Okay, so I found out about IF today. And about leangains. First off, regarding leangains, it's probably the single most impressive fitness site/system I've seen in terms of fat loss and body transformations.
Their method of IF basically goes something like fast for 16 hours (8 hours of sleep included), and eat 3 meals within an 8 hour period in which you're allowed to eat. So say you break your fast at 1pm, you would have two more meals after that. The first meal consists of 20% of your entire caloric intake of the entire day, the second meal which comes POST work out will be your heaviest meal. It will make up 50-60% of your daily intake. Your last meal before you go to bed will make up 20-30%. There's a lot of reasoning behind this design which I won't go into now. Being in a fasted state also apparently turns on some pretty interesting genes.
The only problem with this diet is that it's encouraged that you take high starchy foods for your post work out meal. A lot of people even claim that they can eat whatever they want... Pizza, ice cream, whatever, as long as the caloric intake is reasonable and the macronutrients aren't too skewed. I think on work out days they eat a low fat diet too.
So I'm just wondering if you can do this paleo style. Would there be a reason for it NOT to work? Has anyone done this for a long time? I'm still kinda scared about skipping breakfast and not getting my first meal till lunch.
asked byGracken_ (105)
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on February 08, 2011
at 08:35 AM
IF works within a paradigm of calorie control, and working within those parameters no food is taboo. Carbohydrates can be high on If, especially on training days and consists of all sorts of carbohydrates paleo friendly or otherwise, but how much carbs you need depends on how you train. Are you following the RPT advocated on Lean Gains? Training in such a way does not deplete too much glycogen, which means a potato or two might do the trick for glycogen replenishment. Training in such a way may also contravene paleo guidelines of "occasional heavy intense workouts".
Martin Berkhan recommends starchy carbs, even rice, but also replacing starchy carbs with fat to meet calorie requirements if stuffing down such bulking carbs becomes onerous. So basically, your protein intake is kept high ~2.5 to 3gm per kg of bodyweight, then adjust carbs for training/non-training days and make up rest of calories from fat. There is no emphasis on what's allergenic, or what might contain anti-nutrients.
If you want to keep it paleo, just use paleo-friendly sources of carbs (e.g. fruit and some might even argue starchy root vegetables e.g. sweet potato), keep carbs to a minimum, and make up the rest of your calories from fat, and count your calories. Restrict your eating within an 8 hour window and fast for the other 16, and save your largest meal for post-workout, assuming you're working out ~4days a week in a two-way split and voila - you've got IF.
Just remember, don't do paleo for the sake of being paleo, but apply its principles in a way that suits your lifestyle/requirements. Don't do IF for the sake of it either - it's not for everyone and it's not strict paleo - Martin has applied the research from an angle of preserving muscle mass and increasing muscle mass, something that appeals more to "muscle heads". The paleo angle does not emphasize accumulation of muscle mass to the extent bodybuilders desire.
I don't think you need personal consultation with Martin to get results from IF - much of the information is already elucidated on his site - just read the posts and comments. Stick to the basic principles of IF, and make your diet paleo and you should see results. If not, you are miscalculating your food servings. Something I don't see mentioned a lot is calorie counting or even portion control in the paleo realm - maybe I need to get out more or maybe we've taken the "add fat" to the diet to an extreme that we've overlooked calorie counting.
With proper calorie counting and control, you can lose fat on any diet - paleo makes it easier because of satiety from protein/fat meals and also the fact that we're probably better off fat adapted than glucose adapted regardless of your stance on evolution. IF can also make it easier because having to stuff down one's calories in an 8 hour window does not feel like dieting, you will not feel deprived at all, because it is really about gorging - try having three 700 calorie meals of "clean" starchy carbs and meat within eight hours and you'll know what I mean. Try to do this as one meal and you will need an ambulance ;o)
on February 08, 2011
at 04:33 PM
Virtually everyday I skip breakfast and half the time lunch too. Its natural.
I eat tubers and FEAST post workout.
It works great. nothing magical about it or Leangains plan specific... its how we Evolved.
Leangains just happens to be one of the more prominent faces in the Intermittent Fasting subculture.
IF is not paleo specific, so youll find plenty of people that are not paleo talking about it. Unfortunately for them, they just dont yet know how much better they would be combining the two.
Luckily for most of us on Paleo, we are here for Optimum Health and therefore explore all the intelligent options.
Ive lost all the weight I want, I continue to IF for convenience, and for Autophagy.
on July 13, 2011
at 04:15 AM
Yeah, paleo and leangains go very well together. Martin Berkhan is pretty pro-paleo. I had a hard time piecing together all the details of his program from his website alone (he seems to be withholding some of the details for his book...). But, Richard Nikoley had a great three part series over at freetheanimal.com. Part 1: http://freetheanimal.com/2010/10/leangains-martin-berkhan-means-it.html
There's a ton of great info about the specifics of Martin's exercise and diet routines in this series, especially in the comments section. It's all very paleo friendly. I'm having very good results so far. But, because it does focus on calorie restriction and high protein, there is much less fat than some paleo people are used to. I eat a lot of lean chicken breasts on non-workout days - but I need to lose some fat.
on November 04, 2011
at 05:57 PM
I recall Art De Vany mentioning that we're a bit insulin resistant after a workout, so it's probably best to delay the post-workout meals for an hour or two, especially if you're going to go for a glycogen refuel by including carbs.
One of the best things about working out while fasted is the autophagy, time to take out the junk in our cells. :)
When we deplete glycogen from our muscles/liver, as in after a workout, or during IF, we become insulin resistant in order to spare glucose for the parts of our brains that need it and for red blood cell production. Muscles can use lactic acid or ketones, and the rest of our brain can also use ketones instead of glucose. (This is why the standard tests doctors use where you go in fasted and then drink a large glucose bolus can incorrectly show that you're pre-diabetic, when instead you're normally low carb or in ketosis and not used to large sugar doses.)
For the two disbelieving commenters below who assumed this was incorrect, or that Art did not mention this, please see:
http://www.arthurdevany.com/articles/20101117 "Insulin Sensitivity, Workouts, and Post-Workout Meals"
I have said this so many times and been criticized as often. The meals you eat after a work out fundamentally alter its effects, for days. The post workout energy deficit makes you burn fat. The post workout carbohydrate restriction increases you insulin sensitivity. Both are what you work out to accomplish. Why mess it up with a protein-carbohydrate shake or muscle booster? (Emphasis mine)
And: http://www.arthurdevany.com/articles/20101014 "Exercise and Eating After"
Anyway, back to the main point. Carbohydrate restriction following exercise is clearly the best strategy for a healthy metabolism, which I have stressed for many years and with much criticism, particularly from body builders and runners. Of course, they have other objectives besides health, which is why their health is not so great. (Emphasis mine)
And: http://www.arthurdevany.com/articles/20101119 "Adding Fat to the post-workout meal does not lower insulin sensitivity"
I'm sure that there are other references on his site, and mentions on his DVD set. I believe I've gone through enough search output pages to make the point. Feel free to search on your own some more if you still have doubts - I've invested enough time into this post. Rest is up to you.
on November 04, 2011
at 02:59 PM
I don't get these references to all the "meal tracking" required on IF. To the contrary: at the outset, you figure out your macros for workout days and rest days. Then you devise some favorite meals. Lather, rinse, repeat. Seriously: just eat via the very simple plan you've created. Add the workouts, burn fat, create muscle or at least preserve it if that's your goal. Simple truth: you will spend less time obsessing about and planning meals than at any other time in your life. Your greater challenge might be making good use of your newly "extra" time. You might find yourself "food obsessed" by choice (habit).
on November 03, 2011
at 09:46 PM
This whole "you can eat whatever you want after workout" is about as false a claim as those about Atkins and eat as much fat as you want. If you struggle with obesity/health, you should not be binging on ice cream and breads after your workouts. Stick to paleo with greater allowance for tubers.
As for Martin Berkhan's site, I'd take a page off IF and his weight training. That's about it, the rest of his articles and his posters understand little about human physiology and real nutrition. The world doesn't evolve around macro ratios, calories and creatine.
on February 08, 2011
at 07:20 AM
Ive been doing it paleo style for the past 3 weeks using yams/sweet potato and berries post work out cycling carbs up and down during the week. So far Im very pleased....been maintaining same weight on scale but leaning out considerably...and I love being able to eat an epic post workout meal of over 1000 calories!!
I can keep u posted as I go...but so far so good.
on April 01, 2013
at 05:23 PM
This is a great question. Especially for those of us who started IF first then switched to Paleo in the middle and completely reversed everything as Lyle McDonald proves.
I think I may have accidentally gone to low calorie, too fast by switching to primal and low carb eating while doing IF and triggered something scary.
on December 06, 2011
at 08:06 PM
"14. You avoid squats and deadlift, because you think they'll give you a wide waist.
Bitch please. Yes, squats and deadlifts will put muscle on your obliques and thicken up your lower back. But weighted chin-ups or pull-ups will give you wider lats, and if you train all these movements, your waist-to-shoulder ratio will develop very favorably. Training all these movements will also help you grow some balls, so you can finally stop making up bullshit excuses for why you shouldn't train hard (AKA squat and deadlift).
Petter, the Tyler Durden lookalike, was squatting and deadlifting regularly on my routine. Last time I checked, he was squatting 2 x body weight (300 lbs) for 9 reps. He was also close to being able to complete a one-arm pull-up. Does it look like he has a wide waist? Are my clients notable for their wide waists? Take your "wide waist"-argument/excuse and shove it up your ass right now.
What's funny is that this argument is usually brought up by guys who want a "Hollywood"/underwear model type physique. They're often a) dieting, b) not training legs and c) likely doing tons of cardio. That particular combination will strip off whatever little leg muscle they have faster than Gary Busey can do a gram of coke off his dog Chili's back. It leaves them looking pathetic and weak, and if that sounds good to you then go ahead." - BEST THING EVER WRITTEN
on November 04, 2011
at 09:43 AM
Berkhan is also famous for cheesecake mastery, in which he "masters" a whole cheesecake by himself. He shows that bad boy who's boss!
Hardly paleo-friendly, but it always makes me laugh when I see the pictures.
on September 06, 2011
at 04:52 PM
This may help explain when you should do it.
on July 13, 2011
at 02:51 AM
I was wondering if it would be safe to do IF along with a low calorie diet. I'm 5'8 160lbs but I still have a lot of body fat, about 16%. I want to go to single digits in body fat which is why I'm doing this extreme diet. My question is if I'm already doing a low calorie <1000 calorie a day diet, should I also do IF? Any responses would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
on February 08, 2011
at 03:45 PM
I IF fairly regularly while remaining strict Paleo. I do it for two reasons. 1. It fits my schedule, and two I prefer to train fasted. I keep it protein heavy and rarely spike above 30g of CHO a day with a cyclic re-feed every two weeks. I am a heavy lifter and never seem to have issues with the low carb intake. The only thing that suffers for me on this diet is my sleep. For some reason I always sleep better after a high carb dinner.