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The IF/Leangains Mutual Support Thread


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This is where we will help and encourage eachother with IF and Leangains.

We will get all shredded up like shredded wheat (I'm looking at you Loren Wade and Catspaw) and possibly take over a small sovereign state somewhere.

EDIT: In order to make this thread as awesome as possible, I'm going to update this top post from time to time with helpful links that get posted in the thread and whatnot - sort of a one stop IF shop here on NF.

(last update 2012-06-13)

Key Sites & Resources

http://rippedbody.jp/

http://www.leangains.com

IF Macro calculator (this!)

Catspaw's Leangains Primer

Catspaw's Easy Macros Cheat Sheet

Useful Articles

Leangains guide

Why is leangains so effective?

How fasting aids weight loss(6 part series)

Calorie Partitioning Part 1/Part 2

Intermittent fasting and muscle gain

Intermittent fasting is a good idea

IF and Fat Burning

Dr. John Berardi's IF Manual(Insanely thorough)

Some other benefits of fasting

Martin Berkhan Interview by Leigh Peele

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Thanks for making this thread! Major problem for me: I'm having a REALLY hard time eating a day's worth of food in 8 hours. I eat lunch at noon (300-500 kcal), am not hungry again until at least 5, and if I eat right after work I'm not hungry again until morning. My meals max out around 500 kcal and I can only get 2 in me (within 8 hours) before I feel sick. Ideas?

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Thanks for making this thread! Major problem for me: I'm having a REALLY hard time eating a day's worth of food in 8 hours. I eat lunch at noon (300-500 kcal), am not hungry again until at least 5, and if I eat right after work I'm not hungry again until morning. My meals max out around 500 kcal and I can only get 2 in me (within 8 hours) before I feel sick. Ideas?

I'm new to the protocol, but I'm working with a leangains coach (so I have quality help). I'm finding the same thing, especially on workout days. I eat my first meal at 2pm, I'm still full for the second one (roughly equal size) at 5-5:30pm, the workout is questionable (i.e. I feel like there's food in me and I fear I might chunk), and then there's the post workout feast which is just absurd - it took me almost an hour to put it down last night. That said, you can mess with the macros. As long as you hit your numbers, it doesn't matter what you eat (within reason).

I suggest hitting up calorieking.com and looking up a few foods that you really like that are calorically dense (for me this was cheerios w. skim milk, and ritter sport chocolate bars). I've managed to work these into to the meals that I've planned for the rest of the week, and they will make the carb portion much more manageable. For protein, I've found a good casein-based shake that packs 60g of protein into a serving, which effectively reduces the daily meat intake by 300g (and into manageable territory, IMO). I figure that if I start getting hungry during the fast, I can always reduce the "treats" to increase the overall food volume again.

I'm on a cut, so rest day there's not a tonne of food (I'm glad for all of it).

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Thanks for making this thread! Major problem for me: I'm having a REALLY hard time eating a day's worth of food in 8 hours. I eat lunch at noon (300-500 kcal), am not hungry again until at least 5, and if I eat right after work I'm not hungry again until morning. My meals max out around 500 kcal and I can only get 2 in me (within 8 hours) before I feel sick. Ideas?

It may not be kosher for IF/LeanGains, but have you thought about constantly snacking on high-calorie stuff? Have your meal, yes, but then eat an almond every time you think you can. Or some already-cooked bacon. Or, heck, a candy bar. Also make sure your meals are nutritionally dense. Maybe consider drinking lots of water during your fasting hours, and less during your eating hours (leave more room in your stomach for solid foods)?

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I'm not doing leangains, though 1800 or so of my daily calories come in the 2 hour window between 10 pm and 12 am. Whole milk is my friend, 2 pints of whole milk plus protein powder can tack on 850 calories, and it isn't as filling as food would be, I can down both of them in addition to dinner.

I also keep a couple super high calorie snacks handy for times when I really need to add a lot of calories; jar of peanuts and a good amount of chocolate (a really big chocolate rabbit at the moment) are what I have right now, even when full I could eat a couple hundred calories with either of these items.

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It may not be kosher for IF/LeanGains, but have you thought about constantly snacking on high-calorie stuff? Have your meal, yes, but then eat an almond every time you think you can. Or some already-cooked bacon. Or, heck, a candy bar. Also make sure your meals are nutritionally dense. Maybe consider drinking lots of water during your fasting hours, and less during your eating hours (leave more room in your stomach for solid foods)?

I can't speak for Phil - but I know for sure that my protocol wouldn't allow many almonds/bacon. I'd bust the limit on fats FAST.

I really like your suggestion about moderating liquid intake - I'm going to look into this further.

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Thanks for making this thread! Major problem for me: I'm having a REALLY hard time eating a day's worth of food in 8 hours. I eat lunch at noon (300-500 kcal), am not hungry again until at least 5, and if I eat right after work I'm not hungry again until morning. My meals max out around 500 kcal and I can only get 2 in me (within 8 hours) before I feel sick. Ideas?

I'm having a similar problem. Yesterday I looked at my calorie consumption and realized I only hit 1600 calories on a workout day.

No bueno!

Also, thanks for starting this scotticus. I hope to have as much success as catspaw has. :)

@Scotticus, if you're on a cut, what's your protein goal for the day? Just curious. I'm lucky if I hit my 200 mark right now. You're lucky you're working with a coach on this, too.

Oh, and you guys can check my foods in my "food log" in the signature to see what I'm eating if you'd like. Started again on Monday.

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Is there a limit on fats? My macros kind of naturally clock in at 20/30/50 cho/prot/fat. I could add bacon and almonds, though they don't really give enough protein for their fat values. I try and supplement as little as possible, I'm going for more of a clean cut, so protein powder is only for emergencies. Whole milk makes me kind of poopy last I checked, so that's out too =(

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Is there a limit on fats? My macros kind of naturally clock in at 20/30/50 cho/prot/fat. I could add bacon and almonds, though they don't really give enough protein for their fat values. I try and supplement as little as possible, I'm going for more of a clean cut, so protein powder is only for emergencies. Whole milk makes me kind of poopy last I checked, so that's out too =(

If you're doing Lean Gains, there's a fat limit on the workout day that's extremely important. I wonder if I can find that IF calculator catspaw shared...

Also, I'm also being super clean. So far I've only used some barbecue sauce for dry chicken, otherwise... everything has been real food.

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Where did you find this? I've been reading some of the articles but I'm slightly limited on my phone. What is the limit and why is it important?

Macronutient timing is a big part of the leangains approach. You have a giant carb refeed right after your workout session. If everything goes well, most of the carbs in that meal get shuttled into the muscle as glycogen and used for repair/growth. This allows you to continue burning bodyfat for fuel, despite caloric excess. If you add too much fat it messes things up, because your body will use the fat you've just eaten for fuel instead of the fat that you want to target. I'm not sure if I'm getting this 100% right, but I'm pretty sure that's the gist. In any case, your macro targets are based on your specific body composition and goals.

@Scotticus, if you're on a cut, what's your protein goal for the day? Just curious. I'm lucky if I hit my 200 mark right now. You're lucky you're working with a coach on this, too.

My macros look like this:

Training - P170 C340 F30 (2310kCal)

Rest - P200 C25 F60 (1440kCal)

It's awesome working with someone. There's no second guessing - I just trust and do what I'm told. So far so good. There's a huge difference between training and rest right now, but I have to follow the initial setup for a month to see how my metabolism reacts and we'll fine tune from there.

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Curious as i've looked into this IF stuff. I've seen people bulk up in muscle mass and lose fat doing it (the idea here obviously). so I was wondering which is the better way to go. cram a bunch of food into a few hour time window or don't eat for 24 hours post workout. or don't eat for 24 hours with a workout at the end. do that a couple times a week? so many ideas.

what works for you?

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Macronutient timing is a big part of the leangains approach. You have a giant carb refeed right after your workout session. If everything goes well, most of the carbs in that meal get shuttled into the muscle as glycogen and used for repair/growth. This allows you to continue burning bodyfat for fuel, despite caloric excess. If you add too much fat it messes things up, because your body will use the fat you've just eaten for fuel instead of the fat that you want to target. I'm not sure if I'm getting this 100% right, but I'm pretty sure that's the gist. In any case, your macro targets are based on your specific body composition and goals.

Not just that, but because of the increased rate in glycogen synthesis, carbs tend to get digested and cleared from the track incredibly fast. Consuming a lot of carbs right after the fast should NOT fill you up for several hours. The fat has a lower absorbtion priority.

For getting those carbs, well, following paleo is difficult for this, but taters and rice should do it, unless you get bloatey from the rice. Skim milk would do wonders as well.

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Curious as i've looked into this IF stuff. I've seen people bulk up in muscle mass and lose fat doing it (the idea here obviously). so I was wondering which is the better way to go. cram a bunch of food into a few hour time window or don't eat for 24 hours post workout. or don't eat for 24 hours with a workout at the end. do that a couple times a week? so many ideas.

what works for you?

Well, it's not at easy. As you can see, scotticus has a training day and a rest day goal for calories, carbs, fat, and protein.

Training - P170 C340 F30 (2310kCal)

Rest - P200 C25 F60 (1440kCal)

You have to figure out what this is for you. It's not just eating in a window. ;)

Not just that, but because of the increased rate in glycogen synthesis, carbs tend to get digested and cleared from the track incredibly fast. Consuming a lot of carbs right after the fast should NOT fill you up for several hours. The fat has a lower absorbtion priority.

For getting those carbs, well, following paleo is difficult for this, but taters and rice should do it, unless you get bloatey from the rice. Skim milk would do wonders as well.

A couple pounds of sweet potatoes do it for me. It's not as hard as I thought.

Hey, I dunno if this is what you guys are looking for, but here's a calculator I was able to find. I'll go ahead and experiment with it on myself and let you know if I get any results back.

That's the one! Even when I used this, I didn't completely "get it". Took me a bit to figure out what my macros were.

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I mean more that eating tons of taters, sweet or not, day in day out might get boring after a while is all :P

Edit to say holy crap that is an EXCELLENT calculator. It's more of a zig-zag calculator than anything else. You can optimize further though, by controlling your work-out schedule differently, ala CKD style.

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Awesome! Glad I was able to help.

And in other news, I have no idea how to use the thing. Further, I have to admit to myself that I have no idea what this looks like in combination with a Primal lifestyle. Pretty much to this point, I've just been eating Primal Style in that eight hour window, and added a piece of fruit for training days. Anybody got any insights into how this works?

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Yeah, it takes a bit of work up-front, but once you've got it figured out it's pretty easy. I'm getting things pretty well setup, in that I only have to cook every other day and I've got a rotation of interchangeable ingredients to keep my from getting bored. I figure that if things start to get stale, I can just spend a few minutes doing some calculations for the new stuff I want to add in. For now though, I get to look forward to the carbs I get to eat on training day (LOTS) and the steak I get to eat on rest days. Sa-weet!

A couple of other things to consider when getting started:

- when calculating yourmacros there is a very high likelihood that you will overestimate your lean mass and underestimate how much fat you carry (you will have to adjust for this depending on how things go)

- chances are you will lose a lot of water during the adjustment period because your net carb intake is lower, so don't get too excited about the initial weight loss

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Awesome! Glad I was able to help.

And in other news, I have no idea how to use the thing. Further, I have to admit to myself that I have no idea what this looks like in combination with a Primal lifestyle. Pretty much to this point, I've just been eating Primal Style in that eight hour window, and added a piece of fruit for training days. Anybody got any insights into how this works?

The basics are here.

Beyond that, you just need to figure out how much lean mass you have. The calculator can help you figure out your macros.

Then the rules are fairly straight forward: on workout days fat is low, carbs are high, and the majority of the carbs and calories are consumed after you exercise; on rest days fat is a bit higher, carbs are very low. Protein is always high. No calories during the fast.

The zig-zagging that AJ is talking about comes into play when you cycle calories. While you could technically have any ratio of calories rest day to workout day, it seems pretty common to alter them. For instance my protocol is setup so that I have a significant calorie deficit on rest days but a slight surplus on workout days. This should, in theory, maximize fat loss overall while still allowing some muscle growth.

Hope that helps!

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Holy crap - according to that calculator...I need to eat a lot more.

Yeah, that's what I found out, too. I was not eating enough, but what I was eating was too much of the wrong things. I don't foresee myself ever being hungry on this "diet" - quite the opposite in fact.

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I have a question: I alternate days of strength training and playing footbag (cardio). Up until now I have been running a deficit on the cardio days. Using that calculator should I use the Cardio days as rest days or should I only use the one true rest day I take a week as the rest day?

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