Health & Wellness

The Paleo Diet: MMA Meal Planning

In order to be the best, you have to beat the best. This old adage has a lot of truth to it, but the truth is: in order to be the best, you have to train better than the best. The only way to train to your full potential is by eating right. You need to have a diet that is lean, healthy, and will allow you to compete successfully. MMA fighting is a very competitive sport, so anyone who hopes to succeed will need to have a diet that gives that person a fighting edge.

A fighter’s meal planning is very important to success, so why not try the Paleo diet?

What really is the Paleo diet?

The Paleo diet, also known as the “Caveman diet“, advocates a diet that focuses on eating healthy proteins, nutrient rich vegetables and fruits, and wants to avoid eating processed foods at all costs. It stresses less carbohydrates and more protein. It follows a very basic principle: eat what the Paleolithic humans eat. This diet is quickly becoming popular. Celebrities, eco-lovers, and now athletes are now following this diet.  As a fighter, proteins and healthy nutrition are vital. Most fighters can down anything because they train so hard, but if you’re going to put fuel in your body, make sure to put premium and not just unleaded.

Based on the “Paleo Diet for Athletes” by Joe Friel and Loren Cordain, a typical American athlete does not have enough nutrient-dense:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Seafood
  • Lean meats

They eat too much dairy, cereal, and refined sugars.  Our bodies weren’t designed to process these types of foods—hence the proliferation of lactose and Gluten intolerance.  These types of foods simply didn’t exist in cave-man times. These foods slow down a fighter’s stamina, make it harder to last longer, and simply do not build mass as effectively as natural foods do.

This diet is also friendly to the environment!

Paleo diet enthusiasts have been bombarded with comments of objections from both vegans and eco-enthusiasts.  However, there is proof that meat intake is indeed more environmentally healthy than the vegan alternative:

  • The ever-famous soy, which is one of the major food ingredients for vegetarians, is partially to blame for the intense deforestation in Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil.
  • As compared with pork, chicken, and other meats, dairy products such as cheese, which the Paleo diet avoids, are bad for the environment.
  • Based on the research study conducted by Christopher Weber and H. Scott Matthews, cereals, fruits, and vegetables generate more greenhouse gas emissions from transport compared with chicken, red meat, or fish.
  • Livestock that thrives on grass is a critical element of the sustainable agriculture. Paleo diet promotes the growth of livestock because it’s centered in eating meat.

As an athlete, you have a responsibility to take care of your health. The Paleo diet takes full responsibility for the things we eat and encourages us to eat what’s natural to our bodies. If you want to be in the best shape for your next fight, make sure that you put the right fuel into your body. The Paleo diet will do this for you.

Are you on the Paleo Diet?  Would you like to be?  Let us know below in the comments!

  Discuss This Article

Comments: 3

  • I’m afraid the author of this paper completely misunderstood the very good work of Christopher Weber and H. Scott Matthews. Weber and Matthews firmly demonstrate that it is food production – particularly animal food production, that generates lots of greenhouse gases (GHG), and that transportation generates relatively little. Per Weber and Matthews, food production was responsible for 83% of GHG, and transportation only 11%. Weber and Matthews famous conclusion was that eating vegan just one day a week reduced greenhouse gases more than eating 100% local. Also, the point about soy being partially to blame for the deforestation in Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, while true, should only be cited in reference to that fact that it is animal production, through grazing and through growing animal feed, which is responsible for 60-80 percent of the deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon over the last 15 years. There are great scientific reports on this subject on

  • Just to comment–I wrote the article cited here saying that the paleo diet is environmentally sustainable. This is not at all what the article said as can be seen by the abstract and news articles:
    In fact, the conclusions were just the opposite as what is described here–the emissions from transportation are very small compared to the large emissions associated with producing various sources of meat and dairy products, particularly red meat.
    Christopher Weber

  • Im sorry but lets be real here, theres no way a MMA fighter can thrive on a paleo diet, unless hes not training and trying to lose pounds to make weight at scale in or if he was diabetic.

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