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# Leangains not actually 16/8(Men) or 14/10(Women)? I'm confused.

Created May 11, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Sorry if this question is irrelevant or has a really obvious answer--it's just bugging the crap outta me. Martin suggests a 16/8 fast/feed for men and 14/10 for women. But the sample schedules on his website don't reflect that. Can someone explain this?

One of Martin's sample setups:

6 AM: 5-15 minutes pre-workout: 10 g BCAA.

6-7 AM: Training.

8 AM: 10 g BCAA.

10 AM: 10 g BCAA

12-1 PM: The "real" post-workout meal (largest meal of the day). Start of the 8 hour feeding-window.

8-9 PM: Last meal before the fast.

Another sample setup:

12-1 PM or around lunch/noon: Pre-workout meal. Approximately 20-25% of daily total calorie intake.

3-4 PM: Training should happen a few hours after the pre-workout meal.

4-5 PM: Post-workout meal (largest meal).

8-9 PM: Last meal before the fast.

Yet another:

12-1 PM or around lunch/noon: Meal one. Approximately 20-25% of daily total calorie intake.

4-5 PM: Pre-workout meal. Roughly equal to the first meal.

8-9 PM: Post-workout meal (largest meal).

--So here's my confusion: if you start the eating window at 12p and you STOP your last meal at 9p, you aren't really eating in an 8 hour window. You're window closes when you STOP eating, at 9. That's a 9 hour window. Shouldn't you plan to start your last meal before the window closes so that it finishes within the 8-hour window?

From a practical standpoint, I actually do think this might matter because if you start your last meal at the 8 hour mark and let it drag on a while, you start to infringe on the fasting window. Shouldn't there be well-defined start and end points?

I've read Martin's materials online and can't find anything to address the discrepancy between his consistent recommendation for 16/8 and the actual schedules he plots out. Is the 16/8 thing just a misnomer?

(1507)

on May 13, 2012
at 08:50 PM

@ Wisper, that is true for IF generally, but Martin recommends 14/10 for women and 16/8 for men as a specific rx on his leangains protocol. It's not like you implode of you go a bit over/under a fews days a week, but that's the time frame to aim for on THIS protocol. And, that's not really the question I posed.

(1507)

on May 13, 2012
at 08:46 PM

@ Chris, 'Dude,' I get that it's a sample schedule, my issue was that if you read it literally, it looks like he's saying to start eating at noon and finish at 9. But now I see he's saying to start eating somewhere between 12 and 1 and finish eating somewhere between 8 and 9. Makes more sense to me now. Mental block eradicated.

(1507)

on May 13, 2012
at 08:41 PM

Todd, thanks, this is totally on point and most likely the reason.

(1507)

on May 13, 2012
at 08:40 PM

Yep, but that doesn't explain why his sample schedules would propose a 9 hour feeding window, over and over. that's not a flexibility issue. I think the other posters explained it tho, you're supposed to think of it like 12-8 or 1-9, not start eating at 12 then finish eating at 9.

(1507)

on May 13, 2012
at 08:38 PM

Okay, as to (1)that has nothing to do with what I asked, I know it's not a strict, no-calorie fast. My question is really narrow, I'm just asking why is it that he consistently recommends 16/8 while his sample schedules seem to propose 9 hour feeding windows if you read them literally. It's not becuase he's "flexible" about whether it's 8 or 9 hours. He says aim for 8 but don't freak out if it's not 8. But that wouldn't explain why his schedules show 9 hour feeding windows, over and over. As to (2) that totally makes sense as an potential explanation. It's just posed in a confusing way.

(1507)

on May 13, 2012
at 08:32 PM

Todd, thank you, this is the only response that actually attempts to answer the question I asked.

(1507)

on May 13, 2012
at 08:31 PM

yes, I've read it, loved it!

(58)

on May 11, 2012
at 11:07 PM

I could have probably worded things better. My point is that there is no one scientific formula that will provide identical results for all. Link is below if you're interested in the context surrounding Martin's comment: "A: No, you stick to 1-9 pm as usual. Sometimes life happens and your feeding window will be longer, your fast shorter, or whatever. This is to be expected and you shouldn’t stress or think too much about it. Do not be rigid or neurotic about keeping an 8 hr feeding window and 16 hr fast every single day." http://www.leangains.com/search/label/Questions%20and%20Answers

(2957)

on May 11, 2012
at 08:29 PM

As Evan said, you're overthinking it. It's 16/8 for men. It can be 14/10 or 18/6 - whichever works for you.

(1614)

on May 11, 2012
at 06:10 PM

Dude, if you start at 12, end at 8. If you start at 1, end at 9. It IS really an 8 hour window, but he's not telling you that you MUST start eating at noon. It's just a *sample* schedule.

(1507)

on May 11, 2012
at 05:19 PM

so, I have read and re-read Martin's materials online. He is flexible about where the windows are placed in the day, but not about how long the windows are for. He's consistent about 16/8 for men, 14/10 for women. There's nothing loose about it. Also, he does not recommend, as you suggest, doing 16/8 some days and 18/6 other days, he says it's very important to be consistent, everyday, because it affects the hormone cycle. If you're saying there are other approaches to leangains that are just as valid, i agree, but that's not really addressing my question.

(1507)
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(2349)

on May 11, 2012
at 06:01 PM

I think his examples should be rewritten. Just add the word "finish" before his statement "last meal before the fast." So, in other words, 8-9 pm would be the time that you "finish your last meal before the fast". Of course whether it is 8 or 9 (or 8:15 or 8:37) depends on when you broke the fast earlier in the day. The time frames are ranges. He is not saying to eat for one hour. It certainly doesn't take me an hour to eat a standard meal. If you start eating at 12:20, then your eating window ends at 8:20. Fit all your meals into that window.

So, to answer your question, Is the 16/8 thing just a misnomer? My vote is no, it is not a misnomer. Instead, the examples should just be clarified.

(1507)

on May 13, 2012
at 08:32 PM

Todd, thank you, this is the only response that actually attempts to answer the question I asked.

(1507)

on May 13, 2012
at 08:41 PM

Todd, thanks, this is totally on point and most likely the reason.

2

(58)

on May 11, 2012
at 03:43 PM

It's not an irrelevant question, but the exact start and end point of the fast are. There is no magic happening as soon as the 8 hour window closes. If you miss a day, not a big deal. If you eat 16/8 a few days and 18/6 a few other days, whatever. You will find a myriad different fasting protocols out there, including the ones that say to keep your body guessing by mixing it up regularly. I appreciate you're trying to go strict Leangains, but you are embarking on an experiment that may or may not work for you exactly as written. One way to go about it would be to come up with a plan that you can live with and stick to, write it down, take some pictures, preferably completely nude (it's just fun), then track exactly what you eat and when for a couple weeks and see what your results are. Then adjust and repeat as necessary. If you read all of Martin's stuff you'll find it's somewhat flexible.

(1507)

on May 11, 2012
at 05:19 PM

so, I have read and re-read Martin's materials online. He is flexible about where the windows are placed in the day, but not about how long the windows are for. He's consistent about 16/8 for men, 14/10 for women. There's nothing loose about it. Also, he does not recommend, as you suggest, doing 16/8 some days and 18/6 other days, he says it's very important to be consistent, everyday, because it affects the hormone cycle. If you're saying there are other approaches to leangains that are just as valid, i agree, but that's not really addressing my question.

(58)

on May 11, 2012
at 11:07 PM

I could have probably worded things better. My point is that there is no one scientific formula that will provide identical results for all. Link is below if you're interested in the context surrounding Martin's comment: "A: No, you stick to 1-9 pm as usual. Sometimes life happens and your feeding window will be longer, your fast shorter, or whatever. This is to be expected and you shouldn’t stress or think too much about it. Do not be rigid or neurotic about keeping an 8 hr feeding window and 16 hr fast every single day." http://www.leangains.com/search/label/Questions%20and%20Answers

(1507)

on May 13, 2012
at 08:40 PM

Yep, but that doesn't explain why his sample schedules would propose a 9 hour feeding window, over and over. that's not a flexibility issue. I think the other posters explained it tho, you're supposed to think of it like 12-8 or 1-9, not start eating at 12 then finish eating at 9.

1

(1578)

on May 12, 2012
at 01:02 AM

You might find this free e book by Precision Nutrition useful if leaning out is your goal. Berardi does different fasting protocals in a attempt to lose weight but maintain muscle mass. Good read with some science to back it up.

(1507)

on May 13, 2012
at 08:31 PM

yes, I've read it, loved it!

1

(673)

on May 11, 2012
at 07:38 PM

If you've read and re-read Martin's material then you'd realize some things:

1) the BCAA supplementation (especially in the first setup example) he recommends because he's found several scientific studies that acknowledges the benefit of ingesting SOME amino acids prior to and subsequent to working out (as opposed to being 100% completely fasted). he chooses BCAAs, IMO, b/c they have the least caloric impact (and doesn't "exactly" break the fast). I believe he allows for some coffee creamer as well, which technically provides calories and thus breaks the fast, but advises not to go crazy on it (aka: flexibility).

2) 1st meal 12-1, last 8-9; no offense, but you're seriously over thinking this. he's providing a timing range, so instead think (12 to 8, or 1 to 9). You can extrapolate this to what works for you: 2-10, 3-11, etc etc.

So, 16/8 &14/10 is not a misnomer at all.

(1507)

on May 13, 2012
at 08:38 PM

Okay, as to (1)that has nothing to do with what I asked, I know it's not a strict, no-calorie fast. My question is really narrow, I'm just asking why is it that he consistently recommends 16/8 while his sample schedules seem to propose 9 hour feeding windows if you read them literally. It's not becuase he's "flexible" about whether it's 8 or 9 hours. He says aim for 8 but don't freak out if it's not 8. But that wouldn't explain why his schedules show 9 hour feeding windows, over and over. As to (2) that totally makes sense as an potential explanation. It's just posed in a confusing way.

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(0)

on September 20, 2012
at 03:14 PM

The way I see it it is simple. He is saying you should start at 12-1 (read: 12 or 1) and end at 8-9 (read 8 or 9). I think your confusion might have come from the fact that instead of reading them 12 or 1 and 8 or 9 you were reading them 12 to 1 and 8 to 9.