Anthony Mychal Hybrid Blueprint

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The Diet to End All Diets: Muscle Building, Fat Loss, and Easy Living Without the Calculator or Scale

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Stop counting calories.

Really, just stop.

I don’t care if you want fat loss.

Or muscle gain.

Throw the calculator away.

And carb cycling?

Easy. Beyond easy.

So easy that it makes me want to write easy six more times so you realize just how easy carb cycling is.

Easy. Easy. Easy. Easy. Easy.

What follows is a simple nutrition plan that’s adjustable for any goal and can even be optimized for an awesome lifestyle.

And I’m not even going to tease you about oatmeal volcanoes. That’s what pictures are for.

Keep your eyeballs in their sockets, please.

Current flavor of fasting

Lately, I’ve fielded a lot of questions about my “diet.” (I hate that word.) It’s a tough thing to tackle because, all things considered, it’s ever-changing.

My latest fiasco was the Warrior Diet — or whatever freakish mutation I made of it.

It was great.

Except for when it was bad.

And bad it was at times.

That’s why I’m going back to old reliable — the plan that’s gotten me the most results with the least hassle. It borrows from Martin Berkhan’s Leangains, so it’s a mutation of intermittent fasting.

So before I slop that on you, here’s why I succumbed to what society sees as short-lived starvation.

Benefits of intermittent fasting

I’m a big believer in starting with why.

It’s been over a year since I converted to intermittent fasting. But the question remains: why intentionally not eat and live in hunger?

Few ask this question before picking up the glass of Kool-Aid. The answer surely isn’t because intermittent fasting is the only pathway to results. People use methods in stark contrast to intermittent fasting and still get big, strong, and ripped. Precision Nutrition is a prime example of using methods opposite of intermittent fasting.

And from a broad perspective, intermittent fasting is rather logical.

Martin Berkhan’s Leangains condenses a day’s worth of calories into three bigger meals. Ori Hofmekler’s Warrior Diet combines a day’s worth of calories into one big meal. Brad Pilon’s Eat Stop Eat (in the name of honesty, this is an affiliate link, but it’s a damn worthy one as it’s a fantastic resource) cuts out calories from a few meals that would otherwise be consumed. John Romaniello’s Feast Fast cuts out an entire day’s worth of calories.

It seems thermodynamics – calories in versus calories out – is winning.

…Or is it?

Intermittent fasting and body composition

Now, I’m far from a diet expert. There are plenty of websites dedicated to fasting. My two favorite are run by Martin Berkhan and Brad Pilon. So if you want specifics, go to them. This is just an overview.

Considering the forefathers of intermittent fasting are jacked and ripped, it sure is compelling for body recomposition.

But there may be more than thermodynamics to thank for this, like fasting boosting growth hormone, as explained by Brad Pilon. And Martin Berkhan surely isn’t lacking client testimonials.

Then there are anecdotes from the majority of fitness folk. Since writing about IF, many people have told me fasting was a key ingredient in getting them the leanest they’ve ever been.

There are a few hiccups here though. For instance, Martin Berkhan also recommends carbohydrate cycling. This undoubtedly has an effect on body composition. (I can personally attest to this.) And people may simply be eating less after switching to intermittent fasting since cramming six meals worth of calories into three is challenging at first.

But we can at least say intermittent fasting isn’t a negative in the body composition column.

Intermittent fasting and lifestyle

Psychologically, it’s reassuring to know that hunger isn’t going to melt our muscles like the Wicked Witch of the West under a bucket of water.

This is reason enough to give fasting a go as a beeping watch alarm every three hours in reminder of “meal time” isn’t a fun way of living.

It’s also nice knowing some food in the stomach and feeling “good” isn’t going to be “bad.”

Intermittent fasting and cognittion

There’s a group of people that theorize creativity skyrockets during times of hunger.

Hell, even Scott Adams – illustrator of famed comic, Dilbert – has his own take on breakfast and creativity. Starving may not be such a bad thing for the artist.

The rationale for this is that primitive man needed to be creative in times of hunger to find food.

So when you open your fridge and find nothing but scraps, you’re more apt to concoct a conglomeration of ingredients that don’t really make sense. A banana, celery, and bleu cheese omelette? Whatever.

So…what should I choose?

Great. Fasting is pretty cool. And good for us. But most fasting data is non-specific to the methods used. A fast is simply a prolonged period of time without food. What separates 16 from 20 from 24 from 40 hour fasts?

I’m not sure anyone knows. One or two weekly 24 hours fasts may be “enough,” as Brad Pilon suggests. Try many fasting lengths. You’ll understand and appreciate your body a lot more.

The plans below are mutations of Leangains (16/8 scheme) and Eat Stop Eat (24 hour fasts) because, from my experience, they are the easiest and “healthiest” from a mental perspective. Obsessing about eating every three hours is just as askew as dragging through hunger in countdown to the next meal.

Disclaimer of experience

Before I get to the meat, I want to remind you of just how much work went into this. This article is more than three days worth of writing and editing 3,000 words. This is years of experimentation.

Below is the progression of my diet.

  • 6 meals per day – Summer 2006
  • 4 meals per day – Summer 2010
  • 4 meals, 2 snacks per day – Fall 2010
  • 2 meals per day – Winter 2011 (broken foot)
  • 2 meals per day, Leangains with Feast Fast Method – Fall 2011
  • 2 meals per day, Leangains with Eat Stop Eat – Winter 2012
  • 1 meal per day, Warrior Diet experiments – Spring 2012

So this has been curating for years. And that’s how most of my knowledge blossoms: through years of trials, tribulations, and failures.

Here’s the story from the most relevant starting point.

Broken foot, can’t cookK

In 2011, I began intermittent fasting. My diet was simple and based on advice passed down from a bodybuilder friend: center your diet around eating one pound of meat, six eggs, and three protein shakes every day. So, I did.

Because of my foot, and being unable to cook, I got used to eating two meals per day. And after healing, I kept this pattern. The first meal was at noon. The second, at dinner time or later in the day.

In late 2011, I started carb cycling. Carb cycling, for whatever reason, seemed like one of those uber complex things that wasn’t worth the effort. But that’s not true at all. And it’s well worth the effort.

 

Pictured above: Three chicken breasts, peppers, six eggs with cheese, 1500 calories worth of oatmeal volcano, three scoops worth of protein lava pudding (all volcanoes have lava, duh), cottage cheese (not pictured) was also down the hatch. And if you look in the top right hand corner, you can see part of my gamorrean guard mug. Awesome. (By the way, this was a Warrior Diet escapade.)

My greatest gains

The greatest gains of my life came from intermittent fasting, eating two meals per day, using “complicated” carb cycling, training on an empty stomach, and with a 12PM-8PM feeding window. The “complicated” carb cycling technique shakes out like this: On hardcore training days, down more starchy and simple carbs. On off days, down more vegetables and fats. That’s about it.

And this template, that’s been curating for over a year, is easily adjustable for muscle gain, fat loss, maintenance, and lifestyle. So there’s a template below for each. All are simple, but the key is being able to eat enough. Again, I have a deeper stomach than most so I can take down 1,000 – 2,000 calories in one sitting.

If two meals are overwhelming, break things down into three or four meals. Just center each meal around protein.

Start with the cruise control template. All variations stem from it, and it’s the method I use most frequently.

1) Cruise control template

No matter the goal, start with the cruise control template. This is my “money” template that just “works” for living life and slow cooking progress.

This is the ideal template for a “clean bulk,” or what I like to call “living life and training without obsession.”

The basic tenant of the cruise control template is getting at least one pound of meat, six eggs, and three protein shakes down every day. If you eat chicken, this shakes out to damn near 200 grams of protein and 1,200 calories. Fattier cuts of meat will obviously yield more calories, but chicken — being one of the leanest meats — represents the minimum caloric yield.

But that’s all of the calculations needed. Eat those three things, and you know you’re probably getting “enough” protein, which is most important. Everything else falls under the experimental umbrella.

Adjust the quantities based on how your body responds. It might take a few months to hone in on things, but everyone’s metabolic rate is different. That’s just the reality. I’m not about quick fixes either. You’re going to have to experiment.

From here we can add the complicated carb cycling principles: more starchy and simple carbs on hardcore training days, more leafy, cruciferous, exotic vegetables, and fats on off days.

Examples of starchy and simple carbs: oats, rice, potatoes, fruits

Examples of vegetables and fats: cheeses, nuts, broccoli, cauliflower, avocado, carrots, spinach, kale, lettuce, peppers, eggplant, etc…

Examples of lean meat: chicken, turkey

Examples of fattier meat: red meat, pork

Good editions on either day: cottage cheese

Personally, I almost always stick with oats because they are cheap. And I’m a little bit in love with my oatmeal volcanoes. I usually down cottage cheese on a daily basis too, even though it isn’t one of the three staples.

Neutrals, exclusives, and tweeners

I like thinking in terms of three categories: neutrals, tweeners, and exclusives. Neutral foods are lean meats, wholesome vegetables, plain protein powder — essentially pure protein and fiber. Neutral foods are good any time, any place, and with any meal.

Exclusives are foods that, when carb cycling, need to stay on their designated days. So nuts, being mostly fat, should be secluded to low carb days. Potatoes and oats, being mostly carbs, should be secluded to high carb days.

Tweeners are foods that teeter on neutral. Eggs are a great example of a tweener. There’s some fat, but not a whole lot. Cottage cheese is another example. So tweeners have a home, but they can float neutral as no day completely excludes one specific macro-nutrient.

High carbohydrate days (2-4 days per week)

High carbohydrate days have two distinct meals, with the first being post-workout. The post workout meal is flooded with complex and simple carbohydrates. Fat is kept to a minimum.

I like eating 0.5 – 0.25 pounds of the meat (usually chicken or lean turkey) and all three protein scoops at this meal (works well in the volcano). The simple and complex carbs add up to 1,000 – 1,500 calories.

The second meal is kept low carbohydrate and consists of the eggs, some vegetables, the rest of the meat, and any other neutral food.

12-2PM – Post Workout Meal

Lean Meats, complex and simple carbs, protein powder

6-8PM – Second Meal

Lean meats, cottage cheese, eggs, vegetables

If you work out later in the day, flip the meals.

All carbohydrates are shuttled to the immediate post workout window. With carb back loading gaining popularity, this is soon to be “outdated,” but it’s worked well  for me for months — and years prior for a lot of folk.

If you train more than four days per week, think about picking the 2-4 days that you want to optimize — from a growth and recovery standpoint —  and keep them high carb. Other training days will fall under a low carb days.

Low carbohydrate days (3-4 days per week)

Low carbohydrate days are rather simple.

Just be careful  that you’re not overdoing it on the calories.

As crazy as it sounds, it’s easier to go overboard because nuts, avocado, and all of the fats add quick calories.

12PM-2PM – First Meal

Fattier meat, eggs, vegetables, cheeses, protein powder, nuts, etc…

6-8PM – Second Meal

Fattier meat, eggs, vegetables, cheeses, protein powder, nuts, etc…

Low carbohydrate days are for days you don’t train to build muscle. So if you just have a light retainer workout or are completely “off,” it’s a low carb day.

2) The muscle gain template

Remember, everything branches from the cruise control template. The muscle gaining template has one major swap, and that’s making the second meal on the high carbohydrate day mirror of the first.

On the cruise control template, carbohydrates are condensed to post workout. Not anymore. The muscle gaining template can be summed up with this: keep everything on their respective days. No tweeners allowed.

High carbohydrate days (2-4 days per week)

Fat, as a whole, is kept as a minimum, even to the point of dropping eggs.

12-2PM – Post Workout Meal

Lean Meats, complex and simple carbs, protein powder, any neutral food

6-8PM – Second Meal

Lean Meats, complex and simple carbs, protein powder, any neutral food

Low carbohydrate days (3-4 days per week)

For those that truly are looking to pack on the mass, go with 12 eggs on the low carbohydrate days.

12PM – First Meal

Fattier meat, eggs, vegetables, cheeses, protein powder, nuts, etc…

6-8PM – Second Meal

Fattier meat, eggs, vegetables, cheeses, protein powder, nuts, etc…

3) The fat loss template

Some people save money pennies at a time. They avoid morning coffee, thinking the $2.00 is a worthy savings.

Meanwhile, they bend over and take late fees and high interest rates — that exceed thousands of dollars — willingly.

Same goes for fat loss. Some stop eating the extra slice of toast, cutting out 100 calories every day — saving a whopping (sarcasm) 700 calories every week.

I prefer going for the juggular, Eat Stop Eat style. The basis behind Eat Stop Eat is fasting for 24 hours once or twice per week, which means cutting out one meal on each of the 24 hour fasting days. And since we only eat twice per day, cutting one meal means saving 1,000+ calories. Do that twice in one week, and you’re looking at +2,000.

But don’t screw it up by doubling the one meal you will eat.

On two of your low carbohydrate days, eat one normal sized meal. I recommend going with anything in the neutral category, as that cuts calories down further.

Don’t worry too much about the 24 hour part. Just eat one meal. The most convenient time is 3-4PM as anything earlier makes hunger late at night discomforting, and anything later makes the day miserable.

On this plan, high carbohydrate days stay the same per the cruise control template, as the post workout carbohydrates help maintain — and perhaps build — muscle.

High carbohydrate days (2-4 days per week)

See Cruise Control template for details.

12-2PM – Post Workout Meal

Lean Meats, complex and simple carbs, protein powder

6-8PM – Second Meal

Lean meats, cottage cheese, eggs, vegetables

Low carbohydrate days (1-2 days per week)

See Cruise Control template for details.

12-2PM – First Meal

Fattier meat, eggs, vegetables, cheeses, protein powder, nuts, etc…

6-8PM – Second Meal

Fattier meat, eggs, vegetables, cheeses, protein powder, nuts, etc…

One meal days (2 days per week)

3-5PM – Only Meal

Lean protein, protein powder, eggs, vegetables, anything neutral

4) The lifestyle template

While experimenting with the Warrior Diet, I got used a certain lifestyle freedom — kind of a lack of obsession. On previous diets, the tone for the day was “set” after the first meal.

On the Cruise Control template, for example, you down 1,500 calories. Psychologically, this locks me in on my second meal. So if friends call and want to cook out, I’m hand cuffed. Stay high carb? Or go ace on some ribs and burgers?

And that’s the biggest hang up with carb cycling, and “strict” dieting in general — it limits your lifestyle and lends itself to mild obsession.

I wanted to get away from this. And we can by making the first meal “neutral,” meaning the second meal can go any direction.

For instance, the other day I worked, lifted, trained my cousin, had two softball games. Normally, this screams high carbohydrate. But on the lifestyle template, I was afforded freedom.

I got home late and I didn’t want to destroy myself with a huge meal, so I poured a glass of wine, cooked some eggs, and coasted into the night. (I never drink wine during the week.)

So this is ideal for people that are prone to have less control over dinner or simply want more selection. Find out your parents are cooking an awesome dinner? Sweet, crash the party and eat everything. Want to eat a food that’s a little less “clean?” You’re likely fine as long as you know how to control portions. (I don’t.)

You can keep all of the carbohydrate cycling principles too if you wanted. Just make the meal later at night reflect the direction you want to go.

Lifestyle days

12PM – First Meal

Neutral foods – lean meat, vegetables, protein powder, etc…

6-8PM – Second Meal

Wherever your heart takes you

 ….breathe

Ultimately, diet is just like training. The best plans are the one that fit  both your lifestyle and psychology.

This is just another one thrown out into the world, and the one that works for me.

Dare I say, two meals per day for twice the gains?

Maybe.

But the first step is one pound of meat, six eggs, and three scoops of protein. That takes precedence over the fasting and “specifics.” (Part of me wonders about the validity of the specifics anyway.)

But, stick to the base, and you will find your way.

How do you eat? What’s your go-to diet? Drop some comments below and share the article if you found it useful.

 

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479 comments… add one

  • ive slowly realized 2 meals is a bit better for me too – i get far too ravenous at night and far too full. i love the warrior diet but i would really really love to see your specific plan!!!

    Reply
    • I just discovered your site, I was happy to see that there are huge over eaters out there. I’ve been IF for the last few weeks, but after reading your article I have a better understanding on how to eat . My question is: could you give a rough example of the portion sizes on the low carb days? Your 1000-1500 cal of carbs for high carb meals really made it easy, having all the scoops of whey in that meal was amazing too lol

      Reply
      • Hrmm, lets see….

        Could be two fistfuls of meat, six eggs, two large handfuls of veggies, and one small handful of nuts?

        That make it a bit clearer?

        Reply
        • Almost.. I know you say to not count calories but should I aim for around 1000 call per meal? For example I’m doing 300g T-bone steak, 3 eggs, veggies, somenuts and cheese. I just need a estimation so I don’t go overboard and try to fill up myself up with too much fat

          Reply
          • I’m not going to be able to say how much food you can tolerate. If you’re worried about going overboard, start small and then work your way up. Fill up on veggies if you want to feel full. Multiply your body weight by 12. That will give you a good estimation of how many calories you need. Then split that into your meals.

      • Hi, think this is a great idea as struggled with the six meal a day system and also felt a was eating six big meals a day.love this idea of two meals a day,but unsure on how many calories each meal totals depending on what day it is I.e training or rest.i have calculated a need 2700kcal as maintenance and usually they say drop 500kcal to 2200kcal to lose weight.am 13st.8 with A body fat around 20%. I am like most people who want to lose there belly fat but build muscle too.Looking to nail this plan but need help regarding total cals.would it be right to think have 2 meals consisting off 1100kcal on rest days?but unsure how many cals I would be downing on training days still 2200 or would it be more,with you saying you have 1000kcal complex carbs with post meal plus protein,I assume that day I could be chucking in over 3500?please help as I can get it right in the gym but I now I need to get it right in the eating plan too and always struggled understanding the importance of food.thanks for your time..

        Reply
        • I don’t count calories. When I train, I generally feast on carbs and protein PWO. When I don’t train, I generally feast on veggies and fattier protein PWO. Then, depending on the day, I’ll eat more of said foods, or less of said foods. There isn’t a structure of a calorie range. See my chaos nutrition learning course.

          This changes for fat loss though…

          Reply
          • Is there any room for cheat days/foods.

            Id really like to be able to go out for a meal and be able to eat fries one day a week. Obviously they don’t fit in on workout or rest days as they are high in carbs and fat and work days need high carbs low fat and rest days is low carbs high fas. Do you recommend doing a cheat day one a week on these plans?

          • cheat meal (not day) is fine — do it on a training day

  • Ben Sparhawk May 3, 2012 10:51 pm

    I like the article but would be interested in a solid plan. I was a 6 meals a day eat,ER for awhile and I saw great progress, but I hate having to schedule my life around meals. Despite seeming healthy I think it leads to an imbalanced life obsessing over food/meals. I agree with you 100% about finding something that fits your life and philosophy.

    Reply
  • Nice Post,

    I also base my diet around intermittent fasting. The freedom is incredible when compared to eating 6 times a day. I also find it more useful when trying to stay away from food when going out as it’s much easier to say “I don’t want any, I’m dieting” than it is to try to find a way to squeeze in some food that is usually not a good part of the diet. And if it is your only meal, you can go all out :)

    I’ve personally have done Eat Stop Eat, Warrior Diet, and Renegade Diet (which is pretty much like all fasting methods in one plan). I have to admit, the warrior diet for me is real hard, I love food too much for that haha.

    Eat Stop Eat is my favorite and the Renegade Diet was another one I enjoyed, which ironically made a future return to the warrior diet much easier. No idea why but I’m not complaining.

    I, like you, feel that I do my best with two big meals a day. The only hard thing about this stuff at least for me is the fact that I’m a vegetarian but as long as I don’t go crazy with the fasting and eat my heart out after my workouts, it’s all good.

    My best fat loss results came from Eat Stop Eat and EDT for training. I did it for 6 weeks and it was awesome. I got to eat TONS of pasta and rice and trained only 3 times a week but burned fat like if it was nothing and built some muscle. It only worked for 6 weeks as I started to get hungrier on my “off” days from fasting but it was still great haha

    Now I eat twice a day and I feel perfect.

    I think everyone should try out all the different fasting methods like you did as each one is a little different in its own way and eventually just changes your whole way of thinking about food.

    I would be interested in checking out your plan.

    Good post (y)

    Reply
    • Since you mentioned you’re a vegetarian, can you please share how you manage adequate protein intake while limiting your carb intake? I’m going through a “veggie only” period right now and I’m confused on what to eat!

      Reply
      • @Vivek: I’m guessing that he eats eggs and cheese for low carb protein? Vegetarians can eat those things. Vegans on the other hand….not sure if there’s any low carb protein sources for them. Every vegan-approved protein source I know of is high carb.

        Reply
      • I used to have the same dilemma. I’m not a vegetarian, but a vegetarian diet fits in our house-hold.
        Try cooked beans and legumes. But make sure to consume them with a complex carb source, else, they may cause bloating. Peas can offer similar results minus the bloat, but are not as rich.
        Seeing that you may be from India, ‘Paneer’, a cottage cheese clone, is amazing in protein, but also some what high in fat.

        Reply
  • Were you trying to build muscle or cut some fat with this diet?

    Reply
  • Great stuff, man. Very well laid out and explained.

    Awesome, easy-to-follow templates. That’s my style for sure. ;)

    Reply
    • Thanks Nia! Really appreciate you stopping by to read and comment.

      Reply
      • Hi can you drink milk on any of the days?

        Reply
        • Dairy is one of those things that’s entirely individual. Some people can drink it no problemo. Others can’t. I’d say if you’re used to drinking it, it’ll be fine as long as it fits within the ranges. I fair better with yogurt.

          Reply
  • Jeremy Partl May 7, 2012 9:13 pm

    Any advice to someone who wants to go more plant based? Just substitute beans for the sources of protein?

    Reply
  • This is great.

    That is all.

    Reply
  • Love this article. I hated the though of constant food intake calculations and would never want to be a slave to all that shit.

    Reply
  • Intermittent Fasting, Lean Gains style. 2 Big meals a day, mostly higher fat-lower carb (just cause I like fatty stuff more hah). Very similar to the plan you laid out here though – I eat a 1lb of meat a day, 12 eggs a day, and no protein powder(don’t have any).

    Reply
  • Awesome stuff. Lifestyle freedom from your next meal is incredibly enlightening. Also, I read your first draft before you took it down and this is markedly better.

    Reply
  • Hey Anthony, great article. Seems to be relatively simple when you put it like that. Just to clarify though. I train around 8.30-9pm at night and want to build muscle. Keeping in line with these principles could I have two meals pre-workout (bulk of calories) and then one post being a shake of some variety? I am fine to fast to around 1-2pm each day and so could eat my last meal at 9-10pm. Would that make sense?

    Reply
  • Park Firebaugh May 8, 2012 1:24 am

    Sorry Martin, but I think Anthony explains IF with greater clarity. For someone confused about specifics and new to intermittent fasting, you provide a host of options to chose from and an easily understood rationale as well. I showed someone (let’s just call them an average American who thinks Lean Cuisine is healthy eating) this article with the photos of the food and they went, “Ew, I hate weird food”. Isn’t it amazing that the average American doesn’t even recognize real food anymore? Keep up the great work.

    Reply
  • Rajat Desikan May 8, 2012 4:23 am

    Oh my god!
    This article is excellent…I have bookmarked it, and I am sure that i will refer to it again and again, and take notes as well…too too good. Anthony, you have outdone yourself.
    I have read Eat Stop Eat, Leangains and the renegade…you stand out in the sense that you have laid out all the practical steps in a spartan 3000 word essay…fell swoop.
    The website looks sharper too…good job…I notice that you have different subscription for skinny fats, 5 day freak athlete course etc. Do I need to sign up again?
    Lovely stuff…please keep it coming…this content is gold.

    Reply
    • Rajat – should be blasted out. No need to sign up again. Thanks for the kind words as always.

      And I’m not sure about the chicken. I don’t know how it’s prepared. Nothing wrong with the skin on a low carb day if it’s prepared properly.

      As far as what it looks like, I’d say you’re safe around three large breasts perhaps. But then again, the sizes of those vary as well.

      Reply
  • Rajat Desikan May 8, 2012 5:51 am

    Anthony,
    I had a question with chicken. I get my chicken grilled from a restaurant nearby. It is a little oily on the outside. Should I just throw away the skin and eat the meat below?
    What does 1 pound of chicken look like? My folks are vegan, and i grew up as a vegan. it is only from a few months that I eat meat. So, I am a little foggy :)

    Reply
  • nice article and very easy to comprehend, good job. wanted to get your thoughts on something… i have tried IF before and it fits me quite well. actually i dont struggle at all and prefer to fast and be productive early in the day and eat larger meals at night. its just over the last year or so my acticity level has increased alot. i train in the AM, train others at around noon then go train kids for soccer in the late afternoon then have basketball practice or games in the evening. all this with the intention of building muscle and getting stronger. i know IF has its benefits but should just keep it in the shelves for now till the time is right? thanks!

    Reply
    • Diego, if you’re maintaining your energy, there shouldn’t be an issue. From reading the literature, I’ve found that as long as you’re getting your calories in — some way or another — and the size of your meals aren’t bothering you (ie: uncomfortable digestion, feeling overly full), you’ll be good.

      Reply
  • great post anthony. loving the cruise control template. i also find that eating fewer meals work best for me. however with irregular schedules it is hard to go strictly with the 16/8 method.for feast fast method, is it okay to have a high carb day before the feast day?since the point of the feast day is to increase leptin levels but wouldnt the high carb day prior to that disturb the production of leptin?thanks

    Reply
    • You bring up a valid point that perhaps John Romaniello may be better qualified to answer. But to give you mine, I usually stick to a lower intake the day before and after if I feast. In fact, these days it’s one meal (ESE) before – feast (not really a feast though, just minor indulgence) – one meal day after (ESE). Works well. Not as daunting and making huge gains.

      Reply
  • Excellent article…
    do you recommend any supplements? I currently take curcumin/turmeric and fish oil. would it be okay to take these during the times of fasting or does that take away the benefits…

    Thanks

    Reply
  • Thanks for the great article! I’ve been doing some form of LG/IF/Warrior for about 2 months now. Strength is up, inches are down a bit, and weight is static. I needed to tweek myself to more of a cutting phase for fat loss, and I’ll give your recommendations a try as it regards rest-days (I’m already doing the 24 hour fasts here and there as I only do 1 large feast around 9-10pm at night).

    p.s. – lol, at the comment above me about “ew, weird food” from the friend… omg… feta cheese and olives? Oats, meat, eggs. THIS IS REAL FOOD AMERICA!

    Reply
    • Thanks for joining the comment fun! And kudos to your Warrior shenanigans. I couldn’t handle it.

      Reply
      • Quick, tiny error in your article (and I point this out, because I could see thing article being circulated widely as it is informative and well written).

        “Psychologically, it’s reassuring to know that hunger isn’t going to melt our muscles like the Wizard of Oz under a bucket of water.”
        …probably should be…
        “Psychologically, it’s reassuring to know that hunger isn’t going to melt our muscles like the Wicked Witch of the West under a bucket of water.”
        -or-
        “Psychologically, it’s reassuring to know that hunger isn’t going to melt our muscles like the witch from the Wizard of Oz under a bucket of water.”

        Reply
  • Hi, this is great writing! thank you for having this website.
    I’m trying to lose 10 – 15 lbs., I’m a almost 40 year old woman!
    Which do you recommend? Leangains or Eat Stop Eat? I don’t have trouble fasting, I actually like it now that I have tried both in the last two weeks, I yet to see any results maily because I have not stuck with any of them yet, I’m just trying to figure out which one I should go for and test full force, please advise ( I also do strenth training 3 times per week for about 35-45 minutes).

    Reply
    • You could very well do both. But ESE is more fat loss oriented since you’re cutting calories.

      Reply
  • Great article, Anthony. Simply great!
    I’ve been mixing 3-meals and 2-meals days, also with some cheat days followed by 30+ hours fast. Since my goal is to get upper body mass and lose belly fat, I will now switch to 2-meals days. I will also occasionally use the lifestyle days strategy to save the quality of my social life.

    One question for you – what is your rough estimation of calories intake (%) in the first meal vs. the second meal (not in the lifestyle protocol)?
    Is it around 60:40?

    Reply
    • Hrm…let me think…

      If I’m on cruise control, probably closer to 70-30 or 60-40.

      Muscle gain, 50-50.

      Reply
  • Anthony -
    For those of us who like to have our cake and eat it too, would you recommend incorporating dessert into the latter meal so as to avoid the present possibility that dessert might morph into a third meal ?

    Reply
    • Not quite sure what you mean here, Dale. Like, just eating too much dessert and having it turn into one huge meal?

      I don’t really eat dessert outside of my one day of mini-indulgence, so I can’t help that much. I’d say keep a tight leash and put it wherever is best so that you won’t gorge.

      Reply
  • Can you please tell me the recipe for the oatmeal volcano, it looks amazing!!!!

    Reply
  • I cannot understand why should I be in a calorie surplus on the training day and deficite on the rest day. For example, last night I had a feast day. Today I am full of energy because of my leptin high levels. I don’t need food. I am going to be active all day long and have a tough workout. Tonight I will have one small meal. And tomorrow when I need rest and food to recover I will eat all day long. That way, on the training day I will be in a huge deficite, and on the rest day I will maintain. So this is a miny cycle. An active day with very litlle food, and rest day with plenty of food. IF is all about this, no food when we are active, and plenty of food when we rest. That way we can combine leangain, ESE, feast days and normal days with breakfast. The minus of leangain’s and worrior’s protocols is that they are shedulled.

    Reply
    • Well if you’re talking about the fat loss template, it’s all a wash. Deficit on rest day or training day, what’s most important is the deficit.

      But you’re comparing a feast day with a regular day. Feasts will affect hormones differently than just regular meals.

      From personal experience, I like eating more on training days because it helps my recovery more than doing so on rest days. Training and then sleeping without much food (even if it was eaten in a feast the day prior) will likely make me sore and stiff when I wake up.

      But, again, this only applies to the fat loss template as low-carb doesn’t mean caloric deficit.

      Reply
    • That makes sense to me Anthony

      Reply
  • Rory O'Keeffe May 9, 2012 2:21 pm

    Another great article Anthony – maybe your best. Well done on making the thorny issue of nutrition plain and simple.

    I know you don’t calorie count, but you weigh about 200lbs right and you’re only eating 2000 – 3000 calories or so per day (looking roughly at what you’re eating, I could be way off)? That in itself is food for thought.

    I second whoever else said it though, you’ve absolutely got to hit us with a recipes article – that oatmeal volcano front and centre!

    Reply
    • The overall intake varies Rory. But i’d say closer to 3000 most days. Low carb days with the fattier meats, nuts, and whatnot add up. But there are certainly days where I eat lower. I’m a big fan of nutrient autoregulation. So the quantity of my food will vary depending on how I feel.

      For instance, I’ll throw in muscle building nutrition one day and fat loss the next if I want to. So nothing is ever set in stone for me. But that’s only because I’m at the point where all I’m concerned about is consistency over the long term. Not eight weeks.

      Reply
      • Rory O'Keeffe May 10, 2012 7:37 pm

        Ah nice, thank you. I’m taking a long view too, to be honest. I’d like to get my body fat down from the 12 or so % it is now (with different measurements I’m either 12 or 13) to more like 8% but then cruise along with that while gaining muscle. Reading that back it’s probably what 90% of people want, but it’s my aim anyway.

        Sent a few friends on links to this and they all agree with me – it’s a great article. I was one of the few who read the original draft before you yanked it, and this is miles better. Nice one for doing that.

        Reply
        • Thanks Rory. The original had to be yanked. Clarity and uni directional focus is much better. I was all over the place, haha!

          Reply
  • Anthony this is your best one yet! Loved it!

    Reply
  • Great post Anthony – a lot of my own sentiments are represented here.
    You also seem to be channelling my own experiences with meal patterns dating back to 2006 :) . Not to mention your supplement choices! Great stuff mate.

    Reply
  • Is this a good plan for women as well who aren’t looking to gain muscle, but rather want to maintain a lean and feminine physique?

    Reply
  • *I think you intended to write “Wicked Witch of Oz under a bucket of water.”

    Good article. I enjoy doing a mixture of Leangains during the week sprinkled with occasional Eat Stop Eat style days to help cancel out my weekend indiscretions.

    Reply
  • Anthony,
    I have only discovered IF in the last 6 months. Whilst I had previously got good results with the 6 meals a day plan, I have found that IF gets me the results, much, much quicker. As an example over the last month I have used the 16 hour fast with 8 hour eating window approach and have seen my body fat drop by 2%, all the while not feeling like I have been missing out on food. On your advice, I’m going to start cycling my carbs to see what more improvements I can make to my body.

    Reply
    • Interesting. Thanks for chiming in Niko. Another one of those empirical testimonies about IF.

      Reply
    • Hey Anthony,

      This article and the rest of your site is awesome! I am not kidding when I say that I have wasted (not wasted) 4 hours of my work day so far reading everything that your site has to offer.

      I was in your same situation and was yo-yo dieting pretty much from age 16 til age 26 now. I now have so much knowledge from teaching and experimenting on my own body and it’s so funny, you pretty much give credit to all of the same sources and authors I have found to be the most credible and in line with our type of body (started skinny fat)– John Berardi and Martin Berkhan. I have been following both of them for a while now (have been intermittent fasting using lean gains for about 6 months) and I am really surprised i havent stumbled upon your website.

      I can’t even start to explain the transformation I have gone through over the years, but I will just sum it up with saying that I started out as a skinny fat teenager at 165 lbs of “chunk” as I was called throughout high school, to starving myself down to 145 lbs (I am 6’1″ btw), to over the next 8 years gradually bringing myself up to 185 lbs of muscle at 8-9% bodyfat. Although I look great now at 185 and even have ventured into the fitness modeling world, I still struggle to maintain my physique due to poor genetics (many will disagree with this statement, but i work extremely hard).

      Anyways, I don’t know the point of this rambling on, but dude…I am stoked I found your site haha. Thanks again.

      Reply
  • Rajat Desikan May 17, 2012 9:05 am

    Hi Anthony.
    I just re-read the article for the 9th time. What is the rationale behind trace amounts of fat on the high carb day of the muscle building template. I understand that low fat post workout may be beneficial, but the rest of the day??

    Reply
  • Rajat Desikan May 17, 2012 7:02 pm

    hmm, food for thought.
    thought 1) Post workout is when my body is most responsive to an excess influx of carbs. Popular training wisdom says that this tails off in about 4-6 hours (I am sure this is broscience).. So I can have a carb ladden meal at 12 pm and a fattier dinner at night.
    thought 2) The above is your cruise control template. Obviously muscle gain is helped along with an extra influx of complex carbs.
    thought 3) When the hell will I stop overanalyzing, stfu and start doing?

    Reply
    • 1) It’s possible. But I don’t see why. Carbohydrate cycling as a whole is a theory of shuttling nutrients. With more insulin present, different things are happening and less protein overall needs consumed because it’s better worked with. I just wouldn’t want to mix the signals.

      2) Not really. Six eggs isn’t hugely high in fat, and that’s about all of the fat on the PM meal.

      3) Beats me, but you should.
      :)

      Reply
  • Rajat Desikan May 21, 2012 7:14 am

    Hi Anthony, I got a question..
    Many experts recommend a serving of whey protein 30 min pre-workout. How important is it if my primary goal is body recomp with emphasis on muscle gain? Is training fasted better for muscle gain (the HGH response being the logic) or is it better to have a serving of whey preworkout to so that some aminoacids are floating around?

    Reply
    • If you’re looking to absolutely maximize your gains, I’d say it’s a good thing. It will jump start protein synthesis. Most people recommend BCAAs though because they are the least likely to disrupt HGH response. But most HGH response is blunted by carbohydrates and fats.

      Having said that, I don’t do it. But I’m not exactly the poster boy for maximizing gains in a shorter time. I’m about the long term.

      Well, that and I’d rather save my whey for my oatmeal volcanoes… (truth).

      Reply
      • Rajat Desikan May 22, 2012 9:29 am

        I would agree with you. I am also here for the long term. But I also recognise that this period of 18-25 years are where my body is at its peak. Thus, I do not want to waste a single workout, or have a sub optimum workout :) …however trainingwise, I am here for ever. There is SO much to explore.
        “Well, that and I’d rather save my whey for my oatmeal volcanoes… (truth).”
        Amen…protein pudding is now a staple…I do not even miss desert. Crazy huh! I downloaded this ebook called 51 protein powder recipes from prograde, and made this awesome chocolate brownie which I had with mashed frozen bananas (it attains the consistency of ice cream) and more protein pudding…I think I may never need commercial deserts again :) …(apart from an awesome lemon cheesecake:)
        Thanks for taking the time out to reply, Anthony.

        Reply
        • The only way to waste a workout is to not show up OR show up when your body isn’t ready only to get hurt and hinder your training for the weeks and months to come.

          Welcomes.

          Reply
  • How low are the low carb days? I’m a vegetarian, so I find it hard to go low carb unless I drink loads of protein shakes….

    Also, surely your body needs equally high calories on off days to recover?

    Reply
    • It depends. Low carbohydrate days, for me at least, usually have carbs coming from vegetables. That’s all.

      And about recovery on off days, not necessarily. I’ve found getting good sleep to be a bigger factor. You have to consider that if you’re loading up on calories the day of your training, that will help too. But just how “low” your off days go depends on your ultimate goal (muscle gain, fat loss, etc.). And then that goal will be the determinant of whether the performance hit is worth it.

      Reply
  • So would the fat loss template be best for a skinny fat like me who just wants to loose the extra baggage (lean down) around the waist before moving on to the “Clean Bulk” plan for muscle gains?

    Reply
  • Kyle Butler July 10, 2012 1:55 am

    Great, great article, Anthony! Carb cycling really seamed like rocket science, but I’ll definetly reshape my diet after reading this. How do you feel about weight gainers on high carb days? The one I’m taking is 625 calories 25g protein126,5g carbs and 2g of fat.

    Reply
    • Kyle Butler July 11, 2012 7:03 pm

      One more question: you said “The answer surely isn’t because intermittent fasting is the only pathway to results. People use methods in stark contrast to intermittent fasting and still get big, strong, and ripped.”
      But do you think, as a former member of the Brohirrim, that for the skinny fat in particular, it IS the only way to go? I finally got my new diet with carb cycling down on paper, but I’m postponing the actual start, because I really don’t want to fail again…
      The leangains method really seems to work fine, but I still can’t grasp on how I’ll be able o eat as much as I need to in so few meals (2-4)..
      Do you think by just doing carbs cycle and eating the regular 6 meals a day I’ll see some change? I rember reading another article regarding skinny fats on kelly baggett’s site, in which he stated that the simple act of calorie cycling would change body’s hormonal response…

      Reply
      • I think fasting/carb cycling works best. Did for me.

        But if you go back and check out my journey, you can see I leaned down and gained some muscle in 06-07 with the standard six meals per day gig.

        I think it comes down to nutrient autoregulation moreso than anything else. But that’s just me.

        Reply
  • So if I wanted to do a serious fat loss cut, would an 18/6 fasting window work? I like to do fasted cardio workouts and weight lifting workouts with BCAA’s so that’s why the 24 hour fast wouldn’t work for me. I would still do a pretty strict carb cycle as well.

    Reply
    • 16/8 can work well for fat loss. 24 Hour fasts aren’t necessary, even though they can be helpful.

      Reply
  • On the muscle gaining template, how much fat is to much? On the low carbs day I keep carbs below 100. Is it a good measure for fat as well?

    What is your position about milk?

    Reply
    • On high carb days, I like keeping fats below 0.5 grams per pound of BW.

      Milk is OK if you can tolerate it. I find most people to feel “better” without it, but “most people” isn’t everyone.

      Reply
  • Hi Anthony

    I really enjoyed this, and am currently looking to improve my diet to lose some fat.

    I wanted to seek some clarification, where you say…

    “Adjust the quantities based on how your body responds. It might take a few months to hone in on things, but everyone’s metabolic rate is different. That’s just the reality. I’m not about quick fixes either. You’re going to have to experiment.”

    … do you have any advice on how to hone in/ experiment? i.e. once I start getting down at least one pound of meat, six eggs, and three protein shakes down every day how do I then know if it’s working?

    Cheers

    Dan

    Reply
    • You simply see how the body responds in a week or two to a consistent food intake. If you lose or gain weight, then you either eat more or less depending on your goals. So start with a CONSISTENT amount of food day in and day out to set that baseline.

      Reply
  • I ended up rereading this via the link from your recent Skinny Fat success story post, and I was curious about the extended fast days for fat loss, specifically: Do you not care about macros if you fast for 20 hours? I’ve taken to doing this out of convenience but while I tried to get as much protein as possible, I’ve also taken to doing it when I know I’ll be eating out somewhere and I don’t want to always chose a lean protein source. Afterwards, I feel like I am racing to get more protein in before bed, since I am in a deficit on the other rest days. Do I really need to bother and just not worry about it so much if my protein needs are met on most other days? The context is that I always lose way too much muscle when cutting even when I try to take it slow.

    Reply
    • I don’t care about macros. I’ll just have one meal with my “normal” protein amount in that meal.

      Reply
  • Hey Anthony. Amazing templates! I bookmarked this for my new IF diet. The only thing is that I eat at school at 12pm, and workout at 3pm. I wanted to wait till Post workout to eat, but I would be on a 20 hour fast before I ate, unless I had a window of 4-10 or 12pm. I was wondering if it is THAT important to train on an empty stomach. Also, if I had to eat something at 12pm, what should I eat out of my first meal? The protein? Carbs? Or half of everything? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hmm. Tricky situation. If I were you I’d have a small lunch. Perhaps lean protein and a few veggies. Just *something* in your stomach. No starchy carbs. Train. Then post workout, have your carb dense meal (probably dinner time). Have a second meal after that if you couldn’t fit in the calories.

      Reply
      • Thanks Anthony. Love your articles. I will eat .25 pounds of protein and some veggies to break my fast. One more question: On Low-carb days, if I am eating red meat, 1 pound is pretty caloric. Does 1 pound of RED meat, 6 eggs, 3 scoops of whey, and healthy fats add up to 3000? It seems like it might go over. Thanks.

        Reply
  • Hi Anthony

    do you not eat at all between the 1/2 meals that you eat per day on this plan?

    do you take any forms of supplements pre or post workout as well or are all your nutrient needs covered if your taking in sufficient protein, fruit, veg and carbs?

    thanks

    Reply
    • I don’t eat at all.

      I take creatine. 5 grams on training days.

      Nutrients come from varying fruits, veggie, and meat sources.

      Reply
  • This article helps. So, thank you. I currently follow Martin’s IFing (been 2 weeks so far) with a 14/10 window. I haven’t noticed any difference in FL but, It works for me mentally & I am faily new to it based on the guidelines – more protein/carb cycling. However, I’ve lived the no breakfast life most of my life. So, it came easy to me. Right now, I’m on a FL path (more than 65lbs to lose) and am always afraid to eat more than calories allowed. I do calorie count but, I personally want to get away from it so, I can eat/live normally (meaning, protein high/carb cycle) without having to worry about numbers. Although, i don’t feel confident that I can lose the pounds without counting.

    You mentioned – “first step is one pound of meat, six eggs, and three scoops of protein” – That is LOT of food and if I eat that much it is pretty much my daily calorie intake :D . How in the world can I add other stuff – veggies, carbs, fruits – in my diet if I eat that much. I am not an athlete but, an everyday average woman who has a 100% sedentary job (& has a ton of weight/fat to lose). How would you advice to someone like me?? I strength train 3x per week and do LISS 2x per week. Any suggestions or recommendations will be appreciated. Oh I workout in the evening. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Ah, yes, women are a different animal. This was written for a male.

      Here goes: half the meat and egg recommendations.

      3 eggs, 0.5 pounds of meat.

      You might even be able to half the protein one too, but I’d opt for two.

      This will still deliver a decent amount of protein.

      Reply
      • Anthony, Thank you so much for replying. I calculated the protein amount you recommended for me and it comes up to be roughly 115 g per day. I had set mine for 125-130 g per day….which is close enough. I definitely have to fight to keep my protein up that high. With feeding window being 10 hours on average…it gets tough at times. But, I will definitely try to keep it up. I guess if I stop counting calories I can keep the protein up. Since IFing, I’ve been basically doing 2 meals and 1 shake before bed.

        I have another Q – for protein shakes, do you recommend shakes with milk or water? I usually drink 2% lactose free milk – only with shakes & little with coffee. But, I can do either skim or water if that is considered better?
        Oh one more, do you think potato (white or sweet) is a good PWO carb?

        Thank you for your help :)

        Reply
        • I think that potatoes are one of the best carb sources on training days if you put forth a meaningful effort.

          And as far as shakes go, I’m not a big fan of milk. Some people, however, can tolerate it. Makes me gassy and whatnot and dairy as a whole tends to derail fat loss in a lot of people. This is individual though.

          Reply
  • How can I do this if I am doing cardio as well. I dont do it for fat loss but conditioning. 4 spin classes a week (tues, thurs x2 and Sundays). I guess they are my off days right? Thanks and Regards

    Reply
  • Excellent article Anthony, thanks. The information here is really helpful. I lost 60lbs about a year ago, down from 240 to 180, but I still have some stubborn body fat that needs to go. I’ve been lifting for a few months now, and I’ve seen some gains, but I really want to get my diet sorted properly to lose the flab and get lean! I’m building it roughly against your fat loss template, but I have a couple of questions.

    Firstly, on my high carb days, I’m still getting quite a lot of fat from the milk I use with my oats and the eggs. Is it worth cutting them out? Or perhaps just the milk? Secondly, should I be avoiding carbs completely on low carb days? I know certain diets push minimal carb intake. Would I benefit from avoiding them entirely on my days off?

    Many thanks again!

    Reply
    • I’d ditch milk completely. Some people can eat milk and get lean. Others can’t. If you have a gut, there’s a good chance you can’t.

      Eggs are iffy. For those that want to carb cycle more precisely, I recommend substituting 1 to 1.5 cups of low fat cottage cheese in place of eggs on training days.

      Carbs on training days should be leafy, cruciferous veggies. Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, etc…

      Reply
  • Hey Anthony,

    I stumbled upon your site the other day and have been catching up on archived articles. I have a question regarding the muscle building template. On all of the other templates it’s listed to eat all of your simple and complex carbs for your post work out meal, but on the muscle building template you list to split up the carbs for both meals. If I was shooting for 300 g carbs on a work out day, would it make a difference if I ate all 300g in the post work out instead of breaking it down to 150 g of carbs per meal to take advantage of the whole carb backloading thing? Are you risking storing some of those carbs as fat if ingested all at once? I’m a big eater like you, and would have no problem putting down the 300 g of carbs on top of my lean meat in one sitting.

    Reply
    • I have carb intake in two meals on the gaining template so you could eat MORE. Not to break carb intake in half and eat them in each meal.

      Ie: Regular — 300 g PWO

      Gain — 250g PWO, 200 g later in day…

      Not many people can tank 300 in one sitting, let alone 450 g.

      Reply
  • Good read. Quick question: Your principle is based around 1lb lean meat, 6 eggs, 3 protein shakes. Your guidance for a one meal day is one normal sized meal. Are you trying to hit a protein level in this meal?

    Reply
    • Hmm…I’m a little confused. If you’re eating two times per day your meal prolly will be a bit “more” than “normal.”

      Split those three things across your day and you’ll hit the requirement. Two meals. Three. Four. Don’t matter.

      Reply
  • Two meals per day here too!

    With tasty high glucose cheat snack in between :D
    Fits my macros so who cares

    I agree leangains is easy and effective, I started eating more and started losing more fat. After being on very low calorie ketogenic diet that was super hard psychologically and stalling on fat loss

    Reply
  • First, I absolutely love your writings.

    On diet, what if it were simpler still? I did classic Leangains. It worked. But I always knew that its success was far more about food quality–over time–and food quantity (calories)–over time. Why? because I knew many who did not do Leangains yet looked just as good as any of them, likely because they ate qualitatively and quantitatively “well”–OVER TIME. A version of your well-named, “cruise-control”.

    So I ditched special PWO meals, ditched nutrient partitioning. I ate what I would have eaten in a week, but just averaged over each day. I also went to a more normal 12-hour fast. Should I work a bit harder on one day I allow myself a bit more. No surprises: it works. Good news is that it does not involve much thought.

    As to training, I am now inclined to the higher volume/higher frequency, less systemic mutilation approaches. To no surprise I hurt less and look better.

    Reply
  • you spelled the word EXLUCUSIVES wrong.

    Reply
  • Holy shit man! This article is awesome. I’m on day 5 of IF and I am loving it! I feel awesome and my workouts are explosive. I am doing 2 meas a day a. I have a long way to go at 6′ 3″ and 320 lbs but I am down from 387lbs so the journey is.moving along anyway. Thanks again man! Very cool site.

    Reply
  • hey Anthony bro.. I have some doubts, because let’s say I begin my workout on 8:30 am and end it near 10:00 am so I would be still 2 hours far from feeding period.. am I allowed to take right there my first protein shake since it is post-workout?? and in any case, when do I have to take my protein shakes exactly? another question: can i switch my workouts hours between days? I mean does it alter in any way if i train half week on mornings and the rest of it on afternoons?
    thanks in advance.!

    Reply
    • You can train whenever you’d like.

      As for the protein, take it whenever you want. I usually make protein pudding and eat it as a meal (look back into the archives for the recipe). If you finish your workout before the feeding period, you have two options: sip on a protein drink until you eat or have a small meal with a piece of fruit and a chicken breast or something.

      Reply
      • great.!! thx for replying bro..
        I’ll start my fasting this week.!

        Reply
        • hi Anthony, I just found your site and This is what i’m looking for. Food template!!! But, i still have question, especially with your sugestion to this man.
          When you eat small meal after workout at 10, and it’s still 2-3 hours until eat window, is it mean you already break fasting at 10? And HGH will stop when you eat calories? Please enlight. Thx alot

          Reply
          • I think you’re overthinking the issue.

            Technically ANYTHING breaks the fast, the question is whether or not it’s worth it and how “bad” the fast is broken. I think small rations of veggies and/or quality protien throughout the day shouldn’t be seen as universe ending, especially if you’re training and need something to prevent you from going into a jittery fritz.

  • Wait a minute – 1 pound of meat, 6 eggs and 3 protein shakes PER DAY? Given my shakes are 25g protein per shake, altogether that works out to around 230g of protein per day. I’m a 159 lb. guy looking to add bulk (obviously) but also lean up. Is that not a lot more protein than I could possibly need to build? My usual caloric needs top out around 2,000/day anyway. I see a serious danger for over-consumption, here, for me. What do you think?

    Reply
    • I think you need to reconsider your goals — what are you going to do? Lean out? Or bulk up?

      As for it being more protein, it might be. But these are just general recommendations for the world to check out. You can feel free to adjust them based upon what you feel you need. Won’t be “dangerous” unless you have any underlying kidney issues.

      Reply
  • Hi Anthony, could you help me structure my eating schedule.. I am tied up at work from 9am-5pm on weekdays, and the earliest I get to the gym is 6pm. My workouts usually last anywhere between 45-60 mins. My problem would be getting all my meals in before I go to sleep, which is usually at 11 or 12, how should I go about this issue? My main goal is to bulk as clean as possible, and I’d like to try out the Cruise Control version.

    Reply
    • Depends on how much food you can tolerate in one sitting. If it were me, I’d have a noon-time meal of eggs, chicken, and veggies. Post workout meal at night with the rest of the fixins’ to hit caloric needs on certain days.

      This only works if you can stomach the food volume though, so that’s something I need to know.

      Reply
  • According to “How much protein” by Brad Pilon, we don’t need so much protein.
    Why you persist on eating that much protein? As far as Brad says: 60-120g is enough.

    Reply
    • I eat it because I like eating it. And when you don’t eat it you have to compensate with another food. Protein has a great sparing effect when it comes to turning into fat. So you can “overeat” it without much issue.

      So you can eat a lot and get full.

      But even more so, if you want to teeter on the minimum amount, you’ll probably get minimal results. Your choice. In my opinion, I’m spending time in the gym and dedicating my life to this stuff. If I’m going to do the damn thing, I’m going to do the damn thing. I’m not going to err on the light side because it doesn’t make sense to me. I’m not going to try to cut corners.

      Reply
      • thx for answer. I though that if i meet the minimum requirement going over wont get me anywhere. I am not trying cut corners, just save money if i dont need that much protein. I have been on lean gains for over 1 year. I started with 260G of carbs and 175 of protein and fat around 40g on workout days and 60g on non working out days. I progressed with lifts, but i cannot get ripped. I can see my top abs but lower abs are always hidden. I tried diet breaks and I tried to lower carbs to 200g, now I am at 150g and I still cannot get rid of the that little extra fat to get lean. I cannot understand what could be wrong as I must be on deficit but my body is stucked with weigh in between 172-180.

        Reply
        • Maybe you’re not eating enough protein
          ;)

          Losing fat there is the hardest place to lose, no doubt. You have to do everything right — especially if you don’t have uber genetics. I’d have to see your entire training and diet scheme though. Might also have to incorporate some fasted low intensity cardio too. That tends to help, as does some other training methods.

          Reply
          • thx man, I will force it to be more.
            I love your site and your progress.
            After I have read How much Protein by BP, I just could not justify overeating the protein, but maybe this is wrong. I am eating now between 600-1000g of meat a day since I have read your post, which should give me enough protein. I will leave the carbs at 150g for now and see what happens. I workout either 2 or 3 times a week.
            1 Deads and chinups
            2 One leg squats or lunges and shoulder press
            (I dropped squats as I always injure myself (my muscles in head freak out and they get tight) and recovery is too long, so I decided to concentrate on Deads, I also do Hill Sprints once a week)
            3 Bench and dips
            all above are weighed

            I am 6.1 and 179 pounds , 37 years old
            my stats now are:
            Dead 7×275 (there was time when I hit 305 but I started to work on form and it went little down)
            Chin 35+body weight x 5
            Incline Bench Press Dumbbells 65×11 (I tend to go for more reps as when i was doing heavier i had issues with going to start position, so now i slowly progress by doing more reps and then adding weight until I reach 10-12 reps)
            Dips – 45+body weight x 4
            Dumbbell Shoulder press – 50 x 9 (same as with bench , i go to 10-12
            , before my max was 60 x 4 but i had same pain as with squats so I work on perfect form and reps first and slowly try to progress)
            1 leg squats with assistance, lunges and hill sprints I do for legs.
            I also play basketball 1 or 2 a week.
            Carbs only on working out days, so 2 or 3 times a week.

          • Do you cycle calories at all? Maybe you’re in a constant deficit. People with that stubborn body fat often go severely low on calories and their body never responds well — hormones go to poop. Maybe you need to jack up carbs on training days and lower them on off days. This will help recovery for strength training too. More strength wouldn’t hurt your cause. Neither would some hardcore gymnastics abdominal work.

          • yes I do carb cycle, on training days I eat carbs and on non training days I don’t eat carbs at all unless there is some minimal amount in some food I eat (max 20-40g) I keep protein constant and fat around 80 on non training days and 40 on training days. I just though that if I am at constant weight it would mean I am not on deficit as I am not loosing that’s why I started to play with my carb days and started to go down from 280 to 150. Do you think that I could be on deficit and my body just got used to one weight? Few years ago, I tried to eat more and I was immediately gaining fat.

          • I said CALORIE cycle, not CARB cycle.

        • Not sure what is the difference. I though If i lower carbs then automatically calories go down. Am i missing something? Your world or wisdom would be welcomed here.

          Reply
          • Well technically with carb cycling, fats also increase and decrease depending on the day. Ie: high carb day = low fat day. Low carb day = higher fat day.

            So calories can stay even, but macro breakdown differs.

          • So, what do you recommend? Count calories instead of macros and cycle?

          • I personally recommend cycling calories AND carbs AND protein at times. But my scheme is soon-to-be released :)

  • Hi Anthony,

    Fantasic article!

    I am very intested in moving from the six meals per day “standard” to something along the lines of the cruise control/muscle gain template. I train during the evening (6pm) so am thinking my feeding windows would be between 12pm – 2pm and 7pm – 9pm? I would also like to understand if it is ok to have a morning coffee with milk?

    Reply
    • Your feeding window isn’t really two separate times. You’d just have to meals under the feeding window. A lunch and then a dinner.

      Most times you want to avoid milk and coffee. It’s not a great combo since coffee’s “power” usually is negated with milk.

      Reply
      • Hi Anthony,

        Thanks for your quick response, the support you demonstrate is fantastic… and motivating!

        I may have missed something as I am a little confused with the response, there are no feeding windows? Just one big lunch and one big dinner yeah?

        I also have another question – you mentioned in one of your other nutrition articles that maintenance is roughly = body weight in pounds x 16, so in the case of myself that 172 x 16 = 2752 calories. you also mention If you are happy with your body fat and want to gain you have to times by 1.1 or 1.2 on training days and times by .08 or 0.9 on non training days (roughly). So using that logic if I was to start the cruise control/muscle gain template would it look a little like this?

        Training days:

        Lunch = 1513 calories
        Dinner = 1513 calories

        Total calories: 3027 (maintenance x 1.1)

        Non training days:

        Lunch = 1100 calories
        Dinner = 1100 calories

        Total calories = 2220 (maintenance x .08)

        ????

        Thanks again for the support.

        Reply
        • Those old articles are old. I don’t agree totally with them anymore. Here’s some suggestions –

          If you’re happy with your body fat start at BW x 12-14 on off days. 15-17 on training days.

          After a few weeks if you don’t notice any change, bump calories up on training days. After a few weeks if nothing happens, bump them up on off days.

          Then from there go solely training days.

          As for the meal times, I personally go with a 4ish hour feeding window. So I use windows but I’m not quite so sure you’d have to.

          Reply
    • Err carbs.

      Reply
  • Mostly i want to say thanks for this article, I’ve taken a more serious stance to my training lately and this article will help me get the food I need, the lifestyle option suits my life well. specificaly “high carb day = low fat day. Low carb day = higher fat day” will be helpfull to reach my goals i think.
    So again, thank you very much!

    I do however have one question though(im new to thinking about nutrition), in general how much carbs would “high carb” be? (somehow ive always had prob with getting them carbs.)
    Also, would it be fine to add in a couple of fruits along the day seperate from the meals(in the morning mostly)?

    Thanks for your awesome articles!

    Reply
    • As for “high carb” that’s totally dependent on what you normally eat and if you carb cycle. A lot of my coaching students are around 300ish on training days though to give you an idea.

      As for fruits, that depends on if you want to be strict IF or not.

      Reply
      • Aright thanks! (you’re a quick with the answers, cheers for that).

        One additional question came up as I read through more articles here and elsewhere and i was wondering what your take is on training multiple times/day?
        More specificly Weights + Muay Thai.
        Would it be better to try and schedule these on my weight-off-days?

        Reply
        • No you can do both on the same day. It gets tricky with nutrition and making sure one doesn’t interfere with the others, but it can be done. The problem with doing them on an off day is recovery. If the practices are intense you’re going to run yourself into the ground at first. Eventually your body might adapt though.

          Reply
  • Hello! I just read this post, and in general your page has been very helpful and motivating. I just had one doubt, though, with schedule. Currently I am studying and I have classes (non-stop) from 8.30 am to 1.00 or 2.00 pm. I live in a student house with a roomate so all my workouts I do them in a gym (even bodyweight ones, the gym has an excellent room, very big and empty, with mirrors, where I do this workout) just to have more “privacy”. The problem is that I have to be there before 4.00 pm because of a limitation in my membership. Right now I’m following a plan of 3 workout days (Mon., Wed., and Fri.). I would like to know which kind of schedule would you recommend me to follow with this meal plan…
    (Also if you have any recommendations for increasing my protein intake as a vegetarian).
    All the best to you! This site is really cool and helpful.

    Reply
    • If you can sustain your hunger and energy, train right after classes, eat dinner at 4PMish, and then anything else to fill in your caloric needs until you sleep.

      Reply
  • Sounds awesome, I have but one hang-up: What about Breakfast??

    Reply
  • Anthony, have you worked with vegetarians at all?

    Reply
  • Great read, easy to follow and all makes sense. Too many ‘diets’ you read have loads of variables and other stuff that’s just a put off before you really start reading it. This is simpler and easy to follow, thanks!

    Couple of questions:

    1. I like to workout early, like between 9 – 10AM, so is it still cool to haven first meal between 12 – 2? People just always say you should eat 30 mins to an hour after a WO, so it’s cool to scrap that?

    2. I’m kinda in a tricky sitch as I have a terrific mum (best in the world) who prepares all my meals for me. Whenever I propose I’ll start doing my own plans like this or cook my own meals she’s not very open to the idea because she doesn’t want to change how she does things for the family, and says the clean up will be too tedious. I tell her I’m happy to take care of that stuff but she still isn’t keen.

    Anyway so I’m kinda stuck when it comes to cooking stuff for myself and may find it hard to cook up red meat or vegetables and things. So, is it ok if I bought red meats like shaved ham, or shaved roast beef, that kinda stuff (like from supermarkets), or are we strictly talking steaks, fully cooked beef/lamb, etc?

    Thanks Anthony, love your site.

    Reply
    • 1. You need something quick to digest PWO so that you can restock liver glycogen. Fruit, whey, or BCAAs will do the trick.
      2. Lunch meat is generally not all that good.

      This might help: http://www.trickstutorials.com/content/parents

      I inspired that article way back when I was having some trouble introducing new things with my family.

      Reply
  • Hiya Anthony,

    Firstly, this is by far the most easy to understand post on IF so cheers for that. I’m doing leangains which is a no brainer but wanted to add a day or two of ESE in there. What wasn’t clear is when you start and end your 24 hour fast? Is it 3pm-3pm? 6-6? I know it can be different for everyone but what window of time has worked best for you?

    Reply
    • Check out my “how to start intermittent fasting” post. It basically depends on when you train and when it’s convenient for you.

      Reply
  • Days:
    Workout – Mon, Wed, Fri
    Eat Food – Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun
    Water/Tea Fast – Tue, Thu, Sat

    I just wanted to know you’re experience on not counting calories on fasts like ESE. I’m just worried I might overeat on the days I do eat Food, and go over my calories even though I’m fasting 3 days a week. Is this possible? Even thought I’m 6000 calorie deficit.

    Also I never understood how ESE days worked. When I fast, I won’t eat the entire day, then will eat the next day. So Tuesday no food, Wednesday Food. Yet with ESE you eat everyday?

    Reply
    • Anything is possible. Don’t know what to tell you there other than a 6000kcal deficit is huge. If you’re pigging out on your eating days though, anything can happen. Just because you don’t count calories doesn’t mean you don’t know a roundabout amount of food you’re eating.

      ESE is a 24 hour fast. If you stop eating at 5PM one day, 24 hours later is 5PM the next. So if you stop eating at 5PM one day you start again at 5PM next. Key is just to eat a regular sized meal and not make up for calories.

      Reply
  • First off, I am glad I came around to this website. Makes carb cycling so easy a cave man can do it!

    Question: On the fat-loss template in regards to the once a meal days, do you still get the same amount of protein in that one meal as other days (i.e. 3 scoops protein, 6 eggs, 1 pound meat) or would that be less as well?

    Thanks in advance. This diet truly ends all diets.

    -Matt

    Reply
  • Anthony,

    What do you think of potatoes? They ok to eat? I eat paleo and have cut them out but miss / crave them.

    Reply
  • Wow! I did not believe 1 meal per day really works. I am used to believing that 6 meals per day would be the best and the most effective diet plan for all levels of body building, may it be professional, novice, intermediate..etc. ( This seems to be outdated, I don’t know, really.. :) )

    but seeing you in great shape with on meal per day experiments. I’m really excited to try it!

    I have been working out for almost 1 year and a half now (MWF) and I’ve been following and studying post-workout and pre-workout diets with out anyone to guide me.

    its just like self research. ALL OF THEM ARE CALORIE CALCULATIONS! which is a pain in the neck.

    anyway, Question:

    Is it okay if you do the 1 meal per day for 1 year? should it be really post workout or pre-workout? I’m guessing its most-probably post-workout meal?

    I apologize if this question was already asked. I cant seem to read and browse all of the comments!

    Thanks for the post man, No calculations and numbers what so ever. excited to try it!
    Fiel

    Reply
    • Do the one meal per day as long as you can do the one meal per day. Don’t commit long term, just try it out.

      The meal should be post workout.

      Reply
  • What are your thoughts on things like Carb Backloading and Intermittent Feast where they push all carbs to night regardless of when you lift? Granted CBL is pushes for a late in the day workout.

    Reply
  • Great article. Great read. Very consistant information and your methods deliver.

    Personally, I am always cutting. Even when I’m not intending to and am planning lean-gains. On my off days, I tend to perform intermittant fasting for 48 hours each week. I go on, pretty much nothing but water and tea.

    On my work out days, which are 2-3 days a week for two hours a day or less. I have one meal a day of boiled broccolli (salt, pepper and chilled tahini sauce), around 500 grams which comes out to 200 calories, 33.2 grams of carbs and about 15 grams of protein. I’ll usually have about 3 tablespoons of Peanut butter (90 cals each) throughout the rest of the day and I’m good. I feel light as a feather and strong enough to lift rocks.

    I feel much more satisfied with a “life ‘meal’ plan” that I can live with. Even if I can’t be 180 lbs of all muscle with a 1/2% of body fat. I am currently 155 lbs down from 240 lbs and at 5’11″.

    While, for a man, that is pretty light. I feel comfortable being closer to 140 lbs.

    I was hoping for your opinion on this Anthony.

    Reply
    • I don’t agree with it. It’s not something I’d do. It doesn’t support my goals.

      But it’s not about me.

      If it works for you and you enjoy it, good things.

      Reply
  • Hey bro thanks for all the info. Ive started IF about 2 weeks ago and already feel the difference. Question is that Im trying to get my woman to try it out since its more convenient to eat this way based on her schedule. I know its different for women then it is for men. She needs to loose some weight and lean out. What would a womans diet look like or do you have a link to where you have an outline for this? Thanks and keep up the great work.

    Reply
    • There are some people that say IF isn’t as suited for women, but, as usual, there’s always two sides. Some women use it with great results.

      But I don’t have anywhere to point you, sorry. I’d just google “intermittent fasting women.”

      Reply
  • Hi everyone! I’m in need of some advice….
    I have been IFing for the past few months and LOVING it. I’ve always struggled with dieting and have had a love-hate relationship with food, but I believe those days are finally over! I am female, 23 years old, and probably around 124 lbs.

    I have been playing around with some different fasting styles, mainly sticking with the 16/8 lean gains, but I have been incorporating some 24 hour fasts on days when I will not be training as hard. Overall, I’m feeling very flexible with fasting lengths, anywhere from 16-24 hrs.

    However, my diet and training has made it pretty difficult to figure out what days I should be having as my ‘higher’ carb days, vs. lower, etc. I am a strict vegetarian (no dairy, but eat eggs), and I am training for a half-marathon, but also crossfit 3-4x a week. Help!
    With my diet it is hard to ‘low’ carb, and my focus is more on my running, as opposed to lifting heavy. I use crossfit to help improve my strength and running performance. At this point I really only take one day off, and 1-2 days a week are strictly only runs, no crossfit.

    Overall, I am very confused and unsure of what my macros should be… Any ideas or suggestions anyone??

    Reply
    • Honestly, I wouldn’t do CrossFit. It’s good that you’re into it, but you’d likely just benefit from the strength in general — and you don’t need CrossFit for that. You’re going to get your marathon skills running, not from CrossFit.

      If you are doing CrossFit, you need to include carbs on those days — most of their training will zap your glycogen reserves and will need some care.

      Running days are more fat as a primary nutrient, so you wouldn’t need to carb-fest.

      This whole framework depends on what you want though — physique or performance. What’s your true goal? Is the marathon just a fun thing that to assist your physique or what?

      Reply
  • Great article.
    I believe that the best way to lose weight healthily is fitness. Together with healthy foods it will keep you in good shape and mood. In order to provide enough nutrition and be able to train more effectively I take NavySeal Formula. This is a dietary supplement developed for soldiers, but it is good for everyone, who wants to keep fit

    Reply
  • Hey Anthony!

    Great article.

    I done IF at the end of a 6 month 6 meal a day carb cycling cut, only done the IF for 9 days and noticed a difference. I lost 2 stone in order to get my abs out but lost too much muscle!
    Ive put a stone back on since then with a bit of fat coz lets say it was a pretty dirty bulk being during the festive season and all.
    I started fasting today but wasnt sure what variation i was going to do so i googled it and landed here , so decided i’ll go for the 2 meal a day approach.
    I dont work out untill around 6pm and i think i would struggle to get all my carbs in one meal post workout. Would it work to have just chicken , eggs , veg around 12 then two smaller meals post workout to split the carbs?

    Thanks in advance

    Gary.

    Reply
  • Hi Anthony!
    Great article by the way.

    I´m quite a noobie to this kind of schedule (used to the 4-6 meals a day), so I have some quick questions:

    1- Do I need to start with the Cruise Control or can I just go on with the Muscle Gain template if that´s my purpose?
    2- It says that you have 2 big meals, the first as a post-workout, meaning you go training with an empty stomach. Doesn´t it affect your energy during working out (lifting less intense, etc.)?
    3- You convinced me of starting out with Tricking (got my kip-up already ^^), and that´s why I want to reschedule my whole planing. Used to lift weights 4 times a week, I realized that maybe lifting was not my main aim. Sure I want to get a little bigger and stronger, but just more as a complement to tricking. So here is the question, how do you organize yourself to do both things? 3 days lifting/3 days tricking? Tricking same days as lifting..? What about the meals? Do you trick at days off, or at high carb days?

    Sorry for my english, it seems not as difficult to read thoughts written in english as to express them for a non native speaker.

    Keep up the good work man! :)

    Reply
    • 1- You can do whatever suits your needs best.

      2- Depends on when you work out. Most people, when they get used to hunger, are more focused and energized in a fasted state. Your energy comes from what you eat the day before in most circumstances anyway.

      3- This would require me to write a book, and is what a lot of people struggle with. If you need personal help, it would be more of a personal programming gig. You can email me if this is something you’re interested in. Simply too long to write about, and I apologize.

      Reply
  • This is brilliant. Just discovered leangains and the 16/8 really suits me but the macros seem a bit daunting. This article put my mind at ease. I’m currently trying to do a cut as I’ve suffered as a skinny fat for years and this bothers me more than my muscles so trying to start from a ‘lean base’.

    Regarding your fat loss section I don’t know if I could do one meal a day. So I’m gonna try 3 meal/day with:

    Training – high carbs/low fat
    Rest – low carbs/high fat

    I was just wondering if your 6 eggs a day could still work on training days because that’s like 45g of fat. I love eggs though so I like the idea of it.

    Also, since looking at my maintenance calories I’ve realised that my previous ‘diet’ was decent but I was undereating. Any tips on bumping my carbs and protein up without feeling really full at each meal? May seem like a stupid question but it just seems like too much food! Even with the 3 meal split.

    Cheers. And again, great article!

    Reply
    • I like food. So it’s never “too much.” Can’t help you there.

      As for 45g of fat being “too much,” that depends on how much you weigh and all of that fun stuff. If you eat 3000 calories, 45 g isn’t big. 2000…bigger.

      Get it?

      Reply
      • Ah yeah. Makes total sense. If I go by the leangains ratios I’m on 2300 training and 1350 rested so 6 eggs on rested days may be a little much. Think I’m just gonna see how I get on and try and adjust it if it’s not really working.

        Thanks for your response anyway! And again, great article.

        Reply
  • Oh, I meant to ask what your opinion on whey and casein shakes is. I have no problem eating ridiculous amounts of meat, it’s just so expensive to eat that much protein (aiming for 140g a day; I’m 160lbs, about 18% BF). So to try and keep costs down I bought some whey and casein isolates. I don’t really want it to be a long term thing but in terms of cost it’s much easier to just have one of each a day.

    Reply
    • I recommend the three scoops of whey, so I realize the cost effectiveness. I’d still eat the meat though. I mean, one pound of chicken is usually around $2 or something. Can even find it less so in bulk.

      But I wouldn’t totally forego meat.

      Reply
  • Ignore the last comment! ‘…and 3 protein shakes a day’.

    Reply
  • wounder if you could tell me what to do if i cant afford any protein powder would be appreciated

    Reply
  • Let me know if u can get it cheep anywhere dude

    Reply
  • Hi,

    You said you would say easy 6 more times, but it was only 5..!

    Reply
  • LOVE THIS PLAN! It’s similar to how I already eat, but helped me modify my plan. It took me years to understand (and train my mind) how to eat well. The 5-6 meals a day never worked for me. It made me think about food far too often and left me craving everything. This method is simple and easier to make it a lifestyle rather than a ‘diet’. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Is this 6 whole eggs? Would Cholesterol be a concern if I exercise (3 day lifting split and slow cardio 2-3 days a week). If so I can stop separating so many damn eggs!

    Reply
    • Whole eggs. The idea of dietary cholesterol eggs (especially from eggs) increasing serum cholesterol is rather mythical. I suggest you do your own research as to why.

      Reply
  • So for the past week i have been fasting at least 22 hours and only eating at night after my workout. My one big meal cant be more than 1500 calories. On the weekend i am trying to eat either only one meal or do at least an 18hr fast. I got on the scale today and it seems like i gained 3lbs. I dont know what i could possibly be doing wrong. I relatively eat clean paleo except for some sweet potato fries or wine during the week. On weekend i definitely have cheat meals and alcohol.

    Reply
    • If your weekend habits are bad enough, they could be derailing progress. But before you do anything else, try to get a better estimate on hat you eat. I don’t know what eating clean means, it’s an ambiguous term that says nothing about QUANTITY. I don’t know how much wine you drink. I don’t know how much you eat, period. So calculate that FOR REAL, and don’t just make it an estimate.

      Second, what’s your “training?”

      Reply
  • Anthony, Wow! Great article! Came across you though finding leangains but this seems so much more detailed as what to exactly do! I’ve been following a intermittent fasting lifestyle for some time now… But I’m constantly looking for better ideas to increase performance(crossfit), save time on cooking(work long hours), and most of all save money(organic is expensive)… I started out breaking the bank on organic grass fed everything and soon money just ran out… I’m curious your thoughts on this specifically? It just gets hard to buy organic/grass fed meat especially at 1 pound a day! You also suggest 3 scoops of protein a day, do you have a specific brand of protein you use or suggest? I’ve gone through everything from the top of the line grass fed undenatured whey’s, to the cheaper whey’s, and often wondered does any of this organic stuff even freaking matter? So there goes my first post here, hope it wasn’t too long!

    Reply
    • I’m cheap. I don’t buy organic. I buy the cheapest whey True Protein offers.

      If this kills me in the long run, then so be it. But I have a feeling I’m better off — internally and externally — than 95% of the population so I’m not too worried about it.

      Reply
      • wow…. what a change from everything I have been reading and doing!!! I don’t know whether to feel relieved or just stupid… I mean I want to be as heathy as humanly possible and also increase my performance, as I had let myself go physically for quite some time… But when you sit down and look at cost of eating organic it just gets overwelming… Plus like everything else out diet, nutrition, and supplement wise I tend to second guess what’s really the agenda… Thanks for the response! I’ve really enjoyed reading through your blog!

        Reply
  • you list Brad Pilon as someone you follow… What do you think about what he’s got to say about protein intake?

    Reply
    • I think that his protein recommendations are better served for those that want to be on the conservative side or retain muscle mass. I’d rather just do the damn thing and take the protein. I’d honestly eat the food anyway. I love meat and eggs, so it’s no bones by me.

      Reply
      • What would you do food, diet, and most of all cooking/prepping your meals with a extremly busy work schedule… On top of the extremly busy work schedule you’ve also gotta make time for the training side of things… So for me most nights I don’t get home from the gym until 7/730… So there I am, long freaking day, worn out from work, working out and staring the kitchen and cooking dinner and the next days lunch in the face… This is what I struggle with the most… One of the biggest things that turned me onto this intermittment fasting thing was the fact you’d only have to worry about eating twice a day… But I still struggle with finding easy things to cook in a timly manner and also be creative enough to make the meals enjoyable so I’m not tempted to head down the old path of eating out, especially for lunch… Dinner is obviously much easier than lunch, which I have to get ready the night before, pack up, and bring to work…. I work 6 days a week, so I’m not home much… Ideas for planning and food prep to help someone that struggles with lack of time would be greatly appreicated….

        Reply
        • I’d forgo lunch, save for portable foods. Hard boiled eggs. Veggies. Fruits.

          I’d make training sessions 1-2 movements. Hit it and get home.

          I’d cook the same way I do now, which is super easy. Foreman grill for meat, eggs, lightly lemon sautee of veggies. Rice in a pot. Or taters in the oven.

          Requires minimal effort.

          Reply
  • When do you drink your protein shakes? You say 3 a day right? 1-1/2 during lunch, 1-1/2 after workout or during dinner? How long do you let hard boiled eggs sit in the fridge before you finish them off? how long will they stay fresh?

    Reply
    • I don’t drink my protein shakes. I eat them. Search for my whey protein pudding post.

      Hard boiled eggs – I don’t eat them hard boiled. Freshness? No clue. Google is your friend.

      Reply
  • Anthony, so my simple brain is crystal clear here… lol…

    training days
    lunch: 6 eggs or .5 pounds lean meat(cottage cheese?), veggies, 200 grams of carbs
    dinner pwo: 1 pound of lean meat(cottage cheese?), 3 scoops of protein, veggies, 250 grams of carbs

    non traning days
    lunch: 6 eggs or .5 pounds of fattier cut of meat(cottage cheese?), veggies, carbs or not? how much?
    dinner: 1 pound of fattier cut of meat(cottage cheese), 3 scoops of protein, veggies, carbs or not? how much?

    not counting the cottage cheese, curious when you fit that in, thats well over 200 grams of protein a day? would you split your scoops of protein up, or is it just your preference to have them all at night? obviously your intake of protein is different than mine, i’d like to stay around 185, so i’d adjust accordingly…

    have you tried bulletproof coffee with grass fed butter, mct oil, and coconut oil? noticed your video of adding whey protein to your coffee? would that be considered breaking the fast?

    Reply
    • Training day, core food + starchy carbs.

      Rest day, core food + non-starchy carbs.

      That’s all you need to know.

      I only eat one meal per day, and I like my coffee black, so, no. I don’t really use the whey trick, I did back when I first started fasting. Technically anything “breaks” the fast.

      Reply
  • Ok! Hey I thought you were eating twice a day now? You said warrior diet didn’t work well for you? All the example diets you listed, showed to feedings a day?

    Reply
  • Hi Anthony, I’m what you would call skinny fat. I’m female 23 y.o 5’7 115lbs and I want to loose excess fat on my inner thighs/ butt area and just get lean in general. Is this method a good start?
    I’ve been eating low carb/ gluten free for 2 years and I recently gained 10 lbs in 2 months. I noticed it might be the addition of excess olive oil/ avocado in my salads and eating a lot of baked Brussels sprouts drenched in olive oil. I also cut down on my usual gym routine, as I started waking up at 6 am for work and getting so exhausted I’d just come home instead of gym or I’d goon the elliptical but this hasn’t helped me loose fat.

    So last week I started doing Hiit on the treadmill for 20 min (60 sec at 4.5 light jog and 60 sec at 9 full on sprinting like a bear is chasing me) then the next day, I do heavy weights ( 120 lb squat – on a machine though, I haven’t learned how to squat with a bar yet) and some 15-30 min elliptical after.
    I also have a different schedule in April, I’ll be able to wake up at 10 am instead, would this help ? Id be less groggy. Maybe the weight gain was a hormonal thing as well?
    Would this gym routine and trying IF work for me? Which plan should I follow to see the results I want and not get discouraged. I want to get rid of my lumpy butt and upper thighs. Help? Thanks so much

    And since I’m a female what would you recommend for intake?

    Reply
    • My advice generally only applies to those that strength train with free weights, so you’d have to alter this is you weren’t doing such.

      Reply
  • Hi again. Sorry to bother, but I was wondering , does chewing sugar free gum like trident cinnamon affect my fast period? Say if I were to feel hungry and pop a few pieces before my first meal and then after the fast? What are your thoughts?

    Reply
    • There’s some evidence that the sugar alcohol does have some kind of effect, but it would be low on the list of things to worry about. In other words, your gum shouldn’t be a limiting factor.

      Reply
  • Hey Anthony. Was overhead pressing the other day and felt that annoying shoulder pain forcing me to stop. Probably trying to be over eager as have just started out and things were going well. Anyway. I’m resting it, trying to get full ROM back and gonna then do some cuff work.

    My question is twofold:

    1) what should I do about my ‘training’ day macros/calories if I’m not really lifting all that much?

    2) any suggestions on training around this while I’m trying to rest my shoulder? (I know this is a diet post so sorry about that).

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • 1) Less food, basically.

      2) Do anything that doesn’t hurt the shoulder. I don’t make amends for localized injuries. You can still do a bunch of other exercises, and even find pain free pressing exercises. Do them. All while working on the problem that’s preventing you from overhead pressing. Don’t detrain. Retrain.

      Reply
  • hi,
    i have just started to train my muscles, previously i was lean throughout my life,but by consuming junk and fast foods i became fattier.
    then, i started dieting ( may be i didnt understand how to diet so may be i went completely wrong about it) i did cardio most of the time and eleminates every kind of “oil” in my meals. i also skipped potatoes,sugar,cheese and fast foods. i became lean eventually and i got my six packs.
    my problem is, after loosing fat from my body my face looks very skinny and small and starved where as my body is getting muscular day by day due to high proteing intakes. on a whole i dont look good due to a smaller face and muscular body.
    kindly just help to maintain some fat on my face or tell me any jaw excercise to maintain a face which is propotional to my body. or recommend me a diet that i can follow to make my face propotional to my body without destroying my abs.

    thankyou.

    Reply
    • Your face will grow in proportion to your body fat and body weight levels. No exercise will help.

      Reply
  • Anthony,

    So you’ve now moved closer to the warrior diet as far as your daily eating patterne?
    Me and my girlfriend are going to give this a try now as well… Question I have, when it comes to females, how does fasting or eating this way affect them or their hormones… Her doctor was stead fast against fasting for women in particular…
    Also curious how fasting or eating this way for longer than normal periods of time affects testosterone in men? Any thoughts on this? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Some women prosper. Others, not so much. I wanna say it depends on your initial condition, but I’m sure not many people know for sure. Also depends on if you’re trying to have kids, etc…

      Yeah, I basically run with Warrior Chaos, per outlined in the Chaos Bulk.

      Reply
  • Anthony!!! Dope ass article and so well written! I lift and do HIIT every week, but the 6 meals/day is getting tiresome. So, I’m going to give IF a try starting tomorrow! My question is I take 1 scoop of casein prior to going to bed and I plan on eating during 12noon-8PM–so, when should I consume that scoop of casein? Thanks and great job again on this article!

    Reply
    • Eat it whenever you want from 12-8. You’re probably eating it pre-bed because you think your muscles will waste away. They wont.

      Reply
  • Thanks Anthony! Much appreciated for the response.

    Reply
  • Thomas Nygren Hansen April 18, 2013 12:15 pm

    Great information.
    I’ve read Eat Stop Eat, the leangains website and a lot of people using these approaches.
    One of the most interesting sources was this:
    http://ironauthority.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Intermittent-Fasting-and-Powerlifting1.pdf
    About a competing powerlifter combining Eat Stop Eat and Leangains resulting in fat loss and muscle gain!
    What is your experience regarding fat loss and muscle gain at the same time?

    Reply
    • It can happen. More so if you have lots of fat to lose. Definitely the “toughest” dietary operation. But possible indeed.

      Reply
  • Hi Anthony!!
    Great article man!!
    Im planning on starting this eating 2pm-10pm, strength train mon/tue/thur/fri in the evening, HIIT at 1pm mon/thur and 30min power walk tue/fri, wed will be rest day. How does that sound for IF, was thinking of getting all carbs in after the evening training session??
    Also on a Saturday night i may take a cheat meal (burger and fries) and couple of beers or wine, would this be ok and is it worth me doing some HIIT or a circuit Saturday afternoon just to offset the cheat meal slightly??
    Cheers dude, thanks for the site its a great help!!

    Reply
    • A moderate cheat meal should be fine, so long as you don’t gorge yourself.

      Everything else looks decent. Certainly on the right track. Although I’d, perhaps, venture to power walk on the OFF days. Just me though. I don’t enjoy doing any fat loss dominated activity on a day that I’ll be carbing up or anything like that.

      Reply
  • Hi Anthony,

    How would you schedule your 2 meals (ESE) if you lift in the morning from 6:00 to 7 am?

    Reply
    • I consider non-starchy veggies “free” foods, and thin skinned berries (among some other fruits) “free” foods. I’d probably snack on those as hunger necessitated until I had a big PM dinner.

      Reply
  • Fantastic article! Just have a few questions.
    1. Is this template still what you use in terms of your current diet?
    2. Also, I was wondering, (maybe I didn’t check the blog carefully enough) if you used that exact fat loss template after you intentionally splurged and gained like 20 pounds in a few short days.
    3. If I was interested in the mass gain template, could I have the first meal consist of lean protein and carbs, and taper down the carb intake for the second meal, but include more fat?
    4. Dont worry, no more questions. Thanks, love your work!

    Reply
    • 1. I use stuff inside of The Chaos Bulk a little bit more. Similar, but not quite.
      2. Again, Fractal Fat Loss guide inside of The Chaos Bulk.
      3. Maybe. There are many ways to go about things depending on what you enjoy and what’s suited to your lifestyle. I only eat one meal per day these days.
      4. Thanks.

      Reply
  • For post workout im thinking of having 200g oats, 10 eggwhites, handfull berries, apple, 3 scoop protein, small glass almond milk and water, blend and drink!! Also a 3 whole egg ommlette!! Meat and veggies will be consumed in 2 other meals in the 8 hours!! Does this sound ok to you??
    Also coconut oil in my 2 cups of morning coffee or just straight black!!
    Cheers dude!!

    Reply
    • Uh, beats me, just give it a go and see if it works. Everyone has a different metabolic rate. You didn’t even mention your goals, height, weight, body fat level, etc…so just go for it and adjust.

      I drink coffee black.

      Reply
  • Made protein pudding today with vanilla protein YUM! Just what I needed to shake things up. Trying the oatmeal volcano tomorrow–is it sad that I am excited about it? :-) Anyway I am so glad I found your article, I have been IFing for awhile and then I came across ESE. I have been trying to figure out the best way to utilize both so thanks for the great info!

    Reply
  • Post Workout Meal say complex and simple carbs. Do you recommend mix complex and simple in that meal or just one of them in them?

    Reply
  • If im gonna train on a lifestyle day. should i have this meal? (Neutral foods – lean meat, vegetables, protein powder)
    after the workout and then later in the evening have the (wherever your hearts take you meal)

    or should i do the o posit? start with the lifestyle meal and then do the first meal ((Neutral foods – lean meat, vegetables, protein powder)

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • The lifestyle template is the lifestyle template solely because the “relaxed” meal is in the PM, when most people see it convenient.

      Reply
  • I’m 42 and have been bodybuilding for 20 years. I started my contest diet (5 meals a day yuck) and I have about 11 weeks left. Started my diet at 275 13% bf now I’m at week 11 or maybe its 10 but what ever.. the body fat is 8.7 and the weight is 236lbs. Now again I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years in younger years I was on stage at 230-240 but with age… well its now going to be a stage weight of around 212 – 215lbs 3% which I’m ok with.

    So my question is this? Where does one start or read a book about IF for staying lean and growing muscle (250lbs 10% bf). All these sites like leangains for example don’t really say how to start or what to eat. I like the idea of going on the 16/8 method.

    So where does one start? Do I just use my lean body contest weight of say 215×12? that’s 2580 cal a day to maintain but I still want to grow and stay lean for health issues. So do I just add 300 cal to the 2580? or 500 cal?
    where does one get the info on what to eat and how much?
    want to start in aug after contest. Currently on prescribed hormones as well
    thx for your time

    Reply
    • I explain all of this within the Chaos Bulk – http://thechaosbulk.com

      Leangains has a rather nice starting guide though, even though you mentioned the opposite. Fasting doesn’t effect total calories consumed, or macro breakdown. Just TIMING of nutrient intake (when to eat what – not necessarily quantity).

      But in my chaos theories, I don’t count calories. I follow simple rules to automatically keep my caloric needs met when needed.

      Reply
  • Hey great article.

    One question. In the fat loss template, on high carb day you eat simple carbs post work out right? What carbs and how much? a meat and potatoe dish on white rice ok?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Simple…complex…maybe both? Generally want to go with some starchy carbs, although this can change with fat loss as sometimes carbs can drop. I don’t count calories.

      Reply
  • Great article, Anthony! I have one question though. Would you prefer the lifestyle template for skinny-fat guys like me who are doing body recomposition?

    Reply
  • Do you use ant sauces on your food?¨

    Myself i only using some barbecue sauce on the meat or some sweet-chili sauce.

    Reply
    • Most sauces are sugary crap — including bbq.

      If I use anything, I’ll make it more of a stew. So cut up tomatoes or something and cook em down so that they’re more liquid-y. Or just buy a can of cut tomatoes, mix em with some veggies and spices and that’s that.

      Reply
      • Thanks i try that. What kind of spices?

        Reply
        • Andreas, use your imagination. There is tons of spices and tons of recipes. What works for Anthony might not work for you. Spice it the way you like it. Experiment!!!

          Reply
        • Whatever you enjoy? Everyone has different tastes, my man. Become a chef.

          Reply
          • Alright Anthony,I am looking to loose belly fat and get a better physique.(aren’t we all ha)really looking forward to starting this program and I will try the ESE one first.i am 193lbs 5ft 11 body fat around 20%.could you please advise me on how many calories I have on training days and at what ratio from post to second meal.also how many on rest days and I assume the ratio can be 50-50?.thanks see you are really dedicated to helping people you should be proud

          • Peter – I don’t believe in counting calories. It’s up to you to experiment for what’s best for your body. Focus on getting in enough protein, and then fill in the gaps as necessary. If you’re in it for fat loss, 80% of your intake should be lean protein and veggies. The other 20% (depending on training day) can come from fruits, fattier meats, etc..

          • And, of course, don’t freak over the percentages. Just ballpark it for every meal based on how much food is on your plate.

          • Thanks regarding the complex carbs after training rice,oats etc should I still consume these,I still want to build muscle too.i had about 600cal of carbs after workout with the 3shakes and half a pound of meat,then veggies plus 5eggs and the other half of the turkey mince.whats the reason for not eating after 8pm usually I have a casein shake.total today was 140g carb 250g protein.approx 2500 kcal.how does this look.thanks for reply

          • What? I really can’t understand this. Use question marks. Make your questions clear. Give me a backing for reference so I don’t have to scour for information.

          • Should I not have any complex carbs after training if I am in it for fat loss first?should I just stick to veggies all the time?still want to build muscle or maintain what I have,will not having and starch carbs after training effect this?thanks

          • Depends on what kind of training you’re doing. If you aren’t draining glycogen, the need for carbs decreases. Some can lose fat with carbs, others find a sweet spot at 50-100g. Test it out.

  • 1.Would cottage cheese on the highcarbday and cheese on the lowcarbday be enough dairy and calsium for the cruise control template? i dont drink milk.¨

    Reply
    • I don’t know, as everyone is different. What I do know is that there are other sources of calcium other than dairy.

      Reply
  • Great read. Im very excited to try it as i’ve been following leangains for a little while now and am looking to take the diet a little further with carb cycling.

    One thing about the low carb meals, i think plain grilled lean meats with veggies could get quite boring quite quickly, but could easily be livened up with pickles, sauces, ketchups and other condiments. These can contain high levels of sugar though (obvs, simple carbs). is this a problem for a “low carb” meal, or is a small squirt of bbq sauce/ketchup/mustard/pickle etc ok?

    Reply
    • Become a spice magician. Salsa is cool too. Mustard is fine. Pickle is cool.

      I mean, you can use the sauces if you want but I don’t. There are calories in them via sugar (ketchup and bbq) as you mentioned, so it’s just something you need to be cautious of.

      Reply
    • I’d speak the BBQ Sauce and the Ketchup for sure. It’s sugar in a bottle. Plus, NOBODY has “just a little squirt”. Like Anthony said, spices are your friend.

      Reply
  • Hi Anthony I have just seen your 8important barbells exercises.do you do theses exercises one after the other?can you tell me how many sets and reps I should be doing to start with and how many times to do this workout in a week?thanks peter

    Reply
    • Program within the Skinny-Fat Solution has it all. No, all eight aren’t done in one session. Only 2-4. Sets/reps depends on a lot of things, so does frequency — namely, what you enjoy and how much time you have to devote.

      Reply
      • hi Anthony as fat loss is my goal for now would i still include some complex carbs in my PWO meal? or cut them out completely and just have veggies?.i am still looking for muscle growth too?thanks.new to this website buts its great

        Reply
        • If you have a lot of fat to lose, focus on fat loss and let muscle come as it may.

          Reply
          • bit confused regarding carbs?should i still have some starchy carbs after my PWO meal if i am trying to reduce my body fat?or have none and just veggies/fruit?

          • It’s not black and white. I think most people are good controlling carb intake if they’re looking to lose. As far as how low — as HIGH as you can while still losing weight.

  • 12-2PM – Post Workout Meal

    Lean Meats, complex and simple carbs, protein powder

    6-8PM – Second Meal

    Lean meats, cottage cheese, eggs, vegetables

    Could i use 3 of the 6 eggs you recommend in the post workout meal with the lean meat instead of eating all the 6 eggs in the second meal?

    Reply
  • Hi, thanks for all your advice. Just a couple of quick questions about type and quantities of foods.

    I understand that regardless of the day we should be eating 1lb meat, 6 eggs and 3 scoops of protein powder, but on high carb days; how much in the way of carbs should we be taking in? I know you said you dont count calories, but most people usually go for somewhere between 75-100g of pasta/rice etc as a typical portion on the side of the plate. So would we just add in one of these regular portions to the diet? I just want to be sure that i’m not over/under eating on high carb days. Personally, after a workout I could eat a ton of pasta, but I want to make sure Im not going overboard.

    Secondly, regarding fattier meats on low carb days. How fatty are we talking? Today was a low carb day for me so i had plenty of veggies and no starch, but the meat consisted of grilled burgers, bacon and sausage, which seemed too fatty to be healthy as part of any diet (it was tasty though!). Should it be more like steak and chops and other whole cuts of fresh meat or doesn’t the fat content really matter when there are no carbs present?

    Thanks again

    Reply
    • Test your boundaries with carbs. Go up and up and up until you hit a point in which you notice residual effects in body composition.

      Fattier meats are same deal. Go as fatty as you want until residual effects.

      Reply
  • Have you ever had any success with 3 meals a day?

    Reply
    • Depends on what you mean by “success.”

      Reply
      • What kind of nuts should would be good with this diet? Cashew, Walnuts, almonds. peanuts.

        and what are your toughs on using peanut-butter?

        Reply
        • I think you should eat them and find out. As far as I know, there is not such thing as a “best” nut. Walnuts are good. Almonds too. Macademia nuts too. Etc…

          Reply
  • Hello, very informative article. I want to experiment and take baby steps with carb cycling. I had bought The Renegade Diet by Jason Ferruggia but do not like concept of having to eliminate my favorite meal of the day breakfast and can not afford to go 100% free range and organic right now. I am 6`3 230 and am doing the Greyskull LP program which is basically a version of 5×5 three days a week. I do have a slight gut but overall bodyfat and definition is under control. I am still training for overall strength and getting stronger in the 4 big lifts is my main goal. Can I use the cruise control method or should start with muscle building template while still realizing some gut/body recomp due to the first time use of cycling my carbs? Also, my doctor recommends only one egg a day with rest of my eggs being egg whites, when you say 6 eggs, do you really mean 6 whole eggs daily, that cholesterol seems excessive, will 1 to 2 whole eggs and 3 to 5 egg whites still suffice. Thanks

    Reply
    • There’s no breakfast in this template either, so I’m curious if you caught that?

      Eggs, I mean the whole eggs. If you have cholesterol issues, you need to sort them out. BUT, in general for those with well functioning bodies, dietary cholesterol isn’t much of an issue insofar as increasing serum cholesterol levels.

      Reply
  • A few quick questions

    1.Should i go with low fat diary or higher fat diary products?

    2. Can i use a little bit of olive oil on my vegetables? or some other type of oil.

    3 . Would it be best to put a Lifestyle day on a training day? right after the workout. right know i m working out 4 times a week following your cruise control template.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • 1) Higher fat as long as you’re sticking to nature’s foods. Fat isn’t bad.

      2) I generally think oils are a sucky source of fat. I’d much rather you get fat from meats and whole foods. Grassfed butter can work though. Coconut oil might not be bad either as it’s generally a bit more pure than the common oils.

      3) Try it and see.

      Reply
  • Interesting article thanks for the info. I have also been on a journey over the years to find a diet to maintain weight. I can lose fat through hard work and fasting but can never maintain it once I try to stabilize.
    This is my 3rd time trying the Warrior Diet in the last 3 yrs (I am a big Mercola fan and follow his lifestyle). I really wanted the diet to work but it is always the same – I get cold, grouchy, weak and sluggish during the day – and every time I have GAINED weight on the warrior diet. I have been on it 3 weeks now (with no cheating) and have gained 4 lbs of fat (mostly in my abdomen). I have read Ori’s estrogenic diet book as well and apply those principles daily to no avail. I am a 42 yr old female that does HIT training twice a week and weight lifting twice a week and am at about 17% body fat 40% muscle. My goal is to be at 15% fat and increase muscle mass. It is frustrating since I am slow to lose and it will take me a month of hard work to get this extra belly fat off again. The only diet to maintain weight that has ever worked for me is to eat low/no carb mini meals of protein and green vegetables every 2-3 hours. But I believe this is not optimal for HGH and overall health. Going to try Eat Stop Eat hoping that this will work.

    Reply
    • My thoughts: you’re focusing on calories, not nutrients.

      If you’re gaining weight, you aren’t getting enough nutrients. That tends to happen when you only eat one meal unless you can cram/plan.

      Eat raw colorful veggies through out the day. Eat one meal at night. Maybe two. Make sure your meal has enough fats and proteins. Make sure it has enough carbs to support the kind of training you do.

      Reply
      • Sorry I just have to add something to Victoria’s issue. Not everyone can do intermittent fasting. Especially women, sometimes it causes your body to perceive starvation and hang onto fat. I love to do IF, but it doesn’t love me. I’ve discovered that as long as I IF I will always have that bit of fat, my body just won’t let go of it. Why keep doing the same thing if it always fails you? (i.e. the Warrior Diet)?

        Reply
        • This is why I recommend the vegetables through out the day.

          Reply
          • By eating vegetables but no protein, fat, and little carb you get the benefit of intermittent fasting without the down side?

          • No, it just reduced your calorie intake through out the day and gives your body nutrients. Less calories. More nutrients. Good things.

      • Thanks for that info – I don’t do the raw veggies during the day like Ori allows – so when my evening meals comes I am crazy hungry and eat mostly protein and fat (nuts, raw cheese, meats) which I am craving. I will try to focus on nutrients and see how I do.

        Have you found that raw veggies during the day won’t break the fast? I don’t think I would ever try fruit (as Ori mentions) during the fasted day, seems like it would bring the HGH production to a halt.

        Reply
        • I think you’re out thinking yourself. I mean, what you’re doing ISN’T working, so whatever conception you have of right/wrong is…well…WRONG. Don’t be afraid to open up and try new things. Let your body tell the story, not your mind.

          Reply
  • 1.What do you think about beans? could i use them to some of the meals in the cruise control templete?

    1. What do think about using sour-creme with your meals?

    Reply
    • I think beans are alright. I eat them from time to time because I love mexican. Sour cream, same deal. That’s only because I’ve reached a level I’m satisfied with and I’m not as strict as I once was. Sour cream woulda been something I would have potentially nixed a while ago.

      Reply
      • What about heavy cream is that something you stay away from or use in your diet?

        Reply
        • I don’t use heavy cream. The only dairy I eat regularly is cheese. That’s once or twice per week. Because, well, I like cheesy eggs. I eat sour cream maybe once every month or something.

          Reply
  • 1. How many lifestyle days would you recommend in a week?

    2. 12PM – First Meal

    Neutral foods – lean meat, vegetables, powder, etc…
    Should i try to get in 1 pound of meat and 3 scoops of proteinpowder in this meal?

    Reply
  • 1.Do you eat berries? or is you getting enough of vitamins from the veggies you eat.

    Reply
    • I usually buy a gigantic bag of frozen berries and have a cup or something when I’m still hungry at night or something.

      Reply
  • is there any specific way to stack the low-carb and high-carb days? does it actually matter?

    and i think i need a bit more clarity on the fat-loss template. how should i stack the days? is it okay to go straight from a one-meal day to a high-carb day? also, what exactly would you consider a “normal sized meal” for a one-meal day? furthermore, how should i approach fats?

    Reply
    • What do you mean “stack?”

      There’s no such thing as a “normal” sized meal. It’s up to you. I give you the base of what I eat daily, it’s up for you to fill in the gaps.

      Reply
  • Today sunday im gonna have my first cheat meal on the cruise control templete. i been following the plan since monday.
    i thinking about this aproach as in the lifestyle day.

    first meal. meat, protenshake, veggies.

    then later in the evning having some burgergs and fries

    what do you thin about that?

    Really enjoying following this diet with 2 meals a day and carb cycling.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  • hey great info. I am new to IF hope it can work for me..I do crossfit but I can only do it in the evening. my workout ends at 830pm…I notice that your meal comes post workout. If I eat between 12p and 8p will I see good results eating my meals pre workout? I am trying to drop body fat and retain my muscle mass.

    Reply
    • I think you might be better served with something other than CrossFit, but still doing CrossFit lifts. I see CrossFit-esque stuff more as icing to an already well constructed program (if you want to do it), not as a program itself.

      As for the food situation, I’d consider just extending the feeding window or switching it. Your set up isn’t ideal for that window.

      Reply
  • 1. Do you eat fish? is it fine to have tuna as a lean protein on the high carb day?

    2. Skinless chicken breast or chicken breast with skin on training day?

    Reply
    • 1. Not as much as I want. Tuna is fine.
      2. Use either. Skin is fine, but there’s also caloric baggage to consider. Won’t kill you, but it might not be ideal pending your goals.

      Reply
  • 1.What do you thin of using a little bit of Soy sauce on the rice?

    2 and some mayonnaise on the fish?

    Reply
  • I’ve been thinking about starting the IF protocol. Would the 14/10 also work on a male? It would just work better for my schedule since i workout around 4:30-5:30am before work and would break the fast at noon. I’m currently doing IIFYM with a calorie deficit and I’m hoping IF will burn off the last few lbs of stubborn body fat.

    Thanks,

    Reply
  • What do you thin about suing peanut-butter?

    Reply
    • I don’t think anyone “uses” peanut butter, I think they eat it. And I don’t eat it because I’ll end up eating the entire jar.

      Reply
  • Hey, first off great job on this article. I’ve been looking into this for a bit now and have had trouble find good solid information. This has has been extremely helpful with gearing me up from my transition to IF from the 8 meal a day routine I have been on for a while now.

    two question: 1) with my work schedule I work 4pm-1am and I was wondering if it would make a difference breaking my fast when I wake up, working out, and then having a PWO meal before fasting the rest of the day and while I sleep.

    2) I’m in good shape right now but I need to burn some fat in my lower stomach still. Which template would you recommend in my situation? I’m 195lbs, 5’10″ and the only fat is in my stomach region. Everywhere else I am seeing great progress in terms of muscle growth and definition. I lift 4 times a week doing 30 min cardio split 15 before and 15 after. I also do two days of 60min interval training w/core and ab work

    Any pointers would be appreciated. Thanks!

    Reply
    • 1) Maybe. Maybe not. I’d try it and find out. But I generally don’t like to train with much food in the stomach — keep your blood available for your working muscles, not caught up in digestion.

      2) Neither of these set-ups is geared towards stubborn body fat. Seems you’re doing a ton of activity already, so if you aren’t burning that fat I’d reconsider something. The thing with stubborn body fat is that your body is failing to mobilize it. Doing more might not help. If you’re gaining muscle, I’d venture to guess you’re just getting a little too much energy on a consistent basis for the fat to want to come off.

      Reply
  • low or high fat diary on workout days?

    Reply
  • Hi Anthony.
    I read this article a couple of weeks ago and loved it.
    I recently lost half a stone doing Eat Stop Eat, and I’m now trying to put on some muscle.
    I wanted to do what you did when you said you had the best gains (combining Leangains and Eat Stop Eat).
    I have tried the Leangains recomp before but I felt restricted on my low calorie, low carb days. However, I loved Eat Stop Eat so I decided to make some kind of mutation of both and see how that goes:
    I used the 1percentedge IF calculator to calculate my weekly calories that I’d consume on a Leangains recomp.
    I then took away 1000 for the 2 days per week when I only consume 500 calories.
    The remainder of the calories were divided into the other five days.
    So I am consuming around 2450 cal/day with 2 fasting days a week.
    I am also carb cycling, although I’m not expecting to lose a lot of fat as sometimes I have to eat above my carb macros to hit my calorie goal.
    I would really appreciate it if you could give me your opinion about this method and maybe some general advice you may have?
    Harriet

    Reply
    • I don’t count calories. My ESE experiences were basically this: on rest days, eat one meal of minimal calories via proteins and leafy green veggies. That’s about all.

      Reply
  • Okay, thankyou.
    On your training days do you just count your macros? How do you know when to stop eating, or if you’re consuming enough food?
    Sorry about all the questions. I’m pretty new to training and fasting so I want to get it right. Your feedback is much appreciated :)

    Reply
    • I stop eating when wither a) my food runs out or b) I’m full. I know I’m eating enough because I’m gaining muscle over time.

      Reply
  • Okay thankyou :) I’m currently trying to gain muscle. What do you think about having the majority of carbs post workout then a normal sized meal with a bowl of porridge after (I love porridge with cocoa powder added) for my last meal of the day? Would this facilitate muscle growth better than having a bowl of porridge a few hours before working out?

    Reply
    • That sounds really good. What brand of porridge? Where do you buy it, in the oatmeal aisle?

      Reply
    • You can eat porridge PWO, couldn’t you?

      As for what’s “better,” that depends. I say it’s better to have most of your carbohdyrates in a big meal sometime post training, preferably at least an hour or two later.

      Reply
  • What protein shake (brand/type) do you take? I know you say Whey but does it have Carbs in it, like bulking shakes.

    Also, for IF, what about morning workout people? I’ve been following Martin’s recommendation of drinking BCAAs until breaking the fast. Does that still hold true?

    Reply
    • Just whey. That’s all that’s in it. Get it from True Nutrition, I do.

      Martin is a smart guy, and certainly smarter with his own structure. I personally don’t think foregoing heavy PWO nutrition for a few hours will create a black hole, so I don’t think you need to eat a huge meal immediately.

      Reply
      • Thanks for getting back to me. :) As I said, I’ve done IF and LeanGains diet before hoping to cut fat while maintaining muscle. I’m 39 years old, only been working out for 4 years, never seen more than a 2 pack, and I have tried a lot of methods. But, I really like your simplicity of cutting fat, using the 24 hour fast, by just skipping the first meal on off days. Though, I still added in Cardio on the off day. (I find working out keeps my energy up and makes me less hungry). What’s your thoughts on that?

        Reply
  • Hi,

    I’m just starting the 16 8 fast. Eating from 10am-6pm and fasting in between on water and black tea. However, I get up really early for work and have been drinking a glass of water with the juice of one lemon squeezed in it at 4.30am. Does this mean I am breaking my fast too early? I was hoping it is low cal enough not to count, I don’t take any solid food until 10am. Can you please let me know, I want to really do this plan correctly to get the results, should I give up my early morning lemon water?

    Thanks very much.

    Reply
    • I think you’re being a little obsessive. Some lemon juice won’t make the universe collapse in on itself. It won’t haunt your fasting efforts, either.

      Reply
  • Really lost July 23, 2013 1:09 pm

    Reading this article was interesting at first but I really got lost. What I would like to suggest is that for each of these template, they be summarised in a table to keep it simple

    Reply
    • Sounds great, you can visit me in Pittsburgh. I’ll put you to work so that you can make this happen.

      Otherwise, the summaries that I have above seem to be good enough for most. Perhaps you just need to take your time and read.

      Reply
  • Hey Anthony,

    Awesome article! Do you recommend having fruits on high carb days and low carb days, especially a brown spotted banana or grapes right after the workout? It would be great if you could share your weight training program(frequency, off days, amount, intensity and form of cardio etc.) while you were on while on IF. I am 5″9, 164lbs with around 16-18% body fat, I have lost around 35 pounds in the past but lost some muscle mass because of excess cardio which I want to avoid going forward. I weight train 4-5 days a week at noon these days with no cardio other than a circuit training routine at the beginning, is this the way to go or would you include some low intensity cardio if the goal is to bring down the body fat to 10% with minimal muscle loss?

    Thanks, Ranjith.

    Reply
    • I sent my program to my newsletter subscribers a while back…

      I’d include some low intensity if your goal was to get down and you were above 12-13.

      Reply
  • Hey. Just some quick questions :)

    1. Cardio on high carb day or low carb day?

    2. Would you recommend low or high intensity cardio with this diet?

    3. Doing cardio on a empty stomach? just like the weightraining.

    Reply
    • 1) I’d have to ask why you’re doing cardio, as different reasons end with different answers.

      2) Depends on #1. If you’re in it to lose fat, I’d need to know your body fat and training history.

      3) It’s fine.

      Reply
  • Do you mix shour proteinshakes with just water? milk, cream or some oil.

    Reply
    • I don’t drink shakes. I made pudding. Whey, water, cinnamon, banana = mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

      Reply
  • Hey Anthony, thanks again for sharing your insights with us. I want to give your chaos nutrition a try and I just wanted to ask if I’m understanding correctly. After getting down to the lean base, do you just look in the mirror each day and decide if it’s going to be a calorie surplus day or a deficit day depending on how you feel/look that day (also taking into consideration if its training or non training day)? Kind of like doing individual “cutting” and “bulking” days rather than doing the traditional ones that span months at a time?

    Reply
    • Yes and no. The mirror provides immediate feedback from day to day once you’re at your solid base, but that’s only short term bloat and such. Even still it’s a good marker of what’s going on. If you lose your definition in a week, you know you’ve gone too far. This is why the solid base is important.

      Reply
  • by taking fish oil you don´t need to worry too much about your omega 3´s and what not, right ? I mean, chicken breast is cheaper than salmon but because you´re taking fish oil bla bla bla… is there a correlation here or am i talking crap ?

    Reply
  • What kind of fats would you recommend on the high carb days? im doing nuts on the low carb days and avacado on the high carb day at the moment.

    Reply
    • None, really, but that all depends on what I feel like eating. I don’t think I need to seek out much fats on those days.

      Reply
  • What do you think about mixing dextrose with the whey post workout shake? or is just whey enought, then a decent meal.

    Reply
  • I get a bit confused when you talk about eating eggs… you mention eating six eggs everyday… you mean egg whites, right ?

    Reply
  • Please note in advance that I’m not being a skeptical dick, even if I come off that way. This is general curiosity.

    So, how effective is this whole “Chaos Bulk” diet for ectomorphs? I understand that this diet was spawned mainly from experimenting with your body style, but surely you’ve had this question asked before. As a 6’3″ guy who sits naturally between 170 and 180 lbs, I found that I was only ever able to gain and maintain weight by gorging on massive amounts of calories every 2 hours. At my peak, I was around 197. After I got tired of eating so much and feeling full and sluggish, I cut back on the meals and just ate when I was hungry. Surprise, skinny again!

    Now, as exciting and intriguing as this “Chaos Bulk” is, I have a hard time believing that less calories, properly timed (or “felt”, I guess) will equal not only more energy, but ALSO weight gains. See, when you say that IF and Chaos won’t make my body eat itself, I wince because I for one notice my vascularity and muscle “fullness” suffer even if I miss one meal and go hungry. I’d like to have a discussion on this, because this is the only thing really keeping me from purchasing your e-book.

    I would have posted this elsewhere, but I couldn’t find an email or more appropriate spot for it. Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • The Chaos Bulk isn’t for everyone. If you have trouble gaining weight, you probably won’t do well. Most “true” ectos don’t have much of an appetite to pound down enough food making The Chaos Bulk less than idea.

      You are wrong, however, in saying your body eats itself without one meal. It doesn’t. That’s likely just your mind playing tricks and besides, those types of changes aren’t “true” changes. Glycogen stores fluctuate daily (which is your fullness feeling). That isn’t “muscle,” it’s fluid. That will fluctuate all the time. What you need to be more concerned about are the “dry” muscle gains. Those don’t fluctuate as easy and are much harder to detect.

      Reply
  • why are no tweeners allowed on the muscle gain template?

    Reply
    • Because the carbohydrate and fat totals get higher, and, at the time, I liked keeping the lines rather clear cut when that happened.

      Reply
  • Milk on training? or rest day? or could i have it on both.

    Reply
  • from what i understood there are the high carb days/ low carb days and rest days.
    High carbs would be maintenance level + aprox 500kcal, low carb would be maintenance level and rest days would be maintenance level -500kcal (in the article “solution for skinny fat ectos” you said “rest days if feeling puffy go for maintenance x 0.8 or 0.9). Is that it ?

    Reply
    • I don’t count calories.

      High carb days = lean protein + bunch of starchy things, preferably that aren’t terribly processed. Rice and root veggies are good here. Oats have also worked for me. + veggies

      Low carb days = fattier protein (if you wanted) + more fats + bunch of veggies

      If you wanted to rotate to be more chaos, you’d go higher calories on high carb days, lower calories on low carb days.

      Reply
  • 1. Milk on training? or restday? does it matter,

    2 Does beans count as comlex carbs?

    Reply
  • Can I mix a 16/8 fast Monday- Saturday and a 24 hour fast on Sundays?

    Reply
    • Don’t look for permission. Go and try. See the results for yourself; don’t let someone online tell you how it will happen.

      (My answer, however, is yes.)

      Reply
  • Right know im following the cruise control template and doing strength training 3 times per week. I thinking about start doing some cardio like sprints 2 time each week. would it be best to do them on the low carb days? and keep the strenght training on the high carb days. My goal is to gain strengh and increase my cardio.

    Reply
  • would milk count as a simple/complex carbohydrate?

    Reply
    • Well the first problem here is that there’s a difference between a simple and complex carb, so your “/” is throwing me off. Milk is NOT in the “leafy cruciferous non-starchy” carb category, so it falls in the other one.

      Reply
  • Hey!

    Would mushroom suit best on training or rest day?

    Reply
  • Sorry! my english is not the best. would it more convenient to have the mushrooms on the low carb day?

    Reply
  • Could i have use butter and coconut oil on my high carb days? im following the muscle gain template.

    Reply
    • You can’t ask this question unless you also provide an amount. Answer: yes, provided you don’t eat a stick of butter.

      Reply
  • Would avacado count as a Exclusive? like nuts.

    Reply
  • When you say one pound of meat. do you mean raw or cooked?

    Reply
  • I have a few questions. I hope I’m not bugging. In January ’09 I was diagnosed with MS. I was 34, 280lbs, and all about the SAD. After a year or so of not getting better, I decided to go vegetarian, then GF, then paleo. Fast forward to now, I’m weighing 205 (still a bit flabby) and doing paleo, but as of a few months ago, I’ve been doing IF. Heres how my current day goes. Wake up around 7am, BP coffee at 11am, almonds at 1pm, BP coffee at 4pm, feast at 9pm. Feast was 8oz grassfed beef meat loaf, 2 slices of bacon, spinach, and 2 fried eggs. At 10:45 I have 1C coconut milk with protein powerder, 4 prunes, 2TB almond butter. I’m pretty sure I’m under the 2600 cals I should be getting. Should I be having a smaller meal around 3-4pm to help me make up the cals?

    Reply
    • Well if you’re in it for weight loss, why do you want to make up for calories?

      Reply
      • So theres no set amount of calories I need to hit? Just dont want to hurt my body. And yes, I am in for weight loss. :)

        Reply
        • Your body needs energy and nutrients to function and survive, yes. How much, no one knows unless you get fancy testing done.

          Reply
  • Hey there Anthony

    Great article, was really a breathtaking read. I was already familiar with both ESE and LeanGains, yet enjoyed it a lot
    Just a little question, if possible – for the rest days – how much fat is too much fat? For a TDEE around 2600 kcal….
    Because if fats go up => carbs go down, that’s the point, i guess – but to what balance does it matter most?

    Thanks a lot

    Reply
    • Fat is too much fat when it’s too much fat. IE: whenever it stops you from doing whatever it is you’re trying to do.

      Reply
      • Hello Anthony
        Sorry, i meant – dietary fat aka the fat macros in a macro split! :)
        Not body fat

        Thanks

        Reply
        • Yeah, that’s what my answer was based on. On rest days, you eat as much fat as you can as long as you get away with your goals. I don’t count calories, so I couldn’t answer your question. I eat more if I need to gain, less if I need to lose, and then if I’m in between, I’ll always be experimenting with more or less to see what I can get away with.

          Reply
  • What if you can’t eat eggs. Is it ok to sub more lean meat for the eggs?

    Reply
    • Sure, just know that eggs are a good source of fat and that you have to account for that somewhere (either on rest days or training days, whichever).

      Reply
  • Hi great read! I have been doing IF for a week now. But the only dilemma I have is… I can only work out 9pm-10.30pm, 3 nights a week.

    My eating window is 1pm-5pm

    Can I have a post work out protein shake? Or will this ruin my fast.

    Do I need a post work out shake? I’m looking to get lean, loose some excess fat. I plan to IF for 3 months on a daily basis

    Reply
    • Technically eating ANYTHING ruins a food fast.

      Focus on your food quality and then food quantity. Don’t get too caught up in the fasting bits.

      Reply
  • Say if I wanted a cheat meal what day would be best, rest day or training day. I’m looking at putting on muscle but my main aim is to get a good strength to body weight ratio. By cheat meal it would e something like grilled a chicken wrap with potato wedges/fries. Obviously this would contain high carbs but also high fat from fried. And as there is no high carb and high fat day which day would be best to eat this? Also I trick, only once a week, but I trick really hard on that one day a week to the point my muscle ache next the next few days, would you count this as a training day? Only problem is the session ends so late at like 11pm so it’s hard to fit in eating after and to get a good sleep before being up the next day for work. Really appreciate it man

    Reply
  • Very nice read! Will I stop the “fast” if I have a coffee in the morning with stevia and cream/half n half but still wait till 12 pm to eat my first meal?

    Reply
    • Technically, anything “stops” the fast, but that depends on the rules. Ramadan fasts don’t even allow for liquid. The answer is yes, but the deeper answer would be to what extent/effect would that have on the grand picture of things. And I don’t know that answer.

      Reply
  • Michael Young October 29, 2013 9:33 pm

    Quick one Anthony where does yogurt fall in the muscle building and cruise control template? Im assuming that on the muscle building as you are dropping even eggs on training days then even low fat natural yogurt is out to? Then on cruise control it would would count as a tweener correct

    Reply
    • Eggs are everywhere because they’re the only included fat. If you’re adding fat on top of the eggs, then I’d try to be a bit more stringent if you’re following carb cycling to the T. (I’ve grown to eat more fats on training days, these days).

      Tweener, though, to answer the question. Assuming you’re doing the egg thing.

      Reply
      • Michael Young November 6, 2013 9:14 am

        A bit off topic but every time I have given IF a go I have really bad problems sleeping. Normally eating breakfast lunch and dinner I can do lights out at 11pm and im gone be 11:30 easy. Every time I have tried IF each night I lay there tossing a turning, mind going crazy thinking about things not able to relax at all and seem to never be able to get to sleep till 1am onwards and its a very light sleep, I’ll wake up easily during the night and in the morning still feeling tired. Do you think IF is not for me? What would be my next best route for gaining lean mass? I hate the whole bulk and cut but it looks like I may have to do that :( I really wanted this to work for me

        Reply
        • Well why don’t you just try to IF only eat earlier? It’s obviously not the amount of meals, but rather the timing. Why not have your lightest meal last? Or something like that.

          Reply
        • When I wanted to loose some weight i always could not sleep. I always felt hungry, angry, etc. This was only at the beginning. Once, i started to understand how deficit was affecting me, i got used to it and all went away. Maybe you experience similar issue? Now, fasting is something i cannot live without.

          Reply
          • Fasting doesn’t equal deficit.

          • What i wanted to say that due to fasting, i would eat less after I broke the fast and this would put me in deficit. And because i was in deficit i could not sleep as my brain or my body wanted to eat. Later it did not matter, and I was able to still be in deficit and sleep well.

          • I think you’re saying you eat more later, but the same amount right?

          • At the time i would eat less. I started fasting and when i would break the fast i would just eat one meal or so. So for me it was deficit and i was freaking out when trying to fall in sleep and therefore issues with falling into sleep. Later I switched to eating huge amounts of meals after breaking the fast, but from time to time I will eat less but i don’t experience too much of the hunger anymore when i am on deficit that day.

          • Thanks for clarifying.

        • Fasting can elevate Cortisol levels which in turn can lead to restless nights. Alsonight time hunger and carb cravings. Just eat earlier as Anthony said.

          Reply
  • Hey Ant. Sorry it’s not totally related to the post but was wondering what your thoughts were on Athletic Greens supplements. I love my veggies but sometimes it’s just not practical to get them in so they seem great on paper. Just wondered if you’ve ever crossed paths with it or know anything about it

    Reply
    • I think vegetables are convenient enough to be portable. Eat them raw.

      I don’t think eating powdered forms of food compares much to the actual food, but if you have to get some kind of greens, I’d venture to guess they are one of the better ones. Don’t know though.

      Reply
  • I’m currently a high school student and for the past 2 years, Ive been deeply engaged in extreme diets, resulting in, like you have experienced,the yo-yo effect. For fat loss, I did cardio sessions almost everyday followed with an obsessive paleo diet. This lead to somewhat the skinny-fat effect (I am an ectomorph).

    All these factors lead to an extremely perverse relationship with food, constantly thinking of when and how much is sufficient. In most meals, anxiety prevails.

    For the past 3 weeks, I abandoned myself to several night-time binges, which comprised mostly complex, organic carbohydrates (Cereals). For each binge, I ate around a whole box (including milk, almond butter, etc.), in midst of it, I always seem to justify the action and it seems right at that moment. But… this always leads to an immense feeling of self-defeat and unfathomable despair.. I wake up in the morning, bloated, completely dissatisfied with my current physique. This debilitates and degrades me morally for the rest of the day, but somehow, I always find a ‘life changing solution’; nonetheless, I fail that exact night by subjecting to binge.. thus the dreaded cycle repeats again.

    I decided that I was at a reasonable base to begin my muscular journey, and further improvements in physique will pave way for greatness.

    What concerns me the most is nutrition. Normally, without dietary restriction, my mom uses fresh, organic ingredients in most of the meals with nutritional balance (serving size portion of protein in every meal, etc..), and in addition, I eat alot of brown rice (mixed with beans) because of tradition, since Im Korean and all. Personally, I despise and find difficult to follow any regimen of diet such as maintaining and restricting certain nutritional macros.. or just eating according to a ‘guideline’ in general disturbs me, because I have this ridiculous, uncontrollable propensity to form obsessions that ruin my quality of life throughout the day. Also, Its hard preparing and planning all those meals and alot of the time, we lack the resources in my household.

    Question: Could I simply adhere to the ‘nutrient auto-regulation’ principle and just eat according to my feels? So in sum- just eat healthily (of what is available, and increase intake over time) and lift weights.

    Reply
    • I think if you’re in high school, you’re taking this way too seriously. Eat good stuff. If it’s fresh and organic, soak it up. Get some protein in there. Let your body find its way, as you’re still growing and doing all that fun stuff. I’d say you’re just screwing yourself if you don’t relax, lift correctly, and eat the fresh stuff as it comes your way.

      Reply
      • I read this article and it recommended high carb/low fat on training days + low carb/high fat on rest days. However, I eat three meals a day w/ snacks whenever I feel the need. Would this plan still benefit me the same way ?

        And how significant will the results be from these changes? in midst of my high school career, I really want the physique I have always longed for as soon as possible. Is it worth it? (Non-obsession, of course.) or Am I better off just eating what comes to me?

        Reply
        • Well, I wrote the article for those interested in following the plan, not for those on their own plan — so, no, it wouldn’t be the same.

          As for your own situation, that all depends on YOU. I find that carbohydrate cycling helps most with gaining muscle without getting fat more than anything else, so if that’s what you’re interested in, maybe. At the same time, I don’t think a high school kid should be all that obsessive about what they eat as long as they’re eating wholesome foods. Keeping in mind the latter sentiment might not be totally helpful if you’re hyper about wanting a certain look, but I think growing and thinking about the future is a bit more important.

          Reply
  • When you make your protein lava for your volcanoes, are you using unsweetened cocoa ?

    Reply
  • Hi Anthony,

    I’ve reading your blog for a very long time. It has helped me a lot to progress. Too bad I haven’t been participating.

    I do believe in trial and error as a way to improve. It’s a technique I use in my everyday life, and one that I found really difficult to apply on fitness: too many factors involved, too slow the response.

    I’ve been wondering about this for some time, and I end up asking myself who to ask advise from. From the few people I follow these days regarding this world (Jim Smith, Chad Waterbury, Eric Cressey and the no longer skinny-fat A.M.), I thought of you as ultimate self-made and probably the one who has mastered this trial and error technique the most.

    I’m looking forward to hear you thoughts on this (here as a reply or in a future post).

    Thanks for your amazing work,
    Will

    Reply
    • Thanks man. I’m no Ultimate. Not long ago, I was on the other side asking questions. (I still am.) Keep learning.

      Reply
  • Hi Anthony, first thanks for this article – I’ve been doing counting calories since few months and this article was a game / life changing. I’m actually following the muscle gain template and I was wondering how should I deal with alcohol especially at social event at night. For example some night I go out with friends and we drink some red wine. Is it better than days I know I will drink alcohol I decide it is a workout day or a rest day ? or it doesn’t matter ? should I change something in the diet rules or keep it the same ?

    thanks again for this awesome article
    Anthony

    Reply
  • Hey Anthony,

    When bulking why do you eliminate most of the fat from workout days? What is the negative impact of consuming fats and carbs together?

    Reply
    • The theory goes that the world explodes upon itself.

      Or that it’s simply a competition of energy nutrients. Carbs better for muscle glyocgen refill.

      Reply
  • Hi Anthony,
    Thanks for those great, inspiring advises, they really helped a lot.
    I have a few questions:
    1. I plan on doing my “Fast/feed” ratio at “19hr/5hr”(about2700kcal), i wonder if there will be problems or benefits compared to the “16/8″ratio?
    2. Should i count the proteins from plants, like white bread, soy bean into my daily protein in take? Or should i only count those from meat, eggs, and milk. And will it be bad if i exceed the daily protein i need? Which is 170~190g for muscle gaining.
    3. What’s the calorie portion of Fat you recommend on “carb-cycle off” days ? I took minimum Fat on training days (10~15% of total cal 2900, train 4 times a week, is it too low?)
    Thanks a lot !

    Reply
    • 1. I think it’s a silly question, to be honest. Just do something an evaluate the results.

      2. You can, but I don’t. Also, don’t eat soy. Also, I wouldn’t eat more than 2 x BW protein. If you’re under that, you’re good.

      3. I don’t count, sorry.

      Reply
  • What kind of supplements would you recommend with a diet like this?

    Reply
  • How would you implement carb cycling while doing the warrior diet? Would this be appropriate for contest prep (figure class)?

    Reply
    • High carbohydrate: eat starch.
      Low carbohydrate: don’t eat starch.

      Lotsa ways to prep for a contest, but I’m not your man there. Never done it.

      Reply
  • This guy pretends that he wants to help skinny fats, when in reality he is no different from the rest of the fitness world, who is trying to make a buck out of your insecurities, and dream of becoming lean, and muscular

    It baffles me how he can charge almost $100 for his books, when all the advice in this webpage, is pretty much common sense, and may only be helpful to extreme noobs, who have no clue what they are doing, if you are truly skinny fat, I can assure mr anthony, that they have already done plenty of research on how to get rid of this. I have read this whole free webpage, and there is nothing new for me, I already knew everything, is just common sense

    so, I don’t want to imagine what his book is really about, probably some diet tactics, such as intermeting fasting, carbs cycling, and stuff that is free for everyone to find, or new exercise, right? what kind of secret mr anthony, has that the rest of the world doesn’t lmao?

    see, the truth about the fitness world, is that it depends on you failing, they want you to fail, it is in their benefit that you never achieve your dream, is a billion dollars industry, that depends on your failure, and inability to make gains, and get ripped, if it was easy, and anyone could do it, they would go broke

    you wanna stop being skinny fat, you gotta go all the way, and stop playing with stupid diet or training tricks, which are nothing new, simple, get liposuction, lose weight until you are very lean, and then concentrate building some muscle

    the reality is you will never be both muscular and ripped, it will not happen, so choose either, muscular and fat, or skinny and lean, you got sick of genetics? then use steroids, if not then suck it up, life aint fair

    there is no trick, and mr anthony does not have any special secret on how to fix skinny fats lol is just common sense, you are much better saving that money for something else, than a book with only a few tips, and the rest full of his stories and dbz crap

    I have read some of his other books, some friends let me read them, pretty much all of it, is telling stories, or how much skinny fat sucks, if you were to remove all the crap, the book would only have a few pages of useful advice in there, and is not even nothing new, or secret lol

    Reply
    • It sounds like you need a hug. You might just be upset that you needed surgery to fix your issues, and I’m helping others not go that route. But I’m sorry to hear that you think this website isn’t good enough for your eyeballs. Like I said, we can talk about this if you want. Tell me what’s troubling you.

      Reply
      • Hmm, he needs more then there hug.
        Rufian, your crying out loud just expresses how much help you need. You just stumbled on huge bookshelves of knowledge that you simply cannot comprehend and acknowledge. I personally have read tons of nutrition books and programs and Nobody can pass his or her knowledge as Andy does. His though process is superior to all crappy web stuff and you should thank him for being so generous to all the readers. He is one of the only ones who actually understand the problem and does so much to describe it. The fact that you have read all his books just proves that you need more then just the hug. Ask Anthony for consultation and set yourself free!!!

        Reply
  • Hi Anthony, this was an interesting article, but I have a question

    I’m a good 25lb overweight, have been training for years but am nowhere near as muscular + strong I should be for the length I have trained. Ive tried bulk/cut methodologies but to no avail and ended up with a binge disorder…

    One question, if I go on a slight defecit with IF and train strength with cardio is it possible to lose fat + gain muscle? I want to change my body composition for the better but cant hack the classic bodybuilding paradgim phases, it’s no way for me to live, especially with OCD.

    I look forward to your response!

    Reply
    • intermittent fasting isn’t a DIRECTION it’s a VEHICLE.

      If you want to do this right I suggest picking one thing and getting good at it and then adding. want to lose fat and gain muscle? good. learn how to (a) lose fat, then learn how to (b) gain muscle, and then combine the skills.

      you might have messed up in the past but that doesn’t mean you should neglect the reality of learning and time and skill.

      Reply
  • great article man!!! do you still eat like this???…and do you add any fruit on your rest-day or no carbs at all rather than veggies???

    Reply
    • I only eat once per day, have for the past year+. I have some fruit on my rest days depending on how I feel, myes.

      Reply
  • wow that’s interesting! what about when you workout..do you take something like bcaa,whey or creatine?? or you workout completely fasted?

    Reply
  • I have a quick query about this modified LG carb cycling codex for muscle gain/cruising:

    I work out every day pretty much in the evening so how about the low carb meal at 12 every noon and the high carb meal post workout before bed every night?

    Reply
  • Hi man,

    Great aricle! Been doing the warrior diet for some weeks now but its killing me especially om training days. Im gonna go for the two-meals-day plan. A question:
    My training schedule looks like this:

    Mon: weight traing(10-11.15) judo training ( 19:30-21.00)

    Tuesday: (18-19.30)
    Wed: weight training( 10-11.15) judo training (19.30-21.00)
    Thurs: judo (19.20-20.50)
    Vry: weight training (12-1)

    In the weekends i will go low carb, and i think also on thuesday or thursday. High carb days on mon, wed en friday.

    But since i train twice a day with a high intensity what kind of meals do you suggest? Carbs post weight training and post judo? I can do my weight traininh easily without a pre-workout meal, but its harder with judo training

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • I would just fill up nightly. Have smaller snacks during the day to stave off hunger and get you some nutrition you need. Don’t overfill.

      Reply
  • Is it possible to lose weight at the same time building lean muscle with cruise template?

    Reply
    • Maybe. Recomping is the toughest thing to do, and I generally don’t recommend trying it unless you’ve proven you can lose fat already.

      Reply
  • I started with fasting when I started my paleo journey. At the time I came from a 5-6 meal day plan to a 3 square meals on paleo.

    Eventually, one day I was so focused doing my drawing practice, that I forgot breakfast. From then on I just started having 2 bigger meals.

    Did two meals a day, lunch and dinner, tried, breakfast and lunch as well, and only lunch and only dinner (1 meal).

    I was almost never hungry, maybe a gluten-freen diet helped. Intermittent/regular fasting was too effective for me.

    I tried pushing the limits of what I could do. I started having one semi-regular 24 hour fast, and some times I had a 30 hour fast and one time, I had a 44 hour fast. That was crazy.

    It so happens that I developed an eating disorder due to fasting and lost too much weight.

    Nowadays I’m stable, mentally and physically, and I eat 2 meals only if it’s not a training day, although usually it’s 3 meals to make sure I’m well above a safe weight and I don’t go back to my disorder, making use of avocado, peanut butter and fatty cheese.

    Even though I got used to eating 2 meals a day (people wouldn’t believe what I could stuff in my stomach), the amount of stuffiness and what it did for me, mentally, was not worth it.

    This is just my story, hope it helps.

    P.S.:I’s not about following a specific plan, it’s more on controlling calories, and you can do that with 2-3 meals a day or 6. I recommend reading Berardi’s guide on fasting, even to have a different perspective on some of these things.

    Reply
    • Don’t underestimate the power of your own failures. An experience like that teaches you a lot about yourself. It’s easy to discourage others or warn them, but nothing teaches like experience. I bet you’re a better person having gone through it.

      Reply
      • I agree and would add that something like that does teach you a thing or two, so I left my testimonial because sometimes disorders develop due to rigidness to adhere to certain protocols.

        There are a number of ways to skin a cat, ie, reach your goals with different meals and training protocols. Choose one that you feel comfortable.

        Aside from the mental aspect, bigger meals slow me down in the afternoon (blood pumping into digestion instead of more into your brain), and at night it may not let you sleep if you stuffed yourself.

        So that is my experience, others may vary.

        And thank you for your words.

        Reply
        • Yeah – retrospective is easy though. “Comfortable” at the time might not be “comfortable” in a few weeks. Thanks for the reply – mucho appreciated.

          Reply
  • Looking for some input here:

    I’m 5’8″ 188 lbs. I’m looking for the best diet for me to build muscle and lose some stomach/abdomen weight [read: GUT]. I’m currently doind the StrongLifts 5×5 workout plan. I like the idea of two meals per day as it is less complicated and easier to maintain and track.

    Any adivce?

    Reply
    • If you want to look better naked, I wouldn’t do StrongLifts. Too lower body centric from what I remember. Need a bit more upper work.

      As for the other thing, read Ask Ant #4.

      Reply
  • Hey man,

    Great post! This two meal a day approach is awesome. I tend to train first thing in the morning around 7am. Would you recommend waiting until midday for the first meal or is it best to eat something post workout? My goal is to gain a bit of muscle mass and then maintain that weight.

    Cheers, Paul

    Reply

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