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Should I eat more calories on my training days or my rest days when dieting?

84creative84creative Member Posts: 128 Member Member Posts: 128 Member
I'm trying to lose around 10lbs and I can't decide whether I need to eat more calories on my training days (to give me more energy to train) or on my rest days (to give me more energy to recover).

Here's my current training split:

Monday: Chest, Triceps and Shoulders
Tuesday: Back and Biceps
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Chest, Triceps and Shoulders
Friday: Back and Biceps
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Rest

I'm trying to do the bare minimum at the moment whilst dieting to avoid muscle loss (one exercise per muscle group for 4 sets of 10 reps). I wasn't working out before the diet and haven't worked out since last year so there’s not much to lose.

I’m aiming for 1,800 calories per day but I’m struggling to not eat more than that as I’m giving in to cravings. I’ve been snacking a lot during the pandemic whilst also working from home, so I’ve got into some bad eating habits (6-8 snacks per day usually).

So to give myself some flexibility I’m looking to have some days were there’s less pressure to hit 1,800 calories and some days were I have to hit my target.

I just can't decide on which days to choose? Feedback welcome.
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Replies

  • 84creative84creative Member Posts: 128 Member Member Posts: 128 Member
    Here's my full workout:

    Monday: Chest, Triceps and Shoulders
    Tuesday: Back and Biceps

    rhu8o92wv7x4.png

    Thursday: Chest, Triceps and Shoulders
    Friday: Back and Biceps

    dbedmhyaqo63.png
  • 84creative84creative Member Posts: 128 Member Member Posts: 128 Member
    And here's my progress so far:

    ajrsav8iyb8m.jpg
  • sardelsasardelsa Member Posts: 9,637 Member Member Posts: 9,637 Member
    Try it both out and see how you feel. I would eat in a way that is sustainable, boosts your workouts and makes you feel good.

    I don't see any legs in there though. Not sure if you are avoiding that or just missed it. Leg days would be a big factor in fuel and recovery, with just upper you probably don't have to worry as much about how you schedule your eating.
  • 84creative84creative Member Posts: 128 Member Member Posts: 128 Member
    I'm aiming to fit in one 3 mile run each week on a Wednesday but haven't found the best time to squeeze that in yet. That was going to be my leg training day. Luckily my legs look in proportion to my upper body so I don't worry about them too much.

    At some point I'll train them to avoid muscle imbalances and to keep my legs strong but possibly after this diet. I'm just getting back into working out, only 4 weeks in so far, so I'm only adding in a bit of exercise where I can.
  • 84creative84creative Member Posts: 128 Member Member Posts: 128 Member
    steveko89 wrote: »
    I'm not sure where this program came from but as a beginner you'd likely be better served with a full body split 3x/week and do some light running or some sort of active recovery on your non-lifting days.

    When I started working out at 18, I did 12 sets per muscle group over 3 exercises. I've never tried a 3x full body split as I've always assumed the volume would be too lows due to me starting off so high.

    I'm assuming I'm still a beginner as I've never trained consistently for more than 6 months a year. From age 24 I've probably only worked out for 6-12 weeks, every couple of years.

    At the moment I'm trying to pick a training volume that will help me to maintain what little muscle I have (and possibly grow a little, muscle memory etc) whilst spending no longer than 20 minutes training.

    I'm looking at this at the moment to see if there's a better way to incorporate legs whilst still only doing 3 exercises per workout to save time.

    https://www.aworkoutroutine.com/full-body-split/
    edited September 16
  • steveko89steveko89 Member Posts: 1,711 Member Member Posts: 1,711 Member
    84creative wrote: »
    steveko89 wrote: »
    I'm not sure where this program came from but as a beginner you'd likely be better served with a full body split 3x/week and do some light running or some sort of active recovery on your non-lifting days.

    When I started working out at 18, I did 12 sets per muscle group over 3 exercises. I've never tried a 3x full body split as I've always assumed the volume would be too lows due to me starting off so high.

    I'm assuming I'm still a beginner as I've never trained consistently for more than 6 months a year. From age 24 I've probably only worked out for 6-12 weeks, every couple of years.

    At the moment I'm trying to pick a training volume that will help me to maintain what little muscle I have (and possibly grow a little, muscle memory etc) whilst spending no longer than 20 minutes training.

    I'm looking at this at the moment to see if there's a better way to incorporate legs whilst still only doing 3 exercises per workout to save time.

    https://www.aworkoutroutine.com/full-body-split/

    Not going to get it done in 20 minutes/session but I'd opt for what they put out as their 3 day but do both A & B in a combined workout 3x/week; I've basically done that in the past and it's what I'd do in your shoes. I'm also a big fan of supersets for efficiency and gravitate towards the classic antagonist movement pairings.

    Squats: 3-4×3-5
    Deadlifts: 3-4×3-5
    Bench Press: 3-4×8-12
    Rows: 3-4×8-12
    Pull-Ups or Lat Pull-Downs: 3-4×8-12
    Shoulder Press: 3-4×8-12
    Curls 3-4x8-12

    I'm also a big fan of what's referred to as double-progression; at a given weight start with 3 sets and work up to the max rep range, then add a set and go back to the bottom of the rep range. When you get to the fourth set at max reps up the weight and drop back to three sets.
  • 84creative84creative Member Posts: 128 Member Member Posts: 128 Member
    steveko89 wrote: »
    I'm also a big fan of what's referred to as double-progression; at a given weight start with 3 sets and work up to the max rep range, then add a set and go back to the bottom of the rep range. When you get to the fourth set at max reps up the weight and drop back to three sets.

    Sounds good.

    To ease myself back into training I started with a light weight (one that I could do more than 15 reps with) and performed 4 sets of 10 reps.

    Each week I hit 10 reps I increase the weight. I've only hit failure on one set so far (3rd set of biceps curls) and had to take a 5 minute break to get the last 10 reps on the 4th set.

    If I have to take a longer break I stick with the same weight for the next workout. I'll only move up in weight if I can get 10 reps over 4 sets with 60 second breaks in between.

    Seems to be working well so far as I've gained half and inch on my arms and lost a bit of belly fat.
  • IronIsMyTherapyIronIsMyTherapy Member Posts: 198 Member Member Posts: 198 Member
    I prefer to have higher carbs on training days than rest days.
  • giancarlov1191giancarlov1191 Member Posts: 373 Member Member Posts: 373 Member
    Welcome back man
  • 84creative84creative Member Posts: 128 Member Member Posts: 128 Member
    Welcome back man

    Thanks Mate, hope you're still crushing it!
  • 84creative84creative Member Posts: 128 Member Member Posts: 128 Member
    I prefer to have higher carbs on training days than rest days.

    I'm seeing a pattern of eating more on training days. Finally managed to stay under 1,800 cals yesterday.
  • IronIsMyTherapyIronIsMyTherapy Member Posts: 198 Member Member Posts: 198 Member
    84creative wrote: »
    I prefer to have higher carbs on training days than rest days.

    I'm seeing a pattern of eating more on training days. Finally managed to stay under 1,800 cals yesterday.

    Yeah, and if I ever have a cheat meal I have it after a heavy leg or back day, when my body will put it to good use.
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Member Posts: 8,579 Member Member Posts: 8,579 Member
    I don't see an advantage and actually see a disadvantage of doing so.

    If that is helping to adhere to your goals the best, then it is reasonable.
  • IronIsMyTherapyIronIsMyTherapy Member Posts: 198 Member Member Posts: 198 Member
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    I don't see an advantage and actually see a disadvantage of doing so.

    If that is helping to adhere to your goals the best, then it is reasonable.

    Curious what disadvantage you see?
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 17,949 Member Member Posts: 17,949 Member
    I always had evening workouts - so day of was just enough to have a good workout, with allowances I'd be very hungry next during repair.

    Though - if I got enough in same day after workout, and got a good sleep in, wasn't as bad next day.
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Member Posts: 8,579 Member Member Posts: 8,579 Member
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    I don't see an advantage and actually see a disadvantage of doing so.

    If that is helping to adhere to your goals the best, then it is reasonable.

    Curious what disadvantage you see?

    Depending on the individual, If we lower our caloric intake, macros, leucine and other EAAs, we might expect less optimal results if we as I individuals have issues hitting our calorie/macro goals

    I think some people experience a harder time adhering to different amounts of calories from day to day.

    Might also cause issue with recovery for some individuals depending on variables.
  • IronIsMyTherapyIronIsMyTherapy Member Posts: 198 Member Member Posts: 198 Member
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    I don't see an advantage and actually see a disadvantage of doing so.

    If that is helping to adhere to your goals the best, then it is reasonable.

    Curious what disadvantage you see?

    Depending on the individual, If we lower our caloric intake, macros, leucine and other EAAs, we might expect less optimal results if we as I individuals have issues hitting our calorie/macro goals

    I think some people experience a harder time adhering to different amounts of calories from day to day.

    Might also cause issue with recovery for some individuals depending on variables.

    I think I see what you mean. I take a somewhat less scientific approach; I don't adjust my macro targets, I'll just eat a little less on rest days to allow for some post workout sushi or something on leg and back days. I've been doing this fitness thing for a while so I can see how that approach might throw off some.
  • sijomialsijomial Member Posts: 16,960 Member Member Posts: 16,960 Member
    For just 20 minutes of training I don't think it really matters in the slightest.

    If you don't have the energy for 20 minutes then you need a serious look at the size of your diet and worry less about the timing.
  • ritzvinritzvin Member, Premium Posts: 2,742 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,742 Member
    steveko89 wrote: »
    I'm not sure where this program came from but as a beginner you'd likely be better served with a full body split 3x/week and do some light running or some sort of active recovery on your non-lifting days.
    84creative wrote: »

    When I started working out at 18, I did 12 sets per muscle group over 3 exercises. I've never tried a 3x full body split as I've always assumed the volume would be too lows due to me starting off so high.

    I'm assuming I'm still a beginner as I've never trained consistently for more than 6 months a year. From age 24 I've probably only worked out for 6-12 weeks, every couple of years.

    At the moment I'm trying to pick a training volume that will help me to maintain what little muscle I have (and possibly grow a little, muscle memory etc) whilst spending no longer than 20 minutes training.

    I'm looking at this at the moment to see if there's a better way to incorporate legs whilst still only doing 3 exercises per workout to save time.

    https://www.aworkoutroutine.com/full-body-split/

    steveko89 wrote: »

    Not going to get it done in 20 minutes/session but I'd opt for what they put out as their 3 day but do both A & B in a combined workout 3x/week; I've basically done that in the past and it's what I'd do in your shoes. I'm also a big fan of supersets for efficiency and gravitate towards the classic antagonist movement pairings.

    Squats: 3-4×3-5
    Deadlifts: 3-4×3-5
    Bench Press: 3-4×8-12
    Rows: 3-4×8-12
    Pull-Ups or Lat Pull-Downs: 3-4×8-12
    Shoulder Press: 3-4×8-12
    Curls 3-4x8-12

    I'm also a big fan of what's referred to as double-progression; at a given weight start with 3 sets and work up to the max rep range, then add a set and go back to the bottom of the rep range. When you get to the fourth set at max reps up the weight and drop back to three sets.


    The beginner program at that site is pretty close to what I do (I superset the leg and 1 arm, and then superset in alternating weighted decline bench sit-ups/back extensions/1 isolation movement with the other arm movement). And it gets you in-and-out in a wee bit more than 20 minutes if you only do 3 sets and the gym isn't crowded. (It's pretty much as quick as you can get, so if time really is that short..it's a good option). However, if your main cardio is only 1 day/week and you can only spare ~20 minutes, but you can do so 4+ times/week, then some split programs where you can work back-to-back on neighboring days will probably work better for you though.

    As someone that ran for years before I started weight training, I can tell you that the gym leg work makes a huge improvement (as long as you don't time your runs for when you are fatigued from the gym session) in running. Stronger quads meant way more miles before fatigue sets in and it fells like you are dragging your legs/feet and faster speeds throughout the run. Deadlifts result in much faster and less fatigued uphills. (In a race with any uphill segments, it's always really, really clear who has been neglecting their deadlifts). However, I should note that I do massively deload squats and deadlifts during cycling season (I'm hard-pressed to find enough recovery time as I ride - harder than I probably should- 5+ days/week).

    For the running, you'll want to work out the timing. And the best timing won't necessarily be to do them separate days. In my case, I feel much more fatigue the day after a gym session (I go to the gym in the morning right before work when it's less crowded) than the evening of. I make sure not to have a weight training session the morning before a ride or run where my performance is going to matter. (In the athletic season, that pushes the gym sessions to only 2x per week, on Monday and Thursday

    As for calorie allotment.. If I were you, I'd pay attention to when I'm most hungry (and definitely hungry rather than bored or 'cravy') and how my energy level feels during a workout to decide when more calories are needed. And don't forget to eat back the running calories.
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