T Nation

Clean Carbs on Rest Days?



Current stats

180 lbs
15% BF

I'm newer to working out and have done a ton of reading on nutrition (Christian Thibaudeau "Nutrition for Newbies", Berardi's "Massive Eating", "Massive Eating Reloaded", some of his "Precision Nutrition" articles). I plugged in my height, bf, etc into the "Massive Eating" calculator and ended up with about 3700 cals per day in a 40/30/30 c/f/p balance.

I know that both these guys seem to agree that carbohydrates should be kept to breakfast and PWO shake plus a PWO meal (especially grain based ones like oatmeal, quinoa).

My question is, after making up some clean diets on FitDay, I'm having a problem reaching the desired calorie/carb amounts on rest days, where there are no workouts, hence no opportunity to get carbs PWO in a shake or two PWO meals. This is even with some oats in the breakfast meal.

I have plenty of vegetables in there (every meal, mostly spinach, broccoli, carrots, green peppers, cucumbers) but vegetables don't have nearly the carb count that fruit and/or grains do. Even with some berries spaced out over the 6 meals, I'm still under the carb amount for that day.

  1. Is it ok to eat grains on the rest days outside of breakfast?
  2. If not, should I just load up on fruit throughout the day (berries mainly) to get the required amount?
  3. I came out with 3400 calories on rest days, and 3900 on workout days. Would this slight under/over the ~3700 calorie amount work just fine the way I have it set without having to worry about making up the carb count on rest days?

Sorry for all the questions, but I've done all the reading I can stomach at this point and this clean carb amount on off days is the last sticking point.

I've been two months on CW's HIAH Get Big program and went from 174 to 184, 17% -> 15% BF eating fairly clean per his template, but it's fairly undersized in terms of calories, so I wanted to revamp with some other nutrition information for the next few months.

Note: I was at 184 before this recent unloading week where I did a sub-maintenance level diet with mostly vegetables to detox a bit; that explains the drop to 180 lbs, BF may be around 14% at this point).

I appreciate all the reading T-Nation has offered and looking forward to finally dialing in this nutrition a bit more.



If you gained 10 lbs in two months and got leaner, then you don't need to fuck around with the calories because it sounds like you're onto something right now. Continue to use those guidelines.

The biggest mistake you can make is to abandon guaranteed great progress for the off chance of greater progress. If it's working, keep doing it until it stops working. Until then, don't mess with it.


My advice would be to try it out and see what your body does. It's important to try things out yourself because you learn things about your body a long the way, which is priceless information.

For me, if my muscles aren't feeling "full" on a rest day...i tend to dirty up the diet (pancakes, strudels, waffles) to get that full energized feeling back. If i'm feeling nice, pumped up and heavy (holding a bit of water too), i eat cleaner carbs (oatmeal, potatoes etc.).


I appreciate the responses. I know "ain't broke don't fix it" but to be honest, the last 2.5 weeks I didn't notice much gain. So I was thinking that the lack of calories I calc'd initially wasn't working since I jumped up another 8 pounds.

Also, both Berardi and T. agree on the P+C timing of PWO shake/meal and breakfast. I had originally been eating whole wheat tortillas on my rest days at dinner. I was thinking of just cutting them out to align a little better with their research.

How do you guys reach your carb count on rest days though without fruits/grains outside of breakfast?


What John Berardi are you reading where he says only eat fruit PWO? One of his 10 rules or whatever is eat fruits/veggies at every meal.


Without very accurate measurements of change in BF%/hydration/lean mass gain, you won't really know how much more carbs you need, except by just learning what feels right.

Keep in mind, even nuts and veggies have carbs. Truth is though, despite what you read, the only "best fit" solution for you will be figured out through trial and error. Most guys will need more carbs as they get bigger, but the question is how much bigger are you really. For now keep up what your doing and remember that stagnation is part of the game.


WTF is a clean carb?




From what I've been reading, the only thing that truly qualifies is vegetables. Grains not so much, even fruit outside of moderate quantities.


Scrubbed nicely with soap and water.


Yeah, if I want to eat a doughnut or twinkie or something I just throw it in the dishwasher. Cleans that shit right up.


Got it.