Many people misunderstand the paleo diet. They think the “caveman” diet is all about losing weight, and it’s true: many people have lost a lot of weight following this diet. When you can only eat foods that can be hunted and gathered, you’ll find yourself cutting out all added sugars and processed foods. That will naturally lead to weight-loss! But, anyone who has followed the paleo diet knows that you’ll be most successful following this lifestyle if you pair the foods with a workout plan. That’s why a paleo meal plan for muscle gain is so popular amongst CrossFit-enthusiests and serious athletes.
At its most basic, the Paleolithic diet is designed to fuel your body with what it needs to keep moving. After all, that’s what our ancestors were trying to do: give their bodies energy to go out and hunt (and, probably, run away from some wildlife threats, too). While many have found great success losing weight by eating the healthy, nutrient-rich foods contained in this diet, many others are using paleo as a way to bulk up and gain muscle mass.
Why Should You Follow a Paleo Meal Plan for Muscle Gain?
You might asking yourself why you would want to gain weight when you’re trying to lose weight? It’s a valid question, but remember that not all of your pounds are created equally. Muscle weighs more than fat, so replacing equal parts of fat with muscle will sculpt your body. Those soft corners created by fat will be replaced by lean, sculpted muscular sections. In effect, gaining muscle will effectively trim you up and make you appear skinnier. All without moving the scale a pound!
The paleo meal plan for muscle gain gives your body what it needs to create muscles: balanced nutrition, vitamins, and minerals. That means lean proteins to fuel muscle growth, healthy fats to provide long-lasting energy, and starchy fruits and vegetables to provide your body with nutrient-dense carbohydrates.
All the while, you’ll be avoiding dairy, grains, beans and legumes, processed oils, and refined sugars. When in doubt, ask yourself “Would my ancestors eat this?” and stick to meats and vegetables. This protein- and fat-heavy diet will help fuel your workouts, which should involve heart-healthy cardio with strength training for 30- to 60-minutes a day.
To help you understand what a paleo meal plan for muscle gain looks like, we’ve provided a week’s worth of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack recipes (along with a daily workout). It eliminates processed foods and keeps the carbohydrates limited to fruits and vegetables.
7-Day Paleo Meal Plan for Muscle Gain
Breakfast: Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Turmeric and Cardamom topped with a fried egg
Lunch: Low-Carb Philly Cheesesteaks (skip the cheese)
Snack: Dijon Roasted Garlic Asparagus
Dinner: One-Pan Honey Roasted Chicken and Carrots
Breakfast: 4 Ingredient Protein Pancakes
Lunch: Curried Sweet Potato and Spinach Salad
Snack: Connie and Ted’s Celebrity Salad
Dinner: Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (use cauliflower rice instead of long-grain rice)
Workout: 10-Minute Kettlebell Arm Workout
Breakfast: Egg Stuffed Baked Portobello Mushroom (skip the cheese)
Lunch: 15-Minute Zucchini Noodle and Tomato Salad with a grilled chicken breast
Snack: Avocado Stuffed Deviled Eggs
Dinner: Baked Lemon Salmon and Asparagus Foil Pack
Breakfast: Ham and Egg Breakfast Cups (use coconut milk instead of skim milk)
Lunch: Slow Cooker Stuffed Bell Peppers (use riced cauliflower instead of the panko)
Snack: Banana Pudding Ice Cream
Dinner: Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken
Breakfast: 2-Ingredient Sweet Potato Pancakes
Lunch: Butternut Squash and Turkey Bacon Salad (skip the cheese)
Snack: Oven Roasted Mushrooms
Dinner: Skinny Salmon, Kale & Cashew Bowl (substitute roasted sweet potatoes for the quinoa)
Workout: Abs, Butt, Legs Home Workout