T Nation

Calorie variations

Greetings my fellow t-mag followers, I have a bit of an eating dehlimma. Alot of my buddies cut their calories on non-training days because they say they don’t use them and scrutinize me because I do absolutely nothing to alter my dietary intake on rest days. My question: wouldn’t it make sense that in order to properly recover that you wouldnt deprive your body of what it has become accustomed to in the form of a Protien/carbs/fat on a daily basis? If i am just plain wrong please do tell me(it would save me $ on food). But this question has been looming for quite some time.

Robusto…I think it largely depends on your training goal, really. For example, in a gaining phase, you may choose to do something along the lines of Massive Eating where you’re eating maintenance on training days and consuming the same amount on recovery days, which provides the surplus. In addition, in this type of phase eating a surplus of quality calories can only help in growth and restoration of substrates (glycogen). Nevertheless, I think some zig-zagging should be incorporated but isn’t necessary. For fat loss, the same thing may be in order. If you’re in a deficit on training days, that same caloric intake may be closer to maintenance on your recovery days, so it may be a good adjustment (zig-zag) for your body. You may choose to figure your needs for both training and recovery days, however, and make necessary adjustments. It can get to be a pain to be so exact as to adjust calories on a short-term basis, but it may aid progress.

The best way to do it is to base it on your activity level. Timbo alluded to it w. the Zig-Zag method (what up, T). It can be an extreme pain in the ass, but you might try planning your meal according to what you plan on doing the next three hours. If you’re training or have a physical labor job, then eat your largest meal(s) prior to. Likewise, if you’re going to be on the couch watching a Jenna Jameson movie, then a smaller meal (although this might be a “high activity time” too.)

Teddy, my man, wassup, sounds like you’ve had your nose in your ISSA (Dr. Squat) training manual! That sounds familar to me, bro! How’s it all going? Anyway, I normally try to eat for my activity and zig 'em and zag 'em a bit, but I think eating for training is the route to go for me. I know that for me, I can get away with a monster meal AFTER training…

Thanks guys for the help, I think I may go with the massive eating strategy and utilize my non-training days as the caloric surplus so that I haven’t got to alter my daily intake.