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Intermittent Fasting not working for me (43 yrs old) - back to breakfast?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 30, 2012 at 4:56 PM

I've taken up the leangains approach to fasting for the last month (16 hr window of fasting / 8 hr of eating) and not getting the results I was hoping for. I am 6'3" and 211 lbs and was down to 203 about 2 months ago. I've had a series of vacations and travel that made me abandon my current approach. Prior to the bump in the road, I was to eating a high protein breakfast (think 3-4 eggs, avocado, bacon, really fill up the tummy etc) - I would then take it easy over lunch (maybe some almonds - do some HIT or lift) and then continue to eat paelo for dinner.

After vacations and the weight gain, I decided to go with IF to cut the weight and it's not working and I'm not overeating during the evening. It seems like the guys that rave about IF are way cut - like 10% BF.

Does anyone have information that a guy that is my age, weight, etc would see more benefit in going back to a nice healthy high protein paleo breakfast (with maybe some Tim Ferris legumes thrown in every now and then) - than to continue the IF route? I'm borderline thinking of abandoning it but would like to hear what you think from your own personal experiences.

Any advice would be great! Brian in Cincinnati

Cbe1731034411e1ce373cdc62e7d4eef

(65)

on August 11, 2013
at 01:55 PM

My LDL-P is now at 1900 and my small LDL is 600. I've stopped taking red yeast rice since it's a really a statin and has not had any impact on my small LDL. Also got my CRP back at it was at .7 having dropped from 1.3. I am taking Niacin and Policasnol and not worrying too much about it. I think we are all as a society too paranoid about cholesterol and not other inflammation elements.

Cbe1731034411e1ce373cdc62e7d4eef

(65)

on November 27, 2012
at 08:08 PM

I believe my bodyfat is around 17%

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on October 28, 2012
at 12:15 AM

I do high-fat LG, on average over 100g per day. I did a n=1 experiment, and saw no difference in body fat loss with 20g and 80g PWO fat consumption. Also, many LGers don't eat "extraordinarily" high protein, and it's not a requirement.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on October 28, 2012
at 12:13 AM

I'm 37, and I dropped 24kg with IF, paleo and LeanGains. You're most likely eating too much.

E565e11cf32b38ab1f45086c1e0205f7

(613)

on October 27, 2012
at 11:01 PM

I'm always curious about the break-in period for people using these more extreme versions of fasting. How did you begin this routine? Do you feel like it came to you naturally once you got into it?

C3bc92e6b5eba45dc55f43ac3c70cc25

on August 31, 2012
at 01:20 AM

What's your BF%? Martin proposes that LeanGains/IF should be uses by 15% & under crowd. So does Lyle in his stubborn fat book

8425f2fefc608f58a8cc0f2dcaa93341

(381)

on August 30, 2012
at 10:32 PM

I don't eat much, just two fried eggs with some salsa. It's about 200 calories. Lunch is about 800 calories and dinner is 1000.

235259a645be3cac56196e0489dbc8f4

on August 30, 2012
at 10:26 PM

no worries...I posted a bunch of infomration of my IF cut on my Transformation Story on Mark's Daily Apple if your interested. I have been doing LG/IF for the past year rarely eating a real breakfast. But I do watch and manage my calories and macros pretty closely full paleo.

Cbe1731034411e1ce373cdc62e7d4eef

(65)

on August 30, 2012
at 07:38 PM

Thanks Frank...congrats on the awesome bodyfat drop - very impressive.

Cbe1731034411e1ce373cdc62e7d4eef

(65)

on August 30, 2012
at 07:36 PM

Leannmean - what are you eating for breakfast these days? Do you take it easy for lunch and have a nice dinner?

Cbe1731034411e1ce373cdc62e7d4eef

(65)

on August 30, 2012
at 07:35 PM

This definitely sounds like my scenario. I am actually going to get my blood work (cholesterol and thyroid) tested next week. I'll stay on the IF thing and see how my bloodwork looks and compare it to when I was pounding eggs (cage free organic of course) every day for breakfast - which made my LDL jump quite a bit.

Cbe1731034411e1ce373cdc62e7d4eef

(65)

on August 30, 2012
at 07:32 PM

Great idea. Take it the other way before I abandon it altogether. Wonder if I can hold out that long. Thanks for the link.

Cbe1731034411e1ce373cdc62e7d4eef

(65)

on August 30, 2012
at 07:30 PM

Good point. Lets not call it Leangains then - lets call it collapsing my eating window by abandoning breakfast and sometimes lunch. I still eat the normal protein, veggie, etc for dinner. Any thoughts about adding breakfast - which probably means more calories - would get me back into increased fat burning?

B958be1f3a4a9743998ab2ea51d9c945

(205)

on August 30, 2012
at 07:01 PM

Perfect comment. It isn't for everyone. Some people thrive on it. I love IF, I enjoy the 8 hour window. Others.. not so much. Do I think it's worth it? Depends. Health, psychology, all these things come into play. Good job finding out what works for you

91119f53c3827f5c7fc90b98cab85b04

(799)

on August 30, 2012
at 06:38 PM

yea, you need to really watch the fat if you are interested in dropping bodyfat and changing body composition. Following an 18/6 or 16/8 fast/feed cycle, Leangains also involves lifting HEAVY 3x/week, adding carbs on workout days and keeping added fat at a minimum on non-workout days. - limit fat intake to fats naturally found in protein sources (eggs, red meat, bacon, fish) - limit the unnecessary addition of oils, butter, or eating unnaturally fatty compound meats like sausage - lift heavy, RPT-style workouts - cycle in some carbs from safe sources on workout days

153c4e4a22734ded15bf4eb35b448e85

(762)

on August 30, 2012
at 06:27 PM

Great answer! So many people think that they are doing leangains with just skipping breakfast etc. I've seen so many people try it staying lowcarb for example, then they wonder why it isn't working.

9e3bf43de29f66e5bb7be9c7d176b5e1

(539)

on August 30, 2012
at 05:44 PM

This is certainly an option, both with LG and other IF protocols. Most of the literature online that addresses this seems to argue that the befit of back-loading one's feeding is mostly for social/compliance issues and not necessarily hormonal/circadian benefits, although those might exist too. Bottom line, of you feel your success in following LG might benefit from moving your feeding window up and going to bed fasted, go for it.

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7 Answers

6
9e3bf43de29f66e5bb7be9c7d176b5e1

on August 30, 2012
at 05:31 PM

Leangains is not JUST about the feeding window/IF. It's also about counting calories, extraordinarily high protein intake, and very low dietary fat intake by most paleo standards. Then even LOWER fat (and higher carb) intake on workout days. Again, lots more to it than just the fasting aspect.

Chances are from what you've desribed, you're not doing lean gains. You're just skipping breakfast.

153c4e4a22734ded15bf4eb35b448e85

(762)

on August 30, 2012
at 06:27 PM

Great answer! So many people think that they are doing leangains with just skipping breakfast etc. I've seen so many people try it staying lowcarb for example, then they wonder why it isn't working.

Cbe1731034411e1ce373cdc62e7d4eef

(65)

on August 30, 2012
at 07:30 PM

Good point. Lets not call it Leangains then - lets call it collapsing my eating window by abandoning breakfast and sometimes lunch. I still eat the normal protein, veggie, etc for dinner. Any thoughts about adding breakfast - which probably means more calories - would get me back into increased fat burning?

91119f53c3827f5c7fc90b98cab85b04

(799)

on August 30, 2012
at 06:38 PM

yea, you need to really watch the fat if you are interested in dropping bodyfat and changing body composition. Following an 18/6 or 16/8 fast/feed cycle, Leangains also involves lifting HEAVY 3x/week, adding carbs on workout days and keeping added fat at a minimum on non-workout days. - limit fat intake to fats naturally found in protein sources (eggs, red meat, bacon, fish) - limit the unnecessary addition of oils, butter, or eating unnaturally fatty compound meats like sausage - lift heavy, RPT-style workouts - cycle in some carbs from safe sources on workout days

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on October 28, 2012
at 12:15 AM

I do high-fat LG, on average over 100g per day. I did a n=1 experiment, and saw no difference in body fat loss with 20g and 80g PWO fat consumption. Also, many LGers don't eat "extraordinarily" high protein, and it's not a requirement.

5
8425f2fefc608f58a8cc0f2dcaa93341

(381)

on August 30, 2012
at 06:14 PM

I'm a 32 year old male and pretty lean, but I just wanted to give my experience with Leangains. I did a long 16 week cycle of Leangains style IFing From March to June with an average 400 calorie deficit a day. I ended up going from about 12% BF to about 10%. It was hell though. I felt awful most of the time, and I was pretty much constantly pissed off with the world. It wasn't a great thing for my girlfriend!

It was too much for me, so for the past 4 weeks I've gone back to eating breakfast, with roughly the same caloric deficit a day and the same foods. I didn't think I would make much difference, but it has been completely different. I'm far happier and far less hungry. Even more surprising for me was that I've dropped down to 8-9% BF in just 4 weeks, all with the same amount of calories.

For me, the lesson was that Leangains and IFing probably isn't for me. I'm reaching my goals faster and feeling far, far better doing it without Ifing. For me I think it was all related to cortisol issues. Leangains and IFing isn't at all for everyone, even though it's all the rage right now.

Cbe1731034411e1ce373cdc62e7d4eef

(65)

on August 30, 2012
at 07:35 PM

This definitely sounds like my scenario. I am actually going to get my blood work (cholesterol and thyroid) tested next week. I'll stay on the IF thing and see how my bloodwork looks and compare it to when I was pounding eggs (cage free organic of course) every day for breakfast - which made my LDL jump quite a bit.

8425f2fefc608f58a8cc0f2dcaa93341

(381)

on August 30, 2012
at 10:32 PM

I don't eat much, just two fried eggs with some salsa. It's about 200 calories. Lunch is about 800 calories and dinner is 1000.

Cbe1731034411e1ce373cdc62e7d4eef

(65)

on August 30, 2012
at 07:36 PM

Leannmean - what are you eating for breakfast these days? Do you take it easy for lunch and have a nice dinner?

B958be1f3a4a9743998ab2ea51d9c945

(205)

on August 30, 2012
at 07:01 PM

Perfect comment. It isn't for everyone. Some people thrive on it. I love IF, I enjoy the 8 hour window. Others.. not so much. Do I think it's worth it? Depends. Health, psychology, all these things come into play. Good job finding out what works for you

4
6bce08b072e3cea49b292658b9d5d197

on August 30, 2012
at 05:30 PM

I am 38, 20% bodyfat down from 28%, and down 30 pounds in 4 months. I do Intermittent Fasting, but take more of a 22/2 model with a 24 hour fast thrown in once or twice per week.

You may be like me; once I eat, I like to eat. Even if it's healthy, Paleo stuff, I FEAST. Problem is, if I do a 16/8 IF protocol, I eat at noon then munch all day long, then eat another big meal for dinner.

By doing a 22/2 model, I come home from work, eat a little snack of almonds or a few berries to break the fast while we make dinner, then I ROCK it for dinner. Afterwards, I'm content, full, and satiated for another 22 hours.

I've been doing this since I "discovered" Paleo/IF on April 23 and have been very happy with the results.

My advice is to stretch out your fast. Play with 18/6, then 20/4, throw in a 24 hour fast and see how it works for two weeks.

To me, IF has been a Godsend to learn about.

http://www.jbprimal.com/blogs/news/6385958-the-magic-of-intermittent-fasting

Cbe1731034411e1ce373cdc62e7d4eef

(65)

on August 30, 2012
at 07:32 PM

Great idea. Take it the other way before I abandon it altogether. Wonder if I can hold out that long. Thanks for the link.

E565e11cf32b38ab1f45086c1e0205f7

(613)

on October 27, 2012
at 11:01 PM

I'm always curious about the break-in period for people using these more extreme versions of fasting. How did you begin this routine? Do you feel like it came to you naturally once you got into it?

1
235259a645be3cac56196e0489dbc8f4

on August 30, 2012
at 06:08 PM

I was about 30% bodyfat and got down to single digits with LG fasting protocol. There is no "magic" to skipping breakfast and training fasted. You still have to count calories and fit your food into the proper macros for the day. I have two massive meals each over 1,000 calories FULL PALEO. I am not hungry once I start eating. If your hungry in the AM when your skipping breakfast then have some tea or coffee or chew ice to get you over the temporary hunger pains. Once you do it for a bit your body adapts and you no longer get hungry in the AM. If I were to guess you probably are just over consuming calories. The point of LG IF is to only workout 3x a week with strength based training having a 10% calorie surplus these days. THe rest of the week is very low calories usually at -35% and no training...just recovery. So you do have to have your macros and calories in check. Its a moderate protein diet with higher carbs on training days and very low carbs and higher fat on recovery/rest days. Probably need to dial in your calories better.

Cbe1731034411e1ce373cdc62e7d4eef

(65)

on August 30, 2012
at 07:38 PM

Thanks Frank...congrats on the awesome bodyfat drop - very impressive.

235259a645be3cac56196e0489dbc8f4

on August 30, 2012
at 10:26 PM

no worries...I posted a bunch of infomration of my IF cut on my Transformation Story on Mark's Daily Apple if your interested. I have been doing LG/IF for the past year rarely eating a real breakfast. But I do watch and manage my calories and macros pretty closely full paleo.

0
336c383a3c4d28652d7ab888c79108a3

on August 08, 2013
at 10:42 PM

Briterian - have you had your cholesterol checked recently? Your last post on this

Here is my latest results OCT 12/FEB 13 Total Cholesterol: 297/203 HDL 61/55 Tri 72/80 LDL 222/132 LDL-P 2202/1597 HDL-P 34/33.8 Small LDL-P 526/639 LP-IR 15/30 (not sure why this has increased.)

Could be the sweet potatoes after days of lifting. Any concern?) T4 1.25/1.09 TSH 3.55/1.09 Triiodothyronine - Free Serum 3.1/3.3 Like some of it but not my small LDL-p ratio increasing. Will probably stop taking red rice yeast.

Your small LDL-P is very troubling. Have you had a recent NMR test?

Cbe1731034411e1ce373cdc62e7d4eef

(65)

on August 11, 2013
at 01:55 PM

My LDL-P is now at 1900 and my small LDL is 600. I've stopped taking red yeast rice since it's a really a statin and has not had any impact on my small LDL. Also got my CRP back at it was at .7 having dropped from 1.3. I am taking Niacin and Policasnol and not worrying too much about it. I think we are all as a society too paranoid about cholesterol and not other inflammation elements.

0
B5730e852a01115b8981adb32bb2235c

on October 27, 2012
at 10:43 PM

did you diet alot in the past? esp low-carb/ restrictive diets. i heard it might affect your body and you might wanna let it rest (while eating paleo) for a while before starting...

0
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on August 30, 2012
at 05:42 PM

Why cant u eat breakfast AND do a compressed feeding window? Eat at 8am then stop around 4 or 5

9e3bf43de29f66e5bb7be9c7d176b5e1

(539)

on August 30, 2012
at 05:44 PM

This is certainly an option, both with LG and other IF protocols. Most of the literature online that addresses this seems to argue that the befit of back-loading one's feeding is mostly for social/compliance issues and not necessarily hormonal/circadian benefits, although those might exist too. Bottom line, of you feel your success in following LG might benefit from moving your feeding window up and going to bed fasted, go for it.

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