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30 min breakfast... after waking up or after getting up?

Ok... I know this is probably a dumb question but anyway... I usually put my alarm clock and it takes me around 30 min to actually get up. The best 30 min of my day by the way. Problem is that normally I'm always late for the 30 min range for breakfast... if you count that after waking up.

I have tried to look for the science behind the 30/1 hour limit, but I have no found compelling evidence if there is really a difference. After all, although I might wake up at 7.00 for example and get out of bed at 7.25 those 25 min i've also been on the realm of semi-sleep. So, what do you think?


The Best Answer

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I saw Tim at an event and asked him this very question. He said within 30 minutes of waking- not rising. Since I am a stay in bed through 2 snooze cycles kinda gal, this was not the answer I had hoped for.

So, I start my morning as soon as I get up with a whey protein shake as soon as I roll out of bed before stumbling into shower.

  • fullmoon commented May 7th 2011:
    You might want to try a casein protein shake in stead of the whey one, whey protein burns up pretty fast, and could spike your blood sugar response. Also, be the lookout for artificial sweeteners. I recently found a non-flavoured casein protein shake
  • LauraCox commented Feb 8th 2011:
    Thanks for this, I don't think many people know this. Posting on Twitter...
  • Beaver commented Jul 5th 2011:

    Sort of related. When I don't eat breakfast I lose more weight it seems. At least from my little experiments. I make up the calories later so my overall intake is roughly the same. Breakfast and PAGG free I lost 7kg in 4 weeks. Once I started morning protien I stalled. I'm sure there were other variables but this last week I cut the breakfast and finally broke the stall and lost 1.6kg. Next week I will re introduce the morning protein and ensure it is within 30min of rising to see if my timing was the culprit.

All Answers


That's a great questions. I have been wondering the same thing. Thanks for posting this.


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I suspect that its just to make sure you eat food earlier, rather than waiting three hours until your stomach is grumbling. I don't *think* there is any fundamental metabolic difference that happens exactly 30 minutes after you wake up, but I do know that if I don't eat food right away, I'll usually end up just waiting until around noon to make breakfast... thus defeating the benefits of having a lot of protein early in the day.


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Muscle is said to "burn fat". That is to say, muscles use up energy, even at rest, resulting in the break down of fat for energy. So, losing muscle is losing "fat-burning" potential. Bodybuilders use this same technique of protein intake (shakes, eggs, etc.) after waking to prevent catabolism, a state where the body is tearing down muscles to provide energy. This helps them preserve muscle mass and avoid losing any gains ("2 steps forward, 1 step back").


Don't worry about it. Many people when getting lean, do fasted cardio, some add some branched chain amino acids, maybe 10 grams to help make sure they don't lose muscle.

Well wake up, drive to gym, 60 minutes of 120 bpm cardio on the treadmill, everyone I know who successfully diets and gets in better shape knows to do this.

You can can eat after that, its past an hour and you'll still lose weight, probably 2x the fat than just dieting.

  • missunderstood commented Feb 9th 2011:
    I had to start eating it later because I was waking up too early. This never happens to me so I suspect it had something to do with eating early. I don't eat until 7:30 now because otherwise I wake up 1/2 and hour to early.


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My own experience suggests that eating as soon as possible upon waking makes a difference.

I've found over the years (through various different diets) that eating upon waking stokes my 'metabolism' - giving me greater 'get-up-and-go' as well as a stronger appetite. This extra energy seems to become a habit, to the point that getting up from bed as soon as I wake is easy and effortless.

Its not at all the same if I let myself lie in bed meditating or lucid dreaming.

I don't have any good info on why this would be the case. My guess is that my body comes to associate waking with energy intake and therefore is more willing to get into and stay in a more active state.


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i also read in the book that it was OK to eat within 1 hour after rising but within 30 minutes was optimal.

also, if you did not eat within 1 hour of rising "you would fail"


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I am right there with you. I can't imagine doing without those 30 minutes of drifting awake. When I force myself out of bed, I take 30 minutes to wake up, but I do it while knocking things over and breaking stuff. Seriously.

I've been toying with the idea of keeping a cup of dry protein powder and a bottle of water next to my bed, so I can just roll over, mix, shake, and drink without actually having to get up. In fact, I think I'll try that tonight.


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I wondered the same thing and I am not sure I liked the answer I saw below since I wake once at night and then early in the AM to use the bathroom and then go back to bed. Any thoughts?

  • JMPAZ commented Jun 17th 2011:

    This is my problem also -- if I wake to use the bathroom an hour before the alarm is set do I really need to go eat a bunch of eggs (or, in my case, drink protein shake)? Seems like that is not right.


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Thanks for posting this question. I keep re-reading the book to try to find an explanation re the eating 30 min-1 hour from waking and haven't found the reasoning behind it yet. Part of what I love about Tim's way is his explanations and how he arrived at his conclusions. Understanding why I should do it one way and not an other really helps me get into it.

Can anyone explain why this guide line works? My guess is something to do with your body being in starvation mode and storing the energy in muscle cells rather than fat cells buy why 30 mins? Are you trying to get the food in there before your digestive system wakes up?

I should probably do a separate questions but it's along your lines.


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I was wondering about this too- I'm sure it doesn't mean if you wake up in the middle of the night you need to eat (I've been experimenting with drinking loads of water to force myself to wake up @ 4 hours in for improved sleep)

What about those of us that actually go back to sleep when we snooze? I literally fall back asleep after hitting snooze and then when I do finally get up it's within minutes of waking.


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I agree, I think it's within waking. I too take way too long, around 15-30 minutes to get out of bed after snoozing. On a side note, does anyone know how to help me get out of the snoozing habit? (REM-based alarms?) Anyone have any experience with this?

  • Carp commented Mar 28th 2011:
    I heard somewhere that bright light is supposed to help you get up, if you dont cover your head with a pillow, i am contemplating a timer for my bedside lamp. i can snooze for an hour if my wife doesnt kick me in the ribs (she is not a fan of the snooze)
  • born2flie commented May 25th 2011:

    Tells you when to go to sleep to be able to wake up without feeling groggy. Basically, it counts back in 90-minute increments. Explains more with the calculation.

  • CynthiaK commented Nov 19th 2011:

    What a great idea for a site. Thanks for the link!

  • FireSwan commented Mar 5th 2012:

    Sleep studies are so interesting. If you want to calculate how long your sleep cycle is, make a note of the time each time you wake up in the middle of the night. Do this for about a week and you'll see your average cycle. Mine seems to be roughly 90 min. I also find that if I take a 45 min or 90 min nap as opposed to 1 hour, I feel much better when I wake up.

  • Suzanne Roberts commented May 19th 2011:
    Ha! I am a BIG TIME snoozer =0 Thankfully my husband gets up about 45 mins before me so he isn't affected. But on the days of he nags me...I seriously have 4 alarms set on my phone in 15 minute increments AND an alarm clock..I just like to snooze!


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This really confuses me, Tim also comments about Intermitten fasting, But he stresses eating within 30 minutes of waking! I guess I’m just gonna have to expiriment and see which method works best for me, I struggel with breakfast, I just don’t like eating it, I’m usually not hungry until lunch time…I have done a couple of days of IF and a few eating within 30 munute of GETTING OUT OF BED…I’m usually in bed 20 min. after I hit snooz.


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  • xtian commented Aug 3rd 2012:

    People who flagged this don't have a sense of humor! LOL

  • Charles Antony commented Jul 8th 2015:

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