T Nation

Eating Less on Rest/Cardio Days?


My tdee is 2750, and of current my strength level is lower than i want it to be while my BF % is too high. Most people would say that i should just go on cutting diet and then focus again on getting stronger. But after having used so many months restricting calories and getting weaker even tough i train with high intensity, i have grown tired of it. And decided that i now want to get stronger, but the excess fat is still here so what do i do? I figured that if i limit my calories to around 2300-2500 on my rest days, while perhaps doing 30 min of cardio i can loose fat and if i eat around 2750 on my workout days i can get stronger.

What do you think? have you tried this before?


Carb cycling...educate yourself on it. You're essentially going to be doing it if you follow your plan, but it doesn't hurt to know the science behind it and yes, it does work. Also make sure your nutrient intake is timed properly in accordance with your training sessions.


I don't think carb cycling is really applicable at this moment for me, in terms of food availability..

anyways, just asking if cycling the calories like i outlined would help me lean out while getting stronger? i am not that much overweight but i can't see my abs, getting there fast isn't that important to me i just want to make steady progress.




well.. shit :confused:


Well..shit, indeed.


You know what?

im gonna ask you why you think it wont work






Depending on ones current level of training, I think that it MIGHT have applications.

All in all, if you are simply trying to look good and perform well, I say figure out how many calories you need daily and eat that every day.

In general I think this adds a layer of complexity that the trainee who is simply looking to go to the gym and "get in shape" doesn't want to, and therefore wont, deal with. Anything you dont LIKE doing will stack the deck against you sticking with this long term.



I'm gunna be all controvercial and shit and say yeah. Cycling the calories would help you do this. Cycling is great for many reasons. I would try and change the situation of not having total control over your macros.


change your plan? i restrict calories, and set PRs bitch! haha.. seriously though, if you want to lose weight, and maintain/gain strength, "i cant right now due to food availability" is not an option. Diet is a HUGE part of bodybuilding/physique and it'd be difficult to make any sort of progress without the correct exercise and nutrition plan. luckily you came to a site with loads of info on both. Cruise the articles tab, read, soak it up. implement.

give IF (intermittent fasting) a shot. i personally say it is the most simple, result-producing method i've used. Love it, id marry it if i could.

GO READ, dont be lazy :slight_smile:


Yeah, you need to get control over your food. Otherwise you will fail.

Cycling carbs and calories really works wonders. But if you just cycle calories and dont pay attention to macro's then it's not going to have the desired result.

Get control over your food, research carb cycling - then get stronger and lose some fat. It's definitely possible. I've cut down over 10kgs in the last 4 months using this method, and my strength is peaking and i have gained some muscle, definitely lost none. My macros, calories, food timing is mapped out to the T - this has been the single most important thing.

But like lonnie123 said - make sure it's a plan you can stick to. But also make sure it's a plan that will work (just cycling calories is not going to get you there)


Cut the salt out of your diet. Try the fruit and veg diet aka 80/10/10 if you want to be ripped all year long. Worked for me. :wink:


Prepare to be hazed


Kill him.


Looks like i need to look into carb cycling. But i just don't know what to eat and i don't particularly enjoy a wide variety of tastes. i pretty much eat the same food week in week out.
Still i manage to get a balanced amount of nutrition, 30-40% fat 25+% prot and rest carbs, and i get around 2700 calories. which is enough for me to stay at the exact same weight and hit new personal records at most workouts.

So as i am very bad with eating varied, changing my diet around in order to get a lower carb day might be a little hard. i think the best thing for me to do as of current is probably just to start easing on the amount of hot dogs i consume and start eating more canned tuna fish.


from other thread:


Pics or GTFO


Agreed on IF statement. Cycling calories in this way is as simple as removing a singular meal on rest days for me. No Hassle at all. Still a lot of Satisfying food.



going to carb cycle, 2700+- calories on workout days( 4 times a week) around 160 protein,250 carbs and 110 fat.

and 2200+- calories on rest days, 175 prots, 80 carb, 125 fat

Going to do cardio(hill running) 2-3 times a week as cardio only on workout days.

i usually work up in weight with every set
Shoulder press 5 sets
cable crossovers 5 sets
chin ups 5 sets
cable pushdown 5 sets

deadlift 5
light squat: 3-5
hyper extensions 3

Bench press 5
barbell bent over row 5
shrugs 3-5
shoulder press dumbbells 3

Squat 5 sets
straight leg deadlift or some other ham exercise, 5 sets

i wont try IF right away but maybe as i get going with this i might try. Its just that i am always so hungry in the mornings and at night.

if i stick with this(meaning strength does not go down) i will report progress after 6 weeks.