Paleo Bulking Protocol

One unexpected consequence experienced by folks who are already fairly lean when adopting a Paleo diet is additional unintended weight loss. Typically when people make the switch from some variation of the Standard American Diet (whole grains, dairy, refined foods, etc.) to eating real food, carbohydrates tend to reduced most drastically of all 3 macro-nutrients (Protein / Fat / Carbs).
Now, if you goal is weight / fat loss, reducing carbs in addition to total caloric intake tends to be a very effective protocol. However, if you are making the change for more health / performance related reasons, you need to be mindful of this potentially drastic reduction in carbohydrates. This is particularly true for people who are currently very active (CrossFit anyone?), as most athletic endeavors rely on glucose (carbohydrates) as a primary fuel source. You can’t CrossFit at a high level on a low carb diet, it simply doesn’t work. Doing so is a recipe for crashing when it comes to your energy levels and recovery from workouts.
Here’s a better solution if you are already squared away in the body composition category and need to fuel your athletic performance: simply substitute quality starchy roots and tubers with the grains and any sugar you are currently consuming. For example: sub a sweet potato / yam / squash a the bowl of pasta. We don’t need to replace the entirety of the carbs we are currently eating with better carbs options (i.e. 300 grams of crappy food with 300 grams of “paleo friendly” carbs). We shouldn’t however reduce the amount too drastically, at least at first, to make those rough early stages of Paleo life more tolerable.
Lastly, if you are already lean and have a high work output of training/activity, good carbs are your friend. Eat fruit, sweet potatoes, yams, white rice (maybe not every day), etc., wantonly. This is especially true on days you workout, as we want to aid in the muscle rebuilding and refueling effort. So if maintaining your weight is an issue now that you are eating clean, first up the quality carb intake, and second increase your portion sizes. Don’t stop eating when you are full, keep plowing forward and eat until you have fueled your activity and muscle building goals.

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