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Calorie / Carb Cycling Question


Everything I read about calorie cycling recommends eating more calories on training days, and fewer calories on rest days. But, on training days, when I eat protein and high carb, I get full very quickly. Plus the exercise kills my appetite. It's easier for me cut calories on training days. On rest days, when I eat protein and fat, it's easier to eat more calories.

So, does anyone calorie cycle by eating more on rest days and less on exercise days? If that is easier to adhere to, would I be missing anything important?


I wouldn’t suggest going that route, the whole reason you are consuming more calories on days you workout is to fuel your workout. To be able to push yourself maximally, whether to grow or get stronger. This will in turn burn calories, which are necessary in order to produce hypertrophy versus atrophy. I have never heard of anyone eating less on workout days versus on rest days. There are those that believe your daily macro numbers are not as important as your overall weekly macro numbers.

I follow intermittent fasting, and carb back loading so I strongly believe in nutrient timing. After all there are plenty of studies that show that our bodies are most anabolic post workout. I do not know your overall goals, but I am assuming that if you are carb cycling you are slowly bulking or cutting. Either way making sure you are eating correctly is going to get you to your goals more efficiently and faster. The carb cycling strategy that you listed above has been proven to work for many clients, but not everything works for everyone. Still, calories should always be higher on workout days versus rest days.


Well it really depends on your appetite and your target macros for each day. I also fast and do carb and calorie cycling even now that I’m bulking because I have a huge appetite. Carbs don’t take that long to digest, if you are too full to workout try eating a bit earlier and eat more concentrated carbs. EG: most to least filling from left to right. (Carbs to Volume ratio) potatoes-sweet potatoes-rice-pasta-bread… see what I mean?

Some people actually recommend eating more on rest days and less on training days because they claim most of your recovery will take place the day after training. I see how this can work. In the end meal timing is nowhere near as important as total caloric and macronutrient intake. So don’t over think it. Eat more concentrated carb sources and spread your meals more intelligently. Have a smaller lunch, workout and then have a big dinner. Eat some ice cream or drink some fruit juice to reach your carbs, I don’t know.

I still wouldn’t recommend eating less on training days. Training without feeling nourished is a huge psychological setback at least for me. I just feel like I have more energy after I have chowed down a big bowl of carbs.

Are you cutting or bulking?