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Clone
01-11-2011, 09:20 AM
Is it possible to build muscle while on the Paleo diet?

I've read up on it, and over the summer tried it for a few months. I think it is legit, but only for maintaining or losing bodyfat.

I went from my usual 10% bodyfat to around 6% and dropped about 10lbs. I felt great, and wasn't bloated, but slowly my strength levels seemed to go down. Probably could've just added more veggies or fruit. But it was just an experiment.

That being said, is it realistic to build muscle on Paleo? For someone in already decent shape?

I'm eating grains and on milk again, and getting about 3000+ cals a day. I've put on about 10lbs since my paleo "cut" over the summer. Some fat and some muscle.

So my point is; I'm barely making gains while getting more calories, thus probably need even more calories. IF I go Paleo again I don't know how I would get as many calories, since veggies and fruit have less calories when compared to grains. For example, how many cups of broccoli does it take to get the same amount of cals/carbs as a cup of pasta?

I don't have a stellar appetite, so just don't see how I could get enough calories eating Paleo to promote muscle growth.

But I do buy into Paleo and feel healthier on it.

What says you? (sorry for such a long post folks)

Dan Fanelli
01-11-2011, 11:54 AM
What you are questioning is probably the biggest problem with the Paleo diet. I dont have a ton of experience with the diet, but eventually plan on following it more. But the big problem will be if you want to be a bigger individual and getting the needed calories. It may work for individuals that either dont want to weigh a lot, have a slow metabolism, and/or a huge appetite. But for the rest of us, its going to be very hard to get enough calories in if you eliminate carbs completely. You'll need the calories, and there is no way around that.

If you follow the Paleo diet as written your calories are going to have to come from mainly protein and fat. You aren't going to get a significant amount of calories from stuff like brocolli. Other than that though, you simply need to figure out your caloric needs, and your maximal fat intake. Subtract the calries from fat from your total calorie needs and the rest will have to come from protein and carbs.

So if your calorie needs are 3500kcals, and you are going to take in 150g of fat per day. 3500- (150x9) = 2150. Maybe 150 kcals will come from vegetables/fruit, which still leaves 2000kcals needed or 500g of protein. This is A LOT of protein.

And that is why I will never do the paleo diet as written, but instead will do a modified version, that is still technically 'paleo'.

In the above example, if you took in something like 15-20% of your kcals from unrefined carbs (yams, brown rice, etc.) you'd get about 150g of carbs or 600kcals. This would knock your protein needs down to 350 or so which would be more doable IMO.

.

I'd start with about 2 weeks of very low carbs, and then add in those unrefined carbs gradually after that. Once you get to your target weight while eating low carbs, I think you could benefit further by cycling carbs up and down, but I woudn't do that until you are able to maintain your target weight fairly well.

Hope this helps. This is what I plan on doing eventually, but im still having trouble hitting my target weight while just eating whatever I can get my hands on

dynamo
01-11-2011, 11:54 AM
the only thing that changes in paleo is you eat healthier food, and substancially more protein, if you aren't gaining muscle on paleo you weren't gaining it on your other diet either. Your macros don't really change, although your protein would be 200-300 grams, and you do get a lot more micronutrients. Pasta isn't going to help you gain muscle, if you have to just drink more milk and keep your protein intake up.

Clone
01-11-2011, 01:45 PM
Dan, good points about getting more fat on Paleo. I forgot fat had 9 cals per g. But thats still a lot of fat in my opinion (in general, not in a bad way).

And like you said, I too still have a hard time hitting target bodyweight eating whatever I want.

Gotta sit down and map this out better I guess. I don't think I'd ever go 100% Paleo. Probably stay on milk for extra protein and fat. But I hate the sugar. I lost a good amount of bodyfat nixing grain carbs, and even more when I cut out milk.

Clone
01-11-2011, 01:54 PM
the only thing that changes in paleo is you eat healthier food, and substancially more protein, if you aren't gaining muscle on paleo you weren't gaining it on your other diet either. Your macros don't really change, although your protein would be 200-300 grams, and you do get a lot more micronutrients. Pasta isn't going to help you gain muscle, if you have to just drink more milk and keep your protein intake up.

I realize the macros don't really change. But non-paleo foods seem more calorie dense. Healthier veggies have less calories per volume. But like I said in my 2nd post, I also forgot fat was so calorie dense.

I was just using the broccoli and pasta as an example. Not gospel. :)

Having done Paleo already, I just don't see how personally I could build muscle and make gains on it.

Dan Fanelli
01-11-2011, 02:02 PM
http://www.burnthefat.com/paleo_diet.html

The reasoning behind the paleo diet is kinda silly. The eveolutionary theory doesn't really add up. Instead, nutrition should be based on our current science and what is good for you. I dont think there is anything wrong with unprocessed "healthy" grains and such. Yams, brown rice, and beans would be my main choices for carb sources besides fruits and vegetables. Obviously frosted flakes are not the greatest option, but they could still fit in the diet on a limited basis.

And I dont thin there is a problem with milk really, especially if you can get organic milk from grass fed cows.

Just start out strict Paleo, and then start adding "healthy" non-paleo things until you get to a reasonable amount of calories.

4g64fiero
01-11-2011, 02:14 PM
Not much about the paleo diet adds up. To suggest we can't evolve around a food in a short period is ludicrous.

Not to mention, if you dont believe in evolution, then you cant do it!:evillaugh:

Mercuryblade
01-11-2011, 03:14 PM
http://www.burnthefat.com/paleo_diet.html

The reasoning behind the paleo diet is kinda silly. The eveolutionary theory doesn't really add up.

Yep.
Evolution didn't select for people to live 90+ years and have rock hard bodies. It selected for us to survive long enough to produce healthy viable offspring.

It has a lot of solid dietary elements to it (lots of meat and veggies) but is also a bit dogmatic in its approach. Some people need this kind of oversight to accomplish goals, others can use fitday.com and just moderate their intake.

This "natural is always better" stuff kills me.

Raleighwood
01-11-2011, 03:45 PM
Answer: high quantities of sweet & normal potatoes, rice, and healthy fats (on top of at least 1g/lb of protein/body weight)

IronDiggy
01-11-2011, 04:07 PM
Not much about the paleo diet adds up. To suggest we can't evolve around a food in a short period is ludicrous.

Not to mention, if you dont believe in evolution, then you cant do it!:evillaugh:

Humans have evolved into what we are over 4million years. To expect our bodies to suddenly love grains when they've only been ingested for the past 10,000 years or so is ludicrous. Also some suggest our bodies haven't evolved much at all because we haven't needed to, evolution is caused by a need to survive, we have no trouble with that it seems. Paleo's fallacy is it's pretty off it's rocker when it comes to fats.

Edit: to add to this thread rather than totally derail it, you can build muscle on paleo, it just takes a lot more food cause fruits and veggies aren't as calorie dense as grains. When I tried paleo I lost lots of fat in a month, but I found I got stronger, or at least had more energy. I was however shoveling fruit in my face hole all day long between meals.

Clone
01-11-2011, 07:04 PM
Edit: to add to this thread rather than totally derail it, you can build muscle on paleo, it just takes a lot more food cause fruits and veggies aren't as calorie dense as grains. When I tried paleo I lost lots of fat in a month, but I found I got stronger, or at least had more energy. I was however shoveling fruit in my face hole all day long between meals.

I lost about 10lbs of fat, and set numerous rep records during that time. But then it seemed to catch up with me. I obviously wasn't eating enough.

I do know I felt amazingly better on Paleo. No bloating and more normal bowel movements. I felt light on my feet.

4g64fiero
01-11-2011, 10:56 PM
Humans have evolved into what we are over 4million years. To expect our bodies to suddenly love grains when they've only been ingested for the past 10,000 years or so is ludicrous. Also some suggest our bodies haven't evolved much at all because we haven't needed to, evolution is caused by a need to survive, we have no trouble with that it seems. Paleo's fallacy is it's pretty off it's rocker when it comes to fats.

Edit: to add to this thread rather than totally derail it, you can build muscle on paleo, it just takes a lot more food cause fruits and veggies aren't as calorie dense as grains. When I tried paleo I lost lots of fat in a month, but I found I got stronger, or at least had more energy. I was however shoveling fruit in my face hole all day long between meals.

Using that frame of logic it would be 4 million years before we could eat anything. That doesn't make any sense to me. Some people get it, I don't. :confused:

Back to regularly scheduled programming!

IronDiggy
01-12-2011, 07:16 AM
I lost about 10lbs of fat, and set numerous rep records during that time. But then it seemed to catch up with me. I obviously wasn't eating enough.

I do know I felt amazingly better on Paleo. No bloating and more normal bowel movements. I felt light on my feet.

Thats good. I've noticed I get the same way when I eat Paleoish, it just takes a lot of food to keep the calories up but you feel better cause with all those calories are a huge influx of nutrients into your system. If you really need help getting calories in. a blender with lots of fruit, flax, and protein powder seems to do well enough.

dynamo
01-12-2011, 08:13 AM
I definitely prefer a more paleoish diet myself, but at the same time, I really just think it could be considered eating healthy. I still drink milk, I stay away from starchy carbs, mostly because I feel way better when I do. That doesn't mean I avoid them, I just limit my intake, somewhat of a carb cycling attitude. My main calories are from protein and veggies though. I have no problem shoveling 2 large chicken breasts in my face and wanting more. My increased intake of protein has definitely helped me recover better also.

This is my diet so far this week:
morning: 3 scoops of opticen
Lunch: 1.5 large chicken boobs with side of broccoli, all of this cooked in tomato sauce in a slower cooker on sunday
During workout: 2 scoops results and 3 scoops opticen shake (all mixed together)
Dinner: 2 large chicken boobs with side of broccoli cooked in tomato sauce

and I may supplement with some canola oil or fish oil. I generally take 10g of fish oil per day but I stopped about 3 weeks ago because I was in a nasty car wreck and everything just stopped, this is the first week back to the gym while feeling normal.

IronDiggy
01-12-2011, 09:23 AM
Using that frame of logic it would be 4 million years before we could eat anything. That doesn't make any sense to me. Some people get it, I don't. :confused:

Back to regularly scheduled programming!

Humans as we know it have been evolving for 4 million years. Thats how long it has taken our bodies to get to this point. So 4 million years for our bodies to efficiently use meat, veggies, fruits, nuts, and of course the odd starchy tuber and legumes. We have been growing grain for agriculture for approximately 10,000 years, some maybe more, some less. So 10,000 years is 0.25% of our evolutionary history. Therefore a body isn't going to completely recompose because we suddenly flipped the light switch and started eating a **** load of grains. Now I'm not saying our bodies are totally foreign to grains and dairy. Depending on cultural history might determine how your body reacts to it. So if your ancestors for the past 10,000 years have been eating a ton of bread or dairy. Your body has an easier time digesting it than others.

Mercuryblade
01-12-2011, 11:32 AM
Humans as we know it have been evolving for 4 million years. Thats how long it has taken our bodies to get to this point. So 4 million years for our bodies to efficiently use meat, veggies, fruits, nuts, and of course the odd starchy tuber and legumes. We have been growing grain for agriculture for approximately 10,000 years, some maybe more, some less. So 10,000 years is 0.25% of our evolutionary history. Therefore a body isn't going to completely recompose because we suddenly flipped the light switch and started eating a **** load of grains. Now I'm not saying our bodies are totally foreign to grains and dairy. Depending on cultural history might determine how your body reacts to it. So if your ancestors for the past 10,000 years have been eating a ton of bread or dairy. Your body has an easier time digesting it than others.

10,000 years is quite a few generations and more than enough time for allele frequency to change substantially. Timescale should rarely be taken linearly in evolutionary theory.

4g64fiero
01-12-2011, 03:11 PM
^^^Thats well said.

It works nonetheless. I just dont think the hype behind it should be take seriously.

In reallity, we are made to survive. If we are so good at storing calories from bread then doesnt that mean from an evolutionary point of view that we adapted to it? Ofcourse! Bread is one of the most bioavailable source of calories for us now. Saying we didnt evolve to eat it because it doesnt turn us into calvin klein models is where I disband with the theory of the paleo diet.