1

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Leangains meal/training/fasting schedules pros and cons?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 23, 2012 at 7:02 AM

I've been doing leangains for 3 months. I'm now more ripped than I even thought possible. To say it works is an understatement!

My eating window is 12pm-8pm, two meals.

No carbs rest days, very low fat training days.

I get up at 5am and sleep at 10-11pm

I take BCAA and train from 11am-12pm, then grub!

This has worked wonderfully. Now, my schedule is changing. Before, if I tried to workout early, then keep fasting (with BCAA every two hrs) and keep the fast schedule, I felt horrible all day! I feel like I cant catch up satiety wise all day.

Also, I don't absorb the carb load in the directly-post-workout glycogen window. If I try and workout in the afternoon or evening, before my last meal, my first meal is a carb one while my metabolism isn't hot and bothered from a workout yet, which my system doesn't seem to tolerate.

How important is the full length 16hr fast to leangains results? Could I keep that rest days, but train early and break the fast early on training days?

Y'all have any hints? I hate to mess up a perfect thing, but I gotta work!

8425f2fefc608f58a8cc0f2dcaa93341

(381)

on September 13, 2012
at 08:21 PM

Martin's latest posts on the Leangains site address this hunger after breakfast issue. For me eating breakfast doesn't make me at all hungrier. Martin says it's different for him though, and for people that thrive on IF that may be the reason they like it. It's just about finding what works for your own body.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 06, 2012
at 10:47 PM

Also, eating breakfast would mean having three smaller meals spread over alot of time. I get up at 5am. Eat by 6am. Eat at 12pm. Eat again at 7-8pm. As I mentioned, fasting I'm not hungry. As soon as I eat, my body begs for food. So, soon after breakfast, making it to 12pm would be HARDER than if I'd just been fasting since dinner the night before! And, since the 12pm lunch would be 450ish calories instead of 700 when IFing, I'd have to make it 8 more hours to dinner on LESS food! Doing leangains IF, I get past many hours in a day without food triggered hunger. I'd eat 24/7 if allowed

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 06, 2012
at 10:36 PM

I also backpack every weekend now that it's the season, up and down 1500-2000 meters daily for 8hrs straight, eating breakfast and 3500cal while on the trail. I'm 185cm 63kg, 2000cal wo 1400cal rest. Before you freak out, I've always been light and slight for my height. Light bones. I'm a rock climber. I never get big muscles, deadlifts and all. I lift heavy. On www.rippedbody.jp, guys doing leangains on cutting cycles who look ripped and are 180lbs are using 2000/1400 cal wo/rest scenarios. They are bigger than me, so I don't feel I'm too low. I was higher, and I didn't lose fat.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 06, 2012
at 10:29 PM

Great info. My next step may be to keep my exact macro and calorie cycling numbers and add back breakfast just to see what happens. LG and IF actually feel good. I have zero mood issues or problems with the morning fast, so long as my workout is a the end of it and I'm rewarded with a big carb meal immediately afterward. Leangains inspired skipping breakfast has been liberating! Your adding back breakfast tweak may be good to change things up, but I'm the hungriest AFTER I eat, not while fasting!

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 06, 2012
at 10:24 PM

By horrible I mean very wiped out and tired, dizzy, not good. Bill, I tried PSMF 2-4 days a week, and it was too much. I lost muscle.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 06, 2012
at 10:21 PM

Hmm good advice. I actually tried eating mostly protein and cutting down my fat much lower on rest days over the last two weeks. I definitely lost some fat, but also a lot of muscle. My fat remaining is the stubborn kind, and since it resists mobilization,in such a calorie deficit, my body has been forced to burn muscle. I've stopped that by resuming the fat on rest days.

Ba99a15e6bf870b81286791617050593

(671)

on August 24, 2012
at 01:08 PM

I agree - it's definitely not ideal. But there might be some benefits just within the fact that you're not worry about timing anymore, which will take stress off the times when you were constantly thinking about food. If you can deal with the 'feeling horrible', I wouldn't worry as much about the post-exercise glycogen window. While it definitely has truth to it, so does the HGH benefit from fasting post-exercise. What exactly makes you feel 'horrible' afterward?

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on August 24, 2012
at 11:38 AM

You can do that too, but only one day per week other than the PSMF day. Actually, I wouldnt do this at all as long as the PSMF day has things moving, unless you stall using the fasting day.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on August 24, 2012
at 11:37 AM

Yes, that will most def work, do a single PSMF day and then resume normality. You should lose .5 - 1lb a week which is a LOT of fat at low bf %

Medium avatar

(2417)

on August 23, 2012
at 08:41 PM

Autocorrect LOL. SKIPPING dinner!

Medium avatar

(2417)

on August 23, 2012
at 08:40 PM

Man I'm afraid of that! Sleftish dinner and sleeping well don't seem to coexist!

Medium avatar

(2417)

on August 23, 2012
at 08:37 PM

By eat even LESS fat on non w/o days once per week, do you mean PSMF type all protein, low-no fat, no carbs? I've been thinking about it. My fat loss is slow and I've more love(hate!)handles to burn. I already eat 1400cal/2000cal (63kg 185cm), Pretty low. Wondering what to do to keep it moving.

C3bc92e6b5eba45dc55f43ac3c70cc25

on August 23, 2012
at 07:47 AM

This is all answered already on his site. You can also check out Precission Nutritions fasting PDF. 14-16 hr fast are minimum for fat burning/HGH.

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3 Answers

1
8425f2fefc608f58a8cc0f2dcaa93341

(381)

on September 06, 2012
at 12:56 PM

I'm going to say that the 16 hour fast isn't so important for some of us. I did 16 weeks of LGs until the hunger and mood issues were too much to deal with, plus my fat loss had greatly slowed. Keeping the same daily calorie/macro numbers, I added back breakfast. It's been about 5 weeks now, and I feel far better with greatly reduced hunger and improved mood. The best part is that the fat loss restarted and I'm down to about 8% BF now.

Do what works for you. If its 16 hours fasting then great; if it's 12 hours then great. Just work with what your own body tells you. Leangains is a method to cut BF, but it's by no means the right one for everyone.

In addition, a diet break of 2 weeks at maintenance calories may help to reset you for more fat loss. Also, you don't mention your size or weight, but your daily calories seem quite low.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 06, 2012
at 10:36 PM

I also backpack every weekend now that it's the season, up and down 1500-2000 meters daily for 8hrs straight, eating breakfast and 3500cal while on the trail. I'm 185cm 63kg, 2000cal wo 1400cal rest. Before you freak out, I've always been light and slight for my height. Light bones. I'm a rock climber. I never get big muscles, deadlifts and all. I lift heavy. On www.rippedbody.jp, guys doing leangains on cutting cycles who look ripped and are 180lbs are using 2000/1400 cal wo/rest scenarios. They are bigger than me, so I don't feel I'm too low. I was higher, and I didn't lose fat.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 06, 2012
at 10:29 PM

Great info. My next step may be to keep my exact macro and calorie cycling numbers and add back breakfast just to see what happens. LG and IF actually feel good. I have zero mood issues or problems with the morning fast, so long as my workout is a the end of it and I'm rewarded with a big carb meal immediately afterward. Leangains inspired skipping breakfast has been liberating! Your adding back breakfast tweak may be good to change things up, but I'm the hungriest AFTER I eat, not while fasting!

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 06, 2012
at 10:47 PM

Also, eating breakfast would mean having three smaller meals spread over alot of time. I get up at 5am. Eat by 6am. Eat at 12pm. Eat again at 7-8pm. As I mentioned, fasting I'm not hungry. As soon as I eat, my body begs for food. So, soon after breakfast, making it to 12pm would be HARDER than if I'd just been fasting since dinner the night before! And, since the 12pm lunch would be 450ish calories instead of 700 when IFing, I'd have to make it 8 more hours to dinner on LESS food! Doing leangains IF, I get past many hours in a day without food triggered hunger. I'd eat 24/7 if allowed

8425f2fefc608f58a8cc0f2dcaa93341

(381)

on September 13, 2012
at 08:21 PM

Martin's latest posts on the Leangains site address this hunger after breakfast issue. For me eating breakfast doesn't make me at all hungrier. Martin says it's different for him though, and for people that thrive on IF that may be the reason they like it. It's just about finding what works for your own body.

0
Ba99a15e6bf870b81286791617050593

(671)

on August 23, 2012
at 12:20 PM

You could also try skipping dinner. It's harder than breakfast for sure, but like anything else your body adjusts. If you can work out early enough you can (suitably in terms of etymology) break your fast with breakfast, finish eating at lunch, and then start your fasting window after that.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on August 24, 2012
at 11:38 AM

You can do that too, but only one day per week other than the PSMF day. Actually, I wouldnt do this at all as long as the PSMF day has things moving, unless you stall using the fasting day.

Ba99a15e6bf870b81286791617050593

(671)

on August 24, 2012
at 01:08 PM

I agree - it's definitely not ideal. But there might be some benefits just within the fact that you're not worry about timing anymore, which will take stress off the times when you were constantly thinking about food. If you can deal with the 'feeling horrible', I wouldn't worry as much about the post-exercise glycogen window. While it definitely has truth to it, so does the HGH benefit from fasting post-exercise. What exactly makes you feel 'horrible' afterward?

Medium avatar

(2417)

on August 23, 2012
at 08:40 PM

Man I'm afraid of that! Sleftish dinner and sleeping well don't seem to coexist!

Medium avatar

(2417)

on August 23, 2012
at 08:41 PM

Autocorrect LOL. SKIPPING dinner!

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 06, 2012
at 10:24 PM

By horrible I mean very wiped out and tired, dizzy, not good. Bill, I tried PSMF 2-4 days a week, and it was too much. I lost muscle.

0
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on August 23, 2012
at 12:17 PM

Dude, KEEP DOING WHATS WORKING, however

You can train earlier and break the fast earlier, but the 16hrs is important. the lower your bf% the more you can change things up and keep the bf getting lower. THe carbs are key to reset leptin levels on workout days. eat even LESS fat on non workout days once a week to blast through any issues.

great job

Medium avatar

(2417)

on August 23, 2012
at 08:37 PM

By eat even LESS fat on non w/o days once per week, do you mean PSMF type all protein, low-no fat, no carbs? I've been thinking about it. My fat loss is slow and I've more love(hate!)handles to burn. I already eat 1400cal/2000cal (63kg 185cm), Pretty low. Wondering what to do to keep it moving.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on August 24, 2012
at 11:37 AM

Yes, that will most def work, do a single PSMF day and then resume normality. You should lose .5 - 1lb a week which is a LOT of fat at low bf %

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 06, 2012
at 10:21 PM

Hmm good advice. I actually tried eating mostly protein and cutting down my fat much lower on rest days over the last two weeks. I definitely lost some fat, but also a lot of muscle. My fat remaining is the stubborn kind, and since it resists mobilization,in such a calorie deficit, my body has been forced to burn muscle. I've stopped that by resuming the fat on rest days.

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