I recently came across the topic of Intermittent Fasting ("IF"). I also read a lot of Mark's Daily Apple ("MDA") which discusses the benefits of IF. After reading about it, I also saw several article/questions/blogs referencing to "LeanGains" and Martin's logic behind it.
MDA promotes a High Fat/Low Carb/Medium Protein diet as well as IF. His take on training is 3-5 hours of slow movement while lifting heavy several times a week. He doesn't believe that carb-refeeding is necessary after a workout, since your body can make glycogen from your fat stores via gluconeogenisis. He also feels that by eating carbs or creating an insulin spike, you are minimizing the effects of HgH and preventing fat loss.
LeanGains promotes IF as well. The idea is to have a 16/8 schedule for men, and 14/10 hour schedule for women. WO, TC= +20% of TDEE Rest TC= -20% of TDEE
Since he recommends a 3 day lift/4 day rest schedule, I would be consuming high carbs/low fat on 3 days, low carb/high fat 4 days.
After all this, I believe LeanGains goes against MDA - since he states that carb refeeding is not necessary after lifting, only protein re-feeding is. Also, High Carb days would require me to go over 100 g which doesn't fit inline with the Carb Curve of limiting your intake to 100g or less.
**Do you recommend lean gains even thought it goes against MDA and the whole concept of limiting carbs to lose weight? I really want to lose this excess body fat, and gain a few pounds of muscle. Which way would it be more realistic?
Which one would you recommend for a girl who is currently with the following stats and goals:
Current Weight: ~130 lbs, BF% ~24%, Total lean mass ~98.8lb
Goal Weight: ~120lbs, BF 15%, Total lean mass ~ 102lbs, increase of 4lbs.
**Edited/questions title based on comment"
I've been doing IF for a year, LG for 20+ weeks. Your understanding of how LG is done is correct, but note that -20/+20 TDEE on off/WO days is not set in stone. That's what Martin Berkhan calls a "recomp," ie. aimed at slow and steady fat reduction while maintaining existing muscle mass. That's what I do. Others elect for a "cut," usually listed as -35/+10, ie. more aggressive fat loss program for fat people. Others go for a "bulk" on a weekly calorie surplus when they want to gain muscle weight with minimal fat gain.
As for macros, there's a great guide on rippedbody.jp by Andy Morgan.
According to Andy Morgan eating fat on training days is not encouraged since it can cause fat gain. When you're on calorie surplus on training days, dietary fat is easily stored as fat. I have not bothered to check if this is corroborated by actual research, as cutting fat out on WO days works for me. Therefore you would be correct in saying MDA differs fundamentally from LG on macros.
One is encouraged to tweak the ratios and macros, which I've done.
I've had really good and steady progress on LG; it accelerated my IF and paleo progress nicely, I'm gaining strength (ie. maintaining muscle mass), and all without adverse effects.
For those interested, my last three weeks of macros (I weigh all my food and count calories): off-day 1621 cals (16% carbs, 42% prot, 41% fat), training day 2383 (54/32/11).
I'm 183cm, 76kg (down from 94kg a year ago) and 37 yo male.
For you I'd recommend going for IF recomp, doing heavy compound lifting 3 days a week, dropping cardio or doing light cardio on some off-days. Do it for 2-4 weeks and reassess.
This seems like a very n=1 kind of thing to me. Because there's no such thing as universal applicability you're going to just have to give it a shot and see what works for you. I have read a lot from people promoting IF, as well as a lot from people claiming IF was not the best thing for them to achieve their goals. Both MDA and LeanGains have had a lot of success with people, as well as their share of critics, so I don't know that there's a clear answer.
I know this is semi-unhelpful, but I'm going to steal Robb Wolf's spiel for this, and say come up with a good protocol (or use one of these), try it for 30 days, and see if you look, feel, and perform better. If you do, great. If not, do something else (the other one).
it's not that simple because everyone is unhealthy in their own unique way. i say "unhealthy" i just mean we all have genetic or other weaknesses, tendencies.
LG is obsessive about knowing your macro-ratios, MDA is not. if knowing your macros causes stress it's not worth it. if IF in general causes more stress to the system it's not worth it. however if you dial down the food u can eat and feel good, then the waving of the weekly caloric intake will be fine. yes LG changes its macro ratios based on training or rest days, but it also changes the total caloric load on training and rest days.
LG done with proper training is both a cut and a bulk, depending on macro ratios and total caloric load. the calorie deficit on rest days is a significant percentage lower of your BMR requirement, and the calorie surplus on training days is a higher percentage. the different percentages of BMR are determined by how you respond (IMPORTANT!) and what you want to achieve (cut, hypertrophy, gradual body recomp, etc).
that all being said, there are some important caveats. if you have any gut dysbiosis or hormonal issues you need to be careful. LG doesnt care about clean-eating necessarily, and doesnt really care about the 100g carb limit. honestly, for a hard training person 100g carbs, even if they are all glucose calories, may be far too little!
for many people low carb (clean low carb mind you), is a ticket to problem city. i would aim for at least 150grams of carbs with much more glucose than fructose. this is to spare your protein, which LG recommends a lot of (2-2.5g per kg of bodyweight), and to aid the brain and immune system which runs well on glucose. it also runs well on ketones but that's a whole other bag of cats.
i did not answer your bolded question because i think it's the "wrong" question. if you are using proper bio-mechanical form (during training and everyday movement) and have a healthy hormonal profile you will not get bulky unless that's your genotype. MDA is more about the paleo lifestyle, whereas LG is more about the intermittent fasting & training lifestyle.
if you care about both you can combine the 2 but only with lots of self-awareness and detailed experimentation.
I've been following MDA for a while and have dropped a good chunk of weight (over 50 lbs) since September. I have a lot more to lose though so started Brad Pilon's "Eat Stop Eat" style of IF this week and it's working great so far! I've dropped over 8 pounds in a week! I still agree that you need to be willing to try different things and recognize when something isn't working and be willing to move on...Everyone's body responds differently...
I think you've got the right idea, and for you I'd lean more towards reducing fat. It's a lot easier to gain lean mass afterwards (if you still need to). Essentially though, see how you feel. Go with MDA, and if you feel you're struggling to maintain your workouts then try adding a little boost to your recovery with carbs after the workout. You don't need to worry too much about progression. However, I would expect that you should be able to progress from session to session anyway if you work out right and without exceeding 100g carbs in a day.
Starting Leangains with a high BF%? 2 Answers