Caloric Excess, Caloric Deficit Pt. 3

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During the first week following a period of massive overeating on a cruise vacation, I did 3 days of extended intermittent fasting, eating just a single satisfying meal per day.

My weight returned to almost normal, but the skin around my stomach was still jiggly.

So on the second week back I added two more days of extended intermittent fasting, in which I once again I ate only one big, satisfying meal per day.

My weight is now back to normal, the skin appearing tight again, and my physique returned to that super-lean look a lot of people seem to like, with muscular definition as sharp as ever.

Overall, the fat-loss experience was simple and worry-free. Basically I overeat on a cruise ship for 5 days, having literally 24-hours-a-day unlimited access to:

  • Various beef dishes
  • Various fowl dishes
  • Various fish dishes
  • Artisan cheeses
  • Lobster
  • Shrimp
  • Shell fish of all sorts
  • BBQ Ribs and steak
  • Pasta
  • Breads
  • Refined foods
  • Incredible dessert, stacked high and wide
  • Beer, wine, alcoholic mixed drinks, and umbrella drinks
  • Nuts, snack mix
  • I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff

After the gluttonous affair I did a total of 5 days of extended intermittent fasting, spread over a period of 2 weeks.

Now I’m pretty lean — back to where I was before the cruise. I feel great, look sharp, and light on my feet. (And I enjoyed the hell out of everything during the cruise vacation with family and friends.)

The lesson from this experiment:

  • Where there’s calorie excess, there must be calorie deficit.
  • It’s easy to go crazy with eating, and then gain the weight you wish you hadn’t.
  • But it’s not the end of the world. You can experiment with extended intermittent fasting for a few days. Add a few more days if you want, a couple fewer if you wish.
  • Take your time losing the weight you’ve gained. You don’t have to lose it all at once (I separated the extended intermittent fasting into two different weeks).

Remember, most of us sometimes overeat… sometimes really big. We can undo it.

This entry was posted in Dietary Habit, weight Loss and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Caloric Excess, Caloric Deficit Pt. 3

  1. Ray Dixon says:

    I’ve been IF’ing for a couple of months and since you went on your cruise and shared your plans, I decided I would try 2 or three days of the one big meal. I’ve tried twice and on the the second day both times i’ve gotten headaches in the afternoon before my meal. Any thoughts? I eat 90% paleo, typically have two meals a day (1:00 and 6:00), and have no trouble occasionally skipping that 1:00 meal. Thanks, and I enjoy your blog.


    • Johnny says:

      Hi Ray,

      I can only tell you that reports of headaches from low calories and intermittent fasting are temporary.


  2. Al says:


    When did you discover that one does not need as much protein than originally thought to get lean? There are several other fitness blogs that are almost identical to what you believe BUT they still believe that one must get at least 1gr per pound of body weight of protein everyday (or something close to that). Is this theory just another one of those bodybuilding myths that just won’t go away or is it essential? Thanks!

    • Johnny says:

      The US and Canadian DRI recommends that the minimum protein intake for a man is 56 grams to prevent deficiency. Around last March I just decided to go with that, knowing that I would get more than that in my diet heavily in vegetable and meats — often upward of 80 to over 100 (even though some days far less and others much higher).

      My average protein intake is still much lower than the typical bodybuilding recommendation (1gram or more of protein per pound of body weight), but definitely a little higher than the DRI’s minimum. So far, no apparent deficiency.


  3. KevinT says:

    Hey Johnny, at some point, I’d love to see you do another “day in the life” meal/workout pictorial/journal that covers a couple days like you’ve done before. Seems when you last did one, you weren’t fasting as often (?)… don’t remember. Anyway, I think it’d be interesting.

    • Johnny says:

      Great idea, Kevin. I’ll do this soon.


      • Jeremy says:


        I thank you for your great website. It is one of my favorites and go to it for much motivation. I am a former 5-6 meal a day guy and now use IF on a regular basis. Up until this point it has been two-three fast days a week (Eat Stop Eat) with a small meal in the evening to break the fast to create a caloric deficit, which has worked well. I am thinking of moving my eating window to the 4pm-10pm (Lean Gains Style) time slot. How many meals do you personally put in this window? I don’t like eating one big meal (warrior diet) as I always feel uncomfortable after eating and I actually still think I overeat with this style. A day/week in your life post (eating/working out) would be great. Thanks again for a great site!

      • Johnny says:

        Thanks, Jeremy.

        My daily intermittent fasting is pretty flexible. Mostly I fast between 15 to 20 hours, and the length depends on my memory. Meaning, if I feel that I ate a lot the day before, then my fasting window moves closer to 20 hours. If I feel that I ate just a little the day before, then my fasting window moves closer to 15 hours. Sometimes I change the length of my fasting BEFORE a planned feeding — like birthdays, parties, etc.

        During the feeding window, I can eat as many as 3 meals, or as few as 1 — but it’s often just two meals of varying sizes. The number of meals depends on whatever is convenient.


  4. Mike says:

    Hey Johnny,

    Thanks for allowing us to ride along with you during your experiment. I had a few questions in regard to your experience. Do you think the extended intermittent fasting provides additional benefits because of the combination of extending the duration of time spent in an unfed state and the consumption of less food? Or do you think the effect of the additional time spent in the unfed state is negligible and simply eating less is the major factor?

    I also am curious about your workout results. Did you follow your normal workout schedule? Did you feel as though you lost any strength or muscle during the two week period? Do you recommend not using an extended IF timeframe during weight training days (whether it is heavy lifting or higher repetition days)?



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