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Trouble Maintaining Weight on Paleo?

By Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Founder of The Paleo Diet
April 12, 2011
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Maintaining Weight on Paleo | The Paleo Diet

I'm a male senior citizen (aged 60+) who is on The Paleo Diet and am having trouble maintaining weight on paleo. What can you suggest to curb my unwanted weight loss?

Pedro Basto's Response:

Start a weight Training Program (3 times a week is enough) and pay attention to the post workout period:

After high intensity exercise there is a window of opportunity (that peaks in the first 30 minutes) where it appears that increasing blood levels of insulin, along with amino acids, is beneficial. This facilitates recovery and increases protein synthesis without (theoretically) inducing insulin resistance.

I would use a post-workout shake, composed of water, and liquid essential amino acids, along with net base yielding high glycemic carbohydrates (such as Bananas or grape juice). This has been shown to increase protein synthesis.

The ingestion of an amino acids/high glycemic carbohydrate drink may trigger a very high insulin release that could be followed by Hypoglycemia, which would lead to loss of muscle mass. Moreover, depending on training intensity and duration, it appears that the presence of amino acids (especially leucine) and carbohydrates stimulates protein synthesis for up to 3 hours after a workout (although its peak is reached in the first 30 minutes after training), so it could be useful to eat a solid meal 30 to 60 minutes after the post workout shake, composed of lean meat or fish or egg whites (good source of leucine), and a net base yielding carbohydrate, such as cassava and sweet potatoes. And if this isn’t enough, a second meal (identical to the first one, but with a lower glycemic load) within a 3 hour time frame could be a good idea (lean meat or fish or egg whites and a net base yielding carbohydrate with a lower glycemic load, such as yams).

I hope this helps.

Cordially,
Pedro Bastos, MA MS Ph.D. candidate in Medical Sciences at Lund University, Sweden; International College of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine

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