Starting Calories 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!

I have the exact same stats.

I’ve been training for only a week due to moving, changing job, starting school… learning how to life, lul…
But I’m going back, like you-- focusing more attention at the gym, since the rewards mentally and physically are always great.
I’m thinking keep the fats and protein at their usual recommended minimums, which for us is about…

Fat: 90g
Protein: 135g

That leave 1320 calories left to make for a 2650 calorie day, 10% above the average lifter’s TDE (mine, at least. train ~3x a week, incidental cardio)

Not that you asked, but I’m going to say it anyway. I think for me, timing of meals DOES matter. I can’t eat the same ratio of macros in every meal. I found that keeping fat (more than, say, 5-10 grams) away from training time, which is 3-6pm, in my case-- works best for my circadian rhythm.

Even more important for me is keeping large amounts of simpler carbs (more than, say, 50 grams, give or take a fruit) away from other meals is best. This makes larger meals (mostly dominated by protein, veggies and fat) give me litte-no carb-coma.

So today I had something like this, and I plan to use it as a skeleton for the rest of my meal prep/ planning.

am-- lower calorie green smoothie-- add coconut oil/ avocado/ other fat, smoothie, fruit (not more than ~30g carbs), sip of some probiotic drank (love kombucha), a protein- based item (today-- large quiche with bacon, eggs, and broccoli stems)

lunch-- medium protein, medium fat, medium carb meal with multi and fish oil (today–white bean chicken chili)

afternoon-- vegan, high carb meal (today-- wheatberry salad)

post workout-- high carb, high protein meal (mashed potatoes, wilted greens and salmon)

post post workout-- medium carb, medium protein, medium fat (more white bean chicken chili)

bedtime & inter-meal snacks-- whatever it takes to meet macros (today–almonds, popcorn, nutella, milk, and a couple oreos lulz)

THIS IS JUST ME!!! And I’m not sure if it’s all necessary to break it down like this. Your “skeleton” of meals may be completely different. Maybe you tolerate carbs much better than I do, or get nauseous with too much fat. Maybe you’d do great with IF. Maybe 6 small, similar meals makes you insanely happy. All I know is that it doesn’t make me happy, so I had to figure out what does.

So I’d say try to go off of what you think your body likes as well as what you can handle prep-wise, and adjust from there.

I’m interested to hear how your progress comes along!