I'm really not qualified to give health advice. But when it comes to nutrition, medical doctors for the most part have no bloody idea!

And if you want someone who is going to tell you to eat less saturated fat, more "healthy whole grains" and "everything in moderation" - there are plenty of nutritionists and dietitians out there willing to sell that.

I don't have all the answers. Just most of them! (Joke). A lot of the Paleo diet is based on common sense, evolutionary ideas and recent science.

There is still a great need for rigorous double-blind, long term clinical studies but these are hugely expensive and finding funding for such studies is near impossible - unless there is a vested interest from a pharmaceutical company, agricultural corporation or government organisation.

So for now we have to do the best with what we can using existing research, logic and a whole lot of anecdotal evidence.

Yes, I'm one of those guys who has benefitted immensely from Paleo. My N=1 experiment may not mean much to my doctor but it means a lot to me. You will find tens of thousands of people out there willing to shout their Paleo success from the rooftops. Listen only if you want to. No one is shoving any grain-free muffins down your throat here!

My role through this blog is to help people with a genuine interest in improving their health. I believe a Paleo "model" lifestyle is the best way of achieving optimal and sustainable health.

I don't claim to know everything and my opinions may change as better information becomes available.

I will always strive to do my best to answer your questions in a genuine, practical and reasonable fashion. You'll just have to excuse my bias... because Paleo is definitely the way forward!


Please email your questions to thepaleomodel@gmail.com or send me a message via The Paleo Model Facebook page.



Yoghurt and Probiotics - Sarah, 33, Melbourne

Colloidal Silver, Astaxanthin and Juicing Vegetables - Matt, 31, Melbourne

Grocery Shopping Tips - Goose, 28, New York City

Sourcing Bulletproof Coffee in Australia & Cheating in London - Ross, Melbourne & Will, London


  1. Dear Paleo Model,
    Now that I'm eating paleo style, I find at I have to be super organized for grocery runs. I head out armed with paleo recipes to make sure I only get paleo friendly foods. This is not really my style.
    Do you have any tips or overarching rules for remembering what's "in" and what's "out" so I don't have to keep deferring to the web and recipes?
    Thank you sir.

  2. Dear Paleo Model,
    I am a 16 year old boy. We have a gym in college which I really love, but I barely use any of the machines. I do HIIT about three or four times a week, eat very healthy and paleo mostly and do a lot of walking.
    Everytime I go to the gym I see very muscled guys who are holding really heavy weights, and although I am in the good way of getting a nice body, I believe weights are the last push to get it.
    The problem is I have absolutely no idea what weights, what kind of weights or what exercises or how often I need to do them.

    Do you have any recommended workout I could start with??

    Thank you really sir,


    A massive fan of your blog.

    1. Hey Daniel,

      Thanks for the feedback and your question. It sounds like you want to gain some size to improve your physique? At 16 years of age your testosterone should be pretty high and ability to recover excellent so I think you can smash some fairly heavy weights every second day and see some great results.

      Let me emphasize though that gaining lean muscle mass is more about nutrition than training, so make sure you're eating more than enough food if you want to put on size.

      If you have a limited food budget eat plenty of eggs, tuna, sardines, ground beef, pork chops, chicken and whatever other animal protein you can afford. Then eat lots of rice, sweet potatoes, even peeled white potatoes, other vegetables and fruit for carbs. Eat a lot of fat from butter, coconut products, dark chocolate, nuts, etc. (Not peanuts or peanut butter if possible).

      In terms of the training, if you want to put on muscle you have to lift as heavy as possible and not too high volume.

      Do this first for 4-8 weeks and then once you've built some strength, and hopefully size, you can completely change your routine to something more high-intensity if you want to lean down a bit more.


      Warm up:
      3-5 mins on rower or treadmill. Some dynamic stretching. (see youtube)

      I'd do something like 3-5 sets of 5-10 reps as heavy as you can possibly go (to failure) on the following movements:

      [Note - Ask a trainer to check your form - particularly for squats and deadlifts]

      Squats (back squats, or front squats)
      Bench Press
      Shoulder press (dumbbell or barbell)
      weighted dips

      Rows (bent over rows with barbell, cable row, single arm dumbbell bench row)
      Pull ups (add weight if necessary) or lat pull downs

      That's pretty much it man! It's very simple. You have to go HEAVY though. Some exercises lend themselves to slightly higher reps, like on rows you might get up to 12 reps but pick a weight that you really struggle with.

      I would suggest doing alternate days at the gym (1 day on, 1 day off).

      Each gym day pick 1-2 exercises from PUSH and 1-2 exercises from PULL list and go hard. Rest 1-3 minutes between sets.

      You won't feel like you're working that hard but that's ok - this is about stimulating growth hormones as much as it is about getting strong.

      The whole routine should only take 30-40 mins.

      Important: eat some high glycemic carbs immediately post workout (a ripe banana or two is great for this). The insulin spike helps with muscle growth.

      Then eat a decent meal with protein within 30-60 minutes of training.

      Ideally train in the afternoon (3pm-6pm) for max strength and optimal hormonal environment for growth.

      In addition to this (on the non-weight days) do 1-2 sprint sessions per week.

      These have to be ALL OUT sprints. You can do it on a track, the beach, on a treadmill with it turned off (see my sledmill sprints post), up stairs, up hills etc.

      You want to go all out for 10-20 seconds and then rest for about 1-2 minutes. Do 5-8 sets. I cannot stress enough that this has to be a max effort sprint.

      Make sure you warm up properly!!

      Other notes:
      - you are going to have to overeat to put on muscle
      - you still have to eat as clean as possible, no processed food or junk
      - if you eat refined carbs and junk while you are over-eating and training you may put on excess fat so try follow a Paleo template to avoid this.
      - use protein shakes post workout if you want.
      - sleep well
      - get some sun for Vit D
      - rest is more important than the actually training. The benefit of weight/sprint training is in the recovery, not the actual workout!

    2. Hi!
      Thank you SO MUCH for your absolutely amazing answer!! So so useful! I am now off college but I will be trying these out as soon as I go back (next tuesday).

      Cannot even express how grateful I am right now!! Such a quick and complete answer.

      Thank you!


  3. David, how important is daily muscle exercise for someone on paleo. More specifically for someone on paleo living in the city who does no exercise how bad can that be, what health effects can come from a potentially higher protein diet and little to no exercise over long term (3 years)?

  4. Dear Paleo Model:
    I have recently read a quote from the personal trainer from Chris Evans for his role as Captain America. He said we should push our lower body (legs) to the maximum, in order to get a big growth hormone response, which will be the quickest way to get more muscle in your upper body. What do you think of this? If you agree... What kind of workout would you do?

    Thank you!!



  5. Good question Daniel.

    It makes sense to me that focusing on the largest muscle groups in the body (the quads, glutes, hamstrings) would produce a higher growth response than targeting smaller muscles such as the biceps, pecs or deltoids.

    As always I think the best bang for your buck is to focus on functional compound movements such as dead lifts and front and back squats for strength and size. Then it would be beneficial to employ some hip-focused explosive exercises such as kettle bell swings and cleans for power. Also throw in some hyperextensions (to balance out the posterior chain and avoid imbalances common when over-working the quads, for example).

    If your goal is to build muscle the most important thing is always going to be nutrition. Then sleep/recovery and other lifestyle factors. Then training.

    In terms of training intensity and quality of movement is more important than the volume or quantity of movement. Train hard. Eat clean. Eat a lot. Rest and recovery.

    Don't get too tied up in one person's philosophy or another's. Especially fad routines or workouts form Hollywood movies.

    Besides messing with dangerous substances such as anabolic steroids and hormones there are no shortcuts to building muscle. You need to form good habits and be disciplined over a long period of time to achieve and maintain results.

    I hope this helps,


  6. Dear Paleo Model,
    I´ve been recently thinking a lot about my diet and I was thinking about vegans and veganism and all those amazing changes they experience when they change to a vegan lifestyle. I was wondering what your thoughts where about a low fat high carb vegan diet and about veganism all together.

    Thank you,


    P.S. Thanks for the last reply!!

  7. Hi Daniel,

    Excellent question. I'm going to answer this one in a full blog post as I think it deserves a full response. However, the basis of my answer will be the following:

    1. I don't believe a vegan/vegetarian diet is optimal for human nutrition. Humans evolved eating meat and scientists have never discovered an ancient population or contemporary hunter gatherer society that was vegetarian. Our (hydrochloric acid based) digestive system is evolved to consume animal products.

    2. The initial results of going vegan/vegetarian will often be excellent, however this may be due to the reduction of processed food intake and generally adopting a healthier lifestyle including far more whole foods that are plant based. I agree that many animal products regularly consumed today are very unhealthy and should be avoided - like processed meats and corn-fed beef and dairy.

    3. The initial 'honeymoon' period from starting a vegan/vegetarian diet will tend to wear off, especially if micronutrient deficiencies ensue. I would argue that a Paleo style diet is more sustainable in the long run to maintain excellent health.

    4. A low-fat, high carb diet may work for some people but in the light of ancestral health and evolution it just doesn't make sense to me. I believe many modern diseases of civilization - especially diabetes and heart disease - are caused by the excess consumption of refined carbohydrates, so I would never recommend a very high carbohydrate diet - even if the carbs are coming from whole food sources.

    I hope this helps. Look out for the Ask The Paleo Model post soon!

    1. Sounds so interesting! Do you know Freelee the Banana Girl or other vegan food gurus who eat incredibly high amounts of fruit and carbohydrates but are still slim?

      How do they do it??

      Your answers are always incredibly amazing and helpful, thank you!



  8. Dear Paleo Model,

    I have been doing some research on veganism and I came up on Rawtill4, which is basically eating a huge amount of raw fruits and veggies for breakfast and lunch, and then a huge plate of starchy carbohydrates, like oil/salt free potato wedges or a massive plate of rice. There is such a massive community of people doing Rawtill4 and it seems to work. How does it exactly work? What is your opinion? There is a book called the 80/10/10 diet where it explains it.



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  10. Dear Paleo Model,
    I have been following all the tips you have me in your answer above. I´ve been weight lifting since that. I am 17 now, and although I got a bit more muscle and am really happy with my body, I feel like I need to lean down a little bit down in order for me to get a six pack, I have the muscles, but I just need to lean down a little bit more. I have been following the paleo principles 100%, no cheat meals or junk food at all, never want to feel like crap so I dont eat any of those processed foods.
    I have been eating loads of eggs, tuna, loads of avocado, olive oil, loads of ghee, spinach, kale, low GI vegetables, no fruits, maybe a banana every two weeks, I eat carbs at night, white potatoes, sweet potatoes and maybe rice every two to three weeks. ( I always make your super massive salad for lunch)

    I dont know why I dont seem to lean down as I am quite active, work out and do a lot of walking.

    I hope you can help me, I would really appreciate it.

    Thank you!



    1. Hi Dani,

      It sounds like you have an excellent and disciplined nutrition and fitness regimen.

      Without knowing exactly what you are eating, how you are training, or other lifestyle factors of yours it is pretty hard to say why you may not be as lean as you would like to be. Everyone is different and needs to work out their own path to their optimal body composition.

      For some people "optimal body composition" may mean they walk around every day with a ripped six-pack and 6% body fat. For other guys they may be at 12% body fat.

      There are many different factors affecting how lean you are and how much fat you are storing. Many of these factors are hormonal. Hormones are affected by your environment - the food you eat, the exercise you do, how much sleep and sun you get, etc.

      Some of the most common reasons why you may be storing more body fat than you really need are as follows:

      1. Stress: Perhaps you are training too much or too hard? Maybe you are stressed with school work and social life? Excess cortisol tends to make you store fat around the belly and midsection. Stress management rituals such as meditation, yoga or even just walking and thinking can help.

      2. Overeating: As you know I am not a big fan of counting calories but the reality is that if you are eating too much, even if it is clean "Paleo" foods then you will gain weight (both muscle and fat). You may need to cycle your food intake and mix things up so that you are over-eating some days and under-eating other days. I don't think you need to plan this but rather let it happen naturally. Some days you may not be so hungry so don't force yourself to eat. Other days you will be really hungry and will overeat. This is normal. Listen to your body.

      3. Sleep: As a 17 year old you may need up to 9 hours sleep every night. Lack of sleep can lead to overeating and weight gain. You may find that exercising less and sleeping more will help you lean down.

      4. Carbs. You may be eating too many or too little carbs. As an active teenager you probably need between 100 and 300 grams of carbs a day. If you are avoiding carbs during the day you may not be getting enough carbs. Try adjusting your carb intake and see how you look and feel. Try adding some carbs in for lunch and post workout.

      The last thing that I will mention is that it can take many, many years to work out a lifestyle that allows you to be lean and healthy. At 17 I was carrying a lot more fat than at 22 or even now approaching 30. I didn't really lean out and get "ripped" until I was around 21 because I was eating too much and not training very smart. Be patient and you'll get there eventually.

      In the future please email me your questions at thepaleomodel@gmail.com as this page is getting too long!

  11. Hi! Quick question for you...... I was wondering would you recommend the paleo diet for female models? Thanks :)