If I eat 3000-4000 cal/day of only paleo foods and eat very little (if any) carbs, is it realistic to expect to gain only muscle without gaining fat, provided I work out diligently? I think I have heard in the past (not in a paleo context) that building muscle without putting on some fat is virtually unachievable.
Your question is a timeless, classic one. And Paleo-Hack nerds cannot answer it. Read http://leangains.com/ if you want this kind of advice, or better yet, reconsider your goals. Other relevant points of view on this issue come from such blogs as 70sbig and Chaos and Pain. Basically, if your plan is to build muscle, you need to lift heavy things and eat a lot of food. You will not build muscle without adding fat along with it.
IFing to a four hour window daily, 3000-4000 calories, ONLY when im hungry. Eating NO Fructose, NO Omega 6, NO Processed, and treating Grains like im a Celiac...
ive put on 20 pounds of muscle and maintained my visible abs.
I eat Meat, mostly grassfed steak, eggs, pork, and some potatoes post workout if Im "Really Hungry" My vegetables are limited, usually dark greens, well cooked.
I have morning coffee with heavy cream, and sometimes cheese on my meat/potatoes.
im back up to 200lbs from 180, much more buff, and didnt lose my abs. While eating starchy carbfilled potatoes.(peel them first)
The takeaways here are... Yes you can gain muscle and lose fat while eating TONS of food.
Only eat when hungry. Should only be once a day if powering thru 3000-4000 calories.
Workout at least 4 days a week
Only eat real food. Starch seems to be OK, if insulin is sensitive. Post Workout is best.
I should mention, the HUGE meal BUFFETs are sooo awesome for mental/mood. I get to pig out on REAL FOOD ONLY. and Feel GREAT for it.
tell the naysayers, bugger off, just because they dont know how to do it, doesnt mean it cant be done.
You do have to workout hard, you do have to be picky about what and when you eat... but you can do it and have awesome and even fast results.
I am not too big on counting calories, but 3k to 4k cals per day seems to be quite alot of edibles, especially if your not going to be eating much carbs. I would recommend that you cut out counting calories and focus on eating quality lean meats, slow burning carbs ( leafy greens, which are full of nutrients and fiber; carbs are not the enemy ), and good fats. You should eat according to how you feel and in the manner that best suites your training needs. You will definitely make strength gains if your eating paleo and lifting/training intelligently. I have made great stregnth gains in my routines of bodyweight and powerlifting while eating paleo. If you want to gain massive amounts of muscle mass, and gain size, that is a different matter though. What kind of training and workouts are you doing? This question will probably help people to better answer your question. Also, it is healthy and natural to have some fat on the body, my bodyfat is at 9% and I see no need to reduce it any further. hope this post is useful to you.
Honestly, short term, you are probably going to put on some fat. You can limit this by timing your eating habits. Get some protein before a work-out and protein and, dare I say, some carbs, after a work-out, you can make the best use of the nutrients you ingest and put them to work at repairing tissue. Make sure you are lifting heavy objects and limiting your cardio work. I know some bodybuilders that will do exactly 12 minutes of intense cardio a day but no more. You need to prevent your body from going into a catabolic state (where it is breaking down tissue) and push an anabolic state. Another thing you can do for this is simply by keeping your body guessing. Do a routine for a few weeks then change it up. Change up the order, the reps, the number of sets, the rest period. Some days don't have protein before the work-out, some days skip a post work-out shake. If you're into IF, you can use that to your advantage. If you pay attention to the food you are eating and don't eat a CRAZY surplus, the amount of fat you will put on will be minimal. If you are looking to add 10-20 pounds of muscles, a bit of fat won't be as noticeable and you can also use your diet to cut some of those extra fat pounds off down the road.
4000 calories seems like a lot if you are looking to limit your fat gain. I don't know what you do for a living but I am pretty active and work out regularly and I shoot for around 3000 calories a day. I'm 5'10 200 with a goal of being 185 to give you a point of reference. 4000 calories will definitely help pack on extra muscle weight but you may be going overboard with that figure, the 3000 calorie level might work out better.
I was 247 at my heaviest, 6' 1.5" at my heaviest was 23% bf. 1 year and 9 months I now walk at 215 8.46% bf per skinfold test last week. I went from a 38 waist to a 33 now. I myself dont worry about calories, I worry about volume [portion] I appreciate my BMR and use that as a baseline and built on with my training. I recently did a 12 week MCT test which Im still on and I lost over 10lb which IMO tipped my over the edge. Never been this lean in my life. My diet has been calorie restrictive, 90% paleo. I do Intermittent fasting consisrtently but varied, I also believe has worked. I do it 2 days a week sometimes more but follow how I feel.
I also have been softly using food combining with my eating/fueling which has been interesting
Whats odd when I deloaded and did my MCT experiment and I got bigger? I was eating more carbs and little bit of starch. Only thing I did is I normally surf quite a bit, and did. I dont consider it such a metabolically stimulating modality for me to suddenly cut near 2% bf... + Ive been surfing for 30 years. Wasnt that. I think the ketogenic effect of MCT [shows merit with myself]
What were the things that I think got me there?
Sprints, I do them up a hill, walk down 1 minute recover 15 burpees. Boom x 8. They suck. The neuroendocrine response per studies is notable. For me I think its truth.
Lift 2 days a week. Heavyish
More calorie dense foods have me bigger. Eat how you want to be. I also eat semi relaxed in social enviroments, when by myself I eat very clean
I do functional fitness but proportional to long term goals but go to 90% intensity only. I go hard and dont kill myself. Im trying to build up, not break down. There is no panacea, and Im a lover of biohacking buts it always comes down to consistency and intensity.
Maybe this'll help, Check out this dude who ate 5000 calorie per day with a very low carb diet
Only eat when hungry but don't eat much and don't end your starving as some of starving should remain. Anyhow thanks for sharing this excellent material man. Do pay me a visit (website removed).