Are you following leangains correctly and going high carb/low fat on training days? You really should be going nuts on potatoes after training...the way calories are allocated to enhanced protein synthesis following heavy lifting should ensure that you won't gain much, if any fat.
Training days are like mini refeeds.
The only thing I've modified on LeanGains is the -20/+20% calorie cycling. Instead, I've been eating about -25/+10% and I've been recalculating every time I lose 5lbs, so that I maintain a weight loss of about 1/2 lb per week. Everything else is spot on with LeanGains. At those percentages, I'm eating about 2000 calories on rest days and 2900 on workout days. Protein on rest days is about 200g, about 280g on workout days. Fat is about 115g on rest days, about 40g on workout days. Carbs is about 25g on rest days, about 350g on workout days.
I have tried potatoes and I've decided not have them. I tried substituting with rice, but even that's unpleasant. I think its the complex carbs...they always bloat me, increasing my waist size more than just a little. They always make me full to the point that I'm forcing food down, just so that I can keep my caloric surplus on the workout days. Instead, I stick to simple carbs: I eat a lot of whole fruit, as well as fruit juice. I eat peas, carrots, and green beans due to their higher than average carb density. I even eat honey by the spoonful.
The diet is going fine. I don't think I'm gaining fat, because my overall weight is going down. I started this thread because I was wondering if I should be eating more. But this was back when I was convinced that I needed to keep progressing in the gym to lose fat. Back when I thought my strength must continue to increase if I want to see additional fat loss. But everyone's saying that it isn't necessary, that I can maintain my fitness and focus on cutting.
So I guess the question now is if I should decrease my caloric surplus if I'm not going to be concerned with muscle growth. Should I drop my +10% workout day to maintenance level?
I know this doesn't answer your underlying question, but fruits, fruit juices, carrots, and green beans aren't going to accomplish the same thing as starch. Glycogen repletion and super-compensation are the main goals after training. Maybe you feel bloated because you're eating too many fibrous vegetables or fats alongside the starch? I doubt if you ate plain potatoes/sweet potatoes with some lean meat, you would experience bloating, but ymmv.
I think the whole 'cutting' ideology is fairly silly, and it undermines the concept of Leangains. If you dissect the name, Martin created the protocol so you could gain (mostly)lean mass. By continuing to take advantage of that enhanced anabolic response post workout, and dialing down calories on rest days, you should be able to do that while continuing to mobilize fatty acids on rest days.
I personally think you shouldn't drop the +10%, and you could even increase it a bit. You're better off continuing to build muscle mass and strength which will lead to increased oxygen consumption and energy expenditure, which I'm sure you already know. It's a fairly slow process, and I think trying to speed it up too much is a big mistake.
I'm only eating about 20g of fat in the post-workout meal. I'm pretty sure that I feel bloated because of the sheer volume of food I'm eating. I only eat 2 meals a day, one at 12:30PM and the other around 7PM. This is all I have time because I need to get to bed by 10PM in order to get a minimum even 7 hours of sleep and I can't fit in an afternoon meal because I'm still in school. Thanks to this, my post workout meal is about 2200 calories. There's just no room for high satiety carb sources.
I'm also not trying to speed up the process. I don't think it's too much to ask for at least 1/2 lb of weight loss per week. It's not like I'm already lean. I'd estimate my body fat at no less than 18%.
I don't know if it's a good idea, but I've been thinking of changing to a more drastic calorie difference, maybe -30/+15%. The downside to this is that I'm starting to venture away from the whole Primal way. That would increase my carb intake more, and decrease my fat intake more.
One thing I want to know is why starches are superior for restoring muscle glycogen. I didn't think there would be a difference.
I'd say 20 grams is far too much fat for your post workout meal. I follow the same protocols as you (one meal a day, maybe two) and I try to keep fat as close to zero on training days as possible, especially after training. I rarely feel bloated after eating 2000 calories in the form of potatoes and moderate amounts of meat, egg whites, greek yogurt or whatever other lean protein source.
Too much fiber and too much fat in that post workout meal will blunt the insulin response, which is necessary for glycogen repletion. There's a lot of science behind that claim and if you haven't read any of Lyle Mcdonald's stuff on carb loading and refeeding, you should check it out.
Also, I don't see why you're venturing away from the 'primal' way. The primal way entails eating real foods that don't come in boxes and bags. AKA stick to the perimeter of your grocery store and you're good to go.
I should point out that I'm getting 20g from counting trace fat grams. Fitday allows me to see that even something like a can of carrots has half a gram of fat. Still, I do get 4 g of fat from my fish oil. But the majority of my fat comes from lean meat. Lean meat still has fat and I'm using the leanest out there: beef round. I'm eating 18oz of this every workout day to load on protein and natural creatine. As lean as it is, it still adds up to 24g of fat for the day, 12 of which are in the post-workout window. Round steak is even leaner than chicken. I don't see how it's possible to have a significant amount of any meat without getting this much fat. And without meat, it would be very difficult to reach my high protein intake. Those other options you mentioned aren't an option for me. My schedule is very tight and I don't have the ability to cook eggs quickly, let alone separate the yolks. And a regular supply of greek yogurt is something I can't afford.
Besides, I know that fat can blunt the insulin response. I read the article about carb refeeds here on MDA. Mark said to keep fat intake below 50g for the day, which I do, hovering around 40g.
As for fiber blunting the insulin response. I didn't know this, but even if I eliminated the vegetables on the workout day, I'm still going to get quite a bit of fiber from potatoes if I start going heavy on those.
And by venturing from the Primal way, I meant that I'm eating on average more carbs than I probably should be for my level of activity (lifting 3 days a week is all I do and all I have time for).