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First Cut - Leangains - Help! What should I adjust?

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I'm doing a Leangains cut +10% train days / -30% rest days. Typically train 3 days a week, sometimes 4.


End of Week 3 of my first cut...

Wk 1: -1.2 lbs, Wk 2: -1.2 lbs, Wk 3: +0.9 lbs


For weeks 2 & 3, I'm averaging two measurements across two days. For week 3, I've settled into a pretty steady train day 10h feed/16h fast, rest day 6h feed/16h fast pattern. For week 2, I had a larger overall deficit bc I skipped a whole rest day's worth of calories while switching from a nocturnal to daytime schedule.




--Should I decrease total calories by 5% or 10% maybe to continue the weight loss? Not sure how I gained a pound this week.


--How do I know if I'm accidentally recomping instead of cutting?


--Is it possible that I screwed up my metabolism in week 2 by skipping a whole rest day's worth of calories? Did I maybe trigger starvation mode and now my metabolism has slowed? Is this possible that quickly? If so, how do I fix it?


--You're supposed to eat less fat and more carbs on train days with Leangains. I don't really get this. I eat both more carbs and fats on training days than rest days and I always eat more carbs than fats. Is this by percentage or grams or what? I don't see how it would be possible to eat more fats than carbs on rest days and still stay within the restricted calories as a vegan (ie my fats are avocados, nuts, & olive oil which all have a high calorie content). I also thought dietary fat wasn't supposed to be more easily stored as body fat so I'm not sure why Leangains advocates this. This is the one big thing I'm not following in the guidelines so maybe it makes a difference?



Thanks in advance for any help you guys can provide!

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Relax! Your body will hold onto excess weight if you're under constant stress. Are you cutting for a competition? Or is it just for looks?


Go by what feels right with your diet. If you find you do better with more carbs eat more carbs,etc. I'd say lower the fat so it's about 15- 10 per cent of your diet. I'm not sure where it's at right now. And like veggiesasquatch said you won't mess up your metabolism by going without food for one day. And make sure you get enough water and sleep as well . Most of all, have fun with your workouts!

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Higher fats on rest days because you're eating less and fats provide more satiety and, therefore, you won't feel the urge (so to speak) to eat more than whatever your deficit calories are. Additionally, if more of your calories are coming from fats, you're using them for energy throughout the day so they're not being "stored," though, if you're in a deficit, you're not really storing anything.


For all intents and purposes, Leangains sounds great and there are tons of people who have "followed" it and gotten great results but what I learned from using it is this: it's a lot of unnecessary work to cycle your carbs/fats as well as your calories unless it really affects your mood/lifts/satiety.


Losing fat and maintaining muscle is simple: eat at a caloric deficit, make sure you get at least 1-1.5g of protein per your weight in pounds and enough carbohydrates so that your workouts don't suffer, lift HEAVY but remember that, when you're in a deficit, you're not going to be performing your best because you're losing mass; if you want to do a recomp, find your maintenance through trial and error, lift HEAVY but realize you won't be seeing as good of gains as if you were in a caloric surplus.


Also, one week is not enough time to determine if you're actually losing/gaining/maintaining your current weight - regardless of whatever diet you're following, it takes your body a few weeks to adjust to your intake and there are tons of factors that could shift it within a week (sodium, water, fiber, etc).

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I don't think Leangains is considered a fad diet. It seems to be pretty respected in the fitness world from what I can tell.


Not sure how I came across so high strung. Just trying to figure out how to adhere to Leangains protocols as a Vegan on my first cut. I was hoping someone on here could help. I guess not.


The only thing I can think of as a worse response than "Relax, don't worry about it" is "I don't know." I mean did you guys really need to respond just to say that? Unhelpful.

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@vegansludge Thank you for the legitimate reply. I was typing my other comments while you were posting so they weren't directed at you.


I guess my main question is regarding the Leangains philosophy of eating more carbs, less fat on the training days. They're basically saying the body, when in surplus, is more likely to store dietary fat as body fat than carbs as body fat. This doesn't make sense to me. I thought any excess calories equalled fat storage, regardless of the macros.


I tried the low fat yesterday for the first time. It was a training day and it was really tough. My perceived level of fullness when eating pasta, quinoa, beans, lentils, bread, etc was much higher than what I have been doing for the past few months (which is eating a whole cup of nuts to make calories/protein requirements).


Regarding your comment that one week is not enough time to determine weight gain/loss, what is a good rule of thumb of when to make adjustments then? If you stay the same/go backwards for two weeks? Three?

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Regardless of what the Leangains protocol states about dietary fats being stored more easily as fat, higher carbs on workout days make sense for the sole reason that carbohydrates work more efficiently as fuel for workouts than fats and carbohydrates are protein-sparing whereas dietary fats are not. The bottom line is that a calorie is a calorie but your fat gain/loss will not be determined by a single day's intake/macronutrient breakdown (hence the cycling) so don't try and over-think it if you're going to keep following the diet - what matters is your long-term deficit/surplus in order to see the body composition changes you want.


In regards to your last question about monitoring weight, two weeks is a minimum amount of time to start seeing changes and I'd even suggest three weeks just to be sure - also make sure you're weighing yourself under the same circumstances each time as, like I said, many factors can affect your weigh-in (water, food, GI tract, etc).

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