Firstly, I generally have the opinion that this "strategy" is just a rationalization that if we overfeed occasionally while otherwise in restriction calorically, our bodies will get the signal that we are not starving and get on with the fat burning; we rationalize positive effects of our basic caving in to the overwhelming biological-hormonal signals that get intense when our bodies are forced to shed fat. It seems that if we are actually losing fat, our bodies don't let us get away with it without a fight and make it mentally/hormonally/physically unpleasant so we won't do it.
That being said, does the forum have a factually based opinion to the contrary, that it actually does help one burn fat to "intermittantly overfeed"?
I've been on leangains for several months. I eat two meals 12pm and 8pm, 2000cal high carb low fat on training days 3x week, 1400cal higher fat zero carb rest days. I've backed down over months to these levels to keep the middle fat melting.
As its stalled, calling for more calorie restriction, I've resorted this week to
A) trimming most of the fat off my beef or lamb for the zero carb meat only rest days yielding much lower fat and a sort of PSMF protein sparing modified fast (not all fat but much if it), yielding a lot less calories
B) drinking green tea at fasting hour 14 or 15 and walking an hour on those rest days before breaking the fast at hr 16 to maximize stubborn fat burning.
It's been a bit of hell dealing with the intense desire to eat while at work during the middle of the feeding window. I KNOW I've got to be burning fat. Workouts with a lot of coffee on training days at fasting hour 15 have remained strong, but after a week of this restricted new regimine, today, a training day, I caved and has a third meal of lean protein/carb (nigiri sushi :) at 9pm making my total days calories 3000+ instead of 2000 flat.
I rationalized this as a needed carb up feed so I wouldn't
A) go crazy
B) get too weak
C) put my body into fat hoarding shut down mode (going against my first paragraph)
What do you all think?
EDIT I'd also appreciate it if folks who comment or answer would indicate whether it not they follow leangains. I respect all opinions and know there are many successful paths to fat loss that are possible; I'd simply like a frame of reference as that's my approach.
asked byanimaleater (2417)
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on August 31, 2012
at 01:57 PM
Yes, over feed on Carbohydrates as this will restock glycogen supplies AND modulate hormone levels to help you burn fat.
on August 31, 2012
at 02:13 PM
I have found this to be super true. I would have a day of just crazy monster feeding about once a month and think, "Oh no, I'm going to gain weight", then I'd weigh my self a week later and would have lost 5lbs. So I started strategically adding an overfeed day to my week and ended up losing 40lbs in 3 months.
on August 31, 2012
at 01:59 PM
I was following this same protocol and stalled after about 3 to 4 months. I adjusted to alternate-day fasting with an 18/6 fast/feed on non-training days only. I am 5'10" 170 lbs 41 y.o. 15% bodyfat and dropping about 1% every 2 weeks while remaining the same weight
- fasted training upon waking (cup of black coffee and 30-40 minute high intensity kettlebell routine) 3-4x/week
- follow up the training immediately with 15g BCAA powder dissolved in water
- follow up 1 hour later with 30-40g protein usually in the form of a shake for convenience purposes (I am commuting to work at this time and have difficulty forcing down a big hunk of solid food after an intense workout. I understand the shake is more insulinogenic than the solid food but post-workout I dont think this is a problem)
- 1000 calorie lunch and dinner with 50-75g of carbs usually from sweet potato but sometimes ill put some black beans or lentils in there for convenience purposes and to get the calories up a bit more
- no adding fat to meals and eating leaner sources of protein (turkey, tuna, egg whites)
- total calories are coming in around 2500 for the day with 100 - 150g carbs
Non-training days are:
- no exercise, recovery stretching, or light yoga (30 - 45 mins)
- "bulletproof coffee" in the am (16 oz coffee w/ 1T each grass fed butter and MCT oil added). I have tried this for a couple of weeks without the coffee and oil and the results were no different, so I have it because it helps me through the fast period.
- breaking the fast 18 hours after my last meal which was dinner the night before at 7 so I usually eat lunch at 1
- 800 calorie lunch dinner, only naturally occurring carbs from vegetables, higher fat sources of protein: whole eggs, beef, bacon, butter, add an additional Tbsp butter or oil to meals
- total calories on these days are coming in around 1800
I dont know what your height, weight, age or training protocol is but would venture to guess that you are not getting enough calories in and your body has adapted causing the plateau. Just try to beef up the calories and add some good carbs on workout days and maybe try alternate day fasting, eating a 500 calorie low-fat, protein-rich breakfast about an hour after your workouts on training days
If you try it out let me know if it works for you, and good luck!
on August 31, 2012
at 07:19 PM
After 16 weeks of Leangains, I found that 3 weeks off the program while eating at maintenance calories without morning fasting somewhat reset me to keep losing.
In the end though, after losing a couple of more pounds, I found that I had to go back to eating breakfast. It's been great for me though because I'm actually losing more body fat eating breakfast (with the same total daily calories as eaten while on LGs) than I was doing Leangains.
I'm pretty low BF - about 8-9% right now. I started at about 12%.