After hearing a lot of great things about the Martin Berkan’s leangains, the Eat Stop Eat program, and intermittent fasting I decided to give it a shot.
My typical diet before leangains was a “dirty bulk” style which was basically eating high protein with as many calories as I could. So leangains was definitely something new to me for a few reasons:
- The intermittent fasting aspect (8 hr feeding window and 16hr fast each day)
- I chose to do a cut (+10/-%30)
- I had specific macronutrient targets for my workout days and my rest days.
I started at 6’2″ and 187lbs so my maintenance level calories (BMR) was ~1900 calories. I chose to go on a cut which was eating a 10% calorie surplus on my workout days and a 30% calorie deficit on my rest days. Everyone is different and deciding on which style (recomposition, cut, or slow bulk) is best depends on the individual and their goals. Intermittent Fasting is great for weight loss, muscle preservation and muscle gains depending on how you structure your diet.
My macros were calculated from the rippedbody.jp guide. When trying to hit my macro targets I didn’t pay attention to whether the food I was eating was ‘clean’ or organic only; I cut the bs and just focused on hitting my macros. In other words, if I had room for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, I went for it!
The basic game plan for training days was to eat high protein and high carbs while keeping the fat to a minimum. With this is mind, I sought after foods with a high carb and low fat macronutrient profile. Some examples of the carbs I ate on my training days would be pasta, oats, and cereal (mainly cocoa crips). For protein you will want to get protein from low fat sources. So chicken breast, fish, cottage cheese, protein shakes, etc.
Here’s what my macro targets were for workout days:
- Calories: 2104 cals
- Protein: 180g
- Carbs: 280g
- Fat: 30g
Again, my focus here was to get my protein and my carbs, and keep the fat as low as possible. If I went slightly over 30g it was no big deal. I probably went up to 50g on occasion, but I mostly went between 30-40g of fat.
Note: My workout program was high intensity weight training (reverse pyramid style 3-5 reps) on a 3 day split so these where my target macros for 3 days out of the week.
There is more room for fat on rest days. My mindset on rest days was to focus on getting my protein while keeping the carbs low. If a particular food was low carb and high fat, then I worked that in. Some examples of foods with low carbs, but high fat would be eggs, sausage, pepperoni, cheese, etc.
My macros for rest day were:
- Calories: 1400 cals
- Protein: 180g
- Carbs: 30g
- Fat: 60g
I recommend checking out the Eat Stop Eat program if you are just getting in to intermittent fasting or if you are already familiar and want more knowledge about it. I also recommend checking out the leangains.com site. It is a great resource for learning about IF, and he really gets down to the science of the whole thing.