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Leangains protein recommendations require low fat to meet calorie deficit levels?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created November 27, 2012 at 12:38 AM

I've been getting 2g/kg protein/bodyweight on my Leangains program. To lose fat, I've had to dip down at or below 2000/1400 cal training/rest. I'm being told to spare muscle I should obey the Leangains advice of 2.5-3.0g/kg protein recommendations.

At my calorie levels, this has me getting less than half my calories from fat on rest days (i do zero carb those days) 50-60g/day.

Lyle McDonald recommends as well. He and Berkam know their stuff and achieve the results I want, so I'm incline to pay attention.

This creates a quasi-PSMF on all my rest days.

Keifer seems astute as well, albeit from a different angle, and recommends equal grams of protein/fat when not eating carbs. If I got over 2g protein/kg, this'd put me well over cal deficit levels. What gives?

That said, fellow lean gainers, what's your take?

Medium avatar

(2417)

on January 18, 2013
at 11:10 PM

It's basically a PSMF on all rest days.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on January 18, 2013
at 11:10 PM

Basically my concern is that I must be at 2000/1400 cal training/rest to lose fat. At 1400 cal, and 2.5g/kg protein, I must eat more than half of my calories as protein. The remainder is fat. I wonder how healthy this is? I always heard above 40% cal from protein was no good. Ideas?

Medium avatar

(2417)

on January 18, 2013
at 11:02 PM

Training wise, it's alot of heavy kettlebell presses, heavy weighted dips and pull-ups, swings, snatches, rock climbing, and dead lifts (winter only, as a break from climbing). All my training is heavy and low rep, high set ladders, exempt swings/snatches which are heavy and high rep.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on January 18, 2013
at 10:58 PM

I try to do leangains as written. But, I cannot eat starch on rest days. A little starch on cal restricted days makes me STARVE! Just makes me want more. Gotta stay meat/fat only rest days. Also, carbs midday after my 11-12pm fasted training make my blood sugar crash at 4pm at work when I'm sedentary the rest of the day! So I prefer a CBL approach; fasted training 11-12pm followed by whey and just lean beef, then all my carbs and balance of beef at night.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on January 18, 2013
at 10:54 PM

Tom, I totally missed these comments! Sorry. Yeah I'm trying to get to 6% just to do it; prefer to remain around 8ish% normally. I'm not a big muscled guy, so I need that ripped look to feel like I'm athletic looking and male, as it were.

Ba99a15e6bf870b81286791617050593

(671)

on December 11, 2012
at 11:00 AM

Well said, Tom. I'm always impressed by the answers to LG and CBL related questions. I'd like to know whether or not it's a factor of being knowledgeable enough to answer or if LG actually attracts a more intelligent crowd than is common in the weightlifting scene. It's one thing I love about Martin - not just wildly intelligent but an entertaining and terrific writer as well. Anyway, this is tangential, but there it is.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on November 27, 2012
at 11:41 AM

Still, I'm surprised Andy had you at 2.0g/kg when Martin recommends 2.5-3.0g/kg. he probably say the exact same issue/problem I was detailing in my question....not enough calories left for carbs on training days or fats on rest days when protein that high.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on November 27, 2012
at 11:36 AM

And Lyle also says ingested fat is, beyond a bit for hormonal benefit, just extra calories and lean towards a PSMF for cutting.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on November 27, 2012
at 11:33 AM

I see your point that fat will never equal protein grams on Leangains. Even so, my rest days are meat fat only, trimmed fatty cuts, without added oils. Gotta get my paleo head around that. According to your protein figures (2g/kg) you were quite low for martins recommendations. Your carb numbers on training day are about 1.75g/kg. I've been at 2g/kg but am dipping lower now to experiment. I don't like carbs on rest days, preferring to take those metabolic breaks from carbs, and get that PWO punch. Lastly, Lyle says in scenarios like this you burn half ingested protein for fuel,so eat more

Medium avatar

(2417)

on November 27, 2012
at 11:08 AM

Still digesting the majority of your excellent and informative response Tom, but just a quick point now. I think you may be a tad confused about g/kg vs g/lbs. 3g/kg is what Martin recommends; 2-2.5g/kg for Andy. I've been lower than both of them at 2g/kg. I'm 140lbs, a tad over 63kg, so 2g/kg is 126g protein. Maybe you were thinking 1-1.5g/lbs; 2.5g/kg is about 1.125g/lbs. For your situation, 160g at 170lbs comes out to 2.0g/kg.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on November 27, 2012
at 10:29 AM

I'm 64kg ~8% bodyfat. LBM or total BM doesn't change calculations very much; problem remains, protein ends up accounting for the lions share of calories both days if I stay below deficit calorie levels.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on November 27, 2012
at 07:53 AM

coincidence you mention Brad Pilon, i was just reading his metabolism post the other day. good stuff. http://bradpilon.com/weight-loss/ideal-metabolism/

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on November 27, 2012
at 01:13 AM

does the leangains protein calculation use bodyweight or lean body mass (basically everything in your body that isn’t fat). it may make quite a difference depending on the amount of fat you are carrying. That said, if you use your target/goal (not current) bodyweight or lbm, than current body fat will not affect the calculation

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2 Answers

1
D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on November 27, 2012
at 02:04 AM

If you're doing LeanGains by the book that's just how it is. High fat in the LeanGains world is like 50 or 60 grams. And it certainly will never make it to half your calories for the day under Martins design. That's just the nature of the beast. You can make LeanGains paleo friendly, but it's not designed that way. That said, the formula works really well if you follow it.

Edit: Sorry I didn't look at your question in it's entirety, I was surfing around on my phone. The above is still relevant however I have some additional thoughts. For one, I think 2 grams per anything sounds pretty high. I go by pounds and when I hired Andy Morgan to make up my LeanGains style macros he came up with 160 (I weighed 170 give or take a pound or two depending on the day and my water weight/carb intake) on rest days and 150 on training days. While I think this is partially to spare muscle, I think it's also the framework for your calories on both days. You should be "building" onto your protein in either a minimalist or bulk-friendly fashion depending on the day and your individual needs. So, in my case, 150-160 protein comes out to 300+ carbs on training days and really just the fat in my lean protein sources and nothing else. On rest days this equated to the same protein, roughly, but with 50 or fewer grams of carbs and then 50-60 grams of fat. What it boiled down to was that I could eat fattier meats on rest days - it did NOT allow for me to eat tons of oil or butter or coconut. Not even close. That's just how LeanGains is.

Now, I don't think you need to 2 grams per kilo of lbm or overall weight. I was always told 1-1.5 was HIGH and this has been reinforced if you ever get a chance to read Brad Pilon's "How Much Protein?" --- that book totally changed my outlook on what can be considered high or a safe amount of protein to preserve muscle. Check it out and let me know if you want any more help with the numbers. My guess is you're miscalculating something if you're truly following leangains macros and going over on rest days with protein. You definitely don't need that much to preserve muscle.

0
9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 08, 2013
at 09:25 AM

My own n=1 experiment found no difference in fat weight loss rate when consuming 20-30g or 80-100g of protein on workout days, so now I don't bother going all-out on reducing fat consumption PWO. I keep protein high (100+g) on off-days. 71kg male, 13% bf.

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