IF'ing - different approaches, better results?
I've been doing an 8 hour eating window by the Lean Gains approach for probably close to a month. I started just before the 30 day challenge.
In that time I have also cut out all cheat meals as my part of the challenge. I've also been cylcing my macro's according to my activity level in a day - "rest days" that do not include lifting or sprinting have protein, more fat, less carb (50-70g), less calorie (now averageing about 1950 a day) while workout days are protein, slightly lower fat, higher carb (about 100g), higher calorie (closer to 2100 - not much of a difference, but something).
My goal through this was really to look leaner - my weight isn't really an issue to me. However, I have not seen much a difference in that time. I've been using fitday for the past two weeks (how I got my averages) and always "WAM" usuing zone blocks for the ease of estimation. However, I would much rather not do either of those things and simply eat until I'm not hungry - the problem is that I have to pack food for work every day and I don't want to not take enough or too much (it's hard to carry it all) so zone blocking works for that reason.
So, I'm wondering if there are other approaches you all have tried that have yielded you better results than the 8 hour eating window? I've been thinking of trying the early/late approach and basically just split my food intake down the middle - it would save me having to pack food. Are there other approaches to IF'ing that any of you have tried that have worked better?
I'm wondering if my lack of results (or at least not as drastic of results as I expected) is because I'm already close to ideal weight so it's taking longer or if I'm still not creating enough of a calorie deficit for IF'ing to be effective.
Strength and Honor
When I first tried 16/8 IF, I tried just higher calories (mostly from heavy cream) on workout days instead of higher carbs also. This did not work for me (too much fat gain, not enough lean). The past month or two, I've added sweet potatoes/winter squash to my workout days and cut down the fat and have seen much better results.
I bring a can of sardines, a small serving of sweet potato/squash, and sometimes some fruit to eat pre-workout. Sometimes I workout completely fasted, just depends if I'm hungry enough to eat. I may start bringing jerky and dried sweet potato/squash leather since they wouldn't require refrigeration and could be eaten in the office. I don't subject my coworkers to sardine aroma, haha.
The two IF styles I've tried are "The Warrior Diet" and "Eat Stop Eat". In short, the WD recommends waking up and having fresh vegetables, water, stimulants (i.e. coffee/tea without milk/sugar) and some fruit (primarily berries). Small snacks on the above items should hold you until dinner when you go salad (to boost digestive enzymes), protein and the rest of your dinner. Carbs (starch/grain, etc.) are eaten last based on need/desire which is intended to make carbs the variable when you need more calories. The eating window is 4 hours for the main meal and then 20 hours on the undereating side. This program did very well for me from a leanness perspective but I never felt healthy on it.
ESE was just fasting from dinner to dinner one or two nights a week. Eat dinner and check the time you finish (say you finish at 7:00 pm), then water fast until 7:00 tomorrow before you begin your dinner. This was very easy for me, the testimonials were solid, but it did absolutely NOTHING for me in terms of leanness/definition/etc.
+1 FOR THIS working. i gain a lot more fat(which i am trying to do for hormonal reasons) eating a higher fat ratio with IF. even keeping calories the same, when i add winter squash, sweet taters(ie more carbs) with IF, i gain more muscle and lose more fat which is not what i am trying to do at the moment.
Originally Posted by yodiewan
I'm a big fan of the lean gains approach with the occasional 24 hour thrown into the mix. I would suggest adding 24 hour fasts a couple times a week and not trying to overcompensate when you do break your fast. Oh and I carb cycle as well for the record.
I eat breakfast and dinner, and try to put at least 12 hours between the last time I eat and the first time I eat the next day.