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Nutrition Starting Points and Rest Days

I know its a old question but I am curious how people decide calorie starting points AND how you eat on rest days.

I am 5ft8 and 145lbs so I need to gain weight obviously. I am trying to get some structure that I have always lacked and used as an excuse.

The last 2 weeks I have opted for 2000 calories 200g protein, 200g carbs, and on rest days reducing the carbs to <100. Is this too low a starting point?

Training: 531 (28 weeks of training template)

Current Strength/2014 Goal:

Front Squat 90kg (Goal 120 beltless)
Deadlift 150kg OH (Goal 180 beltless)
Incline Bench 75kg (Goal 90kg)
Press 55kg (Goal 65kg)

Assistance (progressive overload)

  • Barbell Rows
  • Thick Curls
  • Thick Lockouts
  • Good Mornings
  • Snatch Pulls
  • Pullups
  • Lateral Raises

Not strictly bodybuilding I know but i want to gain strength and I feel a strong diet should yield muscle for someone my size.

Any guidance would be awesome relating to maximising diet and where to start, how to measure progress etc please!

The rule of thumb is:
Bodyweight(lbs.) x 20(cal./day) = Bulk
Bodyweight(lbs.) x 15(cal./day) = Maintenance
Bodyweight(lbs.) x 10(cal./day) = Absolute basemant
individual adjustments must be made

Don’t worry too much about where you start with your daily nutrition, it’s more about the adjustments that you make than the starting point. I think people spend way too much time trying to calculate their BMR and figuring out how many calories they need. If you’re wanting to start at 2,000 calories that would be fine; now you just need to decide how to distribute those calories amongst your macros.

If you’re at 200 p and 200 c, that means you’re only at 44 g of fat, which I think is a little low. You could consider dropping your protein to 1.25 g/lb bw, which would put you at 180 g a day and free up 80 calories to assign to fat. Just stick with these numbers for a couple weeks and let the scale and mirror be the judge of where the numbers need to go.

As a beginner, you can be a little more loose with your weight gain initially, but I’d caution you against getting in the mindset of thinking you just need to gain weight. Simply consuming a large surplus of calories and gaining weight doesn’t mean you’re building muscle. I would shoot for about 2-3 lbs gained per month; it doesn’t seem like a lot initially, but if you kept that up for a year you’d have added around 30 lbs. That would be a totally new physique for you. I’d monitor your weight gain, and if you don’t gain in a given week, bumping up carbs by 10-15 g and fat by 5 g every other week would be a good place to start as far as adjustments.

You mentioned that you drop carbs significantly on off days. You’ll get lots of different opinions on this, but I personally am not big on reducing carbs on rest days, at least not cutting them in half as you’re doing. Your body still needs nutrients to grow on these off days, and depending on how many days a week you’re taking off, I would think that cutting your calories significantly on multiple days a week could inhibit your ability to ramp up your metabolism. Of course, that could be similar to carb cycling, but I don’t think you’re at the stage where you need to get that specific with day to day changes.

Hope that gives you a few ideas man!

[quote]vegeta99 wrote:
I know its a old question but I am curious how people decide calorie starting points AND how you eat on rest days.

I am 5ft8 and 145lbs so I need to gain weight obviously. I am trying to get some structure that I have always lacked and used as an excuse.

The last 2 weeks I have opted for 2000 calories 200g protein, 200g carbs, and on rest days reducing the carbs to <100. Is this too low a starting point?

Training: 531 (28 weeks of training template)

Current Strength/2014 Goal:

Front Squat 90kg (Goal 120 beltless)
Deadlift 150kg OH (Goal 180 beltless)
Incline Bench 75kg (Goal 90kg)
Press 55kg (Goal 65kg)

Assistance (progressive overload)

  • Barbell Rows
  • Thick Curls
  • Thick Lockouts
  • Good Mornings
  • Snatch Pulls
  • Pullups
  • Lateral Raises

Not strictly bodybuilding I know but i want to gain strength and I feel a strong diet should yield muscle for someone my size.

Any guidance would be awesome relating to maximising diet and where to start, how to measure progress etc please!

[/quote]
2000 kcal is a decent amount if you are lying in bed all day. I am 5’6.5" 149 and I will lose weight on less than 3500

I like the macros for your training days, personally

When lowering the carbs for off days, i’d up the fats a bit though, probably reduce carbs by 100g and up the fats by 20g

I also personally dont thik 2000 calories will be enough for you to grow, but its ok if you want to start at that number, in reality it doesnt really matter

When you do increase cals up the carbs and fats, no need to touch the protein, for now, imo