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  • gaining lean muscle on a grain/potato free diet...

    k so i avoid grains and potatoes/sweet potatoes and most legumes cause they seem to be pro-inflammatory for me. I eat squash as my main carb source and i feel like after eliminating these foods from my diet, my muscles seem a bit more flabby and less defined/lean. I recently experimented with ayurvedic medicine where they suggested a kitchari cleanse (basmati rice and mung beans with veggies, ghee and spices for a week straight, nothing else) so during this "cleanse" my muscles felt amazing, lean, and full without feeling like there was a thin layer of fat over them.... i know carbs fill glycogen stores so muscles kinda plump out and what not but now that im off the cleanse and back to avoiding grains, potatoes and most legumes, my muscles are slowly returning to not feeling so lean and defined. And not to be vain but i'm pretty proud of my butt and it looks awesome and more full when i eat grains... and then, you guessed it, when i cut them out it feels a lot less full and perky. I eat plenty of chicken, fish, veggies, squash, coconut oil, avocado and not much fruit. Maybe a piece here and there. I'm pretty active and box, lift and do yoga so maybe i need to eat more.. but i feel like i eat plenty. Any paleo tips on what to eat to get this lean, full, defined muscle effect or do i sound ridiculous and need to except the fact that it is what it is cause my glycogen stores aren't as full?.. thanks guys!

  • #2
    White rice?

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    • #3
      dont be afraid of redmeat and eggs, you need more iron.

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      • #4
        no go, too high glycemic/inflammatory :/

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        • #5
          thanks! im trying to incorporate more red meat

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          • #6
            If the question is alternate starches: parsnip, cassava, taro, plantain, breadfruit, and chestnut are easily digested by most folks. IME the main variable for lean tissue is total calories.
            37//6'3"/185

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            • #7
              If you felt good on your cleanse, why not include those foods in your regular diet? You wouldn't be the first "post-paleo" person to use PB as a starting point but then add back in some foods based on your own experience.

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              • #8
                It seems strange to discuss increasing muscle mass without discussing training. What does your strength training plan look like? Nutrition alone has a large effect on adipose tissue over time, but will have a very small effect on muscle composition. There are only a few ways to make a muscle change its appearance:

                1. Increase its size. This is the big one, and is accomplished entirely through training.

                2. Increase its resting tension (the technical definition of muscle tone). This can only be accomplished by getting stronger, and is also entirely training.

                3. Decrease the amount of subcutaneous fat surrounding that muscle. This is diet and training, with genetic limits making it difficult for some people.

                4. Hydrate the muscle with glycogen and water from carbohydrate. This is diet, but the effect is really very small. A person of average size will only add 3-4 pounds of water and glycogen even when saturated, which is not that much distributed over the entire skeletal muscle mass.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Scientist View Post
                  It seems strange to discuss increasing muscle mass without discussing training. What does your strength training plan look like? Nutrition alone has a large effect on adipose tissue over time, but will have a very small effect on muscle composition. There are only a few ways to make a muscle change its appearance:

                  1. Increase its size. This is the big one, and is accomplished entirely through training.

                  2. Increase its resting tension (the technical definition of muscle tone). This can only be accomplished by getting stronger, and is also entirely training.

                  3. Decrease the amount of subcutaneous fat surrounding that muscle. This is diet and training, with genetic limits making it difficult for some people.

                  4. Hydrate the muscle with glycogen and water from carbohydrate. This is diet, but the effect is really very small. A person of average size will only add 3-4 pounds of water and glycogen even when saturated, which is not that much distributed over the entire skeletal muscle mass.
                  Excellent. +1.

                  Until the exercise-in-a-pill is invented, The Scientist has summed it up.
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                  Old Paths ... New Journeys

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                  • #10
                    You have got to do what works for you, I function much better with carbs including potatoes and grains. If you feel better and look the way you want with them in your diet, eat them. Plenty of healthy people eat a full spectrum of carbs. If you don't do well with them, then try alternative starches or work with a lower carb/high fat plan.

                    The "bad" diet belongs to those living off of bizarre fake foods, white bread, corn syrup, sugar, no protein, bad fats. Adding in potatoes or grains is not bad unless you have a sensitivity to them which should be apparent.

                    http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
                    Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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                    • #11
                      Low carb and gaining muscle mass don't really go together so well. The Paleo guidelines are great, but those of us who want to get large and in charge need to find sources of carbohydrate that we're comfortable with in order to maximize muscle protein synthesis. White rice is really a good, safe source of starch that can support muscular gains. You'll gain muscle much slower if you insist on avoiding carb sources.
                      The Champagne of Beards

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                      • #12
                        Maybe not paleo depending on how you look at it, but add in some dairy.. aka full fat milk. If you can tolerate it, it should have the same effect on replenishing your glycogen stores. It is said, that milk is one of the best post workout drinks for a reason!

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                        • #13
                          You pretty much answered your own question

                          You eat low carb and your muscles feel less full, then you start eating more carbs and your muscles feel full

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                          • #14
                            Add the rice back in. You are not alone. I am a heavy resistance trainer at heart. Not much makes me happier than a max effort one rep schemed squat workout. That being said, when I have dropped weight classes in the past through super clean low carb eating, I have paid the price dearly. Flat empty muscles for sure as well as muscular loss. The strength loss is something that we won't even talk about. I love the idea of pure primal eating, but it has it's prices depending on our choice of lifestyle. I stay leaner when I play along and things like chin ups of all types get stronger. Even sets of heavy weighted dips can increase, but my 90% single rep squats, paused bench, dead lift, and strict over head press fall off like a bad habit. When I add back in potatoes and rice, everything comes back.
                            Last edited by Chris@GSN; 10-15-2015, 06:42 PM.

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                            • #15
                              I love the idea of pure primal eating, but it has it's prices depending on our choice of lifestyle.
                              Yup... I think this is so important to keep in mind. Carbs really do work for people who choose to weight train. I've lost 20 lbs very easily and at a higher calorie count with minimal cardio since May. I weight train seriously....and my lifts have not gone down. I feel energized and amazing. As I should.
                              That 20 lbs is no small deal for me- I generally struggle to lose weight. Something about the combo of diet and weight training is making me a fat burning machine- my metabolism seems to be increasing. I seem to keep a steady loss trend eating anywhere from 1800 to 2100 calories which used to be a point at which I'd slowly gain.

                              http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
                              Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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