T Nation

Problems With IF


Been at it for a week and have noticed some strange effects. I'm wondering if they are temporary or if others are experiencing them also.

  • Brain fog has been a huge problem since days 5-7.
  • Sex drive is an absolute zero - nothing turns me on. No morning wood at all. Very strange because this is very different to the norm.

I'm using the diet to bulk, so I'm eating an absolute tonne of calories at night, so I wouldn't think that caloric deprivation alone would be causing these problems.
I've been following the diet to the letter, so any help would be appreciated.


How many carbs per feeding window are you getting?

Make sure it's at least 150g.

Are you doing it 16/8 style? If you think you want to play with pulse fasting, try two servings of a protein mixed with 1 serving of Power Drive. Have half upon rising, another half just before you workout.

Come back in a week. No guarantee that this will fix anything.


Same thing was happening to me. Was also starting to get slight panic attacks for no reason at all. I felt better when using Power Drive, but eventually decided that eating this way wasn't right for me so and went back to what has always worked for me and what I felt good doing.

My opinion was that everytime I "pulsed" I was dropping my blood sugar too low due to the leucine and having no carbs in my blood stream. Either way, throughout the day, I've never felt worse on any diet in my entire life and that goes for RFL as well as the GSD. Ironically, I always felt great in the morning, great workouts which were productive but then absolutely terrible through the day.

If I were you, I would try something else.


Power Drive may help, but it's not something you are supposed to take everyday.


I'm fasting all day, doing the pulses as scheduled. I down some Spike as usual in the morning which normally carries me through the day with a lot of energy. I'm been adding some Aniracetam and DMAE to the mix just to stave off the horrible brain fog, but it wears off within an hour or so.

I start eating around 6:30 and eat practically nonstop until about 10. (Basically until I feel like my stomach is going to explode) I eat 4-5 meals in that time and drink a couple of shakes on top so I'm getting in a lot of carbs, protein and some fat.


As other posts have pointed out this style of eating and working out may not work for you. If you have the type of metabolism and/or body type as CT or Chris Shugart then the pulse fasting may work for you. CT and Chris claim they gain fat easily and don't do well with carbs. The pulse fast may not work for you. Your body may also still being transitioning to your new eating/fasting/workout approach. BUT the lack of libido and erections is a very telling sign.

The pulse fast the way it is outlined may not be for you. This doesn't mean fasting sucks or that you couldn't apply it in some other fashion. You might try having a solid meal breakfast and then pulses throughout the day. You might try a pulse fast one day every 2 weeks or once a week. You might try a pulse first thing in morning and then a solid meal in the middle of the day.

How can you expect to get big and bulk if your test levels are in the basement. If your libido is seriously lacking and you can't get wood your T-levels are probably low which would lower muscle gain and all those calories you eat at night from 6-10pm are more likely to be deposited as fat. Listen to your body. Brain fog SUCKS!


You didn't state what time of the day you train, did you?


Thanks for your replies.

I train at around 4:30-5:00pm using the HP Mass protocol.

I'll probably give it one more week, because I need my mind to be sharp for my job as a teacher, and can't afford to be staring at the walls like a zombie all day. Even typing this is extremely difficult. After that I might try a shorter approach, i.e. Leangains or similar using BCAAs instead.

I was wondering, because this is the first week, could my body be going through some kind of "detoxification" phase during the fasting hours? People I know who have fasted in the past doing various detox protocols have reported some initial backlash from the bodies doing so.


I was curious to see if you were training in the AM and not eating til PM which was causing you the problems. Perhaps its the spikes from MAG-10 that might be affecting you. I second your idea of trying out LeanGains instead of Pulse Feast.

Adding BCAA's wouldn't be 100% necessary, but might help ease your mind for fear of catabolism. Also, I am taking 2 caps Cognitrop (basically Tyrosine, ALCAR, and Chocoamine) in the AM with my coffee. You might give something like that a try.


Hey, it's not for everyone. I wouldn't force it if i were you. The very first day i tried the pulse fast style as outlined by CT i knew it was right for me. I'd say if you fighting it that bad, then either drop it or modify it.


I kind of autoregulate it. I start every day with the intent of fasting. Some days I can get through 8 hours no problem. Some days I need to eat something. As long as I'm saving most of my calories and all of my carbs for during and after my workout, it seems to work.


A lot of green tea during the fasting works well, as does Rhodiola Rosea. I never have any problems with it though - I fasted from monday evening until wednesday at 4 pm and trained in between with no drops in strength. Very little drop in energy, but my bloodsugar is almost rock solid between 4.8 and 5.2 fasting.



I've experimented with a few IF setups, and settled on an 18-6 Fast/Feast with just couple pulses of casein hydro during the day. Not sure what would cause the brain fog specifically, but I noticed the transition was very easy for me the second time I experimented with IF after doing a month of very low carb breakfasts, but eating at least a few hours after waking. Also a piece of fruit during the day, like the warrior diet, can help a lot. Also, as Amonero mentioned, lots of green tea is great, but if you want to sustain this, you might want to go easy on the stims.

I'm a teacher as well, so this way of eating has fit really well with my schedule. How are you handling all that food in the feasting window? I've never tried this for bulking, but I'm full at night when cutting, and am having trouble imaging getting in everything at night.


I'm pretty sure that the main "issue" is the MAG-10 and how much leucine is in the product. I've done fasting before without MAG-10 and it was much "easier". I would bet that the MAG-10/leucine is causing blood sugar levels to drop to very low levels which is why so many people feel like zombies.


Just wanted to report that the brain fog and shit feeling effects have subsided. Been on it for nearly 2 weeks now and really enjoying the convenience.

After the initial novelty of eating what I want during the feast hours, I am finding it hard to put away a tonne of calories at night. Basically I'm preparing a bunch of meals in advance and then eating them one after the other to get the calories in.

I can tell the fat is starting to come off, even at this early stage. (Pants are looser and stomach feels tighter) Muscle wise, I do feel a bit flatter throughout the day. (Don't have that feeling of the 'pump')

Strength is really good. Pulled a bunch of PRs on all my lifts, so it'll be interesting to see if I hold the strength steady (or increase it) over the coming months.


When you say "Been on it for 2 weeks" what is "it"? Pulse feast? Lean gains? Modified version? Some specifics would be good as I am having the same problems you had.


^^ Pulse Feast. Try sticking with it for a fortnight and see how you come out the other end. I'm feeling great now, but those two weeks were the worst kind of hell for me. My Test levels still feel very low (no interest in sex etc), but I'm going to get them tested and see where I'm at.


I'm doing the pulse feast with the intent to lose weight so I'm only having one big meal. I'm also doing the HPM principles with the program CT outlined. It's been 3 weeks haven't lost any strength, except when I do back and bi's with the high reps. Thinking its probably because of the low amount of carbs I'm consuming. Has anyone else had this problem?


I'm doing the LeanGains versions of IF and I'm having a hard time when I do KB circuits like the one Mike Mahler has put on this site. I've been doing Leangains for the past 3 weeks and that's the only problem I have with it because I train in a fasted state on those days, well, except BCAA as Martin recommends. I also use MAG-10 and Surge Workout Fuel if my training is at night during my 8hr feed.

I plan on putting in MAG-10 pulses during the 16hr fast in a month or so to see how it effects fatloss and muscle preservation. LeanGains seems to be working so far so good without it though.


I would try a solid meal 2-3 hours before training before I would add in MAG-10 pulses. See how that goes and try to stick with the LeanGains protocol.