Does it Work? - Leigh Peele's Metabolic Repair Manual

03-19-2012, 01:32 AM
I have come to the conclusion recently that I maintain or even gain weight on a ridiculously low number of calories. I'm 5'10", largely built, 185 - 190 lbs currently, and while my lifestyle itself isn't terribly active, I work out HARD at least five to six days a week. I maintain at around 1500 calories, with a slow and steady, almost unnoticeable creeping gain. Of fat. And I weigh and measure everything, so I'm fairly confident I'm not "accidentally" eating too many calories.

A friend recommended Leigh Peele's Metabolic Repair Manual - she downloaded it a long time ago and said it sounded like a good idea but never actually got around to doing the plan. I read it as well, and it is very convincing, but I'm still TERRIFIED to gain any more weight - I'm already ten to fifteen pounds up from where I used to be, purely because my body gains weight on so few calories.

My question is, has anyone actually ever TRIED this repair plan? How much fat did you gain? What were your beginning and ending maintenance calories? There are plenty of clients she writes about (all success stories made it into the book, of course, but I do wonder about the failures...) that have had huge success with the program, but I found one person in particular on another forum that detailed her experience going through the repair and she gained several pounds, much of which she was convinced was fat based on the fit of her clothes.

I'm already so disgusted with the state of my body because of this steady, unstoppable gain that the thought of piling more on before I can go back to losing it is freaking me out in a major way. I have PCOS so I tend to lose at a snail's pace anyway even when my metabolism is functioning at a normal level.

Thoughts / advice / experience??? Thanks in advance. :(

03-19-2012, 12:22 PM
Ive completed Leigh's REPAIR

Unfortunately, you cannot get a copy of it right now, because she is re-wriiting the entire thing.

I suggest HIGHLY you join her forum at She gets on the boards eveyr single day and you get personal advice from her, along with the advice of many experienced and intelligent people. She has tons of Podcasts as well. I also recommend her "Fatloss Troubleshoot"

But here's the thing. Youve f-ed up your metabolism. Its adapted.
Because youve been in a 'deficit" for so long, you are no longer in a deficit. Your "1500" calories is now your maintenence weight. Thats sux.

You cant be helped if you arent willing to trust in Leigh, and that she can help you. This is her specialty--> underfed, overtrained chronic dieting women who are terrified of gaining even a pound.
Education is needed at this point

Your hormones are so outta whack (if you need REPAIR).

NO one wants to gain weight, but you have to decide if you are ready to stop spinning your wheels and begin to learn about your body, whats going on, what it needs and how to repair it. Leigh has a no BS style, so if youre looking for cudlly warm hugs, youre not going to get it from her.

YES-> you will gain weight doing REPAIR. you HAVE TO GAIN WEIGHT. There is NO WAY AROUND IT. You are going to eat more, you are gong to eat carbs, you are going to take a break from training of ANY KIND (which actually, will prob lead to a litle weight loss in the beginning) and at the end you are going to do a massive re-feed.

Leigh designed the program KNOWING how difficult it would be for women like "us" to mentally/emotionally allow the gain. She designed it to MINIMIZE the huge weight fluctuations. But honestly, you can/will get the same results if you just take a diet/training break and eat at a caloric surplus for 1-2 weeks (2500-3000Kcals) Same result, quicker, not pretty though, not nearly as gentle.
I gained a little over 12 pounds, i think, during my refeed week. Guess what>? it was almost all WATER WEIGHT. And ~ 2 weeks later, it was almost all gone

You know the most important thing i learned was? That i WONT get fat by taking a week off training, or missing a day or two of working out. I wont get fat by eating sometimes. Ya, i will see a jump on the scale, but its purely water weight, and it goes away.

If you cant commit to it whole heartedly, then it wont work. Your body needs a surplus of calories and of carbs to re-set your leptin and ghrenlin levels. YOu neeed to backoff of training to allow your body to stop releasing stress hormones. Leigh dives into all the science behind it in her writings/blogs... most of which you can find/get for free at her website....
LIke i said though, i highly suggest joining her site for less than 10 bux a month. She is not out to scam you

03-20-2012, 12:29 AM
Wow, okay, that helped a lot. I think I will definitely join her forum in the meantime while it is being re-written. I NEED a no-nonsense person to tell me what to do - I'm my own worst enabler and I fully admit it.

It's also good to know that you have personally done the plan and can attest that most of your weight gain was water. I'm not scared so much of jumps in scale weight - I vary my carbs a lot and am used to seeing a wide variety of numbers - I guess I was just afraid that a week or two into the refeed I wouldn't be able to fit into all my pants and then my metabolism would somehow still decide to be effed up and I'd be stuck that way for months. Just in time for summer.

I've always been one for worst case scenarios though. Thanks so much for telling me about her forum and your experiences.

Also, in your experience, is just one week eating at maintenance enough to "reset" it? Honestly that idea appeals to me even despite the gain issues. I'd rather bite the bullet and get it over with than wait the eight weeks or so for the program. Would it work better if I ate at maintenance / surplus for two weeks instead of one, or is it largely the same for most people? Sorry to bug you with questions i should probably know the answer to, but you seem knowledgeable. And I apparently know nothing but how to sabotage my own loss, so...

I have been considering something of a cycling program to prevent this from happening in the future. Do you think eating at maintenance / surplus for two weeks while lifting heavy, alternated with eating at a deficit for two weeks while doing cardio and maintenance lifting would be a good recomposition plan?

03-21-2012, 12:25 PM
one of the reasons the book is being re-written is because Leigh has discovered that many women need more than one go around at the REPAIR... in fact, the majority do. Also, a reason for doing the full program (8-9weeks or whatever) is to give your body REST. I know you dont have the manual, but that is KEY to recovery. So, if you wanted to jump straight into the refeed, then please no that you should NOT be training at all during this. Youre going to have energy off the wall, but training hard during the refeed defeats the purpose.

Also, doing the full program, and stepping up your cals little by little each week (10% Or so each week) gives you a good chance to see where you REALLY start to gain, vs where you just start to gain some water/food weight. Its important to find out where your actual maintenence is. You might have a good idea, but you might be VERY suprised. I found i actually started to GAIN at 1700 ish calories. Your refeed needs to be at least 25-50% ABOVE maintenance. I ate 2500 to 3000 cals per day (ish) Honestly i stopped tracking and just started ENJOYING. There's also protocol to a structured refeed, in terms of your macros. Your number 1 focus needs to be high Glycemic carbs.... were talking Cap'n Crunch Cereal and PAncakes with syrup! Not oatmeal and sweet potatoes.

Once youve finished doing your personal repair, its important to note that you NEED a diet break at minimum every 12 weeks ( 1 week off, eating at maintenance)... but maybe as often as 8 weeks. Cycling works well for people who dont freak over scale weight/water weight, because true cycling also involves carb cycling.

The 2 weeks on/2 weeks off plan you are considering.. i dont think thats going to work. I think you will easily undo ANY loss over 2 weeks with 2 weeks at maintenace. just My opinion. Leigh has a program called 6C for her members. Its a 6 day cycle program...... She never will tell you what to eat, but she will tell you the caloric percentages and macros to hit.

03-21-2012, 11:40 PM
Thanks again for your response.

I have been resting actually - part of the reason I knew I probably should do the repair is because I was feeling the effects of overtraining.

I'm glad you mentioned how often to have a refeed week. The 2weeks on / off cycle was just my best guess at how long it would take for my metabolism to adapt back to the low point. I guess I just figured if it can adapt upward in two weeks it can sure as heck go back down. But I do think you're right that I'd probably just be undoing any loss by trying to do it that way.

I did consider what you're saying about figuring out at which point I really maintain, but I have been in a pattern of almost-maintenance (very slow gain over about a year) at 1500 calories, which is why I wanted to do the repair program in the first place - to see if I can't bump that number to a little higher level. For the past few days I have just been relaxing and enjoying eating for the first time in a looong time. I've hit about 2500 the last two days, and it's a crazy feeling not to have to feel guilty about that...

I did not know i should be aiming for ABOVE maintenance, I was just going for my calculated maintenance based on my BMR estimate. I will happily take any opportunity to eat more...

I probably should be tracking the macros, but I can definitely say I have been hitting the carbs goal. Pancakes and syrup is practically my middle name. Thanks again for all your advice. I really appreciate the knowledge - it gets tiring wading through all of the different opinions out there and trying to figure out which ones are really based in science...

04-21-2012, 05:35 PM
This sounds like the curves diet. Is it the same principle?