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IF - am I doing it wrong?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 20, 2012 at 8:08 PM

I am a 32 year old female, currently 121 pounds, 5'1, desk job, crossfit 5x a week in the evenings after work. I have been about 85% paleo since June 2011 and strict paleo for the last 3 months. Although I have lost some weight and gained some definition since June, I want to lean out a little more, i.e. lose the dreaded last few pounds and gain more definition. So far, I've been eating 3 meals a day, mostly eggs, meat, chicken, beef/bison, veggies, and fats (coconut oil and butter, avocado, ghee). I don't eat fruit/sweet potatoes cause they set off carb cravings and I seem to do better eating high fat/low carb. I am looking to shake things up a little and move past this plateau. Please let me know what you think of the following plan to help me achieve my goal: make my first "meal" of the day around 11 o'clock consisting of bulletproof style coffee (coffee, tablespoon ghee, tablespoon coconut oil) and a cup of bone broth then have 2 egg-whites pre-work out (around 4:30) and crossfit 5-6, following the workout eat a very large meal (most of the day's calories) consisting of protein and veggies and probably some fats and then not eat again until 11 or so the following morning. This this an effective way to IF and lean out? Please help!!!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 22, 2012
at 01:49 AM

Danny - Think about it. You go to a Cross fit session at 4pm, you eat 1-2 big meals till 8pm. None of those meals have fruit, yam or potato. You are back in the gym 4pm the next day. I just don't see how you can generate enough glucose via gluconeogenisis in that time to be able to do another crossfit style workout. If they were doing IF+VLC and just lifting? Sure. IF+VLC and Crossfit every other day? Maybe, yeah.

2d551979414f10c1e5c6cd57fe3c6658

(125)

on March 21, 2012
at 06:51 PM

Thanks for your suggestions! And my egg yolks are poached separately from the whites and eaten with the main meal.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 21, 2012
at 01:57 PM

Totally agree!!

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 21, 2012
at 01:29 PM

There's nothing wrong with sprinting and IF, but doing it 5 times a week is tricky. But even a 16/8 'fast' is plenty of time to eat as much as you need.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on March 20, 2012
at 09:44 PM

solid answer here. +1

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 20, 2012
at 09:35 PM

Carb cravings as in "I eat 2-3 yams" or sugar cravings "I binge on ice cream"? Sometimes a carb craving is exactly that, your body saying "I NEED CARBS DAMN IT!"

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5 Answers

7
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 20, 2012
at 09:32 PM

Glycolytically demanding exercise 5x a week + IF is a really BAD IDEA for most people. You just can't possibly refill your tank on broccoli in less than 24 hrs especially if you aren't eating for most of them! Combine all of the above + Tea or Coffee and I just can't imagine anyone has the adrenals to do that.

If crossfit is your thing think about Carb sources.

If IF is your thing think about heavy lifting and moderate steady cardio (ie not sprints)

Think about looking at calorie level. If you are active and not leaning out you are just eating too much, which is very easy to do with a high-fat diet.

N=1, though not mine, some people can't get super lean without carbs because cortisol goes up and they save fat on their abdomen because of the constant low-level stress. I have at least one friend that had this issue.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 21, 2012
at 01:57 PM

Totally agree!!

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on March 20, 2012
at 09:44 PM

solid answer here. +1

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 21, 2012
at 01:29 PM

There's nothing wrong with sprinting and IF, but doing it 5 times a week is tricky. But even a 16/8 'fast' is plenty of time to eat as much as you need.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 22, 2012
at 01:49 AM

Danny - Think about it. You go to a Cross fit session at 4pm, you eat 1-2 big meals till 8pm. None of those meals have fruit, yam or potato. You are back in the gym 4pm the next day. I just don't see how you can generate enough glucose via gluconeogenisis in that time to be able to do another crossfit style workout. If they were doing IF+VLC and just lifting? Sure. IF+VLC and Crossfit every other day? Maybe, yeah.

2
0a31b8309ef49bd18cd21d87d3b0b38d

on March 20, 2012
at 09:20 PM

I'm no expert, and I suppose it depends on how many calories you're eating at night, but it doesn't sound to me like you're eating enough, so your body may be in starvation mode. if you're putting two tablespoons of fat in your coffee, that's about 250 calories, and two egg whites is only 32 calories. Unless you're eating 1,000+ calories at night, you're not eating enough, IMO.

1
Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

on March 21, 2012
at 01:39 PM

Assuming your main meal is enough and you're not struggling for energy then you seem to have a decent plan. I could happily have similar days and I'm a foot taller! I did wonder where the egg yolks went though. It is a lot of exercise, so you'd want to be taking a break for a few days every few weeks or so. You can shake things up by eating twice as much at the start of that rest period and giving your body every chance to be satisfied and recover - it may not be necessary but there's little risk and it might make a big improvement.

On the other hand, if that's all going fine, you're not suddenly dropping dead from exhaustion or overwhelmed with hunger once you've given your body a chance to rest then it might be time to add in the other end of the scale. Every so often fast for the whole day. If you're functioning well then this should have no impact other than to burn up some bodyfat. As the other answers suggest, it can be very hard to know whether you actually need to eat more or less to reach your goals so that's why I recommend doing both! Add some variation and see what happens.

2d551979414f10c1e5c6cd57fe3c6658

(125)

on March 21, 2012
at 06:51 PM

Thanks for your suggestions! And my egg yolks are poached separately from the whites and eaten with the main meal.

1
50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on March 20, 2012
at 09:43 PM

With Crossfit 5 times a week, assuming quality effort and intensity, your calorie burn is likely larger than you think.

Also, I believe one of the main benefits of IF on here for leaning purposes reflect a Leangains approach which dictates a fasted workout followed by an feed window. (There are other benefits to IF, such as autophagy, etc..)

Having implemented a Leangains approach to leaning out myself, I will say it was my experience that I didn't reach either my best performance or my leanest state until I shed my fear of carbohydrates.

It kind of seems like you've created a eating/workout plan for yourself that may just be entirely to stressful on your system. I would say maybe try cutting down your crossfit to 3 times and mix in some active rest days, such as walking, yoga, hiking, etc.. And up your calories. You may even try tinkering with eating breakfast and then a large meal post WO to get more of an energy burn of an empty stomach.

Best of luck

0
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 21, 2012
at 02:01 PM

For all their possible negative issues (saponins, goitrogens, etc), adding some things like sweet potatoes, cassava, and other dense sources of carbohydrates throughout the week will help. If fat consumption is very high, this should be an easy trade to make, and still keep your caloric goals.

I'm doing fasted training now, and it was difficult at first to imagine eating that much carbs again (from 50g-120g to 100g-175g), but it has totally made the difference for my IF and training.

This calculator helped me setup a plan for my IF training.

I always have to say, though: for IF, take it slow -- you can always ramp up later if you'd like, but ease yourself into it.

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