by Tony Gjokaj June 13, 2021 3 min read

Which Fasting Method will work best for you?

In this post, we are going to explore one of the most popular methods of Intermittent Fasting: Lean Gains!

Let's dive in!

About Lean Gains

Lean Gains was created by Martin Berkhan and is one of the most known methods of Intermittent Fasting. It is a method of Intermittent Fasting that is classified as Time-Restricted Feeding (TRF).

Lean Gains was developed for people who have a busy day job who find it stressful to worry about getting multiple meals in throughout the day.

With Lean Gains, we use our life circumstances to our advantage: focusing on skipping breakfast and only eating 2-3 meals daily.

It was one of my first methods of Intermittent Fasting that I utilized in 2015. Lean Gains helped me stress less about how many meals a day I had, and focus more on enjoying my meals.

It has helped me build a healthy relationship with food from a psychosocial (psychological and sociological) perspective.

The Basic Principles of Lean Gains

I. The Lean Gains protocol follows a ~16 hour fast, followed by a 8 hour feeding phase (16:8).

The fast doesn't have to be exact, but it should revolve around your lifestyle.

In Lean Gains, the focus is essentially around fasting through the night and skipping breakfast. During this time period, people typically consume 2-3 meals.

II. Whole-Foods are prioritized over processed foods. 

The focus is highly-satiating foods like vegetables, lean proteins, and other nutrient-dense foods. These meals help us even after our feeding phases, because we continue to digest them hours after we eat.

III. In Lean Gains, solid foods are more important than liquid ones.

You can have liquid protein shakes, but make sure you are also eating lean proteins as well (ie. chicken and red meat for their micronutrient benefits).

IV. On workout days, pre-workout and post-workout meals are where carbohydrates are prioritized. 

With Lean Gains, people typically do some sort of calorie or carb cycling, where they eat less on their rest days.

Personally, I like to keep my calorie intake consistent every day, but I focus on prioritizing carbs around my pre and post-workout meals. My "breaking the fast" meals consist of more proteins and fats, alongside veggies.

V. Protein Should Be High.

Protein Intake should be around 1.5g per pound of Lean Body Mass. In regards to total bodyweight in some, this could range around 0.8-1.2g per pound of total body weight.

The main reason for this is to get enough amino acids in our diet that can aid during our fasted phase. 

Martin typically consumes 50% of total calories in protein. This is a personal preference, but it helps him get plenty of amino acids.

Sample Lean Gains Set Up

Here are a few examples of implementing a Lean Gains style of Fasting.

My Lean Gains Example (Non-Training Day)

8pm-11am: Fast.

12pm: Break the Fast

(Eat another meal at a convenient time for you)

8pm: Finish your feeding state with a final meal.

My Lean Gains Example (Training Day)

8pm-11am: Fast.

12pm: Break the Fast

5pm: Second Meal: Pre-Workout

7-8pm: Final Meal: Post-Workout

Early Morning Fasted Workout

6am: 10 minutes before your workout, drink 10g of BCAAs.

6-7:30am: Training Session

8am: 10g BCAAs

10am: 10g BCAAs

12pm: Break the fast with a post-workout meal (get some carbs)!

(Eat another meal at a convenient time for you)

8pm: Finish your feeding state with a final meal.

For more examples, read the Lean Gains guide here.


With Lean Gains, you don't have to be 100% exact on the 16:8 window. I have used 14:10, 12:12 and many others. 

In fact, we will cover more Time-Restricted Feeding methods in a future post.

I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to read this post, and a special thanks to Martin for helping me starting my journey in Intermittent Fasting almost a decade ago.

For more on Lean Gains, you can look at Martin's Lean Gains Guide here.

If you have any questions or comments, email us at or direct message us on Instagram.

Until next time!

Tony Gjokaj
Tony Gjokaj

Tony is the Owner of Reforged Performance Nutrition. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help bridge the gap between physical & mental health through fitness.

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