Article last updated: December 2017 by Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer
The idea of the paleo diet is to achieve peak health and performance by eating in a similar way to cavemen.
In this post, I’ll break down the #1 reason to why I don’t recommend the Paleo Diet for those of you who train hard to add strength and muscle mass.
But before I do that, let’s break down exactly what the Paleo Diet is.
Here’s a list of the foods you can have on the diet.
Paleo approved foods:
- Grass-fed meats
- Fresh fruits
- Fresh vegetables
- Healthy oils (olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)
- Cereal grains
- Legumes (including peanuts)
- Refined sugar
- Processed foods
- Overly salty foods
- Refined vegetable oils
- Candy/junk/processed food
If you take a close look at the list of approved foods, you will see that all your carbs will come from fruits and seeds. Potatoes and rice are not allowed.
This is fine if you are sedentary and undermuscled, because you have to earn your carbs.
However if you are a skinny-fat guy who is looking to add 20-40 pounds of muscle mass, I don’t see any reason to remove rice and potatoes from your diet.
Rice and potatoes are the main recommended carb sources in the SKINNY-FAT TRANSFORMATION Bodyweight Program because:
- They are easy to digest.
- They provide stable energy levels for a long time.
- They are satiating.
Especially the potato is great because it has the highest satiety-index from any food out there, it’s high in potassium and vitamin C and vitamin B6.
It’s one of the most nutritious foods out there and it’s the best food to include in a fat loss diet because it has the highest satiety-index.
If there was one superfood, it would be the potato.
The Paleo Diet has never come up with any good arguments for cutting out rice and potatoes, other than “eat like a caveman”.
This is the main marketing angle of the Paleo Diet.
Eat like a caveman to perform like a caveman.
But think about this: How long did cavemen live? 30 or 35 years maximum?
Now look at the Japanese people.
They eat a lot of rice everyday and they consistently have some of the longest life-spans in the world.
I can understand cutting out wheat because so many people have problems digesting it, but rice and potatoes are easily digested by +95% of people and excellent sources of energy.
That’s why if you want to follow the Paleo Diet, at least modify it to include more potatoes and rice and less meat.
Meat is hard on the digestive system and you don’t need all that protein but you need the carbs because a healthy carb intake supports a high testosterone production.
Be proud but stay hungry!
Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer