I've read this post but I'm still a bit confused.

If my bmr is approximately 2500 calories and I'm looking to loose weight by having a caloric deficit and 3500/week deficit goal, should I be increasing the number of calories consumed on days that I workout? My workout schedule looks like:

Monday: full body Tuesday: cardio Wednesday: full body Thursday: off Friday: full body Saturday: off Sunday: off

Should my calorie consumption look like:

Monday: 2500 calories Tuesday: 2500 calories Wednesday: 2500 calories Thursday: 2000 calories Friday: 2500 calories Saturday: 2000 calories Sunday: 2000 calories

assuming that I burn approximately 500 calories during the workout/cardio days?

  • If you're trying to lose weight why are you only doing cardio once a week? Aug 20, 2015 at 23:19
  • I've read that the although cardio burns more calories during the workout, muscle burns more calories during rest times.
    – Steven
    Aug 20, 2015 at 23:41
  • That is interesting because I read something simalar stating that people who added 20 extra minutes of weight training to their workout had flatter stomachs than those who added the equivalent in cardio Aug 21, 2015 at 0:35
  • But none of this will change that when I think of building muscle, I think: Weights. When I think of fat loss or weight loss: I think of cardio(primarily running or biking, for some reason) Aug 21, 2015 at 0:36
  • I had the same mindset before reading this article: mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/… I also read a similar response on a Fitness Stack Exchange page stating that overall, your bmr will increase with more muscle and hence will burn more calories in the long run.
    – Steven
    Aug 21, 2015 at 5:02

1 Answer 1


No, it doesn't really matter.

Calories consumed is not a zero sum game, where each day the counter is reset. The quality and timing of your meals will matter much more than the day to day exact count of calories. As long as you run an overall deficit, in the long run you will lose weight.

That being said, if you plan on an extremely heavy day, I would plan on some extra calories to compensate so that you aren't completely wiped the next day. But overall, on the days you workout you'll run a little higher deficit, on the days you don't, you won't.

Oh, and don't get hung up on the 3500 calories = 1 lb of fat loss. That's a fallacy, just maintain a caloric deficit. You may lose more than 1 lb a week to start, and then it will taper off. As long as you keep that deficit and pay attention to the quality of your food, you will lose weight. If you aren't losing weight, then you're either eating more than you think, or not burning as much as you think.

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