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Thread: Plateau - IF/Leangains page

  1. #1
    tidmutt's Avatar
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    Plateau - IF/Leangains

    Primal Fuel
    Hi All,

    I've posted here before, although infrequently and I've been Primal for 4 - 5 months. Last year I was following the Paleo diet for about 8 months although I wasn't incredibly serious about it, I only really started to focus this year when I picked up Primal. In total I've lost 47 lbs and body fat has dropped from roughly 34% to 27%. I'm currently about 224 lb, I honestly don't know what my goal weight will be, but my appropriate weight is meant to be around 162 lb (I'm 5'9 and 36 years old), but I figure I'll stop when I feel healthy. My question for everyone is where to go now? Technically I have another 60 lb to lose, but lets call it 50 lb as a nice round number. I'm not setting any speed records on my weight loss so far, which is fine, but I have felt like I needed something to kick start the next 50 lb effort. I'm not expecting 5 lb a week or anything crazy, although I do try to aim for averaging a 0.5-1 lb a week over the long term. Three weeks ago I decided I would introduce IF as a way to kick start things and who knows, maybe find a metabolic hack that will speed things along, again, if it resulted in a 0.5-1lb a week loss, I'd be perfectly happy, just want to move in the right direction, I'll get there eventually. I have been fascinated by compressed eating window approaches like Leangains and The Lean Saloon although initially Leangains was a bit daunting given it's seemingly hard core body builder audience. However, I decide to go ahead and follow his protocol and it turned out to be fairly simple with pretty much an 8 hour eating window with 20% additional calories on workout days and -20% on rest days. I would lift weights three days a week at around noon, followed by lunch as the first meal of the day. I did find it tough at times, especially if I was busy and ended up breaking the fast later in the day but I've stuck with it for three weeks. Sure, my birthday occurred during that time, 4th July etc. making some days tough, but overall I stuck to it, lifted heavy things, did some walking, and fasted for at least 16 hours every day for three weeks. End result, ZILCH. No weight loss, no apparently muscle gain, no changes in measurements, body fat % is unchanged.

    Perhaps three weeks isn't long enough, but I felt like I should see something in that time period otherwise, why am I doing this? After three weeks it's still a struggle and I suffer a lot of irritability and fatigue. I realize there is an adaptation phase but should I be listening to my body which seems to be telling me, "wtf?". Mark did post recently about skipping breakfast and mentioned that if you are struggling that you shouldn't kill yourself trying to adhere to the fast but listen to your body (I'm paraphrasing of course).

    Am I writing this approach off too soon? Should I stay the course and suddenly I might start seeing some fat losses? It's a bitter pill for me to swallow but it seems like this particular metabolic hack doesn't work for me. Should I go back to a standard eating pattern and maybe throw in the odd 16-24 hour IF from time to time? Losing 100 lb is pretty damn hard and I'm half way there so introducing some variation and a new approach like a compressed eating window seemed like a great way to reinvigorate my efforts.

    Thoughts? Have others lost large amounts of weight with approaches like this? What was your experience? Any suggestions on how I can shake things up a bit? Maybe introducing some sprinting (working up to it gradually of course)?

  2. #2
    DFH's Avatar
    DFH
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    IF got popular without the "fine print." It's better for people who are already fit and need to tune up. It's not for people who have significant weight to lose. Lose the weight first.

    I would read up on the leptin reset, and focus on that before doing the IF. If you have 50-60 lbs to work on that is going to be a hormone issue one way or the other. IF at this point may just make it worse, just like over training would.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DFH View Post
    IF got popular without the "fine print." It's better for people who are already fit and need to tune up. It's not for people who have significant weight to lose. Lose the weight first.
    Totally agree, also you haven't mentioned what you're eating during those 8 hours - if its very high fat and/or large quantities I'd look to that first - ie cut out nuts and dairy. Its well worth checking the calories and nutrition of a couple of average days to give you an idea of what you are actually eating as again "don't count calories" seems to have been mangled into "calories don't count" on these forums when of course calories do count they are simply not the be all and end all of CW.
    1st June 11 to 30st Aug 11 - 36lb removed in 13 weeks
    Messed about on and off for the rest of the year

    June 2012 - Had the practice - now time to do it for real

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    I think DFH has a point. Most of Martin Berkhan's (leangains blog author) success stories are of people who are just slightly overweight and/or undermuscled when they start his protocol. It might be best to try something else.

    However, if you do decide to stick with Leangains, my only advice is to do it a prescribed. I tried doing my own low-carb version with my extra calories in my post-workout meal coming mostly from fat. This did not work well at all. I recommend doing the plan as outlined and eating low-fat and high-carb post-workout.

    Also, good point from Solldara. Tracking your food for a day or two can be eye-opening. I know many people start Primal and go overboard on nuts and maybe even on fat and end up getting WAY more calories than they need. It wouldn't hurt to check.

  5. #5
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    If you're trying to loose quite a bit of weight then I wouldn't expect to be gaining much muscle. In order to lose you'll need a calorie deficit and that won't help with muscle gains. That said, when you are losing weight it's still a good idea to keep working out to avoid muscle loss. While I do think that IF could work for you I think that a weight loss diet and a muscle building diet are not the same thing. I would suggest either focusing on losing your weight of building muscle just not both at the same time. You're likely not to make progress in either direction that way.

  6. #6
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    I would just do two 24 hr fasts per week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daemonized View Post
    If you're trying to loose quite a bit of weight then I wouldn't expect to be gaining much muscle. In order to lose you'll need a calorie deficit and that won't help with muscle gains. That said, when you are losing weight it's still a good idea to keep working out to avoid muscle loss. ..


    PB for losing weight is also low carb. Low carb theory is not based on a caloric deficit. It's based on lowering insulin. This is the whole point of Taubes "Why We Get Fat" book.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sue View Post
    I would just do two 24 hr fasts per week.
    That is the last thing I would do!

    What’s the Deal with Intermittent Fasting (IF) vs Leptin Resistance?

  9. #9
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    LC lowers insulin - reduces cravings - allows access to fat stores - you usually end up eating less- ie calorie deficit.

  10. #10
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    Did I say calorie theory? I think not. Did I say anything about carbs? No, I didn't.

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