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Cheat Sheet

Paleo Workouts For Dummies

From Paleo Workouts For Dummies by Kellyann Petrucci, Patrick Flynn

Paleo workouts are meant to be short and simple but immensely effective in helping you build strength, quickness, and endurance. Because the movements and routines are simple, proper form is key, and you have to guard against over-exercising. In addition, you have to make sure you're fueling your body with the right foods before and after exercise.

Avoid Overtraining When Performing Paleo Workouts

Paleo workouts are simple and effective, so it makes sense that you may be tempted to do too much. But overtraining is a serious matter. It's a prolonged condition brought about when the body is unable to sufficiently recover from the stresses of exercise and often leads to a host of malaises. Here are a few signs of overtraining:

  • Depression/anxiety

  • Elevated resting heart rate

  • Lack of energy, sluggishness, exhaustion

  • Lack of or reverse of progress

  • Loss of libido

  • Mood swings/irritability

  • Weight gain

Listen to your body. If you feel overworked and overtired, it's time to rest. "Pushing through it," especially with the aid of stimulants like caffeine, will only make things worse. Rest and proper nutrition are the most effective treatments.

Fuel Up Before a Paleo Workout

Your body needs fuel to perform, and Paleo workouts are intense, so a strong showing requires a meal before working out. You want to eat anywhere from one to three hours before you work out if possible. Now, some people can do pretty well exercising in a fasted state, so just play around with different pre-workout timelines to see what works best for you.

Pre-workout foods that tend to work best for most people are proteins and fats. You can keep it super simple and eat any of the following dishes with diced avocado, guacamole, or a nut-based pesto.

  • Canned fish (check the label for soy)

  • Leftover meat

  • Preservative-free and nitrite-free deli meats

  • Eggs with bacon

  • Hardboiled eggs

  • Nuts

  • Smoked salmon

  • Bacon and avocado

  • Olives

  • Coconut meat, chips, or manna

  • Nut butter

  • Shrimp and macadamia nuts

Recover from a Paleo Workout with a Healthy Meal

When refueling after a Paleo workout, the key is to eat within 30 minutes after you’re done to optimize recovery. When choosing what to eat post-workout, you want to focus on that fuel called glycogen. The best way to restock your glycogen stores is through starchy carbohydrates. To rebuild your tissues during this time, you also need those branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are found in protein sources like meat, fish, and seafood. So to rebuild glycogen and rebuild muscle tissues, a meal of protein and starchy vegetables is perfect.

How much you eat depends on how hard you worked out and your size. Protein size can be anywhere from 3 to 8 ounces for women and 8 to 12 ounces for men. Here are some yummy combinations to add into the mix:

  • Eggs, avocado, and blueberries

  • Grass-fed beef over spaghetti squash and sauce

  • Leftover protein and a sweet potato

  • Salads made with protein, jicama, beets, and carrots

  • Salmon and blueberries

  • Scrambled eggs with diced sweet potatoes (a favorite)

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