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Paleolithic diet version 2.0

So, I’m now several weeks into my new regime and I promised you supersonic fitness coupled with hydromatic fat-loss. I would describe the progress as steady rather than spectacular, which, clutching at straws, I’m going to see in a positive light. I’ve lost about 9lbs (4kg), my strength is going up and I’m definitely feeling fitter. Every other time that I’ve done a cutting/fat loss exercise and diet plan I’ve usually lost a ton of muscle along with the lard and therefore end up looking exactly the same, just slightly shrunk or, possibly, further away.
This time I’m doing things a much slower and steady pace. The exercise plan is basically 5/3/1 with the emphasis on conditioning and diet wise all I’ve done so far is cut out sugar all together and combined that with a bit of portion control. Nothing radical and certainly it doesn’t feel like dieting at the moment. Next week I’ll begin to cut back on my carb intake a bit, the plan is to eat mainly a Paleo style diet but with supplements and some carbs before, during and after training.
For those that don’t know the paleolithic or caveman diet is simply trying to eat a bit more like our ancestors did. The idea is that as a species humans have been stomping around on this rock for ages, the Paleolithic period alone was about 2.5 million years long and only ended 10,000 years ago with the advent of agriculture. Prior to the farming of crops and animals our bodies and digestive systems evolved over millions of years to eat a diet pretty much limited to meat, fish, veg, fruit, roots and nuts. The grains, legumes, dairy, salt, sugar and refined oils that make up the bulk of most peoples diet today simply didn’t exist 300 generations ago which, so the thinking goes, is simply not enough time for our genetics to have caught up.
I followed the paleo diet exclusively for about 6 months last year and my weight went from 17.5 stone (245lb/111kg) to 14.5 stone (203lbs/92kg) while eating bloody tons of food every day and never once going hungry. The problem was that, as I’ve previously mentioned, my muscles also vanished. Not completely, you can’t be a relatively lean 14.5 stone and resemble a famine victim, but the thing is I took up weight training to get BIG and strong not to be, well, normal-ish. Which is why I’m going to do mainly paleo for the fat loss and health benefits (while I was on it I felt amazing) but with some 21st century sport science to aid recovery and muscle growth.

I firmly believe in keeping your diet as varied as possible, so there is not really any such thing as a typical day. However if you swap out like for like (change salmon for chicken etc) then you won’t go far wrong.

Breakfast – 4-6 eggs with chopped veg and a tin of sardines.

Lunch – 2-3 homemade burgers with a salad including avocado and some nuts/seeds.

Dinner – Chicken usually marinated in spices with broccoli, sweet potato and salad.

On top of that is the All Important Workout Fuel Intake Protocol. If you do 1 thing about changing your diet please, please, please do this. It will transform your results, hasten your recovery and catapult you into new muscle growth.

30 mins before workout: eat some slow carbs like fruit, oats, wholemeal bread. About 40-50 grams.

20 mins before workout: drink a protein shake either whey or casein. 20 grams. Use this to wash down 5-10 grams of BCAAs.

During workout: Try to drink 2 litres of water with 20 grams protein, 50 grams glucose, 5 grams of creatine and some more BCAAs mixed with it.

Immediately after training: 40 grams of protein, 100 grams simple carbs, more BCAAs

30 mins after training: A small meal such as a tuna sandwich on granary bread with a hand full of fish oil capsules and some nuts such as almonds.

You may have noticed that I’ve only recommended 3 meals but I’ve personally found that with all the crap your trying to choke down around your workout it’s more than enough. That said, if you’re hungry – eat fool.

Happy eating,

  • pooledaniel on February 21, 2011

    Just to check, you’d still recommend that intake pre/during/post workout whilst trying to cut? Seems pretty good if you can!

    Currently following 5×5 if that makes any difference. Cheers.

  • Kane on February 21, 2011

    I’m going to give the Workout Fuel Intake Protocol (WFIP for short?) a try as I never seem to time eating/fuel right pre-workout,just a few quick questions though…for the drink during training, would liquid aminos be suitable to use as the 20g of protein? What are your thoughts on using BCAA on non-training/conditioning days?

  • Daves Gym on February 21, 2011

    @pooledaniel, yep I would still keep the fuel protocol the same. You absolutely need to replenish and repair after your workout. What is does is then remove any hassle from the rest of your day’s food intake. You’ve probably taken in all the carbs you need so the rest of the day can be steak and salad. (or similar)

  • Daves Gym on February 21, 2011

    @kane, liquid aminos would be just fine and as far as BCAAs on non-training days are concerned I don’t think you need to bother IF your diet that day is giving you enough protein, if in doubt chug some down.

  • mitchy on December 8, 2012

    I am 19.5 stones and i am following paleo diet but the only thing as u probably know is my strength has decreased and its unmotivating. The protocol coukd be the missing part of the puzzle.

    Do you recommend less carbs for being heavier or should i use the exact amount you recommend.

    Just found your blog and will be following. Thanks a lot i appreciate your time

  • Daves Gym on December 10, 2012

    Hi Mitchy. The easy solution is to follow the carb eating protocol on training days and then stick to a strict paleo diet on non-training days. The amounts of carbs listed in the article should be about right for you. Your strength will eventually return once your body has had chance to get used to the new diet/bodyweight. Thanks, Dave.

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