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  • Questions for people who follow LeanGains

    I started getting interested in LeanGains to break through my fat loss plateau. The concept looks so formulaic that I'm worried that any deviation will result in failure, so I have a few questions.

    1. Meal 1 on rest days should be very high in protein. How important is this?
    2. LeanGains seems to be aimed at people looking to build muscle via lifting weights. I, on the other hand, am working on muscle endurance in preparation for the Navy. I do body weight exercises without ever increasing my resistance. Will this make a difference in my results, keeping in mind my goal is fat loss more than muscle improvement?
    3. I've read about leptin resistance and found suggestions on eating maintenance calories for some number of days in order to "reset" my metabolism (because my body is in starvation mode with a lower BMR than what it should have). Can a still see results if I forgo this metabolism reset, or will my plateau remain?
    4. I was thinking of combining the LeanGains with calorie cycling. Will this help, hinder, or make no difference on my results (as opposed to just LeanGains or just calorie cycling).
    5. How important is it that I stick to the recommended percentage of calories for each meal?
    6. And my most important question: LeanGains goes as far as breaking down the macronutrients and giving suggestions on how much of each to eat each day and even on which meals those macronutrients should be concentrated. If possible, I would prefer not to get this complicated. If I follow primal eating behavior sticking to the 50-100g carb per day, can I still expect results, even if I don't pay attention to when I ingest those carbs?

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    I have been adhering to LeanGains for about a month and a half now (despite loosely), but here's what I got:

    1. Important. Protein is very important in building muscle, especially right after the workout. Plus high protein should help with satiety. But it also depends when you're eating..for example I'll get >100g protein after I workout because I workout fasted. But if you have a small meal before you workout, then eating 100g of protein isn't recommended.

    2. If your goal is just weight loss, maybe LeanGains isn't for you. What's your current bf%? How long have you been eating Primal/Paleo? If you're new to Paleo, you might benefit more by just doing HIIT or something. But if you have <13% bodyfat this protocol can definitely help.

    3. How much do you weigh? My understanding is that the Leptin reset protocol is only for obese individuals (or once obese) that had all their hormones messed up. If you're more or less in shape and not overweight you don't need to worry about Leptin.

    4. LeanGains involves calorie cycling by definition. Standard body recomposition is -20% on rest days and +20% on workout days. This will help.

    5. They're more of guidelines. Obviously if you want superior results you'll follow his program to a science, but for most of us I can assume this would drive us crazy having to calculate every calorie at every meal. Personally, I don't worry about the exact numbers but try and use it as a ballpark number. But getting the necessary calories is important -- log some sample meals that you'd normally eat to see how much you should be eating on these days.

    6. If you aren't trying to build muscle, then eating a lot of carbs definitely isn't necessary. But that's kind of the whole point on LeanGains. Either way, don't fear carbs on workout days. I'd eat ~150 carbs on workout days if you don't want to go carb crazy, but LG recommends eating around like...400 grams. The rest days will cause you to lose BF% by eating Paleo style with less calories, so if you follow the LG program you won't gain fat.

    It sounds like you don't really want to do LeanGains beacuse you'd have to control so many factors. It might surprise you -- follow the program for a month and if you don't like it, then ditch it. But if you don't want to deal with the micromanaging at all, then LeanGains is not for you.
    Primal since September, 2011
    LeanGains IF
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    • #3
      I realize why protein is important on workout days, but the LeanGains site says specifically that the FIRST MEAL on a REST DAY should be very high in protein. I don't see why this matters.

      My body fat percentage is (I think) about 17%. I've been eating and exercising primally for about a month and half now. That body fat percentage may seem high and the amount of time of being primal may seem short. But I was dieting and successfully losing weight based on conventional wisdom for over a year before going primal. I had plateaued and I believe going primal wasn't enough to break that plateau. So I was exploring other options. As for HIIT, I already do it once a week.

      My weight is 164 lbs. Not obese at all. Unless I take my shirt off and show my beer belly, you wouldn't even know I'm overweight. However, based on what I read on leptins, it didn't seem to matter whether someone is obese or not.

      By -20/+20%, do you mean relative to BMR, or relative to calorie maintenance requirements after activity level is considered?

      I may not be trying to build muscle, but I would think that it would happen anyway do to the fact I am training. I'm just probably not training as hard as someone who really wants to build muscle. I train based on how long can a lift, not how much can I lift. Surely that doesn't require 400g of carb?

      I assume that on the days I eat more carbs, I should decrease fat intake. Is there any general rules of thumb I can use for carb days vs. fat days to avoid getting to deep with numbers. I once tried Fitday.com to help with numbers, but stopped using it when it became to tedious to make sure the food nutrition facts were correct (almost everything on Fitday is inaccurate, assuming the nutrition labels on my food is correct).

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      • #4
        Leangains will probably work for your goals. I would try to avoid the protocols where you workout fasted, though, if you're working towards muscular endurance. I, personally, find that working out fasted doesn't impact my strength, but it does hinder my endurance a bit.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ppham27 View Post
          I would try to avoid the protocols where you workout fasted
          I can easily follow this. LeanGains appears to cover fasted workouts only on a schedule that presumes a morning workout, which I have no interest in.

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          • #6
            The 20/20 applies to maintenance. Most people use this: IF Calculator to calculate your maintenance. This is also the awesomest FAQ on LeanGains -- it should answer your questions. If not repost and I'll be sure to answer you. LeanGains FAQ
            Primal since September, 2011
            LeanGains IF
            -----
            Conquer your own world and become the leader of your own life
            Inner Gladiator

            How To Never Get Sick (And Add 72,000 Hours To Your Life)

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            • #7
              OMG, where has that calculator been all this time! That is so much more superior to all other calculators I've found! Thank you!

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              • #8
                According to that calculator, I've been WAAY undereating carbs on workout days. If I did it right, it's recommending like 400-500g/day. That just seems like a lot. I probably do 300, 350 max.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by feren6 View Post
                  The 20/20 applies to maintenance. Most people use this: IF Calculator to calculate your maintenance. This is also the awesomest FAQ on LeanGains -- it should answer your questions. If not repost and I'll be sure to answer you. LeanGains FAQ
                  THAT IS fantastic that calculator!
                  Buzz71
                  Come visit my blog about life, my journey and seizing the day: www.thecarpediem.net
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by yodiewan View Post
                    According to that calculator, I've been WAAY undereating carbs on workout days. If I did it right, it's recommending like 400-500g/day. That just seems like a lot. I probably do 300, 350 max.
                    It's very difficult to hit those carb numbers without white rice. Even potatoes are hard to hit that (harder to measure anyways). Just eat like 6 cups of white rice on workout days with veggies for dinner.
                    Primal since September, 2011
                    LeanGains IF
                    -----
                    Conquer your own world and become the leader of your own life
                    Inner Gladiator

                    How To Never Get Sick (And Add 72,000 Hours To Your Life)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by feren6 View Post
                      It's very difficult to hit those carb numbers without white rice. Even potatoes are hard to hit that (harder to measure anyways). Just eat like 6 cups of white rice on workout days with veggies for dinner.
                      I've been eating SOME rice on workout days, but mostly potatoes. I've been getting decent results, but not gaining much strength. I might try upping my intake slightly with more rice to see if my lifts start going up again.

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                      • #12
                        For me I've been having some pretty darn good results and I'm only about 10 days into it. I've got increased strength, increased muscle size, and slowly but surely a decreasing belly fat...

                        For rest days I just eat primal (still hitting my macros) but for training days I eat bread and pasta and that shit. I know, not paloe, tsk tsk tsk, but it really has helped get my macros and has really show no negative results, in fact it's show quite positive results. I still stay away from sugar and deep fried but pasta and bread had to be brought in. I can't do just rice and potatoes all day long 3 days a week. Blechk!
                        March 1st 2010: 308lbs | CW: 219lbs / 18.5%BF | New Goal: 16% BF
                        Male. 28. 6'4''. Currently working on them muscles and strength!

                        "My chest hair caught fire when I was fighting a bear with a flamethrower, how do I get my hair back?” - Rivvin

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                        • #13
                          White rice is one of the only carbs I can eat gladly without adding fat (just some garlic salt). So I find it really useful. I cannot stomach brown rice..eekk that caused a lot of issues for me.
                          Primal since March 2011

                          Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs

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                          • #14
                            Disclaimer: I’ve never done Lean Gains and honestly don’t know much about it. That said, reading this thread just brings a bunch of questions to my mind.

                            How can you do Lean Gains and still be primal? I’m not saying any of you have to remain primal in your diet. Just wondering if it’s possible and if any of you are doing it. White rice isn’t primal. Neither is oatmeal (I mention oatmeal because it’s popular with those looking to build strength and/or muscle). If you remained primal, what in the world would you eat that could provide you with 300-500 grams of carbs? Five or six sweet potatoes? That doesn’t sound too appetizing. Would any of you say Lean Gains is “healthy”? I may try it some day, as it sounds very interesting and apparently some people experience phenomenal results, but if it weren’t healthy then it doesn’t interest me much.
                            “You may have thought you heard me say I wanted a lot of bacon and eggs, but what I said was: Give me all the bacon and eggs you have.” - Ron Swanson

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mr. Koozie View Post
                              Disclaimer: I’ve never done Lean Gains and honestly don’t know much about it. That said, reading this thread just brings a bunch of questions to my mind.

                              How can you do Lean Gains and still be primal? I’m not saying any of you have to remain primal in your diet. Just wondering if it’s possible and if any of you are doing it. White rice isn’t primal. Neither is oatmeal (I mention oatmeal because it’s popular with those looking to build strength and/or muscle). If you remained primal, what in the world would you eat that could provide you with 300-500 grams of carbs? Five or six sweet potatoes? That doesn’t sound too appetizing. Would any of you say Lean Gains is “healthy”? I may try it some day, as it sounds very interesting and apparently some people experience phenomenal results, but if it weren’t healthy then it doesn’t interest me much.
                              "healthy" can be a very subjective word. you CAN go lean gains while remaining 100% primal but i for once just can't eat that man sweet potatoes...
                              March 1st 2010: 308lbs | CW: 219lbs / 18.5%BF | New Goal: 16% BF
                              Male. 28. 6'4''. Currently working on them muscles and strength!

                              "My chest hair caught fire when I was fighting a bear with a flamethrower, how do I get my hair back?” - Rivvin

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