Caloric deficit on work day - how to minimize the damage?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 18, 2012 at 12:13 PM

I'm trying to gain muscle mass (NOT lose fat), and I know you're never supposed to have a caloric deficit on the days when you lift, because obviously then you can't gain. Yesterday, I lifted in the morning, and then I was totally on track with eating a slight surplus all day - until I had an emergency (long story) and had to bike 18 miles at a pretty fair clip.

Well, that threw my caloric surplus right out the window, and when I got home I was too distracted/tired to eat enough to make up for it. Will it help to eat more today (rest day), or should I just let it go and keep on with my normal eating plan?

If I should eat more today, what should it be? I usually do higher carb on lifting days and lower carb on rest days because I just don't want carbs when I haven't worked out. So should I just eat more protein/fat than usual today, or increase my carb intake as though it were a lifting day?



on July 18, 2012
at 01:19 PM

Good question, I'm awaiting some answers as well. I'm finding it tough to eat a lot and lift on a 9-5 workday schedule.

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2 Answers


on July 18, 2012
at 01:49 PM

If you are trying to gain mass, then definitely get 1 to 1.5 g of protein per lb of bodyweight, and then play around with the other numbers. Also, never eat carbs without protein for gaining muscle mass, as insulin will stimulate protein synthesis, and without dietary protein, it will break down muscle instead. I would recommend staying lower carb today, and on days you don't lift, and doing higher carb on lifting days.



on July 18, 2012
at 01:52 PM

In my opinion, keep doing what you would normally do. The damage, if any, is probably already done, and chances are that any additional calories on your rest day would just become fat. (Assuming you're eating the optimal amount in your regular schedule.) Next time, if you're the type that likes protein shakes, consider taking one before bed.

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