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Underweight But Want to Try Paleo

By Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Founder of The Paleo Diet
November 16, 2009
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Hello -- basically:

  • I'm 18 years weighing in at 11 stone 1/8 something like that.
  • I play 3 sports: cricket, hockey and rugby.
  • I'm not overweight.
  • I'm underweight by about a few pounds so not much.
  • I've stopped playing sports for the summer and have realized that i may soon be going over that okay perfect weight boundary
  • I eat anything fatty or not--it has never seemed to bother me until now, and I have stopped the chocolate and the booze for 2 weeks. Now I've tried to cut out the fat altogether.

I'm interested in using the Paleo Diet, and for my workout I'm trying "the 300 workout." I have realized a high amount of protein is required.

I'm underweight but want to try Paleo. Will it help me gain muscle and become bigger built along with my workout? I have acne, so this diet is ideal already but I'm not overweight so is it ideal to take on this diet underweight or not to help with my workout?

Dr. Cordain's Response:

In most people The Paleo Diet® helps to maintain or achieve optimal body weight and fat/muscle mass distribution. If you are underweight you should increase your caloric intake with good fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts, and protein from seafood, grass produced or free ranging meats and eggs (if you don't suffer from an autoimmune disease). Branched chain amino acid supplementation will also help you to gain muscle mass.

Regarding acne, The Paleo Diet has been shown to dramatically improve this condition in most patients, demonstrated in a controlled clinical trial with 43 patients (Smith et al).

Cordially,

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

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