People trying to lose or gain weight generally will meal plan in order to eat the same meals every single day in the same proportions. That is a great idea if you workout 6 days a week, but sometimes a workout is easy or way more difficult than normal. Get smarter about dieting and eat for how difficult the workout is that day, not just eating what you normally do.
Workouts will fall into a few categories that should result in a few different carbohydrate intakes. Most workouts will be moderate or light, but sometimes they will fall into the hard area that will take much more to recover from. Adjust your carb intake according to you workout for the day. I keep my protein and fat intakes constant on workout days.
On a hard workout day, I up my carb intake by about 30%. What’s a hard workout? Anything that combines powerlifting, weightlifting, or metcon like training. A combo of the two, or all three will likely result in a 2+ hour workout. I rarely workout past two hours, but sometimes that’s just what the day calls for. A long workout like that is physically and mentally draining which calls for me to eat a bit more.
These will be most workouts that are 1-2 hours long. Long enough so that you feel worn down and tired, but not long enough that you lay dead on the floor after. Carbs should not drop off significantly, but there is no need to have a massive amount like you would on a hard workout day. This is usually about 15-20% higher than my light day.
Technique work and most crossfit workouts are going to fall into this category. They’re usually under an hour, and do not take much to recover from. They might be difficult, but they are not going to kill you. It’s important to recover from these, and in order to do that, it is not going to require a massive amount of carbs.
My off days are very different from my workout days. I up my protein intake per meal by 10g total, and cut my carbs down to only a 100g in a day. Four meals resulting in about 45g per meal and one shake before bed. Each of the four meals have 25g of carbs, and the fat content stays the same as any other day. If I don’t lift, I don’t need that many carbs in my diet.
I hope this article helps some of you eat a bit less on easy days, and a bit more on the hard ones. Happy lifting.