Not only can a Paleo inspired diet yield many health benefits, it can also be a great tool for improving your physique. There is a lot we can learn from this ancestral way of eating and with a few subtle tweaks, the Paleo diet can be geared towards gaining lean muscle mass!
What is Paleo?
The Paleo diet limits your nutritional choices to foods which were available to our ancestors 10,000 years ago. The thinking behind this is that our genetic code has not altered greatly since the paleolithic era so why should our diet! To me it makes a lot of sense to avoid the artificially manufactured bullshit which food manufacturers try to pass off as being edible!
I had always been curious about following a Paleo diet and liked the idea of eating like a caveman. I tried it out and stuck to a diet of meat, vegetables, eggs, nuts and dairy for about two weeks without reducing caloric intake. I felt great on this diet and I lost noticeable body fat but I had also lost some muscle fullness due to being carb depleted. Although getting leaner is always good, my goal at this point was to increase muscle mass and this was not ideal – time for a re-think!
Building Muscle with Paleo
This muscle building modified Paleo diet sticks to raw, unprocessed foods and includes white rice, potatoes and sweet potatoes as primary sources of carbohydrates. The aim is to get roughly as many calories from carbs as you do from good fats. The important thing is steering clear of sugars and grains, this means no ‘healthy’ cereals or cereal bars, no sauces, no sugar filled soda (or sugar free soda!) and no candy bars!
Whey protein powder, BCAAs and any other helpful supplements are also included although I’m sure these didn’t exist 10,000 years ago! There is a lot you can learn from a short period following a strict Paleo diet, searching for what foods you are actually allowed to eat and understanding the reasons why can teach you a lot about healthy eating and nutrition. The biggest discovery for me was that I’m slightly intolerant to products containing wheat or gluten and feel much less bloated and better off without them!
It’s pretty safe to assume that a healthier, more efficient body will build MORE MUSCLE and lose MORE FAT than one which is struggling to deal with bad foods and toxins 24/7. Speaking from experience, I gained 5kg and increased my strength in 3 months without gaining a ton of body fat. You can check out the progress pictures and diet below. This diet plan is what I stuck to on a daily basis and it gave me great results, give it a try and see if it works for you too!
Total Calories – 3400-3900 kcal (Increasing by 50kcal per week)
Protein – 20% (200g, roughly 1g per lb of bodyweight)
Carbs – 40%
Fats – 40%
What to Eat?
Clean Protein Sources: Grass fed red meat, All fish, Lean Poultry breast meat, Free range eggs, Whey Protein, Organic whole dairy products
Healthy Fats (Monounsaturated and Omega 3 Polyunsaturated): Extra virgin olive oil, All coconut products, Macadamia nuts, Avocado
Clean Carb Sources: (Low GI and mostly starch, no gluten or sugar): White Potato, Sweet Potato, Yams, White Rice, Oats soaked overnight, Low Sugar Fruits, All Vegetables
What to Avoid?
Processed Proteins: All Processed meat, Skimmed dairy products
Bad Fats: (Omega 6 Polyunsaturated): All vegetable oils, All vegetable spreads, Anything deep fried, Mayonnaise, Roasted/salted/honey roasted nuts
Refined Carbohydrates and Grains: (High GI, sugars and foods with gluten): Sugar, Cereals, Pastry, Cakes, Biscuits, Cookies, Soda
What to Eat in Moderation?
Meats containing higher proportions of bad fats and preservatives etc: Corn fed red meat (1-2 times per week), Poultry leg meat and skin
Healthy Fats with some bad fats: All other raw nuts (except Macadamia), Foods fried in olive oil
Carb sources containing some sugars or grains: Raw honey, Sugary fruits (banana, pineapple, cherry etc.), Brown rice, Oats
What are my favourite Paleo recipes?
Good question! This recipe book contains 10 of my favourite Paleo-inspired meals which are guaranteed to make your diet both healthy and enjoyable (just be warned — everyone will want to try your food!).
Click on the button below to download your free copy: