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Thread: Intermittent Fasting and High Intensity Workouts

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    13

    Intermittent Fasting and High Intensity Workouts

    Hi: I do high intensity Crossfit workouts about 5x week. I am trying to balance my food intake as 3 meals a day is just too much and leaves me full...so I tried the 16 hour leangains fast described in a recent post by Mark. For two days I stopped eating at 9PM and didnt eat till 1PM (16 hour fast, 8 hours to eat). I went to bed full, felt fine ewarly AM, but by 10AM I was RAVAGED...so hungry I had to stop this after 2 days. is my body just adjusting to this "fast" or as I suspect is my body just needing steady food to recover from my intense workouts? I feel lie if I can balance my food intake and onto overeat, I will get better proportions and feel better (I feel too stuffed eating 3x day). Or should I just try to "eat when hungry" (which is hard for me because I have business lunches daily, like my breakfast and hungry by dinner... thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    73
    How long have you been eating primal? How many carbs are you consuming? You body may not be adjusted well to burning fat yet and IF may be tough. 5x is a lot, with lean gains and primal I would do 3x a week at most and slightly overeat on workout days and under eat on recovery days.
    SW on 10/1/11: 380lbs.
    CW 12/13/12: 315lbs. (Was under 300#, added some muscle :-) )
    GW: 10% B.F. 250lbs. - 275lbs. (6' 4" tall)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Manchester, NH
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    2,142
    sounds like it could be a combination of adjusting to fasting and being overworked from crossfit. fasting isn't an easy thing to switch to over night. your body will expect food at certain times if you usually eat on a set schedule, release the hormone grehlin, and make you hungry. you could start getting used to fasting by eating a smaller breakfast a little later in the day, then eventually skipping it entirely.
    on the other side of things, is your body just wanting to refuel after intense workouts. my body will crave food after a couple days of either really high intensity or really long endurance...and those cravings will stick around for a while. i obey my hunger in those times. if you want to cut down on that hunger, cut down on your workouts. 5 days of intense exercise a week is a lot...maybe too much if it's wearing you down. rest and recovery are just as important as any exercise that you are doing. and, all that cortisol could impede fat loss.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Granite Falls, NC
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    well said primalrob! i was about to type up a reply then saw your post..very well put!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    York Pa.
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    Yeah 5 days a week is a lot! With that schedule you are always in a state of recovery. That is not what exercise is all about.

    It would be tough to IF with that schedule I'm thinking. I do one strength training session a week and that day into the next day I am very hungry making a long IF really tough. So I eat earlier on those days. The other days IF'ing is easy and I don't eat till much later in the day usually.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    365
    As someone who used to Crossfit, over a span of 3 yrs, 5 x p/wk is an insane amount. It's your choice, but just make sure you're making the right one with that.

    However, I used to do IF and X-fit, and I have to say I felt great on it, even when I worked out first thing and didn't eat till 12-1pm. I would never go 5 x p/wk though, but IF I could do every day. That said, low carb + Crossfit 5x p/wk + IF is to me going to be a disaster(low carb with crossfit will pretty much be a disaster anyway, ask Matt Lalonde). If you're doing something as intense as X-fit 5 times a week then ?I don't think IF'ing will benefit you at all, unless you do maybe one per week, maybe 2. At the very least you are giving your body way too much to deal with all in one go. Perhaps you will get used to it over time, but you'll have to be patient. Otherwise there seems very little benefit to what you're doing IMO.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    13
    Yeah...when I dont exercise for a day my hunger goes down as well. Ive just got that addicted personality so don't like to take "days off" of anything very often. Trying now to just eat when I am hungry but my 3 meals a day for 40 years routine is a tough one to break. Thinking that may be the best option. Skip breakfast or lunch unless starved...and if starved then eat.

    Thanks!

  8. #8
    Did you ever read the Leangains protocol?

    I CrossFit 5-6 times a week and follow Leangains and have had zero problems and good results. The training is not supposed to be done entirely fasted, you are supposed to take 10 g BCAA before the workout and eat your largest meal of the day right after the workout. If you don't eat right afterwards you are supposed to continue taking BCAA for the hours after the workout. The suggested schedule is on the Leangains blog.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheshire UK
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    228
    Quote Originally Posted by EggbertHeadleton View Post
    Did you ever read the Leangains protocol?

    I CrossFit 5-6 times a week and follow Leangains and have had zero problems and good results. The training is not supposed to be done entirely fasted, you are supposed to take 10 g BCAA before the workout and eat your largest meal of the day right after the workout. If you don't eat right afterwards you are supposed to continue taking BCAA for the hours after the workout. The suggested schedule is on the Leangains blog.
    I am not sure the Leangains protocol is meant to be done with Crossfit. It is usually for Strength Training.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    189
    I do the leangains method and crossfit 5 times a week. And also, I have been skipping breakfast and drinking 2 cups of raw milk for lunch or lighter lunch as I train in the evenings. On the weekends I can train while fasting as I train early then.

    Fasting works for me because I have been primal for a year now so I don't have any hunger pangs and I eats ton of fat. My news food is pork back fat. Delicious!

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