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Combining IF (leangains) with calorie cycling

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  • Combining IF (leangains) with calorie cycling

    So I have been looking into the above topic in order to slim down during my off season (winter). On "normal" days I often end up skipping breakfast since I am not the hungry in the morning (and would rather sleep 15 minutes longer ). Since I do triathlons which is in no way primal, normal to me is a day where I only train once for less than one hour.

    I was considering trying to more consistently incorporate a sort of leangains routine with 16 hour fast and 8 hour feeding windows on the weekdays where I fx run or take a spin class in the evening, and then in the weekend where I will probably do a longer run/bike (or if I have a two workouts a day) I will incorporate breakfast to get more calories and carbs, and thereby naturally doing some sort of a calorie cycling.

    I am not doing very low carb, eat between 75-150g depending on my workload but this amount seem to work for me in terms of energy for my workouts.

    I am hoping to lean out (something like 5-10lb) before the season starts, since the increased work load makes it a lot easier to eat in order to maintain fitness and restitute properly than to decrease energy intake in order to lean out.

    So I wanted to get the inputs of the pro "IF"ers and "Calorie Cycler"s on this way of doing things...

    Hope you can help me a bit

  • #2
    Actually leangains incorporates calorie and carb cycling: eating more calories and carbs on workout days and less on non-workout days.
    Ye shall know them by their fruits.


    • #3
      Hi Laconophile, thanks for the answer. The thing is that I am not looking at it from an weight training perspective. I would like to lean out while maintaining my muscle mass and fitness. I workout for app 1 hour on most days so I really do not have any low carb days. I am definitely getting a calorie deficit using the 16/8 principle and by eating a normal lunch (high protein/high fat/low carb), a small snack 1-2 hours before my workout (sweet potato or a banana and some protein) and then a big meal after my workout I was hoping my restitution would not suffer (maybe even increase).

      But I wanted to incorporate some higher calorie days which could easily be accomplished by fx eating breakfast in the weekends. Also on the days where I have two workouts in the day I am pretty sure I would need to eat straight after the morning workout to get the muscles ready for the evening workout. I just don't know if this would lessen the benefits of the IF protocol?


      • #4
        You wouldn't get the IF benefits the day you ate breakfast, but I don't see how that would kill the benefits the other days you still IF. Even if you IF only once a week, you get the benefit, albeit, only once a week. I dunno if adding breakfast is likely to help you lean out though - I am not sure I understand the logic - if you are dying for breakfast and need to eat, go for it, but I can't see it helping to take off the last 10 lbs. You could maybe try refeeds every now and then, or crank up your IF by extending the length of the fast sometimes. The last 10 lbs is hard.

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        He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliot

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        • #5
          I was actually thinking that the breakfast would work in a way as a refeed but I might have gotten that wrong? My reasoning is that by starting my feeding window at 12 I am finding it difficult to eat as much as I possibly should, which is great for leaning out and by eating a large meal after my workouts I am doing pretty good with restitution (so far). If I should do IF and refeed I would have to get the extra calories from nuts, dried fruit and normal fruit. But I have the feeling that more protein and fat (and then carbs in the disguise of sweet potatoes) would be more beneficial? But I simply can't eat that much during such a short time... Does that make sense?


          • #6
            That makes sense, you shouldn't have to gorge yourself to get your calories in. It's fine if you don't IF on your higher calorie days, or you could shorten the fast. I think martin recommends 14 hour fasts for women anyway. You could try 16 hour fasts on low-cal days and 12 hour fasts on higher days, or something like that.

            The only downside to intermittent IFing (heh) I can think of is that you'll tend to get hungrier on the days you fast. Say you eat a meal at 10am 3 days a week, the other 4 days you fast until 1pm. On the days that you fast you might get hungry around 10am.
            Last edited by Laconophile; 09-03-2011, 05:51 PM.
            Ye shall know them by their fruits.