“The fast is the perfect time to be productive and get things done. Don’t sit around, get bored and brood about food.” -Martin Berkhan
Lean Gains is among the finest health and fitness websites around.
The author, Martin Berkhan, is living proof that you can get absolutely shredded by eating infrequently. This man is one of the most ripped dudes I’ve ever seen. The Lean Gains method is founded on an intermittent fasting diet, however it takes it to a whole new level. Eat Stop Eat recommends one 24-hour fast per week. The Lean Gains protocol incorporates daily fasting. It’s a 16-hour fast with an eight-hour feeding window. I guarantee probably nobody you know is using this tactic. In fact, they probably wouldn’t even think about doing this. They’d possibly tell you that you’re out of your mind for even bringing it up. First, I’ll point out that the people who are normally the most successful do things that nobody else does. So before you conform to the masses, let me explain how it works.
Here’s the great thing about Lean Gains.
A normal eating schedule that the average Joe follows goes like this. He wakes up in the morning and gives himself the whole day as a feeding window until he goes to sleep. This might be something like an eight-hour fasting period (overnight) and a 16-hour feeding period. Lean Gains takes that and turns it inside-out. By reversing the conventional fasting and feeding time frames, you spend the majority of each day in a fasted condition. The appeal of this is that causes the body to function in a fat-burning environment for most of the day. Some individuals will claim that this is unhealthy, but as I’ve discussed before and as you can read about in far more detail in Eat Stop Eat, fasting is not harmful to your health! In fact, there are numerous health benefits to fasting.
Lean Gains makes your diet win-win.
Following the Lean Gains protocol takes a lot of the pressure off of you to eat healthy all the time. Obviously, you will realize better results if you eat clean, but if you don’t, it’s not the end of the world. Let me explain. The worst-case scenario is you emerge from your 16-hour fast ravenously hungry and stuff yourself until you can’t eat anymore. You’ll be so full that you won’t want to eat anything until the next day anyhow. For me personally, a 2,000 calorie meal is about the most I am able to manage before I can’t eat any longer. If I do eat a 2,000 calorie meal, I’m usually done for the day. On the other hand, it’s easy for me to eat a 1,200 calorie breakfast, a 1,200 calorie lunch, and a 1,200 calorie dinner for a total of 3,600 calories, almost twice what I’d eat in my worst-case Lean Gains scenario.
The more frequently you eat, the more stringent you need to be with your diet.
If you are eating six times each day, your food intake needs to be flawless and your meals probably ought to be under 400 calories each. It’s very difficult to enjoy a satisfying meal in 400 calories or less. Even if you could make this happen, preparing these meals would be laborious. I can only speak for myself, but attempting to shed pounds by eating frequently is a aggravating and expensive process. The more times you sit down to eat, the more opportunities you give yourself to screw up. These days, I typically eat two times a day. I have one smaller meal and one more substantial meal inside an eight-hour feeding window and that’s it. If my larger meal is unhealthy such as a large restaurant dinner, I’m still keeping my total calories under control and burning up a lot of fat while in the fasting period. If my meals are healthy and balanced, then my results are stellar.
This is how I incorporate the Lean Gains method into my life.
I follow the Lean Gains protocol six days per week (usually Monday through Saturday). On Sunday, I have a tactical cheat day. There are a few options for following the Lean Gains method. You may either skip eating in the morning and eat the rest of the day or forego eating in the late afternoon onwards. I choose the former approach because I’m not often that hungry early in the morning, but ravenously hungry at the end of the day. During weekdays, I make it until about 10am and start feeling hungry, so I have a mug of coffee with a little creamer, Stevia, and ground cinnamon. The calories from this are marginal so the impact to the fast is negligible. I start my feeding window around noon and have a homemade protein shake or salad for lunch. Dinner is my largest meal of the day and this is when I consume the majority of my daily calories. I think this two-meal option works well for people who have nine-to-five careers.
Do not attempt this if you are new to fasting!
Caution! It took me over a year of getting used to fasting on a regular basis before I chose to do Lean Gains six days per week. I started out doing Eat Stop Eat style fasting once a week. Then, I moved to Lean Gains two or three times per week. Today, I’m doing Lean Gains almost every day. This is something you must work your way up to gradually. Also, if the thought of doing this seems torturous, then don’t do it. Try Eat Stop Eat once per week instead. The Lean Gains eating protocol isn’t for everyone. An intermittent fasting diet is not mainstream and probably never will be. But as I’ve said before, the people who see the best results are the ones who do things that no one else is willing to undertake. Mix Lean Gains with fasted exercising and the fat loss is unmatched.