Tips for a Newbie

Answered on November 10, 2013
Created November 09, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Hello all,

So I'm a 17 year old girl, about 5' 3'' and 93lbs (looking to get that to around 105, in a healthy way). I just recently decided to go Paleo because as far as I could tell, it just makes good sense! I'm all about the scientific data, and from what I've researched I'm very much convinced that this is the way we should be eating.

Anyways, since I'm so new, I was hoping to get some suggestions on a few things. I know that this diet is not "one size fits all" and that I'll have to do some experimenting to find my own personal balance, but I would really appreciate some tips and general guidelines from the Paleo community out there.

Ok, here we go!

First, I want to know if I should be eating any differently based on my age. I know a lot of diets out there say "not recommended for those under 18..." because of the way the body is developing before then. Should I be eating more/less carbs/fats/protein based on my age? In addition, I work out about 3-4 times a week, 30-60 minuets at a moderate level (Insanity and R.I.P.P.E.D classes). How would that affect my eating ratios?

Next, I was wondering about carbs...based on myfitnesspal I eat anywhere from 150-180 grams a day (that assuming all the facts are right on the myfitnesspal program which sometimes they are off). That seems a bit high compared to what I've seen suggested for Paleo diets, but all I've been eating has been mostly vegetables. The closest thing I've eaten to bread is Paleo Bread (coconut and tapioca flour), so is the high carb amount just reflective of my dietary needs?

This brings me to my final question, any good tips on how to gain weight in a healthy way? I'm thinking that my high carb count is due to my body wanting more carbs to add a couple of needed pounds and due to my high activity level. I was wondering if you guys have any tips on how to gain some needed pounds, I've always had trouble being on the thin side so it would be much appreciated!

Also any other good tips for newbies are totally welcome!

Thanks so much,

Olivia C

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on November 10, 2013
at 03:58 AM

First off, it's awesome that you've discovered this lifestyle at 17. Some of us didn't get around to it till we were already experiencing various issues, so getting an early start is great!

I'm new here, but I'm not new to Paleo. So let's see if I can answer your questions...

1. I don't think you need to be eating anything in particular because of your age. You do sound relatively active however, and some added carbs would probably be beneficial to you. Starchy veggies/a bit of fruit on workout days may see your performance and recovery improve. Play around with the carbs and see what feels best to you. Though a lot of us do lower-carb paleo, it isn't the only way. For example, look up Paul Jaminet's work on the Perfect Health Diet. But, I mean, if you're active, then ~200 grams of carbs probably isn't a bad thing on workout days.

2. Again, tweak the carbs based on how you feel. If you feel good on that amount of carb, then you're probably doing something right. If you're active and not getting enough carbohydrate, your body will let you know. Learning to listen to my body has been one of the most important (and challenging) things I've tackled since going paleo.

3. Weight gain in a healthy way? You'll want to put on lean mass. Perhaps a slightly higher protein intake coupled with weight training. There are a lot of programs out there that will give you a good bang for your buck. Body by Science comes to mind. Make sure you get plenty of rest, too. That's important for muscle gain.

Hope that was helpful. Good luck!



on November 10, 2013
at 06:25 AM

As a female trying to put on weight, increasing your consumption of healthy fats will be great. Try to add an extra snack or two to your daily diet, like a Larabar or a banana with some almond butter. Also, make sure you're getting enough protein.

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