T Nation

Paleo Diet and Building Muscle

So, how would one go about it if he or she wanted to stick to Paleo Diet guidelines, but at the same time wanted to build lean muscle with weight lifting exercises?
One of the challenges seems to be getting enough carbs, because typical bodybuilding foods are not allowed.

http://www.earth360.com/diet_paleodiet_balzer.html
http://www.paleodiet.com

My question is, would be a good idea to substitute those foods with fruits and get the carbs that way?

Thanks!

Don’t take this for a fact, but I think the Paleo Diet is just relying on the whole “caveman” thing for marketing purposes. The stuff in the book isn’t what cavemen ate! Lean meat my ass . . .

http://www.westonaprice.org/
book_reviews/paleodiet.html

Yeah I’m a Weston Price fan so that’s where I’m coming from. Hope the link works and helps.

-Nate

[quote]yustas wrote:
So, how would one go about it if he or she wanted to stick to Paleo Diet guidelines, but at the same time wanted to build lean muscle with weight lifting exercises?
One of the challenges seems to be getting enough carbs, because typical bodybuilding foods are not allowed.

http://www.earth360.com/diet_paleodiet_balzer.html
http://www.paleodiet.com

My question is, would be a good idea to substitute those foods with fruits and get the carbs that way?

Thanks! [/quote]

Could I ask what your reasons are for thinking this is a valid approach for someone trying to gain muscle and strength?

My thoughts on this are that the two areas that are going to be most difficult would be protein consumption and carbs. In my own personal diet, I look to JB’s principles (like the 7 habits) as they can be well alligned with the general paleo concept. The addition I would make to paleo would be:

  1. a good protein powder. If you are in the 200-300g a day range, all solid food is a real task.
  2. root vegetables like yams as a principle source of carbs along with the fruit and veggies
  3. Post workout drink like Surge.
  4. Beans in moderation

What a day would look like for me is:

Breakfeast: whey, sweet poatoes, and unsweeted apple sauce mashed together
2 Meals Protein + Fruit
2 Meals Protein + nuts + veggies
1 Post workout drink whey and and simple sugar

I have a slower metabolism, so I can eat 5 regular meals and still gain correctly.

Oveall, you can stick to the ‘spirit’ of the paleo diet by making as many meals as possible come from whole foods, fruits, and vegetables.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
yustas wrote:
So, how would one go about it if he or she wanted to stick to Paleo Diet guidelines, but at the same time wanted to build lean muscle with weight lifting exercises?
One of the challenges seems to be getting enough carbs, because typical bodybuilding foods are not allowed.

http://www.earth360.com/diet_paleodiet_balzer.html
http://www.paleodiet.com

My question is, would be a good idea to substitute those foods with fruits and get the carbs that way?

Thanks!

Could I ask what your reasons are for thinking this is a valid approach for someone trying to gain muscle and strength?
[/quote]

I don’t know if it is. That is why I’m asking about it. It seems that the only issue would be getting enough carbs and I was wondering if fruit carb source would be a good idea in this situation.

Thanks!

[quote]yustas wrote:

I don’t know if it is. That is why I’m asking about it. It seems that the only issue would be getting enough carbs and I was wondering if fruit carb source would be a good idea in this situation.

Thanks!

[/quote]

It would seem to me that people love to follow brand names whether they be on their jeans or in their diet plan. Why do you feel the need to follow the “paleolithic diet” instead if simply eating in a way that produces the results you are after? Do you understand the point? Why not the “Malibu Beach diet” or the “Southbeach diet”? Possibly the “Calvin Klein Diet” or something more trendy like the “Sean Jean Diet”? I mean, anything other than simply eating enough calories to grow and adjusting your intake according to what you see in the mirror, huh?

[quote]Professor X wrote:
yustas wrote:

I don’t know if it is. That is why I’m asking about it. It seems that the only issue would be getting enough carbs and I was wondering if fruit carb source would be a good idea in this situation.

Thanks!

It would seem to me that people love to follow brand names whether they be on their jeans or in their diet plan. Why do you feel the need to follow the “paleolithic diet” instead if simply eating in a way that produces the results you are after? Do you understand the point? Why not the “Malibu Beach diet” or the “Southbeach diet”? Possibly the “Calvin Klein Diet” or something more trendy like the “Sean Jean Diet”? I mean, anything other than simply eating enough calories to grow and adjusting your intake according to what you see in the mirror, huh?[/quote]

I see your point and I agree that some people might be doing what you’re saying…but to answer your question I happened to think that Paleo way of eating is the healthiest way to eat.

If I wouldn’t be weight training I would eat that way all the time. In fact I have lost over 65 lbs in about 7 month eating in the similar way. Now my goal is to build muscle and I’m really dedicated to it…So, naturally I would like to know if it would be possible to stick to Paleo way of eating, but at the same time achieve my muscle building goals.

We’re told to eat by certain principals when bulking and or cutting, right? You don’t eat just anything that comes to mind when you’re training, do you? Thus, you’re following some kind of a diet be it for cutting or bulking. So, what is wrong with wanting to know if Paleo way of eating can be successfully utilized for weight lifting?

[quote]yustas wrote:

We’re told to eat by certain principals when bulking and or cutting, right? You don’t eat just anything that comes to mind when you’re training, do you? Thus, you’re following some kind of a diet be it for cutting or bulking. So, what is wrong with wanting to know if Paleo way of eating can be successfully utilized for weight lifting?

[/quote]

I don’t eat the way I do because I was told to. I eat the way I do because, through trial and error, I have learned what works for me. You seem to want to avoid that and follow a specialized diet that has been pre-formed. More power to you. It is only logical, however, that if you need to make changes in order to see growth that erase the basis of the diet in the first place, it makes little sense to form your entire diet around it. I do not think the “paleolithic diet” is the most healthy diet available because every human is slightly different. Not only that, but “health” is subjective and only relates in terms of YOUR own health compared to where it has the potential to be. What may produce great results for me may make someone else a complete fat ass or produce no growth at all.
Follow yur diet if you wish. Make changes in order to see results. If those changes force destruction of the premise of the diet, let it go.

[quote]yustas wrote:
So, how would one go about it if he or she wanted to stick to Paleo Diet guidelines, but at the same time wanted to build lean muscle with weight lifting exercises?
One of the challenges seems to be getting enough carbs, because typical bodybuilding foods are not allowed.

http://www.earth360.com/diet_paleodiet_balzer.html
http://www.paleodiet.com

My question is, would be a good idea to substitute those foods with fruits and get the carbs that way?

Thanks! [/quote]

I follow this diet and there are plenty of ways to get extra carbs. Eating mixed nuts, coconuts, and bananas are one option, along with dried fruit, etc. Since you mentioned putting on lean muscle I wouldn’t worry about getting lots of carbs to begin with. Now if you wanted to just pack on muscle without any concern for extra body fat then getting enough carbs would seem to be more of an issue. One of the keys to this diet is eating a large variety of foods, the chances that you’ll be getting too few carbs is minimal. This isn’t the Atkins diet, you can eat all of the fruits and veggies you want.

[quote]CRisenhoover wrote:

  1. a good protein powder. If you are in the 200-300g a day range, all solid food is a real task.
    [/quote]

12oz of canned salmon, 16oz of chicken, and 6 whole eggs will give you roughly 239g of protein. That’s only 1918 calories, so on a 3000-4000 calorie diet getting all of your protein from whole foods should not be an issue. I always saw protein powders as a convenience item when I didn’t have time to cook, not because I had trouble eating enough meat. That’s just me though.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

I don’t eat the way I do because I was told to. I eat the way I do because, through trial and error, I have learned what works for me. You seem to want to avoid that and follow a specialized diet that has been pre-formed. More power to you. It is only logical, however, that if you need to make changes in order to see growth that erase the basis of the diet in the first place, it makes little sense to form your entire diet around it. I do not think the “paleolithic diet” is the most healthy diet available because every human is slightly different. Not only that, but “health” is subjective and only relates in terms of YOUR own health compared to where it has the potential to be. What may produce great results for me may make someone else a complete fat ass or produce no growth at all.
Follow yur diet if you wish. Make changes in order to see results. If those changes force destruction of the premise of the diet, let it go.
[/quote]

I wouldn’t necessarily consider the paleo diet to be a “specialized” or “pre-formed” diet. The paleolithic hunter/gatherer would eat what ever they could find at the moment, the reality is that there wasn’t any pasta or milk lying around to find or hunt. Those items are exclusively neolithic because they required long-term farming to create. There is enormous room for variety within the diet. It may appear limited, if for example, you eat oats every day as one of your main foods and then find out your not supposed to. For me its not an issue because there are over 300 foods in the local supermarkets that are fine for the diet. I’m not saying you can’t eat a variety of foods on a standard bodybuilding diet, but when I have 300+ foods to choose from, not eating the 20-30 (I’m speaking of whole foods only here) that contain grains/beans/legumes/ or dairy isn’t going to hinder me. I’ve found the paleo diet to be the easiest diets to follow out of any of the ones I’ve tried. A nice side effect of the diet is that because one of its main tenets is eating a wide variety of foods, I seem to have less cravings for junk. When I get too busy and don’t have time to mix up my diet my cravings come back.

I absolutely agree that trial and error is always the best way to find a diet that works.

[quote]jonnyjon wrote:

I follow this diet and there are plenty of ways to get extra carbs. Eating mixed nuts, coconuts, and bananas are one option, along with dried fruit, etc. Since you mentioned putting on lean muscle I wouldn’t worry about getting lots of carbs to begin with. Now if you wanted to just pack on muscle without any concern for extra body fat then getting enough carbs would seem to be more of an issue. One of the keys to this diet is eating a large variety of foods, the chances that you’ll be getting too few carbs is minimal. This isn’t the Atkins diet, you can eat all of the fruits and veggies you want.[/quote]

Your comment about body fat and carbs is off. Getting enough carbs also aids in muscle gains. Your body doesn’t grow just because of protein. Overall caloric intake is even more important. How much muscle have you gained as a direct result of switching to eating like this? What are your reasons for eating like this? Because it is healthy?

I don’t think most people recommend that anyone load up on processed carbohydrates all day long. This fear of gaining any body fat at all is only justified if you are a sedentary fat ass in the first place or someone who lets their weight get out of control. My personal view on that is I rarely see those who have that much of a concern for any and all body fat gains make more progress in the weight room than those who understand that often allowing some fat gain HELPS the gains in muscle mass in the long run.

I think it comes down to whether you are in this because you think that you plan on being the most “healthy” person on the planet, or if you are in this to make large changes in your physical appearance. Again, health is subjective. If I eat baked potatoes today, that doesn’t mean that someone on a paleolithic diet is “healthier” than me.

Professor X there is a lot of evidence to suggest that avoiding grains has substantial long term health benefits. I think the fact that when people run into digestive system problems/diseases, they are forced to resort back to a paleo diet says something about what we are optimally designed to eat.

Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale’s anabolic diet is one of the best diets out there for lean body mass and is similar to the paleo except for the carb up days.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
jonnyjon wrote:

I follow this diet and there are plenty of ways to get extra carbs. Eating mixed nuts, coconuts, and bananas are one option, along with dried fruit, etc. Since you mentioned putting on lean muscle I wouldn’t worry about getting lots of carbs to begin with. Now if you wanted to just pack on muscle without any concern for extra body fat then getting enough carbs would seem to be more of an issue. One of the keys to this diet is eating a large variety of foods, the chances that you’ll be getting too few carbs is minimal. This isn’t the Atkins diet, you can eat all of the fruits and veggies you want.

Your comment about body fat and carbs is off. Getting enough carbs also aids in muscle gains. Your body doesn’t grow just because of protein. Overall caloric intake is even more important. How much muscle have you gained as a direct result of switching to eating like this? What are your reasons for eating like this? Because it is healthy?

I don’t think most people recommend that anyone load up on processed carbohydrates all day long. This fear of gaining any body fat at all is only justified if you are a sedentary fat ass in the first place or someone who lets their weight get out of control. My personal view on that is I rarely see those who have that much of a concern for any and all body fat gains make more progress in the weight room than those who understand that often allowing some fat gain HELPS the gains in muscle mass in the long run.

I think it comes down to whether you are in this because you think that you plan on being the most “healthy” person on the planet, or if you are in this to make large changes in your physical appearance. Again, health is subjective. If I eat baked potatoes today, that doesn’t mean that someone on a paleolithic diet is “healthier” than me.[/quote]