As I look around the forums, I see plenty of people trying to lose fat by inducing ketosis. Not that there is anything wrong with this, but for anyone who is interested there is a simple way to shed off body fat while eating ice cream and pasta three times a week. Too good to be true? It's all about the timing. Mind you, this approach is not for everyone. Folks like DiabetesCanKissMyButt are at an absolute sweet spot for not only fat loss, but overall wellness. This post is not to discuss how this approach affects overall health, but to stress its effectiveness for fat loss. Many of you have already heard of Martin Berkhan's Leangains. An intermittent fasting protocol that also takes advantage of carb timing to deliver the best results. This is the post he made for The IF Life. I'll put a few of my own comments in brackets like [this].
Sure-Fire Fat Loss
My name is Martin Berkhan and I work as a nutritional consultant, magazine writer and personal trainer. I also happen to be a proponent of intermittent fasting for health, fitness and fat loss. I have my own blog about fasting (http://www.leangains.com), but when Mike asked me if I’d like to make a guest post on his blog, I thought that’d be a great way to present my method in greater detail.
The Leangains protocol consists of two phases; 16 hours of fasting, followed by 8 hours of feeding. During this period, three meals are usually eaten. Depending on the day, the composition of those meals varies; on workout days, carbs are prioritized before fat, while on rest days fat intake is higher. Protein remains fairly high on all days. That’s a very basic and general description of the protocol I employ; of course, variables change depending on goals, gender, age, body fat and activity levels, but it would be hard to describe it in greater detail without drifting off too far[he has worked successfully with athletes and diabetics].
Most of my clients are fitness enthusiasts, athletes and weight trainers, but the great majority of them have one thing in common – to look good naked. The ‘gain’ in Leangains can therefore be a bit misleading, as most of my clients wants to lose fat, while retaining as much muscle as possible in the process. While their diets might vary [some are given a diet very close to PB] , it rests on some nutritional principles that I thought I’d present to the crowd reading this post. These principles will work for everyone, regardless of fitness level.
Here are a few guidelines that I consider success factors for performance, fat loss and excellent diet compliance.
• On workout days, break the fast with meat, veggies and a fruit. If you’re planning to train shortly after this meal, add a few carbs in the form of a starch source – potatoes or whole grain bread, for example. Make it a medium sized meal and don’t stuff yourself. Train within 3 hrs of having eaten this meal [but I myself have gone longer with no adverse effects] and have a much larger meal after your workout [50-80% of total calories for that day, a bomb of 1200-1500 cal]; in this meal, add more complex carbs [upwards to 250 grams]– and you may even have one of your favourite treats as dessert, if it’s not too high in fat and if eaten in moderation. Good examples of what I refer to as ‘treats’: low fat ice cream, sorbet or JC’s cheesecake. Bad example: Chinese buffet or your son’s birthday cake. You get the point, keep it within moderation and don’t pig out.
[Average macro composition: C:50% P:35% F:15% , Diabetics or one client with Crohn's disease would have some closer to C:25P:35 F:40, with a big fruit platter post-wokout]
• On rest days, eat less calories[25% less, training day calories are about 13-15 x bodyweight] than on workout days - do this by cutting down on carb intake, and make meat, fibrous veggies and fruit the foundation of your diet for this day. The first meal of the day should be the largest, in contrast to workout days where the post-workout meal is the largest. Largest doesn’t necessarily mean largest in terms of volume; I suggest getting at least 40% of your calorie intake in this meal, and the dominant macronutrient should be protein [1.5x bodyweight]. I’ll have some clients eating upwards to 100 g protein in this meal, so don’t be afraid to pile on the meat (or whichever protein source you prefer). Fattier meat and fish like ground beef and salmon are examples of some excellent protein sources that may be consumed on rest days.
[Macros: C:20 P:50 F:30, you can manipulate fat and carbs as you please]
• In the last meal of the day, include a slow digesting protein source; preferably egg protein, cottage cheese (or any other source of casein based protein). Meat or fish is also ok if you add veggies or supplement with fiber. This meal will keep you full during the fast and exert an anti-catabolic effect on muscle protein stores by ensuring that your body has an ample supply of amino acids until the next meal.
• Whole and unprocessed foods should always take priority over processed or liquid foods, unless circumstance demands a compromise. For example, you might find yourself in situations when there is little time to eat or prepare foods – in such a situation, having a protein shake or meal replacement bar is ok, where as solid, more satiating foods should be consumed whenever there is ample time to cook.
These are a few of the principles I’ve employed with great success; there’s a bit more to it, but this should get you started in the right direction.
So there you have it: an effective and satiating plan with plenty of carbs. Now remember this is mostly a fat loss protocol, and I do not believe that it has the overreaching power of the PB. If I have taken anything away from this diet is a more lax attitude towards carbs. I keep it low on most days, but if there is some pasta or tortillas lying around I help myself to a serving after a heavy workout.