Why Are You Eating The Same Amount of Food Every Day?
Written by Mark Coles - Follow on Google+ | Facebook | Twitter
It’s not hard to notice how much more demanding leg days are, compared to smaller body part training days such as arms. Your calorie and recovery requirements change dramatically depending on your activity level.
One of the things that I notice very frequently, is the amount of extra body fat people carry when they eat the same amount of food every single day. When it comes to physique training, your goal should be to gain lean quality tissue whilst remaining as lean as possible. Unfortunately for most people, fat creeps up very fast when they eat the same quantity of food day in and day out.
One of the reasons people avoid the fluctuating calorie method, is because they don’t know how to implement it. The other reason is because it takes planning, and that takes time.
I use this method of eating in the off-season, and all the way through each prep. In a previous article I talk about the advantages to cycling calories, however this article is referring more to the performance and recovery benefits.
Anyone who has read much of my work, will know that I’m a huge fan of intra workout fuel. So when I use a calorie cycling method based around body part training, I increase fuel specifically around the workouts. So this means that the quantity of carbs in the pre workout meal, intra workout, post workout shake and post workout meal, will go up or down depending on the body part being trained.
My methodology is pretty straight forward for most people to follow, as I still advise protein, vegetable and fat based meals at most times away from training. As the fuel source to increase performance and enhance recovery is primarily carbohydrates, it’s this macro nutrition that gets ramped up around training.
So let’s look at the average week for most people who lift weights. Over a full week your calorie intake could be 17,500 (average intake of 2500 per day).
Leg day – 2500 (poor performance and delayed recovery, due to low calories)
Chest day – 2500 (around optimal intake, food could be a little higher)
Arm day - 2500 (high chance of fat gain due to unnecessary extra fuel)
Rest day - 2500 (fat gain more than likely due to unnecessary extra fuel)
Shoulders day - 2500 (around optimal intake)
Back day - 2500 (poor performance and delayed recovery, due to low calories)
Rest day – 2500 (high chance of fat gain due to unnecessary extra fuel)
You can see from the notes next to each day, that this set up isn’t ideal for optimising body composition ad recovery.
So how could you set it up optimally?
On days such as leg day, you can structure it so that you’re eating a lot more. On back day consuming a little less (but still higher than normal), and on arm day you’ll be eating even lower. Over a full week your calorie intake is still 17,500 (average intake of 2500 per day).
Leg day - 3400 (increased performance and recovery due to more fuel)
Chest day – 2800 (optimal intake for increased performance and recovery)
Arm day - 2300 (lower calories as less fuel required for training smaller muscle groups)
Rest day - 1800 (lowered calorie and lower carb day to account for no training, Ideal for insulin sensitising)
Shoulders day - 2600 (optimal intake for muscle group and recovery requirements)
Back day - 2800 (optimal intake for increased performance and recovery)
Rest day – 1800 (lowered calorie and lower carb day to account for no training, Ideal for insulin sensitising)
Now you have a week plan that is set up to optimise lean muscle gain, minimise fat storage, and facilitate optimal recovery from each workout. On top of that you get the metabolic advantage of the calorie fluctuations, which is key to remaining lean.
Being in shape does take planning, it takes preparation, but it’s all worth it when you get to see your abs all year round.
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