Paleo Diet Sample Eating Plans: Bulking, Cutting & Maintenance

Nick Ludlow
Written By: Nick Ludlow
July 7th, 2014
Updated: June 13th, 2020
Categories: Articles Nutrition
86.6K Reads
Want to try the Paleo diet but don't know where to start? This feature provides detailed sample eating plans for fat loss, muscle building and weight maintenance.

According to Robb Wolf, the Paleo diet focuses on lean proteins, eggs, fruits, vegetables, seafood, nuts, seeds, and other healthy fats. Furthermore, the Paleo diet encourages followers to avoid dairy, grains, processed foods, sugars, and vegetable oils, legumes, starches, and alcohol.

Adequate calcium, magnesium, and iron intakes are a moderate concern for those following the Paleo diet. The meal and supplementation plans below include at least 1000 milligrams of calcium, 350 milligrams of magnesium, and 20 milligrams of iron.

3500 Calorie Meal Plan (Bulking)

3,500 Calorie Meal Plan
Bulking - Paleo Diet
Time Meal Nutrition

07:00

Wake Up

   
08:00

1 to 2 cups of coffee, 1 serving multivitamin, 2-3g EPA/DHA from fish oil.

50 calories, protein - 0g, carbs - 0g, fat - 5g, fiber - 0g

10:00

Meal #1

5 large eggs, 2 cups chopped bell peppers, 2 cups fresh blueberries, 0.5 cup cooked spinach, 3 ounces raw bacon. 300mg calcium

1025 calories, protein - 48g, carbs - 67g, fat - 66g, fiber - 16g

13:00

Meal #2

2 cups raw mango, 8 ounces raw ground venison, 16 ounces raw sweet potato, 3 cups raw cauliflower. 220mg calcium.

1009 calories, protein - 58g, carbs - 160g, fat - 17g, fiber - 30g

16:00

Meal #3

1 cup almond milk, 2 scoops Vega Sport Performance Protein. 980mg calcium

340 calories, protein - 42g, carbs - 26g, fat - 7g, fiber - 6g

17:30

Pre Workout

The Essentials: 5g creatine monohydrate, 200mg caffeine. The Tried and True Stack: 5g creatine monohydrate, 200mg caffeine, 2400mg beta-alanine, 300mg/kg of body weight sodium bicarbonate, and 15g BCAAs. 

Essentials Stack - 0 calories, Tried and True Stack - 60 calories, protein - 15g

18:00-19:30

Workout

   

20:00

Meal #4

8 ounces wild Atlantic salmon, 1 cup raw grapes, 2 cups raw eggplant cubes, 0.5 cup chopped carrots, 0.5 cup yellow onion, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 2 medium plantains (~6 to 6.5 ounces), and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. 100mg calcium

1086 cals, protein - 57g, carbs - 165g, fat - 29g, fiber - 23g

23:00

Bed

1 serving of ZMA  

Author’s Notes

The timings, food pairings, and supplementation schedules are not set in stone. I encourage you to adjust meal frequency and macronutrient composition based on your lifestyle, goals, and activity. This is merely a framework to save you time and increase your chances of success.

The information above is not meant to replace the information provided by your general practitioner or specialist. Before self-diagnosing food allergies and intolerances, I highly encourage you to consult with your health care provider.

I highly encourage resistance training as a way to both improve your general health and physique. Muscle and Strength offers an expansive workout and exercise database.

Food nutrition information obtained from the USDA Nutrient Database. Supplement nutrition information obtained from the Muscle & Strength supplement store.

Nutrition for the Day
  • Using the Essentials Pre-workout Stack: 3,510 calories, 418g carbs, 124g fat, 205g protein, 75g fiber, 1600mg calcium, 229% daily value of iron
  • Using the Tried and True Pre-workout Stack: 3,570 calories, 418g carbs, 124g fat, 220g protein, 75g fiber, 1600mg calcium, 229% daily value of iron

Low carb diet

Focus on eating proteins, eggs, fruits, veggies, seeds and nuts. Avoid legumes, grains, alcohol, dairy, processed foods, sugars and starches.

3000 Calorie Meal Plan (Maintenance or Bulking)

3,000 Calorie Meal Plan
Maintenance or Bulking - Paleo Diet
Time Meal Nutrition

07:00

Wake Up

   
08:00

1 to 2 cups of coffee, 1 serving multivitamin, 2-3g EPA/DHA from fish oil.

50 calories, 0g carbs, 5g fat, 0g protein, 0g fiber

10:00

Meal #1

5 large eggs, 2 cups chopped bell peppers, 1 cup fresh blueberries, 0.5 cup cooked spinach, 2.5 ounces raw bacon. 290mg calcium.

877 calories, 46g carbs, 59g fat, 46g protein, 12g fiber

13:00

Meal #2

1 cup raw mango, 8 ounces raw ground venison, 16 ounces raw sweet potato, 3 cups raw cauliflower. 220mg calcium.

910 calories, 136g carbs, 17g fat, 56g protein, 28g fiber

16:00

Meal #3

1 cup almond milk, 2 scoops Vega Sport Performance Protein. 980mg calcium.

340 calories, 26g carbs, 7g fat, 42g protein, 6g fiber

17:30

Pre Workout

The Essentials: 5g creatine monohydrate, 200mg caffeine. The Tried and True Stack: 5g creatine monohydrate, 200mg caffeine, 2400mg beta-alanine, 300mg/kg of body weight sodium bicarbonate, and 15g BCAAs. 

Essentials Stack - 0 calories, Tried and True Stack - 60 calories, protein - 15g

18:00-19:30

Workout

   

20:00

Meal #4

8 ounces wild Atlantic salmon, 1.25 cup raw grapes, 2 cups raw eggplant cubes, 0.5 cup chopped carrots, 0.5 cup yellow onion, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 1 medium plantain (~6 to 6.5 ounces), and 0.5 tablespoon of coconut oil. 100mg calcium.

823 calories, 112g carbs, 22g fat, 54g protein, 19g fiber, 

23:00

Bed

1 serving of ZMA  
Nutrition for the Day
  • Using the Essentials Pre-workout Stack: 3,000 calories, 320g carbs, 110g fat, 198g protein, 65g fiber, 1590mg calcium, 222% daily value of iron
  • Using the Tried and True Pre-workout Stack: 3,060 calories, 320g carbs, 110g fat, 213g protein, 65g fiber, 1590mg calcium, 222% daily value of iron

2500 Calorie Meal Plan (Maintenance or Cutting)

2,500 Calorie Meal Plan
Maintenance or Cutting - Paleo Diet
Time Meal Nutrition

07:00

Wake Up

   
08:00

1 to 2 cups of coffee, 1 serving multivitamin, 2-3g EPA/DHA from fish oil.

50 calories, 0g carbs, 5g fat, 0g protein, 0g fiber

10:00

Meal #1

4 large eggs, 0.5 cup cooked spinach, 1 cup raw blueberries, 2 ounces raw bacon, 1 cup chopped bell peppers. 250mg calcium.

695 calories, 35g carbs, 46g fat, 37g protein, 9g fiber

13:00

Meal #2

1 cup raw mango, 8 ounces raw ground venison, 8 ounces raw sweet potato, 3 cups raw cauliflower. 140mg calcium.

718 calories, 88g carbs, 17g fat, 56g protein, 20g fiber

16:00

Meal #3

1 cup almond milk, 2 scoops Vega Sport Performance Protein. 980mg calcium.

340 calories, 26g carbs, 7g fat, 42g protein, 6g fiber

17:30

Pre Workout

Pre Workout. The Essentials: 5g creatine monohydrate, 200mg caffeine. The Tried and True Stack: 5g creatine monohydrate, 200mg caffeine, 2400mg beta-alanine, 300mg/kg of body weight sodium bicarbonate, and 15g BCAAs.

Essentials Stack - 0 calories, Tried and True Stack - 60 calories, 0g carb, 0g fat, 15g protein

18:00-19:30

Workout

   

20:00

Meal #4

8 ounces wild Atlantic salmon, 2 cups raw eggplant cubes, 0.5 cup yellow onion, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 1 medium plantain (~6 to 6.5 ounces), and 0.5 tablespoon of coconut oil. 40mg calcium

 696 calories, 80g carbs, 22g fat, 51g protein, 14g fiber

23:00

Bed

1 serving of ZMA  
Nutrition for the Day
  • Using the Essentials Pre-workout Stack: 2,500 calories, 229g carbs, 97g fat, 186g protein, 49g fiber, 1410mg calcium, 199% daily value of iron
  • Using the Tried and True Pre-workout Stack: 2,560 calories, 229g carbs, 97g fat, 201g protein, 49g fiber, 1410mg calcium, 199% daily value of iron

2000 Calorie Meal Plan (Cutting)

2,000 Calorie Meal Plan
Cutting - Paleo Diet
Time Meal Nutrition

07:00

Wake Up

   
08:00

1 to 2 cups of coffee, 1 serving multivitamin, 2-3g EPA/DHA from fish oil.

50 calories, 0g carbs, 5g fat, 0g protein, 0g fiber

10:00

Meal #1

4 large eggs, 1 cup chopped bell peppers, 0.5 cup fresh blueberries, 0.5 cup cooked spinach, 1 ounce raw bacon. 250mg calcium

525 calories, 25g carbs, 33g fat, 34g protein, 7g fiber

13:00

Meal #2

8 ounces raw ground venison, 6 ounce raw sweet potato, 2 cups raw cauliflower. 100mg calcium

546 calories, 46g carbs, 16g fat, 53g protein, 12g fiber

16:00

Meal #3

1 cup almond milk, 2 scoops Vega Sport Performance Protein. 980mg calcium.

340 calories, 26g carbs, 7g fat, 42g protein, 6g fiber

17:30

Pre Workout

The Essentials: 5g creatine monohydrate, 200mg caffeine. The Tried and True Stack: 5g creatine monohydrate, 200mg caffeine, 2400mg beta-alanine, 300mg/kg of body weight sodium bicarbonate, and 15g BCAAs. 

Essentials Stack - 0 calories, Tried and True Stack - 60 calories, 0g carb, 0g fat, 15g protein.

18:00-19:30

Workout

   

20:00

Meal #4

7 ounces wild Atlantic salmon, 3 cups raw eggplant cubes, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 0.5 medium plantain (~6 to 6.5 ounces), and 0.5  tablespoon of coconut oil. 30mg calcium

535 calories, 49g carbs, 20g fat, 43g protein, 12g fiber, 

23:00

Bed

   
Nutrition for the Day
  • Using the Essentials Pre-workout Stack: 1,996 calories, 146g carbs, 81g fat, 172g protein, 37g fiber, 1360mg calcium, 190% daily value of iron
  • Using the Tried and True Pre-workout Stack:  : 2,056 calories, 146g carbs, 81g fat, 187g protein, 37g fiber, 1360mg calcium, 190% daily value of iron

If you have requests for additional supplementation and meal plans for other diets, please feel free to let me know in the comments section.

24 Comments
Senay
Posted on: Fri, 02/22/2019 - 18:40

Is there anyway to take natural instead of creating and energy drink that are processed?

Sue
Posted on: Sun, 11/05/2017 - 11:16

Can not have eggs. Can not have almond milk.
I was looking for AIP protocol diet meal plan to cut.

Jeff Conner
Posted on: Mon, 08/01/2016 - 16:21

The basics on this is pretty good, except

1. You shouldn't be eating too much raw sweet potato- "Raw sweet potatoes have an enzyme inhibitor that stops the trypsin enzyme from digesting proteins. The higher the protein in a raw sweet potato, the higher the number of these inhibitors it has, thus making it hard to digest. However, this inhibitor is broken down in the cooking process. What’s more, it also contains raffinose, a sugar partially responsible for farts. It is one of three plant tissue sugars that cannot be digested in the stomach-the other 2 are verbascose, stachyose and raffinose. These sugars end up being broken down in the intestines, resulting in CO2 and hydrogen necessary for flatulence."

and 2. "Wild" Atlantic salmon is a misnomer. Anything called Atlantic salmon, characterized by bright pink meat, is farmed. The bright pink comes from the feed most commonly given the salmon in the tanks. The real wild salmon comes from the Pacific northwest or Alaska and is smaller and a deep red color.

Any dark leafy greens consumed raw will be ok for you, but their real power comes in when steamed for 5 minutes with some lemon and a fat- I recommend Grass fed butter. This not only makes the nutrients more available, but increases the amount of cholesterol spinach and kale can pull from you.

Cheers! Keep going!

Curt
Posted on: Wed, 03/08/2017 - 11:12

He was referring to the raw weight before cooking and eating.

Geoff
Posted on: Mon, 04/13/2015 - 04:27

This is ok but for people like me who have to get up at 3am have nowhere to prepare these meals is not good .im on the road till about 2pm any meal ideas to loose weight for people on the go would be great thanks geoff

Nick Ludlow
Posted on: Mon, 04/13/2015 - 09:59

Hi Geoff,

I would recommend preparing meals the night before and bringing them with you on the road.

Macca
Posted on: Fri, 01/16/2015 - 06:47

Could you please give me alternatives, on meals, as I train at 5.30/6.00 am
Thank you

Nick Ludlow
Posted on: Mon, 04/13/2015 - 09:58

Hi Macca,

You're going to have to be a bit more specific. What are your restrictions?

Sean
Posted on: Sat, 11/22/2014 - 15:33

Nick,
Thanks for the great article. I prefer/need to workout in the morning. Do you recommend:

1. Switching the pre-workout and first meal (8am moves to 5:30p)?
2. Combing the pre-workout and the first meal... and then upping the breakfast protein to 43g?

Or something else?

Nick Ludlow
Posted on: Mon, 04/13/2015 - 09:58

Hi Sean,

You can employ either of those options. Try both for a week and see which works better for you.

Andarew
Posted on: Sun, 09/07/2014 - 20:24

RAW BACON??? last time I checked that's exactly how you get worms... anyone else got the scoop on that?

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Steven
Posted on: Mon, 09/08/2014 - 08:43

He's not telling you to eat raw bacon. He's telling you the pre-cooked weight so you can have an exact serving. It's easier to weigh before cooking.

Hakim
Posted on: Wed, 07/16/2014 - 02:27

Need help. I weigh in at 201 and I'm looking to cut. Can't find daily calorie intake

Hakim
Posted on: Wed, 07/16/2014 - 02:24

I need help. Having trouble calculating. I'm 5'10 and weigh 201. Need meal plan and daily calorie intake

Nicholas Ludlow
Posted on: Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:42

Hi Hakim,

To determine your estimated caloric intake I would recommend using this helpful BMR Calculator provided by Muscle and Strength - https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

Shaneel
Posted on: Sat, 07/12/2014 - 07:43

Paleo?? How's protein shake, multi vitamins and Zma paleo? If you have to supplement then you don't have an effective diet plan hence its flawed to call this Paleo.

Nicholas Ludlow
Posted on: Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:41

Hi Shaneel,

The definition of "Paleo" is fairly subjective based on my research, but my hope was that the framework I provided applied to and could be understood by the majority of the readers. Yes, I understand cavemen didn't have supplements but they also didn't have the medical technology we have today, which has helped to improve quality of life.

I understand that many followers of the Paleo doctrine do not consume dairy so I included a completely dairy free protein. Alternatively, you could use a beef protein isolate. The supplements are nearly "cheap insurance" as some studies suggest that the vast majority of Americans, due to previous eating habits, change in agricultural growing style, and lifestyle tend to lack key vitamins and minerals. While not necessary I do believe they can assist with general health and recovery from weight-training sessions.

TRAV
Posted on: Mon, 07/07/2014 - 17:05

let me knoowww

TRAV
Posted on: Mon, 07/07/2014 - 17:04

whats up with the raw bacon?

Nicholas Ludlow
Posted on: Tue, 07/08/2014 - 11:40

Hi TRAV,

I provide the "raw" bacon weight as most folks purchase bacon at the grocery store in its uncooked form. Inevitably, the physical weight of the bacon will decrease after cooking, unless you save and consume the bacon grease that drips off of the bacon during cooking.

Nicholas Ludlow
Posted on: Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:37

haha. The "liquid gold" in some lifting communities

SwoldierOfFortune
Posted on: Mon, 07/14/2014 - 02:32

bacon grease? don't you mean nectar of the Gods?

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