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Paleo-Diets and Muscle Gain

Will a paleo diet be productive for muscle gain.

I have been playing with the idea of trying a paleo plan, but I am concerned about not being able to gain muscle mass.

Does anyone have any experience with paleo eating habits and muscle gain?

Heres some info I gathered:

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

"The essentials of the Paleolithic Diet are:

Eat none of the following:

? Grains- including bread, pasta, noodles

? Beans- including string beans, kidney beans, lentils, peanuts, snow-peas and peas

? Potatoes

? Dairy products

? Sugar

? Salt

Eat the following:

? Meat, chicken and fish

? Eggs

? Fruit

? Vegetables (especially root vegetables, but definitely not including potatoes or sweet potatoes)

? Nuts, eg. walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia, almond. Do not eat peanuts (a bean) or cashews (a family of their own)

? Berries- strawberries, blueberries, raspberries etc.

Try to increase your intake of:

? Root vegetables- carrots, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, Swedes

? Organ meats- liver and kidneys (I accept that many people find these unpalatable and won?t eat them)"

I think these ‘rules’ are fine to build your diet around. I personally think it’s quitte hard to build muscle without starchy carbs like potatoes and rice.
if you eat these post-workout, eat every 2-3 hours, eat protein and fruit or vegetables with every meal and use these food sources, you’ve basicly got the precision nutrition plan by JB.
nothing wrong with that imo.

Starchy carbs PWO are recommended for recovery purposes, not specifically building mass. There is no reason you can’t build a decent amount of muscle on a Paleo diet. As long as you have a caloric surplus and intake plenty of protein you will be fine.

[quote]eengrms76 wrote:
Starchy carbs PWO are recommended for recovery purposes, not specifically building mass. There is no reason you can’t build a decent amount of muscle on a Paleo diet. As long as you have a caloric surplus and intake plenty of protein you will be fine.[/quote]

Agreed, just use Surge post workout when you want that recovery boost. Otherwise I think your diet would be just fine. I am trying to keep those principles you outlined pretty consistent in my diet lean meat, vegetables, fruit, as main stays and keep away from all the off limit stuff you suggested. My gut works better and I feel better when I do that.

Laters,

D

[quote]jcharles wrote:
Will a paleo diet be productive for muscle gain.
[/quote]

Yes – Just look at what it did for cavemen!

I’ve eaten this way more often than not over the past years. Similar to CKD without ever doing carb ups. (At least that 's the way I look at it). I have never had an issue with workouts, building mass, strength etc. Sure, carbs are great for recovery I guess, especially if your determined to believe they are required, but hardly necessary. I find once I’m fat adapted, my energy levels and strength are better than anything.

I look at it this way. Some of the most muscular\strong animals on the plant are pretty strict meat eaters. I can’t really remember the last time I heard of a lion, tiger or bear sucking down oatmeal. :sunglasses:

[quote]Rotlex wrote:
I’ve eaten this way more often than not over the past years. Similar to CKD without ever doing carb ups. (At least that 's the way I look at it). I have never had an issue with workouts, building mass, strength etc. Sure, carbs are great for recovery I guess, especially if your determined to believe they are required, but hardly necessary. I find once I’m fat adapted, my energy levels and strength are better than anything.

I look at it this way. Some of the most muscular\strong animals on the plant are pretty strict meat eaters. I can’t really remember the last time I heard of a lion, tiger or bear sucking down oatmeal. 8-)[/quote]

Thats a good point about why people eat carbs, however, the digestive system of a pure carnivore is quite a bit different from our own, I think it is much more acidic and shorter because there is no plant fibers to break down. Im sure you know this just pointing out that there are differences between leopards and humans. They average leopard burns near 6,000 calories a day and thats at a bodyweight of 150. However, I do think one of the reasons starchy carbs are so handy with gaining muscle is because they pack a big punch, you get a lot of calories in a relatively small portion. You can get the calories you need much easier. The insulin spike is also beneficial for post workout purposes, but besides that, you dont need to be eating grains really…

That sounds good, just remember that total daily calories have to be high enough. If your worried about getting in fast acting carbs post workout, there are quite a few fruits that are high on the glycemic index. I know bananas are good, also I think papaya’s are high. There are others too.

[quote]Shadowzz4 wrote:
Rotlex wrote:
I’ve eaten this way more often than not over the past years. Similar to CKD without ever doing carb ups. (At least that 's the way I look at it). I have never had an issue with workouts, building mass, strength etc. Sure, carbs are great for recovery I guess, especially if your determined to believe they are required, but hardly necessary. I find once I’m fat adapted, my energy levels and strength are better than anything.

I look at it this way. Some of the most muscular\strong animals on the plant are pretty strict meat eaters. I can’t really remember the last time I heard of a lion, tiger or bear sucking down oatmeal. :sunglasses:

Thats a good point about why people eat carbs, however, the digestive system of a pure carnivore is quite a bit different from our own, I think it is much more acidic and shorter because there is no plant fibers to break down. Im sure you know this just pointing out that there are differences between leopards and humans. They average leopard burns near 6,000 calories a day and thats at a bodyweight of 150. However, I do think one of the reasons starchy carbs are so handy with gaining muscle is because they pack a big punch, you get a lot of calories in a relatively small portion. You can get the calories you need much easier. The insulin spike is also beneficial for post workout purposes, but besides that, you dont need to be eating grains really…
[/quote]

Agreed (Although I wish I had the metabolism of a Leopard)! Seriously though, I do eat tons of carbs even during these phases, it just doesn’t come from grains, as you mention above - ever. Veggies truly are my friend at those times, and eh, without them, I’d probably have some serious issues after a few weeks in regards to the bathroom, LOL.

We’re getting back into the clean bulk territory here, but yes you can gain on paleo diets. The best thing for you
to do is, do it, track it and adjust it if neccessary. It just means you have to eat ALOT of fruit and vegetables as for example 100grams of cooked brocoli has only 7grams of carbs and an apple about 12grams…I find it amazing how different i feel when i don’t eat processed food.

[quote]stockzy wrote:
We’re getting back into the clean bulk territory here, but yes you can gain on paleo diets. The best thing for you
to do is, do it, track it and adjust it if neccessary. It just means you have to eat ALOT of fruit and vegetables as for example 100grams of cooked brocoli has only 7grams of carbs and an apple about 12grams…I find it amazing how different i feel when i don’t eat processed food. [/quote]

I don’t know why this diet is not more popular around here.

I’ve been on it for a few weeks and it feels great!

It’s kinda like taking the good points from the Anabolic Diet and The Zone Diet and combining them into one sustainable eating plan.

I do kinda cheat at this point because I have about 4 pounds of whey/soy powder I am still using up. Once it runs out I might switch to an egg white/whey blend.

[quote]Dirty Tiger wrote:
I don’t know why this diet is not more popular around here.

I’ve been on it for a few weeks and it feels great![/quote]

I agree, I’ve been following it about 2 months, since I finished the V-Diet, and am feeling good about it (although I’m still eating cheese). The negatives I’ve found were an initial loss of strength on deadlifts and squats, but not on upper-body lifts (go figure).

On the other hand, my stamina has improved; pull-ups and dips got easier, and I’ve been playing intense squash games without any energy problems. The other plus I notice is the satiety it provides; I only eat 4 meals a day now, and rarely feel hungry (thanks to stable insulin levels, I suppose).

Actually, I was thinking of adopting a Paleo-Anabolic Diet, because I think I could really use a carb-up once a week. Maybe just carb-up with sweet potatoes and corn (and lots of fruit).

I’ve found my consumption of protein powder has gone down drastically.

One thing I’d tell everyone that wants to go on this diet is to forget everything they’ve been indoctrinated into about fat.

Chicken is eaten with the skin, no need to eat only breasts, either (also thighs and legs are cheaper), and my ground meat is now 80% lean (and cheaper!). If you’re going to drink milk (or eat cheese), get the full-fat kind.

Oh, and like somebody mentioned, Berardi’s eating recommendations are basically to eat Paleo, except for periworkout meals, when you include simple sugars (Surge) and other carbs.

JB doesn’t ever call it “Paleo Diet for Athletes”, cos he’s a smart man and knows that people have prejudices that would keep them from trying it out if they thought they were eating like cavemen 95% of the time, but essentially that’s what it is. And there’s nothing wrong with that! :slight_smile:

I eliminated grains from my diet months ago and have felt great ever since. I did so not because of the “paleo” diet but because grain is pro-inflammatory. I just don’t have the joint aches and knots like I used to get.

Building muscle as in bodybuilder muscle?

Then again, without getting too complicated for something that can be simple, increasing the food intake of a paleo diet won’t make you a bean pole. You might not balloon up, but you definitely won’t be a bean pole as what some people may assume with diets with only fruits and vegetables as the main carb sources.

Here is one complication- what paleo diet are you thinking of hitting up? This is what I mean, location and climate. One thing I noticed about the paleo diet, from reading about it, is that it’s nutrition of seasons. I do not live in a place that has snow or extreme cold. So I can “run around” year round compared to areas that have snow and heavy flooding certain times of the year. So my nutrition intake is more flexible.

I am however limited to what fruits and vegetables are in season for my climate. Same with the migration patterns of oceanlife. Can I have lobster every part of the year if I catch my own? Well laws regulate that too. If I just focus on vegetation, there are certain vegetables I can eat year round. Namely okinawan spinach. That stuff grows like a weed in my backyard.

So when focusing on the seasonal aspect of paleo diet it might get complicated, but just looking at food stuff that can be eaten rather than when it can be eaten would not matter too much.

The whole seasonal aspect reminds me of an argument of great humor I had with my wife. We had a disagreement about something and in an attempt to have the last word and upper hand she lectures me that I am ruining our natural resource of fish because I eat salmon and ahi poke practically everyday. She claims that people like me cause the natural fish supply to dwindle to nonexistence in 50 yrs or some scientific statistical guess. I start to laugh which insults her.

I point out that as she is lecturing me from her soapbox, she is eating popcorn after eating lots and lots of cakes and sugary desserts. She started the morning off by asking if she looked fat in a particular dress. The humor was too much to bear.

Sorry for the off-topic, but I just had to post such a hilarious story. Whether what she said is true or not, it’s still a funny story.

Well, well, well, what a coincidence… Anthony Colpo, an Australian personal trainer and enthusiastic Paleo advocate (who used to run TheOmnivore.com) has started up a forum that will probably contain all the low-carb answers we’ve been looking for:

www.lowcarbmuscle.com/forums/

I’ve only just found out about it so I still haven’t read through, but I thought I’d let you guys know immediately.

I would recommend to get a copy of “The Paleo Diet For Athletes” by Cordain/Friel.

it’s pretty much what Berardi recommends

and bulking just needs extra calories, not necessarily starch

I’ll have to pay more attention to Berardi’s articles.