It has been three months since my Leangains review. Before I go into my latest strategy, I want to address some questions I got regarding my mixed review of the 16 hour daily fasts promoted by Leangains. For a quick recap, earlier this year I did 70 consecutive days of 16 hour daily fasts. The first month went extremely well and the second month didn’t.
Here were the downsides I experienced in the second month.
- When I eventually did eat at 2 PM, I got majorly tired. This never happened to me in my prior IF experiences. I sort of solved this problem, by moving my last espresso to after the 2 PM meal and drinking tea in the afternoon.
- The second problem I experienced was I frequently felt cold, especially in my fingers. I have experience with cold weather exposure, so the fact my body wasnt throwing off heat like before was concerning. This month was the first month in 3 years where the cold was bothering me.
- Muscle loss. The BCAA appeared to stop working. This one really bothers me.
- Lowered Immune System. Although I fought off a cold in late January, one nailed me in February. Im very in tune with how my body responds to viral threats and during this month that response was sluggish.
I want to remind others that we all are at different points in our health journey. This is just what I experienced. I’m sure there are many cases of dieters that had excellent results beyond the first month. What I did was just describe the symptoms that I experienced as a possible warning on what to look for should you results stall. N=1 means that my results are just mine.
For me the duration of the 16 hour fasts were perfect, but I actually got greater benefits when I didn’t adhere to the 7 days a week protocol. I’m just speculating, but you may be able to achieve the better results by interjecting some randomness into your Intermittent Fasting plan. That might mean taking 1-2 days off each week or taking a full week off when progress stalls. If your progress never stalls, then don’t stop what is working.
The Last 3 Months
Since ending the daily 16 hour fasts, I have regained my strength and am now at the leanest point of my life. When I scaled back from daily fasts to 2-3 times per week, my metabolism kicked into gear and I started progressing again. Since my plan all along was to reduce fasting as we head into the longer days of summer, I have since scaled my fasts down to a single 16-18 hour fast every 5th day and I never fast on days when I lift weights.
What works best for me may not work best for you. Do your own experiments and dial in your own ideal plan. Three years later and I continue to tweak my IF schedule.