Lean Body Fat Loss Series Part 3 – Staggering Your Calories While Training

Episode 1: 10 Tips to Losing Body Fat without Cutting Calories
Episode 2: Caloric Staggering

Random Calorie Stagger and Training

So “How do you stagger your caloric intake with respect to your exercise program?

Should you go low calories on days you don’t exercise and high calories on training days, or vice versa? Should the stagger be symmetrical, for example, high calorie day/low calorie day; or should you vary it more randomly?” Good questions indeed! Let’s see if we can shed some light.

Many athletes try to ‘match’ their daily caloric intake with their activity levels. So, if they’re planning a hard workout that day, they will eat more calories. But if they’re not working out as hard that day, they’ll eat less calories. This is a plausible way to stagger your calories.

But there ARE advantages to constantly stimulating your metabolism through a variety of alternate approaches throughout your period of fat loss.

For that reason, you might want to try staggering your daily caloric intake, so that it’s NOT in tandem with your exercise program. It’s a little unorthodox, but can be effective.

For example, instead of having a hard and fast rule that “on hard workout days, I eat more” try randomly alternating your daily caloric intake, regardless of your training schedule.

It’s a given that this might be tough if your most intense workout day – let’s call it a leg workout day – lands on a lower-calorie day. But it may also be a great metabolic stimulus to fat loss.

Why? Because you’ll end up being depleted a little more than usual on that one day, but then your body a few more calories on the next day, which it can use for recovery.

Let’s say that the next week your leg training day fall on a high-calorie day.  Great! That means that on that day, you’ll have more energy for that workout.

Similarly, an occasional low-calorie rest day makes sense because your energy demands aren’t that great, but when your off day falls on a higher-calorie day, don’t let that scare you!  Those extra calories will probably offer your body the energy it needs to keep the metabolism active, speed recuperation and reduce the risk of overtraining.  As you can see, this random approach may sound chaotic, but in most cases it works well.

If you try the random staggered calories approach with your diet, and you feel that you are getting over tired or excessively depleted, then you may want to go back to synchronizing your diet with your training energy demands.  But remember, everyone differs.  Listen to what your body is telling you!  That’s the only way that you will ultimately get the best results with your entire program.

That leads me to this next tip…

Let’s talk about planning…

Proper planning with ample time is essential to getting the best results in reducing your body fat percentage.  Be organized, and keep a written record of what you are doing (you’d be surprised how easily you can spot a problem on paper).  Integrate one change into your program at a time and see how it works before you try adding other factors into your program. That will help you avoid getting confused.  If you do too much at once, you’ll have an awfully hard time figuring out just what works for you! 

And finally, here’s one last tip for you…


Biochemically your body works a lot like your muscles do.  When you use your muscles often and stress them, they become very efficient.  If you don’t use them, they shut down quite a bit and become less efficient.  Your body is the same way.

If you’re on a very low-fat diet, where say 10 or 15 percent of your calories come from fat, your body can become very efficient on running on that small amount of fat. To keep your body from getting accustomed to a low-fat intake, try upping your fat intake to 20-25 percent fat, for one day each week.

Some people might call these cheat days, because they see this as cheating on their diet. But as long as they are planned and have a specific purpose, I don’t think of them as cheat days. I call them victory days. These are days when you reward yourself with a high fat or high calorie meal. Victory days can actually give a temporary boost to your fat metabolism that can last three-five days.

If increasing your fat intake make you uneasy, you may prefer to increase your overall caloric intake instead for your victory day.  The higher calories will replenish and refresh your body and as we discussed, it stimulates the metabolic rate overall.  Experiment from time to time to see what makes you look and feel your best!

Try these lean body fat loss tips. You’ll be glad you did.

I’m lee Labrada for Labrada Nutrition, thank you for joining me for this presentation.

About the Author: Lee Labrada

Lee Labrada is the founder and CEO of Labrada Nutrition, makers of Lean Body protein shakes. Lee’s mission is to empower you with the nutritional products and the know-how to get into great shape and be healthy for life.

One of the world's best-known bodybuilding legends, Lee Labrada holds 22 bodybuilding
titles, including the IFBB Mr. Universe. Lee is an inductee of the IFBB Pro Bodybuilding Hall of Fame. He has appeared on the covers of more than 100 fitness magazines and has been featured on CNBC, FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and ESPN as a fitness and nutrition expert. Lee is the best-selling author of The Lean Body Promise and co-founder of Lean Body Coaching. He is also the Host of The Lee Labrada Show. Check out his podcast here.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.