I’m just finishing a 6-week diet, and got pretty lean. I’ve been this lean once before, but it didn’t last – I drifted back to my body’s set-point over the course of the next two months, because I didn’t manage my nutrition (this is not to say that I ate crap – rather, I ate unlimited amounts of ‘healthy’ tasty things, like sushi, and steak).
This time, I want to maintain the leanness. But, I’d also like to continue gaining strength/muscle. Obviously, I realize that some fat gain is necessary, but I’d like to minimize it. As I near the end of the diet, I’m planning strategies for maintaining this low body fat level.
The obvious strategy is to add a small number of calories (100 or so), and slowly but surely build back to maintenance over the course of a few weeks, then start adding a small surplus (again, 100 calories or so). But this strategy requires a lot a planning, and I’d like to follow a nutritional strategy that doesn’t limit my consumption of ‘clean foods’ – chicken, steak, eggs, fish, etc. I like eating big meals and feeling very full.
So, I’m considering some less conventional ideas – the plan is to experiment, and see what works. Ideas I’ve played with include:
- Fasting on one day per week, eating till completely satiated throughout the rest of the week (slight surplus to support muscle growth).
- The 5/2 diet for lifters (https://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-loss/5-2-fat-loss-diet-for-lifters).
- Calorie-cycling (low calorie on rest days, tons of food on training days).
What strategies do you guys have for maintaining a very lean physique year-round?