Not very high carb, but if my workout is after work, then I’ll be cramming in the carbs around 2 or 3)

Thanks so much everyone for the replies! Are you able to stay full and focused though? I never have problem on weekends when I ride in the morning and eat after but week days kills me with work all morning then riding in the PM.

I train after work and have been losing about 1.5 lbs / 0.7kg a month for the past 4 months. Breakfast is typically:

  • yogurt and blueberries+raspberries
  • granola with milk
  • egg sandwich

and then a mid morning snack of a banana with a little bit of peanut butter.

Lunch is a big salad with a lot of veggies and some protein and if its a bigger workout I’ll also have some other carbs.

I’m riding 5 days a week and burning roughly 5000-6000kJ a week, plus two strength/core workouts. While on the bike I eat 50% of the calorie burn (fig bars, Cliff bars, banana, …).

Eggs in the AM everyday. Also, Berries. Oats. Most of this comes from “The Skinny Rules” by Bob Harper from “the biggest looser.” While Im not trying to loose weight, there are lots of good life habits in the book.