Here's what you need to know...
The ultimate Paleo diet for lifters is a caveman-based diet with the re-introduction of a few starchy carbs and workout nutrition to support weight training.
There's no such thing as an essential carbohydrate, but tell that to the guy who's combining high amounts of anaerobic training with no carbs and whose ding-dong has been lifeless for a year.
The anaerobic energy production pathway runs on glucose/carbs. High intensity muscular contractions require glucose.
The true value of an ancestral approach to nutrition is what it cuts from the average person's diet.
Let's make this simple. The optimal eating approach for merging health with performance and physique enhancement is to follow a caveman-based diet – animal proteins and veggies, no junk – with the re-introduction of a select few starchy carbs and peri-workout nutrition to support weight training. That's it.
It's a revamping of the classic don't eat crap, adjust the macronutrients to the demands of your modern sport nutrition plan. And while the mainstream is starting to catch on, as evidenced by the legions of new paleo converts who ponder whether a caveman would've had access to rice cakes or quinoa, the dust is far from settled. Many office workers still follow high-carb diets better suited to athletes, and many strength trainers follow no-carb diets better suited for sedentary populations.
The principle of specificity has been lost in the dogma-thumping, and people across the board are as confused as hell.
What's lost in all of the intellectual pontification and academic posturing is what should be the true goal of any educator – giving people simple, effective, actionable strategies that will help them produce results in the real world.
So let's allow the gurus to hash it out for dietary supremacy. You should focus on finding the most efficient path given your individual situation and goals.
The Paleo Way
The caveman theme is a simple theme. It works for practically everyone, from advanced athletes who have been information-overloaded by the fitness industry, down to complete beginners who don't know (or care) much about nutrition and need a simple approach to get started.
Paleo simplifies the overcomplicated and gives people actionable steps, instead of being frozen with paralysis by analysis listening to scientific debate. Cut out refined garbage and eat more plants and animals. I bet that will take 90% of people 90% of the way.
Paleo calls bullshit on much of the health industry that preys on uninformed consumers. Organic crap is still crap. Gluten-free crap is still crap. Organic, gluten-free cookies are still cookies, and are not that great for your health or body composition goals. Wild salmon and spinach are gluten free as well.
But apparently, in some elitist athletic and academic circles, you can't even say the world paleo or caveman. Doing so would make you appear less cutting-edge or advanced, and certainly wouldn't grant you access to the V.I.P. parties where everyone circle jerks over their credentials. So we have flowery language, unnecessarily technical diet strategies, and obsession over minutia. Aren't you more interested in getting shit done?
While the science behind them is crazy complex and could take a lifetime to fully master, the most effective diet and training programs are the simplest ones on paper.
Crap-Loading and Other Crap
Diet numbers are the most important variable to get right for physique results, so if that's all you really care about (that's all I cared about when I was 20, too), then crapload away: eat whatever junk food you want. But that doesn't necessarily merge your physique goals with long-term health enhancement.
Take it from someone who has worked with clients of all ages and former athletes who have messed themselves up with uninformed or extreme methods. It's the cumulative effects of your diet over a lifetime that matter, not any 10-week timeframe. Serge Nubret once said, Every sickness comes from food. I think genetics and environment also play a part, but food is the thing you can fully control.
Beyond theory, marketing material, study wars, and pointing to that one genetically gifted guy who can pull it off, you can't tell me that when you step back from it all and just use pure common sense that you think shit-loading every day can be good for your long-term health.
There are many athletes that look great on the outside but are train wrecks internally. They're extremely unhealthy and dealing with side effects such as sleep disturbances, depression, elevated disease risk factors, metabolic damage, and digestive disorders. Ever wonder why there are so many dicks in the fitness industry? Maybe that's part of it.
Like it or not, food choices are important for optimizing overall health. If you still want to eat pizza and Pop Tarts every day, be my guest.
Note: To Continue reading, click the link below.