Should I change my calorie intake on rest days?

ccammaro1 Posts: 2 Member
edited February 27 in Health and Weight Loss
I’ve noticed that I move significantly less on rest days, especially because I have a desk job. Should I be decreasing my calorie intake on these days?

Best Answer

  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,735 Member
    Answer ✓

    MFP is designed to be used as follows: Get a calorie goal by setting "activity level" based on activity before intentional exercise (job, home chores, and that sort of thing), then log exercise (or sync a fitness tracker) and eat the exercise calories when intentional exercise is done. That approach inherently addresses the issue you're considering.

    If you prefer to eat the same number of calories daily, you can do that. In that case, it would be ideal to use a good TDEE calculator (outside MFP**) and average your exercise plans into your calorie goal. MFP resets at midnight, but our bodies don't, so it's fine to approach it this way if it's easier for you to eat the same calorie level every day. (This does mean it's essential to be realistic about those exercise plans, and actually do the planned exercise!)

    ** Personally, I like the TDEE calculator linked below, because it lets us compare multiple research-based estimating formulas, and has more activity levels with clearer descriptions than most other such calculators:

    The user interface seems complex (maybe scary) at first glance because there's so much information, but if you step through it, it's pretty easy to understand.

    Personally, I prefer to use the MFP method, carefully estimating and logging exercise when I do it. If I have a big exercise day, I think it's fine to "bank" some of those calories for another day - like I said, body doesn't reset at midnight. This has worked great for me for almost 9 years now (year of loss, remainder maintenance). For me, it's especially good because much of my exercise varies seasonally and is weather dependent. Effectively, this does mean eating less on a rest day, but kind of backward-wise: It's "move more, eat more", pretty much.

    Best wishes!


  • Corina1143
    Corina1143 Posts: 3,089 Member
    edited February 28
  • tomcustombuilder
    tomcustombuilder Posts: 1,807 Member
    If anything just lower carbs a bit if infact they're on the higher end, if they arent then you really don't really need to change things. You recover on rest days so you don't want to really be decreasing things much if at all.
  • Retroguy2000
    Retroguy2000 Posts: 1,545 Member
    What Tom said. Keep your protein high. MPS is highest 24 hours after working out and back to normal after 36 hours.
  • ccammaro1
    ccammaro1 Posts: 2 Member
    Thank you for all the feedback!