Are you tired of chasing fad diets that promise quick results but leave you feeling weak and drained? Do you dream of sculpting that lean, mean, muscular physique while still enjoying delicious, natural foods? Well, you're in luck because we're about to dive deep into the world of building muscle on the paleo diet!

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How To Gain Muscle On The Paleo Diet
How To Gain Muscle On The Paleo DietThe Paleo diet is a diet that recommends that you take plenty of oils and fats. Although, the diet recommends that you ta…

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Understanding the Paleo Diet

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of building muscle on the paleo diet, let's get a firm grip on what this dietary approach entails.

What is the Paleo Diet?

The paleo diet, short for Paleolithic diet, is centered on the belief that our ancestors' eating habits were far healthier than the modern diet rife with processed foods and sugar-laden treats. It's a nutritional strategy that takes you back in time, encouraging you to feast on foods that existed before the advent of agriculture.

Key Principles of the Paleo Diet

Real Foods Only: The paleo diet is all about consuming natural, unprocessed foods. If you can't pronounce an ingredient or it didn't exist in the Paleolithic era, it's probably not paleo.

Protein Prowess: Lean meats and fish take center stage in this diet. These protein-packed options provide the essential building blocks your muscles need to grow and thrive.

Galore: Load up on non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and kale. They're rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber to support overall health.

Fruits for Sweetness: While paleo restricts sugar, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with fruits like berries, apples, and oranges in moderation.

Healthy Fats: Nuts, seeds, and avocado offer healthy fats that boost energy levels and support muscle growth.

No Grains or Legumes: Say goodbye to grains like wheat, rice, and corn, as well as legumes like beans and peanuts. These foods are off the menu due to their high carbohydrate and anti-nutrient content.

Dairy Dilemma: Dairy products like milk and cheese are typically avoided on the paleo diet, as they were not part of our ancestors' diet.

Processed Food Prohibition: Processed foods, with their artificial additives and preservatives, are a strict no-go.

Now that you've got a grasp of the paleo diet basics, let's move on to the exciting part—building muscle!

A person holding a body building weight lift.
A person holding a body building weight lift.

Building Muscle on the Paleo Diet

Building muscle on the paleo diet is not only possible but also quite effective. Here's your step-by-step guide on how to bulk up while staying true to your caveman roots.

Embrace the Power of Protein

Protein is the foundation of muscle growth, and the paleo diet offers plenty of excellent protein sources.

What to Eat:

  • Grass-fed beef
  • Skinless poultry
  • Wild-caught fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel)
  • Lean pork
  • Eggs
  • Bison
  • Game meats (venison, elk)

How to Prepare:

  • Grill, broil, or roast your meats.
  • Season with paleo-friendly herbs and spices.
  • Experiment with marinades using olive oil and citrus juices.

Load Up on Healthy Fats

While MuscleTech Whey Protein Powder takes care of muscle growth, healthy fats provide the energy needed for intense workouts.

What to Eat:

  • Avocado
  • Coconut oil
  • Nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews)
  • Seeds (chia, flaxseed)
  • Fatty fish (salmon, sardines)
  • Olive oil

How to Include:

  • Add nuts and seeds to salads or as a quick snack.
  • Use coconut oil for cooking.
  • Make a delicious guacamole with avocado as a dip.

Prioritize Post-Workout Nutrition

After a strenuous workout, your body craves nutrients to repair and build muscle tissue. The paleo diet has you covered.

What to Eat:

Lean protein (chicken breast, turkey)

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Leafy greens
  • Berries (blueberries, strawberries)
  • Nuts (almonds, pistachios)

How to Prepare:

  • Create a post-workout salad with chicken breast, spinach, and berries.
  • Bake sweet potato fries as a delicious side dish.

Keep Carbs in Check

While paleo allows some carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables, it's important to monitor your carb intake, especially if your goal is fat loss in addition to muscle gain.

What to Eat:

  • Berries
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini)

How to Manage:

  • Portion control is key when it comes to carb-rich foods.
  • Prioritize vegetables over fruits for lower sugar content.

Stay Hydrated

Proper hydration is often overlooked but is crucial for muscle function and overall health.

What to Drink:

  • Water
  • Herbal teas (unsweetened)
  • Coconut water (in moderation)

Hydration Tips:

  • Carry a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day.
  • Monitor your urine color; it should be pale yellow, indicating adequate hydration.
A lady lifting weights.
A lady lifting weights.

Include Paleo-Friendly Supplements

While the paleo diet is nutrient-dense, some supplements can complement your muscle-building efforts.

Supplements to Consider:

Protein Powder: Look for paleo-friendly options made from clean ingredients like grass-fed whey or collagen.

  • Fish Oil: Provides essential omega-3 fatty acids for joint health and inflammation reduction.
  • Creatine: Supports muscle energy production and growth.

Always consult with a healthcare professional before adding supplements to your regimen.

Optimize Your Training

Diet alone won't magically build muscle. You need an effective workout routine to see results.

Muscle-Building Workouts:

  • Strength Training: Lift heavy weights to stimulate muscle growth. Focus on compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses.
  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Incorporate HIIT workouts to boost metabolism and burn fat.
  • Rest and Recovery: Ensure you get enough rest between workouts to allow your muscles to recover and grow.

Track Your Progress

To build muscle effectively, you need to monitor your progress and make necessary adjustments to your diet and exercise routine.

How to Track:

  • Keep a workout journal to record your lifts and track your strength gains.
  • Take regular photos to visually assess your muscle development.
  • Use body measurements to gauge changes in muscle size.


Building muscle on the paleo diet is not only achievable but also a path to a healthier, more vibrant you. By following the principles of the paleo diet, prioritizing protein, healthy fats, and post-workout nutrition, and combining it with a well-structured workout routine, you can sculpt the physique you've always wanted.

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Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

Do I need to count calories on the paleo diet?

One of the benefits of the paleo diet is that it often naturally regulates calorie intake. However, if your goal is to gain muscle or lose fat, tracking calories can still be helpful to ensure you're meeting your specific needs.

What about carbohydrates on the paleo diet?

While the paleo diet limits grains and legumes, it allows carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables. These provide essential nutrients and fiber while keeping carb intake in check.

Can I have cheat days on the paleo diet?

Some people choose to incorporate occasional "cheat" meals, but it's essential to maintain balance. If you do indulge, opt for paleo-friendly cheat meals to stay on track.

How long will it take to see muscle gains on the paleo diet?

The timeline for muscle gains varies from person to person. With consistent effort in both diet and exercise, you can start noticing improvements in a few weeks to a few months.