Trying to gain weight/muscle on Paleo.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 02, 2013 at 9:02 PM

I've been pretty strict paleo for over a year now and at first I lost some weight and figured that I would be able to gain it back since I was working out pretty regularly doing a combination of Crossfit and Oly Lifting.

Now Im trying to put on some muscle but I dont want to start eating crappy just to put on some fat. My trainer has told me to eat more calories and also to eat a bit more good carbs like sweet potato etc...

He even mentioned to eat some wild rice after workouts and Im thinking rice?????

I've increased by consumption of fruit to 1 or 2 fruits a day usually in the afternoon and or pre/post workout and have started eating more sweet potato, but I've also noticed that my love handles are starting to grow back!.
I've always had an issue with my love handles but have noticed them starting to fill out more in the past month since I've upped my carbs.

What are considered "safe" starches? I guess I would be looking at good quality sources of Glucose since this is what is recommended to put on more mass. I also heard that too much fructose is also not good if youre trying to stay lean.

Anyway, so yes, what do I eat to help with restoring glycogen and building muscle while staying lean. I guess Im what they call a "hard gainer"

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9 Answers



on April 03, 2013
at 09:10 AM

Safe starches: yams, sweet potatoes, plantains, all squashes (winter & summer), taro, yucca, bananas, white rice (not everyone does rice, but I do), rutabagas, parsnips, turnips, carrots, beets. Some of these have more carbs than others. But you've def got options.

I also find if I don't eat carbs, I get too thin, and I'm already borderline underweight.


on April 03, 2013
at 01:38 AM

I personally don't think this is about your diet. Theres a reason you don't see many bodybuilders who do crossfit and/or olympic lifting solely. You need time under tension, and these two styles of exercise usually have very short time under tension. Ways to increase time under tension that are especially effective at building muscle are increasing set volume, going into the rep ranges of 8-12, and going slowly on the negative portion of the lift.

I know it seems very "mainstream", and you'd think "mainstream" is always wrong, but Crossfit and Oly lifting programming are not designed to help you get bigger, the goals of the programs are in an entirely different direction.

Personally, I've never gained weight doing anything but lifting heavy weights with a high total volume. I'm not saying that NOONE can gain muscle on cross fit and/or oly lifting, but it is far from optimal, and not everyone makes significant gains in muscle mass with this type of training.


on April 03, 2013
at 07:18 PM

Should I also be eating more nuts?


on April 03, 2013
at 07:03 PM

Raw milk and eggs contain all the necessary elements for building bodies... nature's recipe.



on April 03, 2013
at 02:29 PM

SSS = steak, sweet potato, sleep

... and obviously it isnt on the list but, train hard :P



on April 03, 2013
at 12:52 AM


How about some data? Age, height, weight, waist, body fat (estimate? guess? test?) Before & after Paleo

This info will give a glimpse of your overall all physique.

Where you've been, where you are & where you want to go matter.



It discusses "earning" your carbs. As a guy who "earned" a lot carbs I understand his reasoning, now that I don't "earn" many carbs.... I don't eat them.

Sounds like oyu need carbs (with protein) for recovery...you need protein to build muscle. Heavy cardio & building muscle are difficult to do simultaneously. Dial back on the cardio, if building muscle is the goal.



on April 02, 2013
at 09:25 PM

I think packing on lean muscle without any fat is very hard for people that aren't naturally lean. I am sure you see guys at your gym with pot bellies. These guys can probably squat and deadlift a lot of weight, but doing that while getting leaner is really hard IMHO, unless you're just hard wired for it.

Safe starches are basically any fruit or vegetable. Avoid sugary sweet stuff but most anything else is fair game. White potatoes actually aren't that bad as long as they aren't french fries, but sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, turnips, plantain, squash, jicama, yucca, etc. are all good. Some of this might sound adventurous but you can find them around, for example the chicken rotisserie places in my area serve plantains and yucca.


on April 02, 2013
at 09:13 PM

Raw Milk

Green plantains

Sweet potatoes

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