2

votes

Exeperiences on Lean Gains/Intermittent fasting

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 13, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Hi all, I am interested in hearing about people's experiences on a LEANGAINS/IF-style diet. Recently I attempted a leangains variant where only 3 meals per day were consumed at 5 hour intervals with the remainder of the 24 hour day beiing 'fasted'(or not entailing the consumption of food). The results were a visible trend towards the opposite body composition desired(min.fat, max. muscle or BF% in the range of 5-10%). I was following a daily regimine of 3x1,000kcal. meals with carbs other than low calorie veggies(garlic, cabbage, etc.) and few of these to accomodate the caloric load of the meal without excess bulk/volume. Has anyone fared the same on this diet schema? In terms of mood/psychological state I would feel very lethargic post-prandially for as long as 2 hours, then I would feel fine until approx. the 4th hour at which point I would feel starved and could detect muscle catabolism setting in(how can I detect it? answer: cold muscles, the skin becoming taut and bones 'sticking out'). I would distract myself until the 5th hour at which point I would then initiate the process again. Throughout I felt more starved than liberated of the heavy feeling of bulk in the digestive system that I anticipated would occur on this regimine. I am wondering if there is a way around this process and the 2-3 meal per day regimine can be practiced without any muscle wasting and/or post-prandial state of lethargy and without any shift in body composition. At the present I am consuming 4 meals per day at approx. 750 kcal each(slight increase for PWO meals), all of which are P&Fmeals on a VLC diet(no starches, no carbs). PUFAs are at a minimum. I am doing 2 per day sessions of weight-training at 45-1 hour each with 1 30 minute walk for some cardio. I would like to minimize the amount of time allocated to eating/frequency of interruptions throughout the day which is what prompts this question. Perhaps there is an adjustment process that one has to go through to operate on this style of diet best? If so, how can it be accomplished? Any anecdotes or personal successes or failures? As far as health is concerned eating less(bulk/volume) is best IMO. The least amount of time/money/effort spent the better. Can it be done?

4ae65e9a9abceabe4d2f6e2ccd810122

(50)

on March 10, 2012
at 11:48 PM

I think Lean Gains is more real science than the "cult science" with most Paleo followers.

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on May 16, 2011
at 07:02 AM

not everyone is going to thrive on vlc or zc, and the people that might initially thrive on it may not thrive on it long-term. remember that our search for perfection is imperfect because nature does not conform to our internal hypotheses.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 14, 2011
at 02:33 AM

Personal experience with carbs recently PWO(at 8 oz. servings x2 per day following workouts) left me feeling energized for 1-2 hours PWO then energy levels decreased and hunger pangs increased, whereas the converse was the case with VLC. The only reason I had a desire to eat at all PWO was a fear of muscle catabolism and loss of energy for future performance(I feel the need to load kcals for recovery and a few hours-3-4- prior to workouts for maximum performance).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 14, 2011
at 02:29 AM

You were just adjusting to ketosis. I would advise that you maintain the diet and stick predominantly to MCTs for a fat source and then up the protein to 1.5 grams per lb. body weight for at least one month. Also, as far as fat loss is concerned, try calcium supplements, cayenne pepper, black pepper, caffeine, multiple sessions of 30-40 minute endurance exercise and weight-training(supersetting exercises, max. 30 second rest between sets of 6-8 reps to concentric failure for all sets; sleep 8-9 hours; workout fasted, etc.).

6da7ce6a4a250c46a6e78b5b4e22da83

(987)

on May 14, 2011
at 12:06 AM

Regarding Dshoei's quote, like I said, I felt sluggish on VLC - but it is true that the energy I did have was tinged with anger/anxiety/annoyance... I was not relaxed or calm. And my sleep was terrible.

6da7ce6a4a250c46a6e78b5b4e22da83

(987)

on May 14, 2011
at 12:03 AM

The one idea I wanted to stress was that the macronutrients you thrive on may be different depending on how often you eat and how many meals you are consuming. There might be an important difference in the way the body reacts to a stream of carbs throughout the day, as opposed to a couple big meals with carbs in a reduced time period. Just because VLC worked without fasting does not mean that it will work with fasting. Martin is the Leangains guy, and he seems to think carbs, especially post workout, are helpful. You may just want to give his advice a shot without changing it too much.

6da7ce6a4a250c46a6e78b5b4e22da83

(987)

on May 13, 2011
at 11:56 PM

PersonMan: All I can say is that I tried VLC over and over again. I stuck it out a couple times for around 5 weeks. I felt depressed and tired the whole time. Moreover, it was VERY easy for me to overeat fat and not lose weight. Once I upped the carbs to around 100-200 grams, I felt great, exercised more, and started losing fat easily. It's only been a couple weeks, but I feel great. If VLC works for you, great. I don't think there is going to be a one size fits all marconutrient requirement.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 13, 2011
at 11:54 PM

P.S: When I was 'waiting for the 5th hour' it was with conciousness of bodily states so I could understand the diet practice and adjust accordingly which was the whole point of the experiment. I am mainly trying to understand what works best for performance and lifestyle which must inevitably fit into structures that society at large prescribes for all members(hence planning).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 13, 2011
at 11:51 PM

I was hoping to get some comments from the athlete crowd re: the hormonal aspects of leangains style dieting, especially L.Peltier's as reading one of your posts is what prompted my question/'research' endeavor. Listening to the body is good..yes, but if one lives life under relatively stable(or repetitive conditions) than one is best to plan things out. For example: I have to go to work and will be there for x amount of time. Therefore if I'm to have anythign to eat within this time I will bring XYZ in QRS amounts. This is just simple logistics which is what I'm attempting to finagle.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 13, 2011
at 11:44 PM

Dsohei: I have never felt more relxed than on a VLC diet with daily weights...no anxiety here(and I can testify to past states of same under a regimine with less exercise and many more carbs, all low G.I too). This is truly the optimal diet but...can the quantity be reduced without body composition/energy level changes?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 13, 2011
at 11:41 PM

Its never enough: the flight of Icarus continues..unto death.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 13, 2011
at 11:41 PM

EF: The best way to strip the fat off is VLC. carbs will completely throw you for a loop in terms of which energy substrate you are using, and insulin will counter progress re: body comp. I can post a photo on here where I was dieting more strictly(while still doing weights each day, cardio twice per day and having energy no VLC) and had less fat with the same amount of muscel than my profile pic. EF: what is your take on Dsohei's quote above?

6da7ce6a4a250c46a6e78b5b4e22da83

(987)

on May 13, 2011
at 09:54 PM

Obviously, calories will be determined by your goals and body size. I think I used an article by Lyle MacDonald to estimate my calorie needs. Martin emphasizes protein, especially if you're dieting. I'm trying to lose fat, so I estimated my maintenance calories, then subtracted about 1000 calories. I eat a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, eat a lot of carbs post workout, less on workout out days. What little calories remain are fat. I eat a little more on workout days, a little less on rest days. Pretty simple. I usually just eat twice a day, around noon and around 8pm.

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on May 13, 2011
at 09:47 PM

however, if by 'sustainable energy' you actually mean 'anxiety/catecholamines/adrenaline rush', but don't recognize it...

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on May 13, 2011
at 09:45 PM

martin is god? no, martin is the creator of the diet in your question and he's used it on himself and lots of other people so i would think he'd be the authority on it, because he has more EXPERIENCE with it.

6da7ce6a4a250c46a6e78b5b4e22da83

(987)

on May 13, 2011
at 09:41 PM

Regarding carbs, if avoiding carbs gives you more sustainable energy, then definitely avoid them. But in your post, you mention that you have post-meal lethargy and have difficulty going five hours without a meal. I guess I would just make sure you are honestly judging how you feel, and not sticking to the low carb because of how you think you should feel (I may just be projecting here; it took me a long time to accept that I need carbs). And different macros might be better when practicing intermittent fasting than when not. Just keep it in mind.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 13, 2011
at 09:31 PM

Line breaks - amen. It's very difficult to muster the resources to attentively read a question when it's formed like this. I know it's personman's MO, just saying:)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 13, 2011
at 08:15 PM

Martin is god n'est pas? some of us like to eliminate the guess work of 'bland' things like diet through planning. Advise, revise or demise...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 13, 2011
at 08:13 PM

Thanks I was thinking it would take an adjustment period to adapt. As to the carbs I find it to provide me with a more sustainable energy level to avoid them. What would you suggest for calories and the maintenance of body composition? Do the kcals stay the same, if so how can one consume so much at a time without fat deposition? Is there soem sort of hormonal regulatory system or individual hormone that comes into play(leptin for example)? What is your current diet/exercise regimine?

Medium avatar

(5639)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:54 PM

just met personman huh? ;)

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on May 13, 2011
at 04:28 PM

I started this last week; read about my experiences so far @ http://crzydjm.wordpress.com/2011/05/05/lean-gains-going-on/ - it's gotten better since that posting. I felt like King Kong during yesterday's workout :)

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5 Answers

4
05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:15 PM

use some line breaks bro. lookin a bit ocd here.

martin recommends a 16 hr fasting window, eating to satiety during the 8 remaining hours, and training fasted with some BCAAs. he doesnt count calories or eat bland foods either.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 13, 2011
at 08:15 PM

Martin is god n'est pas? some of us like to eliminate the guess work of 'bland' things like diet through planning. Advise, revise or demise...

Medium avatar

(5639)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:54 PM

just met personman huh? ;)

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 13, 2011
at 09:31 PM

Line breaks - amen. It's very difficult to muster the resources to attentively read a question when it's formed like this. I know it's personman's MO, just saying:)

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on May 13, 2011
at 09:45 PM

martin is god? no, martin is the creator of the diet in your question and he's used it on himself and lots of other people so i would think he'd be the authority on it, because he has more EXPERIENCE with it.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 13, 2011
at 11:45 PM

some of us like to eliminate the guess work of 'bland' things like diet through planning. Advise, revise or demise... ??? PersonMan

I prefer adapt, improvise, and overcome. IMO, you are over-thinking/stressing about something so natural as eating. Do you put the same thought into breathing? You have got to be releasing cortisol during your perceived detection of catabolism.

"I would distract myself until the 5th hour at which point I would then initiate the process again." Dude! Are you LIVING life or merely sitting around waiting for your next meal?

I can only offer this....I use the leangains "approach" but LISTEN to my body. Isn't that what the Paleo lifestyle is really all about?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 13, 2011
at 11:54 PM

P.S: When I was 'waiting for the 5th hour' it was with conciousness of bodily states so I could understand the diet practice and adjust accordingly which was the whole point of the experiment. I am mainly trying to understand what works best for performance and lifestyle which must inevitably fit into structures that society at large prescribes for all members(hence planning).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 13, 2011
at 11:51 PM

I was hoping to get some comments from the athlete crowd re: the hormonal aspects of leangains style dieting, especially L.Peltier's as reading one of your posts is what prompted my question/'research' endeavor. Listening to the body is good..yes, but if one lives life under relatively stable(or repetitive conditions) than one is best to plan things out. For example: I have to go to work and will be there for x amount of time. Therefore if I'm to have anythign to eat within this time I will bring XYZ in QRS amounts. This is just simple logistics which is what I'm attempting to finagle.

1
6da7ce6a4a250c46a6e78b5b4e22da83

(987)

on May 13, 2011
at 06:10 PM

You wrote:

"I was following a daily regimine of 3x1,000kcal. meals with carbs other than low calorie veggies(garlic, cabbage, etc.) and few of these to accomodate the caloric load of the meal without excess bulk/volume."

Did you mean to say "with NO carbs other than low calorie veggies"? If so, this might be a big part of the problem. Leangains isn't very low carbohydrate, as far as I know. Adding that to the program may very well cause problems. I know I feel much more satiated with HIGH protein and moderate carbs (in the form of tubers). Very filling. I can say that, for me, combining low carb and intermittent fasting was a bad idea. (Honestly, low carb in general seemed like a bad idea for me).

And, no offense, but I think your fears about muscle catabolism after 4 hours are simply imagined. At least, the sources I've seen (on the Leangains sight, for instance) seem to refute the idea pretty thoroughly. If you are used to eating frequently, it will take some time to adjust to Intermittent Fasting. As far as I understand, there are certain chemicals that regulate when you get hungry, and it takes a couple weeks for these to be reset to your new, less frequent eating style.

Anyway, I would add some starches (a little on non-workout days, a lot post workout) and give it a week to see how you feel.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 13, 2011
at 08:13 PM

Thanks I was thinking it would take an adjustment period to adapt. As to the carbs I find it to provide me with a more sustainable energy level to avoid them. What would you suggest for calories and the maintenance of body composition? Do the kcals stay the same, if so how can one consume so much at a time without fat deposition? Is there soem sort of hormonal regulatory system or individual hormone that comes into play(leptin for example)? What is your current diet/exercise regimine?

6da7ce6a4a250c46a6e78b5b4e22da83

(987)

on May 14, 2011
at 12:06 AM

Regarding Dshoei's quote, like I said, I felt sluggish on VLC - but it is true that the energy I did have was tinged with anger/anxiety/annoyance... I was not relaxed or calm. And my sleep was terrible.

6da7ce6a4a250c46a6e78b5b4e22da83

(987)

on May 13, 2011
at 09:54 PM

Obviously, calories will be determined by your goals and body size. I think I used an article by Lyle MacDonald to estimate my calorie needs. Martin emphasizes protein, especially if you're dieting. I'm trying to lose fat, so I estimated my maintenance calories, then subtracted about 1000 calories. I eat a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, eat a lot of carbs post workout, less on workout out days. What little calories remain are fat. I eat a little more on workout days, a little less on rest days. Pretty simple. I usually just eat twice a day, around noon and around 8pm.

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on May 13, 2011
at 09:47 PM

however, if by 'sustainable energy' you actually mean 'anxiety/catecholamines/adrenaline rush', but don't recognize it...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 13, 2011
at 11:44 PM

Dsohei: I have never felt more relxed than on a VLC diet with daily weights...no anxiety here(and I can testify to past states of same under a regimine with less exercise and many more carbs, all low G.I too). This is truly the optimal diet but...can the quantity be reduced without body composition/energy level changes?

6da7ce6a4a250c46a6e78b5b4e22da83

(987)

on May 13, 2011
at 11:56 PM

PersonMan: All I can say is that I tried VLC over and over again. I stuck it out a couple times for around 5 weeks. I felt depressed and tired the whole time. Moreover, it was VERY easy for me to overeat fat and not lose weight. Once I upped the carbs to around 100-200 grams, I felt great, exercised more, and started losing fat easily. It's only been a couple weeks, but I feel great. If VLC works for you, great. I don't think there is going to be a one size fits all marconutrient requirement.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 13, 2011
at 11:41 PM

EF: The best way to strip the fat off is VLC. carbs will completely throw you for a loop in terms of which energy substrate you are using, and insulin will counter progress re: body comp. I can post a photo on here where I was dieting more strictly(while still doing weights each day, cardio twice per day and having energy no VLC) and had less fat with the same amount of muscel than my profile pic. EF: what is your take on Dsohei's quote above?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 14, 2011
at 02:29 AM

You were just adjusting to ketosis. I would advise that you maintain the diet and stick predominantly to MCTs for a fat source and then up the protein to 1.5 grams per lb. body weight for at least one month. Also, as far as fat loss is concerned, try calcium supplements, cayenne pepper, black pepper, caffeine, multiple sessions of 30-40 minute endurance exercise and weight-training(supersetting exercises, max. 30 second rest between sets of 6-8 reps to concentric failure for all sets; sleep 8-9 hours; workout fasted, etc.).

6da7ce6a4a250c46a6e78b5b4e22da83

(987)

on May 13, 2011
at 09:41 PM

Regarding carbs, if avoiding carbs gives you more sustainable energy, then definitely avoid them. But in your post, you mention that you have post-meal lethargy and have difficulty going five hours without a meal. I guess I would just make sure you are honestly judging how you feel, and not sticking to the low carb because of how you think you should feel (I may just be projecting here; it took me a long time to accept that I need carbs). And different macros might be better when practicing intermittent fasting than when not. Just keep it in mind.

6da7ce6a4a250c46a6e78b5b4e22da83

(987)

on May 14, 2011
at 12:03 AM

The one idea I wanted to stress was that the macronutrients you thrive on may be different depending on how often you eat and how many meals you are consuming. There might be an important difference in the way the body reacts to a stream of carbs throughout the day, as opposed to a couple big meals with carbs in a reduced time period. Just because VLC worked without fasting does not mean that it will work with fasting. Martin is the Leangains guy, and he seems to think carbs, especially post workout, are helpful. You may just want to give his advice a shot without changing it too much.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 14, 2011
at 02:33 AM

Personal experience with carbs recently PWO(at 8 oz. servings x2 per day following workouts) left me feeling energized for 1-2 hours PWO then energy levels decreased and hunger pangs increased, whereas the converse was the case with VLC. The only reason I had a desire to eat at all PWO was a fear of muscle catabolism and loss of energy for future performance(I feel the need to load kcals for recovery and a few hours-3-4- prior to workouts for maximum performance).

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on May 16, 2011
at 07:02 AM

not everyone is going to thrive on vlc or zc, and the people that might initially thrive on it may not thrive on it long-term. remember that our search for perfection is imperfect because nature does not conform to our internal hypotheses.

0
Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on November 03, 2011
at 09:43 PM

The people at Lean Gains are pretty broscience, and fail to understand nutrition and the body past macro ratios and calories. I personally don't believe in strict IF, just that a bit of intermittent fasting (and no snacking) can work in one's favor.

4ae65e9a9abceabe4d2f6e2ccd810122

(50)

on March 10, 2012
at 11:48 PM

I think Lean Gains is more real science than the "cult science" with most Paleo followers.

0
2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on May 13, 2011
at 11:21 PM

"As far as health is concerned eating less(bulk/volume) is best IMO. The least amount of time/money/effort spent the better. Can it be done?" - YES. You have aready achieved what a lot of Paleo followers aspire to - just appreciate what you have attained PersonMan !

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 13, 2011
at 11:41 PM

Its never enough: the flight of Icarus continues..unto death.

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