Calories and weight lifting

previous topic · next topic

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 518

Posted: 24 May 2010, 00:00
I have cardio 6x a week and weight lifting 3x a week. I rest one day.

Should I up calories a day before I lift weights, on the day or post workout?

Currently, I eat a little less on the off day and the cardio days. What works best for you?
Do NOT quit! The universe always bows to persistence - Tom Venuto

Joined: Mar 09
Posts: 142

Posted: 24 May 2010, 03:11
This is actually a rather tricky question. I'll tell you what works for me but ultimately you'll have to engage in a little trial and error to see what works best for you.

Usually I try to keep my simple carbohydrates low (sugars, refined wheat products) and keep protein high. This means a lot of lean meat and very little in the way of sugary products (though I've been slipping recently on that, as my wife is pregnant and has been craving sweets so they've once again gained a foothold in the house).

However, right after a workout is the time to eat carbs! When you engage in any exercise that strains your muscles you will be using up glycogen reserves. Glycogen is effectively sugar and water stored in the muscles for quick energy. To replenish that you'll need carbohydrates, preferably complex carbohydrates, to satisfy your glycogen needs. Depending on your gender and muscles mass you'll need somewhere between 150 and 250 grams of carbohydrates to replenish your glycogen but how much you actually need depends on the severity of your workout. I generally just plan 250 for the day and make sure I eat about 100 grams after a workout.

So that works for me. I keep my calorie intake steady, 2200 kcals/day, but my exercise level varies throughout the week. My biggest exercise days are about 3800 kcals burned, while my off day(s) I burn barely over my BMR (~2000 kcals).

What you shouldn't do, and I harped on this earlier, is eat any really sugary items. My calories have not changed but since we've had some recent changes in my household I've been eating more sugars. I can entirely attribute 5 pounds of weight gain to that dietary change. Starting tomorrow I'll be reducing my sugar intake to 20 grams or less per day. I expect to see a drop. It was an interesting experiment but not one I'd like to repeat any time soon. Smile

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 518

Posted: 24 May 2010, 04:03
Thanks wintersmith!
I am not eating any simple sugar (dont want to go on a binge), what you said is feasible for me.

I will try to organize my carbs in a way that I get more after a workout with weights and see what happens.
Do NOT quit! The universe always bows to persistence - Tom Venuto

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

Posted: 24 May 2010, 09:05
I eat more on days I lift. I feel hungrier those days. I eat the least on a day without exercise. I think what makes you comfortable is best. I'm a big believer that hunger means you need to eat.
My blog, This is not a Diet:
Follow me on Facebook for tips, recipes, advice, exercise ideas and more:

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 162

Posted: 25 May 2010, 14:48
Think about what type of energy sources your body uses when weightlifiting and cardio. Your body uses carbs/glycogen for cardio workouts. You body needs protein and calcium for weightlifting. So before your weightlifting days, eat calcium-enriched foods and protien. Good sources are milk, Feta cheese, and certain beans. on your cardio, figure out how much carbs your body utilizes (you can find out with a VO2 max test). However, good carbs before cardio are whole grains. I hope this make sense.

PS. if you do any anaerobic work, you will need some healthy fats.
- Elizabeth
"Living a healthy lifestyle will only deprive you of poor health, lethargy, and fat." -Jill Johnson

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 518

Posted: 27 May 2010, 08:18

Thanks, I will keep that in mind, it is easy to apply.
Do NOT quit! The universe always bows to persistence - Tom Venuto

Forum Search
Advanced forum search

Latest Posts

Smaller Bras
I take out my sewing machine and make tighter seams on the side bands of the bra. It reduces the band size and some of the cup size too. It's easy. Use a straight stitch. Cut off extra material, then ...
by sbf54 on 15 Nov 15 05:00 AM
fitness books
I am really starting to enjoy running and I joined a running club. From this experience I have discovered that I am a social runner. Running with other people pushes me farther than i would run by myself. ...
by carmel023 on 04 Nov 15 08:45 PM
LADIES - Buying Bras while Losing Weight
I've lost 14lbs and need smaller bras now, down from a 36 to a 34 I guess, I'm at the tightest hook setting and still they are loose, I'm only a B cup though, so I don't tend to spend a ...
by Tatmummy on 02 Nov 15 09:53 AM
Proteolytic Enzymes
Thank you. I am feeling better and keeping to the Bromelain at night. Over the past year, I have lost touch with my body and what feels right. I was on many medications and some chemo medications, so I ...
by Horseshu1 on 29 Oct 15 02:08 PM
favorite list/help please!
Not that I know of. The available list is rather extensive. However, I often have to add new foods. I always make sure I make them public, hoping those entries will help other members, too.
by Nicholas9 on 28 Oct 15 01:35 PM