3

votes

Gaining Mass on a Paleo Diet

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 21, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Since going paleo, I have lost 25 pounds and kept it off which has been awesome. I feel great, look younger, and am literally a paleo poster boy. The problem is that I am a hardgainer. I am 6' tall and 170 lbs. I am considering doing a bit of a mass gain (nothing crazy, but I would like to add roughly 10 pounds of lean mass over the next year or so and maintain it). Eating a high fat, paleo diet I can easily go 5-6 hours between meals with no snacks so I guarantee I will never eat enough calories if I let my hunger dictate my feeding. Most approaches that promote gains in lean muscle mass require frequent feedings, especially with calorically dense, neolithic foods (pastas and the like). Any ideas? Thanks a bunch!

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on February 07, 2012
at 09:20 PM

6'1" and 145-150 lbs

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on November 16, 2011
at 10:24 PM

You mean any specific % of dark chocolate?

Beaafe23c50e311a8c0ea96728abf398

(418)

on July 23, 2011
at 03:08 PM

I agree so strongly with this post. I feel you.

Beaafe23c50e311a8c0ea96728abf398

(418)

on July 23, 2011
at 03:08 PM

I am also 6 feet 170!

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on June 22, 2011
at 07:37 PM

you mean send you the payment tom. you need to send him the bill.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 22, 2011
at 05:31 PM

You're over thinking it. Just eat more of the same paleo foods. Try 40/40/20 protein carb fat at like 3000 cals per day. That should make you grow. If it's not enough then up the calories again. Keep it tight and do it day in day out. No wavering. You'll gain, don't worry. It's simple numbers. Sweet potatoes and meat will grow you like they've grown me and every other person for many many years.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 22, 2011
at 02:20 PM

Send me the bill bro. Send me the bill.

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on June 22, 2011
at 01:04 PM

I know my body doesn't "need it" but if I hear someone say "you look so SKINNNNNY" one more time, I'm going to blow a gasket! o_O Fitday is great; it's how i realized I was NOT taking in enough calories. I guess, if anything, my question is, what are good "paleo-friendly" foods to add in order to grow. Obviously, I could chug down slushies in order to get calories, but how do I do it without taking a major step back in regards to the positive changes I've experienced since going paleo??? Thanks!

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on June 22, 2011
at 01:00 PM

I'll give that a try to boost my carb intake (especially PWO) since, as I just mentioned above, refined sugar sources screw up my sleep and make me feel like crap. (You are what you eat, eh?)

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on June 22, 2011
at 12:58 PM

I noticed the other "hardgainer" thread after I already posted mine...my bad. Thanks everybody for the replies to my redundant question! The Paleo community is the greatest out there, bar none. I appreciate every comment!

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on June 22, 2011
at 12:56 PM

"avoid crap like tricep kickbacks or machines that make you spread your legs like you a ho in heat" You owe me a new keyboard, you magnificent SOB. Thanks for the help, and the laughs!

254ea62982c287995e11bc3cfd629407

(822)

on June 22, 2011
at 11:52 AM

Just to add, my answer of being 100% committed to nutrition might seem incongruent with my later disclosure of "eating crazy stuff". I just wanted to be clear that in a time of trying to add weight, you'll want a surplus of what your body needs to grow and is never/rarely lacking...that until such time we're absolutely sure of nutritional composition needs and timing, you'll just have to make your best guesstimates and have more than what the body needs nutritionally, when it needs it. Admittedly, I wish I had been a little smarter about my food choices.

254ea62982c287995e11bc3cfd629407

(822)

on June 22, 2011
at 02:04 AM

Thanks, guys. Yes, I was done growing...started at 22. And yes, that was eating crazy stuff: like a half pound of pasta with another half pound of meat sauce and a french loaf of bread. So, I had actually gotten up to 278-lbs or so and have gradually gotten down to my present weight over five years through BJJ (and now, recently following a largely paleo-compliant eating plan). Keep going, Ben. If you're taking care of your self, you should be able to make gains for a long time.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 22, 2011
at 01:59 AM

Porn is paleo man!

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on June 22, 2011
at 01:44 AM

This is a funny post. I swear I have read many posts on a mass gain and not one has mentioned porn (hetero- or homosexual).

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on June 22, 2011
at 01:43 AM

This is a funny post. I swear I have read many poss on a mass gain and not one has mentioned porn (hetero- or homosexual).

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on June 22, 2011
at 01:41 AM

I certainly appreciate the cross reference to a similar/same question, but sometimes it is nice for the growing population of hacks to have a clean slate to work with as well. Hit the link and check the answers there but also have potential new perspectives here (e.g. aegix's 110# gain).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 22, 2011
at 01:38 AM

Nekkid pictures of bacon while eating HD.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 22, 2011
at 01:29 AM

Incredible gains. Awesome. Was that weight gain after you were done growing as a kid? And over how long? Just curious. At 31 years old I started lifting classic compounds (squat, DL, press etc) and have gone from 154 lbs to 175 and loving it. Still working north but I always keep the bodyweight in check by maintaining or increasing the number of chins I can do. I don't wanna get bigger than I can maneuver yknow? And I feel it's getting harder to move north of this weight. Prolly cuz I'm 31.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 22, 2011
at 12:46 AM

did you up your carbs a lot? How did you gain so much weight? It amazes me.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 21, 2011
at 09:32 PM

If you're not het, then stare at pictures of nekkid menz or menz on Paleohacks. Don't stare at my butt for too long though bucko. You ain't gettin' none of dat!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 21, 2011
at 09:32 PM

If you're not het, the stare at pictures of nekkid menz or menz on Paleohacks. Don't stare at my butt for too long though bucko. You ain't gettin' none of dat!

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on June 21, 2011
at 08:51 PM

yes let's use the Paleo Hardgainers thread for this. This is a dulpicate thread by all definitions. :)

A0b8c4cc369f93ee987ce15b1bf323fe

on June 21, 2011
at 08:00 PM

this previous thread for hardgainers is likely helpful: http://paleohacks.com/questions/35405/paleo-for-hardgainers#axzz1PwGZCdA0

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6 Answers

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4
254ea62982c287995e11bc3cfd629407

(822)

on June 21, 2011
at 08:47 PM

As a 20+ year gym rat and someone who went from a 140-lbs to 250-lbs at about 12% BF (not a fitness model ideal, but I've never worried about "dieting down" for anything), I hope I can give some credibility to my take. Gaining muscle is actually quite difficult for nearly every person and only a very small percentage can do it easily (without drugs).

In order to make it easier, you have to be 100% committed to three things: 1. Nutrition 2. Training 3. Rest

If you're off on any of these, your gains might be greatly minimized. Training-wise, I would emphasize full-body workouts replete with multi-joint exercises like squats, deadlifts, push-presses, supine bench, etc. Books like Brawn would be perfect.

Next, butt-kicking workouts should bring your appetite up, and you should eat accordingly. Try to eat 1 gram of protein per lean pound of bodyweight.

Lastly, if your emphasis is on gaining weight, I would A) Sleep 8-10 hrs per day and B) cut out any additional cardio, at least during your specific weight-gaining period (then can easily switch to more metcon workouts and eating to cut up).

Anyway, this is what has always worked for me. Glad to give you any more info if desired.

254ea62982c287995e11bc3cfd629407

(822)

on June 22, 2011
at 02:04 AM

Thanks, guys. Yes, I was done growing...started at 22. And yes, that was eating crazy stuff: like a half pound of pasta with another half pound of meat sauce and a french loaf of bread. So, I had actually gotten up to 278-lbs or so and have gradually gotten down to my present weight over five years through BJJ (and now, recently following a largely paleo-compliant eating plan). Keep going, Ben. If you're taking care of your self, you should be able to make gains for a long time.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 22, 2011
at 12:46 AM

did you up your carbs a lot? How did you gain so much weight? It amazes me.

254ea62982c287995e11bc3cfd629407

(822)

on June 22, 2011
at 11:52 AM

Just to add, my answer of being 100% committed to nutrition might seem incongruent with my later disclosure of "eating crazy stuff". I just wanted to be clear that in a time of trying to add weight, you'll want a surplus of what your body needs to grow and is never/rarely lacking...that until such time we're absolutely sure of nutritional composition needs and timing, you'll just have to make your best guesstimates and have more than what the body needs nutritionally, when it needs it. Admittedly, I wish I had been a little smarter about my food choices.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 22, 2011
at 01:29 AM

Incredible gains. Awesome. Was that weight gain after you were done growing as a kid? And over how long? Just curious. At 31 years old I started lifting classic compounds (squat, DL, press etc) and have gone from 154 lbs to 175 and loving it. Still working north but I always keep the bodyweight in check by maintaining or increasing the number of chins I can do. I don't wanna get bigger than I can maneuver yknow? And I feel it's getting harder to move north of this weight. Prolly cuz I'm 31.

4
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 21, 2011
at 09:22 PM

1) Spike the hell out of your insulin PWO. Chocolate is an excellent way to do this. Or you can use my method: 1-2 pints of Haagen-Dazs ice-cream. I am not a hard-gainer, but I think H-D should be in every Hardgainer's toolbox. It's much easier to wolf down than, say, pizza.

2) Stick with the big-money lifts: Clean/Power Clean, Deadlift, Squats (back and/or front), Press (Military, Push Press, Bench Press), Dumbell or Barbell rows, Chin-ups, Farmer Walks, etc. Absolutely avoid crap like tricep kickbacks or machines that make you spread your legs like you a ho in heat.

3) I don't care what Prissy Percy down at Crossfit says. If you are going to put on muscle you are going to have to originally put on some fat, too. You can diet down after that, if you are obsessing over your two-pack.

4) Make sure your T levels are high. If you're het, look at pictures of nekkid womanz. If you don't have any of those, look at pictures of some of the hawt womanz on Paleohacks and pretend they're nekkid. If you're not het, then stare at pictures of nekkid menz or menz on Paleohacks. Don't stare at my butt for too long though bucko. You ain't gettin' none of dat!

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on June 22, 2011
at 01:44 AM

This is a funny post. I swear I have read many posts on a mass gain and not one has mentioned porn (hetero- or homosexual).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 21, 2011
at 09:32 PM

If you're not het, the stare at pictures of nekkid menz or menz on Paleohacks. Don't stare at my butt for too long though bucko. You ain't gettin' none of dat!

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on June 22, 2011
at 12:56 PM

"avoid crap like tricep kickbacks or machines that make you spread your legs like you a ho in heat" You owe me a new keyboard, you magnificent SOB. Thanks for the help, and the laughs!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 22, 2011
at 02:20 PM

Send me the bill bro. Send me the bill.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on June 22, 2011
at 01:43 AM

This is a funny post. I swear I have read many poss on a mass gain and not one has mentioned porn (hetero- or homosexual).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 22, 2011
at 01:59 AM

Porn is paleo man!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 21, 2011
at 09:32 PM

If you're not het, then stare at pictures of nekkid menz or menz on Paleohacks. Don't stare at my butt for too long though bucko. You ain't gettin' none of dat!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 22, 2011
at 01:38 AM

Nekkid pictures of bacon while eating HD.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on June 22, 2011
at 07:37 PM

you mean send you the payment tom. you need to send him the bill.

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on November 16, 2011
at 10:24 PM

You mean any specific % of dark chocolate?

4
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 21, 2011
at 08:29 PM

dont pay attention to hunger. You are trying to purposefully add weight to your body. Reread that sentence.

Your body doesn't want that extra food or need it. Your body does not want or need to grow. To add lean mass you have to one, lift something heavy enough to create a stimulus that disturbs homeostasis and gives your body reason to grow back stronger, and two, overfeed yourself beyond maintenance calories to facilitate that growth.

Use a counter like livestrong or fitday and track your cals. If you aint growing, add more.

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on June 22, 2011
at 01:04 PM

I know my body doesn't "need it" but if I hear someone say "you look so SKINNNNNY" one more time, I'm going to blow a gasket! o_O Fitday is great; it's how i realized I was NOT taking in enough calories. I guess, if anything, my question is, what are good "paleo-friendly" foods to add in order to grow. Obviously, I could chug down slushies in order to get calories, but how do I do it without taking a major step back in regards to the positive changes I've experienced since going paleo??? Thanks!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 22, 2011
at 05:31 PM

You're over thinking it. Just eat more of the same paleo foods. Try 40/40/20 protein carb fat at like 3000 cals per day. That should make you grow. If it's not enough then up the calories again. Keep it tight and do it day in day out. No wavering. You'll gain, don't worry. It's simple numbers. Sweet potatoes and meat will grow you like they've grown me and every other person for many many years.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 22, 2011
at 12:50 AM

Try eating more fruit as source of carbs. Call me crazy, but I think I'm noticing some size gains from eating more apples and other fruit. Also, Intermittent fasting seems to spur muscle growth. And finally, I seem to gain that bigger look with only working out once a week.

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on June 22, 2011
at 01:00 PM

I'll give that a try to boost my carb intake (especially PWO) since, as I just mentioned above, refined sugar sources screw up my sleep and make me feel like crap. (You are what you eat, eh?)

0
A6b2acc91a7c5bf9a4a05fb02148476e

on October 07, 2012
at 12:16 AM

Bring on the protiein shakes with every meal i've been wavering for the past year or so weather i want to be huge and cut or just and adding a shake with every meal has kept me lean enough not to get discouraged but also while seeing the numbers go up on the scale.

0
68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on October 06, 2012
at 11:05 PM

I've been going nuts recently. Massive PWO meals trying to stay 100% Paleo. 3-4 sweet potatoes, raw honey, tons of protein. It's really hard...the volume of food leads to some uncomfortable post-re-feed moments haha.

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