2

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Leangains style: how many carbs for on or off days?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 17, 2010 at 2:08 PM

So I have decided to put some effort into leaning out via the Leangains style fasting method. Has anyone had experience with this in the past? I am trying to figure out how many carbs I should be eating on workout days versus rest days. I don't want to put my body into shock or go through the "low carb flu" every other day. I was thinking about 50g on rest days and 100-150 on workout days. Any thoughts or previous experience would be super helpful.

Cb2415c2aef964ab499a09dc92ae7e01

(783)

on April 12, 2011
at 10:35 PM

Bottom line is that Martin is not a carb nazi and eats plenty after his workouts and probably some on rest days also. Obviously this hasn't kept him from getting incredibly lean as well as strong and muscular also. Personally the more I workout, the more I want high protein / carb lower fat also; not adopting any dogma here, it is just tastes changing.

Cb2415c2aef964ab499a09dc92ae7e01

(783)

on April 12, 2011
at 10:21 PM

I don't think Martin does *no* carb even on rest days. Lower, yes. Amount probably varies. Mostly meat & veg, he seems to have berries often. I didn't provide that # because he didn't give examples of his own personal 'rest day' meals on the site, or at least I didn't see any.

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on April 12, 2011
at 08:14 AM

although this has been voted up lots, it doesn't answer the question. I think no carbs on non workout days, but I am not sure.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on February 04, 2011
at 01:12 PM

I have switched to crossfit main page so it can vary. I will vary pwo carbs accordingly

Cb2415c2aef964ab499a09dc92ae7e01

(783)

on December 17, 2010
at 09:24 PM

Why would this happen? If you are over carb flu and don't eat crap, your body should be able to burn fat for energy pretty easily. Yesterday I had salmon and a large portion of butternut squash (like a whole one). Today it is buffalo, eggs and kale. No problem. Personally I feel much better eating more paleo carbs, but don't need them every day. I really like Martin's solution.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on December 17, 2010
at 06:45 PM

Thanks for the post! What would you recommend for non-workout days if you're workout day has 200g of carbs in it? If you go too low wouldn't that affect you poorly? I guess I need to tinker.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on December 17, 2010
at 04:34 PM

Cool thanks for the info

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3 Answers

6
Cb2415c2aef964ab499a09dc92ae7e01

(783)

on December 17, 2010
at 05:27 PM

Martin posted an example of a post workout meal on his site. He also mentioned it was something he had been eating a lot.

http://www.leangains.com/2010/08/intermittent-fasting-meals-part-two.html

It was:

500 g roast beef
500 g potatoes, 200-300 g mushrooms and 1/2 onion
1 k strawberries

Just focusing on carbs this is (#s from nutritiondata.com)

100 g potatoes = 21 g carbs x 5 for 500 g total = 105 g carb
100 g mushrooms = 4 g carbs x 2.5 for 250 g = 10 g carb
1/2 medium onion = 5 g carb
100 g strawberries = 8 carbs x 10 for 1 k = 80 g carb

Total of the above is 200 g carbs. If you plug in all the data, it was very high protein, low fat, high carb meal. And just one meal! He didn't list what else he ate that day, other than maybe an additional protein powder kind of dessert after the berries.

Martin is a bigger guy and has plenty of muscle to keep his metabolism high, but this is just one more piece of evidence that bias against carbs has gone too far in parts of paleo community. OK Martin isn't strictly paleo nor does he claim to be, but he is paleo friendly in many respects and definitely pro-carb per this post here:

http://freetheanimal.com/2010/12/leangains-the-dietary-approach.html

"In between carbs and fat, carbs are the superior choice due to the insulinogenic effect and contribution to muscle glycogen. This is desirable for muscle gain and recovery. The combo of high protein and high carbs impacts gene expression related to muscle hypertrophy more so than a higher fat intake in place of carbs.

Furthermore, in the context of the Leangains approach for fat loss, there are other desirable effects of this high-carb refeed, such as the impact of carbs on leptin, which is superior for carbs."

Bottom line, if your carbs are 150+ it isn't something to worry about; in fact maybe desirable to eat 150-200+ on workout days.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on December 17, 2010
at 06:45 PM

Thanks for the post! What would you recommend for non-workout days if you're workout day has 200g of carbs in it? If you go too low wouldn't that affect you poorly? I guess I need to tinker.

Cb2415c2aef964ab499a09dc92ae7e01

(783)

on December 17, 2010
at 09:24 PM

Why would this happen? If you are over carb flu and don't eat crap, your body should be able to burn fat for energy pretty easily. Yesterday I had salmon and a large portion of butternut squash (like a whole one). Today it is buffalo, eggs and kale. No problem. Personally I feel much better eating more paleo carbs, but don't need them every day. I really like Martin's solution.

Cb2415c2aef964ab499a09dc92ae7e01

(783)

on April 12, 2011
at 10:21 PM

I don't think Martin does *no* carb even on rest days. Lower, yes. Amount probably varies. Mostly meat & veg, he seems to have berries often. I didn't provide that # because he didn't give examples of his own personal 'rest day' meals on the site, or at least I didn't see any.

Cb2415c2aef964ab499a09dc92ae7e01

(783)

on April 12, 2011
at 10:35 PM

Bottom line is that Martin is not a carb nazi and eats plenty after his workouts and probably some on rest days also. Obviously this hasn't kept him from getting incredibly lean as well as strong and muscular also. Personally the more I workout, the more I want high protein / carb lower fat also; not adopting any dogma here, it is just tastes changing.

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on April 12, 2011
at 08:14 AM

although this has been voted up lots, it doesn't answer the question. I think no carbs on non workout days, but I am not sure.

2
9f2b5def0bc7fd8ad615637d1ffeb9ec

on December 17, 2010
at 03:44 PM

Your numbers look good to me. If you have been low carb for a while you might want to ramp up slowly on the workout days.

Martin recommends a starch and a dessert for the postworkout meal. I have about 100-150g for postworkout meal, usually a sweet potato (around 25g) and big slice of pumpkin pie (around 100g), and 50g for my evening meal.

My rest days work best if they are very low carb.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on December 17, 2010
at 04:34 PM

Cool thanks for the info

0
F17088b21ae0f36d78d9b8648d752f5c

on February 04, 2011
at 08:28 AM

What is your workout volume?

How many sets and reps of each exercise? And at what poundages?

If your workouts are rather high in volume, you should be able to get away with more carbs on workout days, 200gm or more.

On rest days, carbs should hover ~100gm or you feel comfortable, ~50gm. But there's no need to go zero carb per se because protein foods are mighty insulinogenic....

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on February 04, 2011
at 01:12 PM

I have switched to crossfit main page so it can vary. I will vary pwo carbs accordingly

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