Experiences with Intermittent Fasting

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    Experiences with Intermittent Fasting


    I have been reading about intermittent fasting and am considering giving it a shot. For those who are not familiar check out Martin Berkhan blog, he is one of the best in the game:

    Intermittent fasting diet for fat loss, muscle gain and health

    I was wondering if anyone on the board has tried IF and can give some feedback, especially in regards to cutting and how easy it is to be compliant with a busy social agenda compared to a more traditional bodybuilding diet plan.

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    I did IF for about 8 weeks. I was trying to recomp. I did alright, its just kinda hard on training days to eat so much in one sitting.

    As far as cutting goes, I think its a great tool.
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    I have seen his posting before but never read too much about his methods. I do however have maximum muscle and warrior diet on my shelf and have been meaning to read them. They are by Ori Hoffmeckler and is based around fasting. The books go alot into your body's hormonal response to fasting. I haven't read them yet but plan ontrying them out this summer
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    I've done some form of IF for over two years now. I've only gotten bigger and stronger in those two years (though I am currently recovering from an injury). Ultimately, how lean I get depends upon total cals per day, not so much when/how I consume them.

    However, I've recently been doing alternate day fasting and seem to be able to pile on the cals on lifting days while still losing fat.
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    I tried this regimen and it worked out well. Stay on fruit diet on the first day, fresh, baked or steamed vegetables with little rice along with fruits on the second day, steamed potatoes only on the third day, protein diet on the fourth day and gradually start with your regular diet from fifth day onwards. Youíll get variety everyday and get used to a nutritional diet.
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    I'm on it now, currently on my 5th week.. It's going great and I absolutley love it! Getting leaner while also increasing in strength.. Placebo or not, Don't care.. Works great for me...
    I love the straight energy level you have during the day, and I do feel more alert and sharp... I first thought that training on so long fasting would be a problem, but not at all...)

    I too have the Warrior diet and Maximum Muscles books. Have only read the warrior diet yet, but I'm soon to read the other one!
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    I'm trying this one out too The Warior Diet, and it's really very easy....very stress free. The first day the hunger during the day gnawed a bit but with fruits and nuts I did good, evening ate greens then my just about anything meal and was good to go.
    After "breaking in" it really gets to be a no brainer kind of thing. Great for when I'm busy. Very little clock watching or plastic container toting.
    It really feels like I was meant to eat like this.
    The change in taste perception is really noticeable, veggies taste much more complex now.
    I'm waiting for at least 3 months though to give my official review on it to see what it does for my body.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eizbear View Post
    I'm on it now, currently on my 5th week.. It's going great and I absolutley love it! Getting leaner while also increasing in strength.. Placebo or not, Don't care.. Works great for me...
    I love the straight energy level you have during the day, and I do feel more alert and sharp... I first thought that training on so long fasting would be a problem, but not at all...)

    I too have the Warrior diet and Maximum Muscles books. Have only read the warrior diet yet, but I'm soon to read the other one!
    I own both books too but have yet to read them.. they are on my shelf colelcting dust with all my other books that I buy. I am very interested in the idea of it and would like to see his whole reasoning behind it all. I have a gerneral idea of the guidelines but thats about it. Glad to hear your enjoying it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrodz View Post
    I'm trying this one out too The Warior Diet, and it's really very easy....very stress free. The first day the hunger during the day gnawed a bit but with fruits and nuts I did good, evening ate greens then my just about anything meal and was good to go.
    After "breaking in" it really gets to be a no brainer kind of thing. Great for when I'm busy. Very little clock watching or plastic container toting.
    It really feels like I was meant to eat like this.
    The change in taste perception is really noticeable, veggies taste much more complex now.
    I'm waiting for at least 3 months though to give my official review on it to see what it does for my body.
    Like most here, I'm my own favorite lab rat
    I like that bolded part up there, I share that same attitude..

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    so i went to the site.


    i don't understand the outline though. he says on some parts of the site that he does 2 day fasts. he also says he does 8 hours of eating time with 16 hours of fasting per day. and he doesnt ever eat before lifting.

    so his eating time is 8 hours after his lifting time in the morning? or does he eat at night, then slip breakfast and most of the day, then eat at night again?

    so eat from 4pm till 12am? then eat again at 4pm?

    ill try it out for a couple weeks if i have the above correct.
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    Quote Originally Posted by soontobbeast View Post
    so i went to the site.


    i don't understand the outline though. he says on some parts of the site that he does 2 day fasts. he also says he does 8 hours of eating time with 16 hours of fasting per day. and he doesnt ever eat before lifting.

    so his eating time is 8 hours after his lifting time in the morning? or does he eat at night, then slip breakfast and most of the day, then eat at night again?

    so eat from 4pm till 12am? then eat again at 4pm?

    ill try it out for a couple weeks if i have the above correct.
    You can do as you please with it, the thing is that you should eat, have the overeating phase, after you workout.. So for me.. My day looks like this:

    Wake up 06.00 (fasting)
    Work from 7.00-16.00(fasting)
    PWO about 16.45
    Training 17.00-18.00

    Now after my training, now it's time for the food.. And I eat all I can eat until I go to sleep, around 22.00-23.00

    Then the fasting starts again during the night...
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    yup that's how I do it, like Eiz. Ori suggest only a handful of almonds or a fruit or a two during the day for controlled fasting. then in the evening he suggests breaking it with a small salad with a variety of veggies. then on to da fooood.
    but not everyone is really strict like that, Ori states that it's for maintaining gastric juices bla bla bla. I know I have a friend that doesn't like veggies (yea u) so he isn't as strict.
    And for the super active, Ori also suggest's if necessary to eat some clean protein somewhere in the earlier day. eggs, chicken, shake like that.

    good luck dude
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    What do you guys typically eat for lunch? I am trying to figure out what I could pack with me to work and If I'm only eating a couple meals a day, I would need a quite a few calories.
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    I don't have that prob. I'm small and even my high cal days it's easy to get all I need. on Hi cal days I might sneak in some chicken or a shake, lo cal just fruit or almonds. My evening meal is what I really load up on. A big guy like u would need something more dense.

    I'm following the Warrior Diet just in case, since this thread mentions different forms of intermittent fasting. have u picked a specific method?
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    I followed this for a while using the 16/8 approach and it worked really well. I ate from noon until 8pm every day and would workout around 11am in the morning so my first meal would come directly after training. I actually really liked the program and it wasn't difficult at all. It took me about three days to get used to not eating first thing in the morning and then I wasn't even hungry. I'll probably go back to it at some point, but right now my training times and frequency (AM and PM cardio some days) vary too much and it's a bit of a hassle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adnscmplx View Post
    What do you guys typically eat for lunch? I am trying to figure out what I could pack with me to work and If I'm only eating a couple meals a day, I would need a quite a few calories.
    2 chicken breasts, some green veggies and half a jar of almond butter plus some milk to wash it down.

    I tried IF for a while, and as I worked out first thing in the morning and was doing DC training at the time, i'd workout truly every other day, so mon/wed/fri/sun/tues/thurs/sat and repeat. I'd workout at 7am, start eating at 830 when I got home and stop eating at 6, then not eat again till after my next workout. So I was having roughly 40 hour fasts, eating 5000-6000 calories in 8 hours every other day. It worked pretty decently, I actually had better recovery doing DC that way than eating normally. But it got to be a pain in the butt as far as family life went. On the weekends when saturday or sunday was an eat day, it was nearly impossible to do things with the family and be stuffing down enough calories without spending a boatload of money at restuarants. I had times where I spent $20-30 at chik fil a for just my part of lunch. plus with other social things, like visiting relatives, etc, it was much harder to deal with than just not eating certain things.
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    Ive been doing the 16/8 approach but im having a hard time figuring out how much to eat.

    i'm shooting for 200g protein ( to last 16 hours ) but how much fat and carbs?

    its kinda hard to figure this stuff out when , basically, all the rules and playbooks are thrown out!

    if i eat between 3-4pm to 11-12 how many cals should i be taking in if im not super active?

    goal-wise, im trying to cut up as best i can!
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    Judge it by weight-loss. Pick a calorie amount that you would normally maintain weight on and start with that. If you don't lose fat, cut the cals by 200 or so and progress from there as needed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Resolve View Post
    Judge it by weight-loss. Pick a calorie amount that you would normally maintain weight on and start with that. If you don't lose fat, cut the cals by 200 or so and progress from there as needed.

    ohhh i thought i could eat differently...

    been wondering why i havent been losing very quickly on cake,kettle corn, and copious amounts of pizza


    ill cut out the popcorn and cake at least lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by soontobbeast View Post
    ohhh i thought i could eat differently...

    been wondering why i havent been losing very quickly on cake,kettle corn, and copious amounts of pizza


    ill cut out the popcorn and cake at least lol
    ...not sure if serious...
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    oh god, when I was doing the 40 hours fasted 8 eating, I did eat cake and cookies and whatever the hell got near my hand for those 8 hours.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Resolve View Post
    ...not sure if serious...
    lol i am serious.

    im still losing fat, but not as quickly as i want.


    im still gonna eat pizza cause its an easy source for protein and cals.

    my main point of concern was whether im looking to slow down the protein with more fat, or whether i am trying to refill glycogen with carbs.

    so i have been doing both for the past 3 or 4 days.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    2 chicken breasts, some green veggies and half a jar of almond butter plus some milk to wash it down..

    Serious? I'm totally on bored with the chicken breasts. Did you just bring a big thing of almond butter and eat it plain. I was thinking avocado, nuts, eggs, coconut oil, etc for fat.
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    I'm trying to do a lean bulk with IF right now. I am very carb sensitive and gain fat easily, so I decided to give this a shot. It seems like I am reaching a plateau and I'm having a tough time getting in all my cals. I am shooting for about 3500 cals now. My carb sources are complex: oatmeal (with honey), sweet potatoes, and brown rice. Lately I have been adding a bunch of coconut oil, and a few glasses of milk, and I end with a tub of cottage cheese and an avocado. I'm not one with a big appetite, so it's pretty tough. I have put a nice amount of muscle on me in the past few months with very little fat gain, whereas before the best I could do was like a 1:1 ratio of muscle/fat. Being insulin resistant sucks. You guys think I should try throwing in some unhealthier foods (like lower glycemic foods) to get my calories up?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmk64 View Post
    I'm trying to do a lean bulk with IF right now. I am very carb sensitive and gain fat easily, so I decided to give this a shot. It seems like I am reaching a plateau and I'm having a tough time getting in all my cals. I am shooting for about 3500 cals now. My carb sources are complex: oatmeal (with honey), sweet potatoes, and brown rice. Lately I have been adding a bunch of coconut oil, and a few glasses of milk, and I end with a tub of cottage cheese and an avocado. I'm not one with a big appetite, so it's pretty tough. I have put a nice amount of muscle on me in the past few months with very little fat gain, whereas before the best I could do was like a 1:1 ratio of muscle/fat. Being insulin resistant sucks. You guys think I should try throwing in some unhealthier foods (like lower glycemic foods) to get my calories up?
    If you're ceasing to gain, just up the calories. You'll gain whether they're clean or "dirty". But if you gain fat easily, I'd suggest you stick with healthier options.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adnscmplx View Post
    Serious? I'm totally on bored with the chicken breasts. Did you just bring a big thing of almond butter and eat it plain. I was thinking avocado, nuts, eggs, coconut oil, etc for fat.
    Yeah natural almond butter in one particular brand comes in a 12oz jar for about $5. That's something around 1500 calories from memory. I can easily eat a jar in one sitting with a spoon (or a knife and 2 bananas)
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    Yeah natural almond butter in one particular brand comes in a 12oz jar for about $5. That's something around 1500 calories from memory. I can easily eat a jar in one sitting with a spoon (or a knife and 2 bananas)

    That is gangster.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adnscmplx View Post
    That is gangster.
    It's funny when "hard gainers" complain about not being able to eat a single bite more a day. That 12oz jar is the same stomach volume as drinking a can of coke takes up, or a cup and a half of rice, but is 1500 calories, and healthy ones besides. I can manage to break 10,000 calories in 8 hours if I pushed hard, with clean calories no less.
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    I agree, people need to eat more.

    I do not have that problem. I was once a 290lb college offensive tackle and have no problem gaining weight if I want to. I am more interested in IF to lean out.

    I meant gangster as a compliment i.e. it is awesome that you just roll up to the lunch table with, among other things, a jar of PB and a spoon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    It's funny when "hard gainers" complain about not being able to eat a single bite more a day. That 12oz jar is the same stomach volume as drinking a can of coke takes up, or a cup and a half of rice, but is 1500 calories, and healthy ones besides. I can manage to break 10,000 calories in 8 hours if I pushed hard, with clean calories no less.
    I've been on both sides of this and you're absolutely right. I used to think I could not eat any more and I was stuck at the same weight. Now I can easily manipulate it by working in higher calorie, but still clean foods. Peanut butter is a good one. Also, people need to learn to not be afraid of carbs. Just eat them. You don't need to eat 10 lbs of protein a day to gain weight. Just eat healthy foods and ignore the ratios.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnRock View Post
    I've been on both sides of this and you're absolutely right. I used to think I could not eat any more and I was stuck at the same weight. Now I can easily manipulate it by working in higher calorie, but still clean foods. Peanut butter is a good one. Also, people need to learn to not be afraid of carbs. Just eat them. You don't need to eat 10 lbs of protein a day to gain weight. Just eat healthy foods and ignore the ratios.
    A pound of muscle is made of 160g (give or take) of protein. true plain maintenance of tissue is maybe .5g/lb. A natural bodybuilder MAX adds 1/2 lb of muscle a week (more like 1/4). So pretty well a 200lb natural bodybuilder really only needs 120g of protein a day on top of plenty of carb + fat calories to provide the energy to build muscle.

    Its definitely hard at first particularly on IF to get into that midset of for part of the day stuffing down 2x as much food as you normally would and then go through the next time with 0 to eat. What I did find is that it really did end up decoupling my eating from any sensation of hunger. I knew I had to eat a certain amount during eat times hungry or not, and knew I could just have water when I was hungry. After the 2 months of IF, i've never had any sort of issue controlling my food intake again as I eat what my plan is to eat when i plan to eat it, and what signals my stomach is sending is its problem
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    Are you taking hepatic regulation and gluconeogenesis into account there, Easy? The liver gets first pick at the protein we eat, and will reap a good 60-100g a day dependent on bodyweight; more if the diet is very high in protein or calorically insufficient.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Resolve View Post
    Are you taking hepatic regulation and gluconeogenesis into account there, Easy? The liver gets first pick at the protein we eat, and will reap a good 60-100g a day dependent on bodyweight; more if the diet is very high in protein or calorically insufficient.
    If there is enough carbs in the diet then that impact is lessened, plus everyone leaves out the reality that of what is used for daily protein turnover, its not like all of the amino acids of the damaged tissue turn into ashes, a significant amount of them is recovered too.

    But basically yes I was, thats why the base of roughly .5g per pound of bodyweight is there. Once you cover that plus the little bit over for what is really lost in damaged tissues having an extra 200g of protein a week is all that a natural bodybuilder would need assuming he's getting plenty of calories from carbs and fats.

    I think the only reasons so many guys believe in eating the ridiculous amounts of protein are ego, taste, and fill factor. In the end, most of what they are taking in as protein gets used no differently than if it was carbs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    If there is enough carbs in the diet then that impact is lessened, plus everyone leaves out the reality that of what is used for daily protein turnover, its not like all of the amino acids of the damaged tissue turn into ashes, a significant amount of them is recovered too.

    But basically yes I was, thats why the base of roughly .5g per pound of bodyweight is there. Once you cover that plus the little bit over for what is really lost in damaged tissues having an extra 200g of protein a week is all that a natural bodybuilder would need assuming he's getting plenty of calories from carbs and fats.

    I think the only reasons so many guys believe in eating the ridiculous amounts of protein are ego, taste, and fill factor. In the end, most of what they are taking in as protein gets used no differently than if it was carbs.
    I tend to agree that people overdo it on the protein...but what if you are on cycle? What do you think a good amount of protein intake would be?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmk64 View Post
    I tend to agree that people overdo it on the protein...but what if you are on cycle? What do you think a good amount of protein intake would be?
    really even if you expect to gain 3 pounds of actual muscle a week, thats still a surplus of only around 480g for the week. an extra 80g a day more than covers that so a 200lber could get 180-200g a day. Still has to get total calories high to gain that much, but thats really all thats necessary proteinwise
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    If there is enough carbs in the diet then that impact is lessened, plus everyone leaves out the reality that of what is used for daily protein turnover, its not like all of the amino acids of the damaged tissue turn into ashes, a significant amount of them is recovered too.

    But basically yes I was, thats why the base of roughly .5g per pound of bodyweight is there. Once you cover that plus the little bit over for what is really lost in damaged tissues having an extra 200g of protein a week is all that a natural bodybuilder would need assuming he's getting plenty of calories from carbs and fats.

    I think the only reasons so many guys believe in eating the ridiculous amounts of protein are ego, taste, and fill factor. In the end, most of what they are taking in as protein gets used no differently than if it was carbs.
    A very reasonable outlook. Thanks for explaining.
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    I have been eating like this for a couple of months now as well. I never thought I would do something of the sort, but so far it is working out well for me.

    I train fasted in the morning(bcaa), eat my first small meal around 12:30pm(greek yogurt/protein powder, and an apple), eat my large meal at 5 or so, and depending on how big my large meal was, and how I feel, I might have a pre bed meal around 8pm of greek yogurt/protein with some almonds.

    The biggest issues I am running into in terms of fat loss are:

    1. Curbing my big meal. I am so hungry by that point, that I tend to over-indulge, eat too much, and generally and make choices I would NEVER make on a normal "diet".

    2. Eating a pre-determined amount of calories. I find it a bit trickier to do so on this diet, for me atleast.

    On the plus side, I am a BIG TIME ENDO, and I pretty much eat whatever the **** I want, at night, as well as a full on refeed on Saturday, and have recomped for sure. Waist is down .5-.75" , and scale is up a lb or two.

    However to really take advantage of the fat loss, which is what I really want to start focusing on, I am going to have to really lock down my large meal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by imprezivr6 View Post
    I have been eating like this for a couple of months now as well. I never thought I would do something of the sort, but so far it is working out well for me.

    I train fasted in the morning(bcaa), eat my first small meal around 12:30pm(greek yogurt/protein powder, and an apple), eat my large meal at 5 or so, and depending on how big my large meal was, and how I feel, I might have a pre bed meal around 8pm of greek yogurt/protein with some almonds.

    The biggest issues I am running into in terms of fat loss are:

    1. Curbing my big meal. I am so hungry by that point, that I tend to over-indulge, eat too much, and generally and make choices I would NEVER make on a normal "diet".

    2. Eating a pre-determined amount of calories. I find it a bit trickier to do so on this diet, for me atleast.

    On the plus side, I am a BIG TIME ENDO, and I pretty much eat whatever the **** I want, at night, as well as a full on refeed on Saturday, and have recomped for sure. Waist is down .5-.75" , and scale is up a lb or two.

    However to really take advantage of the fat loss, which is what I really want to start focusing on, I am going to have to really lock down my large meal.
    thats not really intermittent fasting though. You are going only what 15 hours without eating? people who eat 3 meals a day at 8am, 1pm and 6pm have almost the same gap and theres no expectation of fatloss.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    thats not really intermittent fasting though. You are going only what 15 hours without eating? people who eat 3 meals a day at 8am, 1pm and 6pm have almost the same gap and theres no expectation of fatloss.
    lol..Ok.. Well the thread was made about leangains, which is more or less what I am doing, so why not tell Martin Berkhan what he is doing is not IF.

    In fact most of this thread is about a similar fasting period, and has been mentioned several times, so I am not sure why you decided to point it out now, 2 pages into it. If you read the title, and the OP, you would think your first post in this thread would say "16hr fast? That is not IF"

    A 16hr gap in feeding is fairly big, for someone who is lifting, in addition to a high intensity sport. Even with that said, my meal at 12:30 might be 300 cals. It is roughly 24hrs before I eat a real meal.


    Call it what you will, but for all intents and purposes, of this thread it is IF.
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    Quote Originally Posted by imprezivr6 View Post
    lol..Ok.. Well the thread was made about leangains, which is more or less what I am doing, so why not tell Martin Berkhan what he is doing is not IF.

    In fact most of this thread is about a similar fasting period, and has been mentioned several times, so I am not sure why you decided to point it out now, 2 pages into it. If you read the title, and the OP, you would think your first post in this thread would say "16hr fast? That is not IF"

    A 16hr gap in feeding is fairly big, for someone who is lifting, in addition to a high intensity sport. Even with that said, my meal at 12:30 might be 300 cals. It is roughly 24hrs before I eat a real meal.


    Call it what you will, but for all intents and purposes, of this thread it is IF.
    Yeah, just from the medical studies, it was longer spans to where there were the hormonal adaptations that really made a difference with body composition. I guess with the last meal being that small you are right in a way, but then why eat it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    Yeah, just from the medical studies, it was longer spans to where there were the hormonal adaptations that really made a difference with body composition. I guess with the last meal being that small you are right in a way, but then why eat it?
    Like I said, I am trying to follow a similar template to lean gains, or even a modified warrior diet. Why eat it? Because that is what is outlined in the diet..lol Honestly, no other reason then that. By this time(12pm), am an pretty hungry, and that small meal is actually fairly satiating.

    Did the medical studies try a similar 16hr fast approach, on weight trained, or performance athletes?(not being a smart ass, I am curious)

    I can certainly say from my own extensive dieting experience that I am able to stay lean(for me) like this MUCH easier then with a more traditionally structured diet.

    Additionally I am adding muscle/strength, while losing fat, almost effortlessly. When traditionally, it is a struggle to even lose fat in the first place, eating 100% to a T, at my current BF%. This is the point where it gets hard for me, and I am doing an enormous amount of cardio.

    And this is with me eating considerably more calories(500-750+) now, then I normally do, plus doing far less cardio.

    To speed up fatloss however, I am going to have to really lock down my nightly meal, and add in some more cardio. I always start with a big salad, and 1lb of meat(whatever I want), but then all bets are off until I am full. Low fat cookies, Ice Cream, Fro-yo, baked lays, white rice, bread, etc, etc..lol Basically what ever I feel like. I try to keep it low fat, as I would on a refeed if I can, but it is not uncommon for me to eat a Chipotle double meat burrito, or something along those lines.

    I feel if I just tighten that up, I will accelerate fatloss, and then can even further remove carbs from it/cycle carbs, with a Saturday refeed. I might even be able to just reduce the total number of calories, of my big meal, and still leave in the less then "clean" food choices in a controlled fashion. It is something I am going to have to play with.

    The point is, as someone who has been meticulous with diet, for YEARS, it is extremely refreshing, and liberating to be able to eat like this, and maintain my condition. Rather then eating exact, weighed out portions of the same food every 2.5 hrs 6-7x a day, Sun-Fri(sat refeed). Not to mention if I happen to have to go out to dinner durring the week, or Sunday dinner at my grandparents, and have to watch my friends, and family eat whatever they want, while I sit there and drink a diet soda because my premade meal of chicken, and almonds awaits me..lol

    Ok, time to go eat my pansy of a meal..lol
  

  
 

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