Is calorie cycling as good as IF?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 20, 2011 at 12:23 PM

I am interested to know what the cost/benefit difference of IF versus calorie cycling would be. Specifically comparing Leangains style lunch+dinner only where dinner is the largest meal VS eating breakfast/lunch/dinner. In the 3 meal situation I would eat around 400-500 cals per meal and then dinner would be 1000-1500 cals since it's my PWO meal usually. In the IF version I would eat lunch of 1k cals and dinner of 1-1.5k cals.

Does anyone have experience using this kind of protocol? When I do IF I can get extremely hungry around 2-3pm and this can derail me. I also don't find myself as satisfied throughout the day as when I do 3 meals. Am I losing my insulin-sensitizing benefits of IF by eating breakfast?

Thoughts anyone? If you need clarification please let me know as I haven't yet had enough coffee...

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2 Answers


on October 20, 2011
at 02:40 PM

The difference between 2 and 3 meals seems to be less important than staying strict to not eating during the 16 hour daily fasting window. You may want to play around with what time you start your 8 hour feeding window based on when you get the most hungry but number of meals within the window seems to be pretty unimportant. You may also want to try BCAA's instead of food right before the times you usually get hungry but arent supposed to be eating.



on October 20, 2011
at 01:03 PM

Consider looking into the Quilt Leptin Reset....you shouldnt be IF-ing if your body is still leptin resistant. When you IF you shouldnt feel hungry, and your body should burn off its own stored fat. I tried the Leangains thing and 2 weeks in I felt awful...If you can get your body to become leptin sensitive, then you will naturally fall into a fasting cycle...I eat every 10-12 hours...some days this is around 16 hours (leangains IF rec.). Focus on getting your body to properly function before worrying about IF...I tried to before I became Leptin sensitive and I ended up screwing myself bc I would gorge when I came off my fast. You should be able to comfortably fast without feeling tired, groggy, etc.

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