T Nation

Calorie Cycling


Is it beneficial to cycle the amount of calories you eat? If I'm trying to gain mass for example, if I ate slightly less (even under maintanance) 2 days and then more the other days woule this lead to less fat gain? Would it hinder muscle growth?

I was wondering since it seems like carb cycling.


Im not a fan. Some say it has merit some dont.

I tried it and say no greater and prob less progress toward the goal of bulking. I find just a steady intake much better. Cut back if your getting fat.

I think it can have a greater merit at least mental in cutting using refeeds.


Fred Hatfield advocates something called the Zig Zag diet where you eat way over maintenance on training days and below on rest days. He claims it works great and has used it on old bodybuilders. I have never tried it myself. I remember listening to it in a pod cast. I'll see if I can find it.


Here it is:


Carb cycling while keeping protein constant works well for me, but I'm not bulking. It seems to work well on stripping off fat. Personally I'd never want to take protein below maintenance, especially if bulking.


MAJOR!!! problem I see with this is your healing building muscle or your OFF days. So during a bulk or even cut dropping cals below Maint will not hinder not just growth but simple recover and progress that allow progression in the gym.

I usually naturally eat more on training days even more so on say squat and DL just do to being ravenous but off days during bulks im sure to keep it above as well just not the simple carbs more from fruits, oats veggies. Plenty of fats and protein.


the approach that I have heard was to keep cals high (500 - 1000 over) and every 3rd or 4th day drop to to 90% maintenace. The idea is that your body will be in a surplus for the most part, but will then get hit with a deficit day to potentially burn a little fat.


I agree. I don't follow it.