Over the coming weeks and months, I am going to be conducting a dietary experiment where I basically eat a lot of food on weight training days, and very little food on non-training days.
Logic behind this? I am looking to find a way of simultaneously maximising strength and muscle gain whilst also lowering bodyfat levels by concentrating most of my caloric intake around weight training activity. Below are the guidelines I have set myself for this experiment.
Looking to establish a long-term eating strategy that will allow for maximal body recomposition (increased muscle mass and decreased bodyfat) changes to take place.
Instead of consuming similar amounts of food each day, regardless of activity, I am looking to focus the majority of my food and calorie intake around weight training sessions where my body should need them most.
Never fasting on consecutive days will, theoretically, allow me to control any food cravings I may have and improve adherence to the eating strategy.
Consuming lower calories and carbohydrates 3 times per week should also increase my body’s insulin sensitivity – a key component of increasing muscle mass and decreasing bodyfat.
Instead of being in a caloric surplus for months on end to build muscle mass, and in a caloric deficit to lose the bodyfat I will have accumulated – I will instead look to be in a caloric surplus on weight training days and caloric deficit on non-training days.
Feast Days (training)
Consume 3000-4000kcals – looking to provide plenty of energy for training performance and recovery.
Certain eating requirements will need to be met each day to avoid most of the calories coming from junk food sources. I aim to eat the following foods as a priority on Feast days:
10g fish oil (providing approx. 3g EPA/DHA)
As long as these foods are included in my meals that day, then I can relax a bit more and include rice, pasta, potatoes in my meals as well as porridge or tortilla wraps. It’s on Feast days that I will be able to enjoy any foods that I have been craving – such as some pizza or ice cream etc., but my food choices naturally gravitate towards foods that are going to have the biggest transfer to my training performance and recovery, so I don’t expect to be gorging on a giant calzone very often during the Feast.)
Fast Days (non-training)
Consume 800-1200kcals – looking to maximise fat loss on Fast Days
Push first meal of the day back as far as possible – on Fast Days, I will wake up and have a litre bottle of sparkling water followed by a large black coffee a couple of hours later. A couple of hours after the coffee I will have 1-2 apples and then wait until hungry again to enjoy first large meal of the day.
Fast Days are to be wedged between two Feast Days in order to negate any cravings that may occur.
Looking to consume at least 100g protein on Fast Days in order to minimise muscle loss on those days.
Mainly consuming foods that have a high volume to calorie ratio, and are therefore satisfying. Will focus on consuming foods such as eggs, fruit and Greek yoghurt.
Aerobic activity can be undertaken on Fast Days, just no weight training. I play football on Mondays and Wednesdays, so this fits in well with that.
A weekly Feast/Fast cycle will look something like this:
Monday – Fast
Tuesday – Feast
Wednesday – Fast
Thursday – Feast
Friday – Fast
Saturday – Feast
Sunday – Medium day/Feast depending on activity that day
Dependant on any activity that day (I like to hike or go on a long cycle on Sundays), calorie intake will either be relatively high (2500-3000kcals) on those days or low (1500-2000kcals) if I am not going to be particularly active on that day.
Eating will basically be a scaled-down version of Feast Day up to my caloric goal for that day.
I expect to become quite full easily with having to eat a lot of food on a Feast Day coming off the back of a Fast Day.
I expect weight to fluctuate a lot from day to day due to the big differences in food intake between days, so will be basing my progress mostly on training performance, how I look in the mirror and bodyfat readings, although I will still track weight.
I expect the Feast Days will serve as motivation if I get hungry on Fast Days, hopefully making it much easier to adhere to the strategy.
I will publish a weekly blog detailing my experiences with the Feast/Fast strategy, and also explain any tweaks I may have made based on how I am feeling during the experiment. But for now I am optimistic that this strategy will give me just the results I expect.
Wish me luck 🙂