T Nation

calorie variations--weight loss

I’m a 5’8" woman trying to lose a few pounds (well, more than a few). I’m doing the “bowlful of jelly” workouts and the metabolic diet (lowcarb with one-day carb load) foodplan. I want to vary my calories by day–shoot for an average of 1800/day–some more, some less.

My question: is it better to have higher-calorie days on the days i lift (for energy), or on the recovery days (for rebuilding).

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks!

I think it may be even better to think of it in macros. In other words, get more carbs after training on training days and reduce them on non-gym days, sort of like the T-Dawg Diet. Then have your higher calorie days on the weekend when you may be going out to eat more anyway. Just my two pennies.

If you are wanting to eat more on lifting days and less on off days it sounds like you are doing a Zig-Zag diet.

I do almost ALL my carbs just before and right after the workout

I prefer more calories on lifting days as research supports that carbs taken in just before and just after lifting are what supports protein synthesis. I eat a P+F meal about 2 hours before lifting and this fuels my workouts and I have better workouts and better results then when trying to work out on a low calorie day and then eat P+C after my work out to replenish glycogen and support protein synthesis. I eat low calorie on non work out days as my body doesn’t handle extra calories well without work out to burn them. I don’t need the extra energy on non work out days but preform much better work outs with a little extra fuel around work outs. Do your cardio on low calorie non lifting days to burn fat. I don’t care if I have low energy doing cardio but I don’t like lifting with low energy. As far as recovery is concerned, you’re in a cutting phase, not a bulking mass building phase so shouldn’t need to try to consume extra recovery calories as some extra recovery calories will surely go to fat which isn’t a concern in bulking phase but would be in cutting phase.