T Nation

Zig Zagging Calories

I’ve read from various sources that this is the way to go, however, I’m a little paranoid about ingesting an extra 500 calories in one day and getting fat or something.

I eat the same servings of the same foods everyday, but I was considering zig zagging my weekly caloric intake, pending the input of T-Nation denizens. What do you guys think? And, do any of you guys do this/have any of you tried this method?

I zig zag my calories. Work out days are high carb days (around 300g), but any other day of the week I keep my carbs below 100 grams and everything else stays pretty much constant. So I’ll get 3300-3500 kcal on a work out day, and 2800-3000 on a non workout day.

I also take saturday as my “free day”. As in, I eat clean, but I do not log anything. My weekly cheat is usually saturday night as well.

[quote]boyscout wrote:
I zig zag my calories. Work out days are high carb days (around 300g), but any other day of the week I keep my carbs below 100 grams and everything else stays pretty much constant. So I’ll get 3300-3500 kcal on a work out day, and 2800-3000 on a non workout day.

I also take saturday as my “free day”. As in, I eat clean, but I do not log anything. My weekly cheat is usually saturday night as well.[/quote]

Are the stats in your profile accurate? What are your goals?

im doing something similar to it from Kelly Baggett’s book. like 11 days high, 3 days low. so far i gained 7lbs in a month but i gain a little more fat then if you would from Dr Squat zigzag i guess since zigzag is like 5 high 2 low yup

[quote]Professor X wrote:
boyscout wrote:

Are the stats in your profile accurate? What are your goals?[/quote]

Yes, for the most part, my stats are accurate. I’m 6’2", and my BF has always been taken on a tanita scale. I’ve read as low as %8 and as high as %15, so I figure its somewhere in the middle. I don’t have enough muscle mass to look good, and as a FFB I have loose skin and little patches of body fat still left (stomach, etc-.–the places that come last). I felt I went as far as I could by calorie restriction and cutting down, so my current goals are “bulking”. Eating clean, and gaining weight so far. I was 193 when I weighed myself on friday (usually once a week, at the same time of day), which is up from 190 two weeks ago.

Bad? good? awful? (sorry for the brief thread hijack).

Check out CT’s Carb Cycling Codex article. Deals with the cycling carbohydrates with high/low/medium carb days throughout the week.

[quote]boyscout wrote:
Professor X wrote:
boyscout wrote:

Are the stats in your profile accurate? What are your goals?

Yes, for the most part, my stats are accurate. I’m 6’2", and my BF has always been taken on a tanita scale. I’ve read as low as %8 and as high as %15, so I figure its somewhere in the middle. I don’t have enough muscle mass to look good, and as a FFB I have loose skin and little patches of body fat still left (stomach, etc-.–the places that come last). I felt I went as far as I could by calorie restriction and cutting down, so my current goals are “bulking”. Eating clean, and gaining weight so far. I was 193 when I weighed myself on friday (usually once a week, at the same time of day), which is up from 190 two weeks ago.

Bad? good? awful? (sorry for the brief thread hijack).

Check out CT’s Carb Cycling Codex article. Deals with the cycling carbohydrates with high/low/medium carb days throughout the week. [/quote]

For you, with your history, I am middle of the road. I think carb cycling benefits those who have already built a solid base of muscle mass more than it does people who should be working on building more overall mass to start with. Not eating as much on days off might sound like a good idea for the guy who is already basically where he needs to be in terms of mass, but it is a poor idea for the guy trying to make sure his intake is optimal to grow the best initially. Your body is growing on those days off and you can’t predict when it will try to grow the most. It could very well be when you are feeding it the least.

I would say follow that plan for a while and see if you need to simply start making sure your intake is slight increased as a whole instead of worrying about cycling your carbohydrate intake like that.

I think CT has a good head on his shoulders, but I also know that he didn’t get to that size by initially approaching his food intake like that.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

For you, with your history, I am middle of the road. I think carb cycling benefits those who have already built a solid base of muscle mass more than it does people who should be working on building more overall mass to start with. Not eating as much on days off might sound like a good idea for the guy who is already basically where he needs to be in terms of mass, but it is a poor idea for the guy trying to make sure his intake is optimal to grow the best initially. Your body is growing on those days off and you can’t predict when it will try to grow the most. It could very well be when you are feeding it the least.

I would say follow that plan for a while and see if you need to simply start making sure your intake is slight increased as a whole instead of worrying about cycling your carbohydrate intake like that.

I think CT has a good head on his shoulders, but I also know that he didn’t get to that size by initially approaching his food intake like that.[/quote]

Thanks, Professor X. I was sort of thinking along the same lines. I have a hard time consuming 2800 or more kcal without a high carbohydrate intake. For me, I think I benefit the most by timing the intake right. I’m not following CTs carb cycling exactly, either. As much as I love a well laid out diet plan, I can’t sit down and figure out the specifics well enough to make one work. I’d fall off the horse very quickly. As long as I get to 3000kcal or more with correctly timed carbs and a good protein intake, I’m happy!

I’ll try increasing carb intake on the off days, and see what happens. Certainly can’t hurt anything.