I should’ve been a scientist. I love to experiment. I love trying something new and different and charting the progress. I Love seeing how a knee jerk reaction to something can effect the outcome. This is partly why I got into the culinary industry. Besides a latent ability to cook, I like playing with flavors.
‘what if I add … this! How will that change the taste’
That’s a thought that goes through my head many times a day. I love it. I always have.
In the last year though, I’ve gained a new love and that is the understanding and shaping of the human form. I’m amazed at how many different ways there are to lose weight, add muscle, and be strong and healthy. Whether it’s a ketogenic low carb diet like Atkins, or a 100% raw fruit and veggie diet as shown in Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead or an extreme one meal a day Intermittent Fasting program as in Martin Berkahn’s LeanGains.
With my journey through the low-carb/high fat diet world coming to an end as my fitness goals evolve I’m looking for something new. While certain facets of the low-carb life will never leave me, like my heavy aversion to bread and sugar, I’m improving my relation with Carbs once again in a healthy controlled way. I could never do a 100% raw fruit and veggie diet, if only because of the cost of time involved, but frankly I like meat. So now, at a dietary cross roads, looking for another stone to step on, on my journey to a fully sustainable maximum efficiency diet to lose fat, gain muscle, and be healthy I turn my back towards Martin and Lean Gains.
Now I emphasize the word “back” because I tried Lean Gains (LG) once before, but had minimal success with it. In fact I’ve toyed with Intermittent Fasting (IF) a couple of times in the past. Trying both LG and the Eat, Stop, Eat (ESE) method but neither gave me the results I wanted, but I know why.
ESE and LG both entail one common factor, not eating during the day. With ESE you’re going an entire day without eating, with LG you’re going the morning and afternoon without eating. The issue I had with both of these plans was a conflict between my schedule, my job, and the IF program. I’m a chef, I eat professionally. Not a lot, but putting down 300-400 kcals a day just in tasting, re-tasting, and re-re-tasting is not uncommon. Add into that my very early morning schedule where I rise at 5am and clock in at 6am, combined with a job that puts me on my feet all day long, the idea of skipping breakfast just doesn’t work for me.
In both cases I would skip breakfast and/or lunch and be miserable. I tried both for almost three weeks and saw none of the near miraculous results that others have seen. I know this is partly do to me not maintaining the key point of both diets, the fast. Having to eat for work, and wanting to eat during work proved to sabotage my results. I tried both of these diets months ago before realizing that there truly is an almost uncountable number of ways to skin a cat when it comes to weight loss.
This dietary experiment will be to invert the LG method. Where Martin recommends skipping breakfast and lunch and eating all your nutrients late in the day, I’m going to flip that schedule to fit my life. I’ll be eating breakfast and lunch, and a post workout meal (most likely a bomb ass protein shake fueled by protein from my friends over at True Nutrition)
Here is the breakdown of my planned schedule:
- 6am – Wake up
- 8am – First meal
- 1pm – Second meal
- 5pm – Post workout meal (Mon, Wed, Friday)
The rest of the time will be a water fast. This will give me 14-18 hours fasted, depending on the day. This will allot an adequate fasting period while also fitting my life. This will be fairly natural for me as well as I don’t eat a massive dinner as it is right now. The largest issue I could see with this method is the social implications. Dinner and late night eating are cross-cultural social times.
I’ll be starting this program in two days (January 16) and will maintain it for a minimum of 6 weeks, reporting back with results every two weeks.