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  • Lean Gains

    Basically seems like Intermittent Fasting could be its own section of the forum.
    My questions are more specific.
    Have tooled around on the leangains site, and I THINK I understand the "protocols".
    Wish there were just a simple chart out there somewhere that says what's what.

    Do I have this right?

    work out days:

    lunch: 25% calories,
    end of work/pre-workout: 25% calories
    post workout: 50% calories

    non work out days:

    biggest meal first meal (same timing, I think? this one's harder for me to follow)

    Now for the macronutrients

    where do they go??

    I know it's more carbs for workout days, but how much? I vaguelly think I saw 100 grams or so suggested. Anyone clearer on that?

    rest days-- higher fat days, sure. but anything more precise?

    refeeds--- really think I saw that guy mention refeeds somewhere. Which doesn't make as much sense to me if you're doing some carbs on workout days. Any ideas?

    I hate to say it, but I feel like the information is kind of scattered on the site. Maybe I'm just clicking on the wrong places. Wouldn't be the first time!

  • #2
    You should PM ChocoTaco, he would know.


    • #3
      You know, lean gains isn't just another name for intermittent fasting. There's a whole other website dedicated to it: Intermittent fasting diet for fat loss, muscle gain and health. I'm not trying to run you off from MDA, but there are other resources out there.


      • #4
        Lean Gains is notorious for not having any easily found clear guidelines not to mention the propensity of the site to freeze the computers solid so obtaining info on LG is a monumental excersise in frustration. If someone has a clear-cut quick answer, please, POST! I would LOVE to get it from the LG site, but it's pretty much impossible

        I am all ears myself, because in the end, I just add an extra meal of sweet potato with a can of tuna or egg white post-workout & keeping fingers crossed that it is what is needed. I normally have coffee, then a cup of broth (<50 cals), then lunch (<500 cals) and finally a large dinner. I stopped tracking my calories and macros, just concentrating on eating lots of vegetables and proteins, with keeping fruit and nuts as low as I can (which is unfortunately not very low), and hope for the best. Somewhere on the LG site it did say that meal distribution was not exactly the most important thing. The fasting window was the biggest concern iirc.
        Last edited by Leida; 09-08-2011, 05:16 AM.
        My Journal:
        When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.


        • #5
          Yes, you have the percentage of calories for the two-workout meals correct. Just make the first two meals pretty small and your last meal really big and you're good.

          For rest days, Martin does recommend the first meal to be the largest. He also recommends keeping your fasting time the same every day. I don't worry about that too much personally. I just try to make sure that overall calories and carbs are lower on rest days.

          I'm pretty sure I've seen Martin give more specific guidance on calorie and carb cycling, but I can't find it. I think it might be buried in the comments on one of his posts somewhere. It really depends on your goals, but I'd say as a rough estimate maybe 15% over on workout days and 15% under on rest if you're just going for recomposition. If you want to focus more on losing fat, make the excess calories lower on workout days. If you want to focus more on building muscle, bump them up.

          Personally, I almost never track calories. I just try to stuff my face with carbs post-workout and make sure I get about a pound of lean meat at least. Beef heart and low-fat white fish have been staples lately.

          I think the carb intake recommendation might have been as a total percentage of calories. I hesitate to give any numbers since I don't really remember. Just keep the fat pretty much as low as you can and the protein pretty high and eat a large amount of starch and you should be good.

          I see every post-workout meal as a refeed. I don't do any additional carb-refeeds.

          If I find where Martin gives more specific guidance, I'll edit this post to update it.


          • #6
            Martin is big on numbers and micromanaging. I'm not with that.

            You can simplify his methods; 10g of BCAAs 10 minutes before a workout, 10g after, and then eat a lot of protein and some carbs, like a potato or something. On rest days just eat primal and you should be good.

            This is how I see it in my brain. How off am I? Probably not very much.

            And you don't have to hate to say anything. Lean Gains, while a rich and well researched resource, lacks on presentation and brevity. The articles are winded and could be more focused and practical. He's a decent writer, but not focused enough to be called a good writer.
            Last edited by dado; 09-08-2011, 05:43 AM.


            • #7
              @dado: I follow pretty much the same approach as you do, not counting and measuring and just eating Primal on rest days. But I don't take BCAA post-workout unless it's going to be 2 hours before I can eat. Is that the case with you?

              Also, I agree that the blog-posts on Leangains can be long-winded (especially when Martin delves into stuides).

              @lawbat: He said in the comments on the "Leangains Guide" post that he avoids giving "cookie cutter" recommendations for carb and calorie intake since they can vary quite a bit depending on one's goals. Use your knowledge to create a good plan for yourself. Evaluate and tweak it if necessary. Repeat.
              Last edited by yodiewan; 09-08-2011, 06:09 AM.


              • #8
                Yea, I understand that the BCAAs are most useful before the workout and not so much after, unless you will wait a while to eat. So we're on the same page.


                • #9
                  Yep, lots and lots of details to get lost in. For me, I fast 16 hours most days and keep as many cals as possible post workout...

                  @yodiewan - Beef heart ftw!

                  Know your limits. Then shatter them.


                  • #10
                    My impression is that he is saving explicit direction for an e-book. I think he just doesn't want to give it all away.

                    I do a carb refeed 2 or 3 times a week, contained to just one meal (so, 2 or 3 refeed meals a week) -- as the post workout meal -- which occurs within an hour or two, if not immediately, after the workout. Almost all my carb comes then. The rest of the day I keep low fat (and not high carb) but high protein. Non refeed days are simply LC or VLC primal.


                    • #11
                      Agree, his site sometimes reads as a slow, deliberate roll out for his upcoming book (not that I fault him for it at all; just leaves us all a little confused at the moment!).

                      I've been on "LG" for 3 1/2 weeks now (in reality, it's been the LG fasting window combined with a mostly primal diet) but only in the past week or so am I trying to figure the nutrition part out a little more, especially with macros. I've read through some of ChocoTaco's threads to fill in some of the gaps, but still left with a few questions.

                      Do you all eat 20% above maintenance on workout days and 20% under on rest days as a rule? I'm actually finding it tough to even eat at maintenance with the fasting schedule and have recently just been varying my macros instead (and opting to stay 20% under). Because I'm coming in low there, I still go with a weekly cheat day to shake things up a little.
                      p90x2 Leangains Journal - Phase II (January - April 2012)

                      Leangains & Starting Strength Journal - Phase I (August - Dec 2011)


                      • #12
                        20% above maintenance has never happened for me. I don't know how without getting more carbs or more fat than I desire/believe I need. And I am already totally beyond maxed out of protein. I would love to know the trick.


                        • #13
                          I eat 20% above on workout days, near maintenance on off days. Trying to gain weight. It's a really long, slow process. I got down to about 8% BF, but wanted more muscle.

                          Macros are tough. You really need to count calories to make leangains work. Otherwise, it's just fasting with carb cycling.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Orchid View Post
                            20% above maintenance has never happened for me. I don't know how without getting more carbs or more fat than I desire/believe I need. And I am already totally beyond maxed out of protein. I would love to know the trick.
                            Cheesecake, of course.
                            Don't be a paleotard...






                            • #15
                              Really appreciate all the posts. Kind of also relieved I'm not the only one with trouble with finding info.
                              Every now and then I feel really frustrated culling the actual recommendations from stuff.
                              I know it all gets reduced to "dont eat crap". But I find the nuances both interesting and helpful.

                              Watched some of the ancestral health symposium thing. Was it Lalonde that went on for a bit about the value of clear, scientifically valid, communication in the paleo community?