We all know that a good diet is needed for our bodies to get the most out of exercise and working out. In fact, without a diet that is rich in energy, you will find that your performance starts to diminish in each of your workouts. You could feel really tired and exhausted as soon as you begin and you might not even be able to make it to the end of your workout.
For most people the best energy rich food is carbohydrate. The body uses carbohydrate foods as its instant energy source and slowly releases the energy in them throughout the day. Of course, if you are following the paleo diet, you will be limiting your intake of carbs. You might even have cut them out of your diet nearly completely! This is perfectly fine for many people, of course, and a healthy choice at least in the near-term. However, it will impact on your workouts. Thankfully, this negative impact is something that can be very easily corrected. Read on to find out how you can do that!
Increase Food Intake
Even though you will be eating low carbohydrate, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be getting enough energy to fuel your workouts. You can just increase your protein and fat intake, which can also provide your body with the energy it needs. However, these energy sources aren’t as dense as carbs. So, you will need to eat more to give your body the power it needs. That means you just need to eat more throughout the day. Don’t be worried about increasing your calorie intake this way, even if you are trying to lose some weight, as you should burn off all of those extra little calories. So, you might want to add an extra snack into your daily meals or simply increase your portions ever so slightly.
Stick To Exercise That Promotes Natural Movement
The paleo diet is all about eating what our ancestors used to eat way back in ancient times. The diet states that you should only eat the food that would be available to early humans back in the Stone Age. If you think about it, they didn’t have all of the state of the art gym machines that we now use in some workouts. So, their diet isn’t suited to such intense workouts. It’s better suited to gentle exercise that promotes natural movement, such as walking, running, and lifting weights. You will find that your new paleo diet will help promote these kinds of workouts rather than any that rely on modern techniques and equipment that cause us to use our bodies in unnatural ways, such as spinning and using a cross trainer.
Don’t Focus On Cardio
Another reason that some fitness fans find that they really struggle in their workouts when they are following the paleo diet is because they are only doing cardio. Cardio is an extremely intense and fast-paced workout style that gets your blood pumping and your heart racing. As a result, you will be using up a lot of energy very quickly. It’s perfectly fine to take part in one cardio workout per week, maybe even two if you are very fit at the minute. However, doing too many will end up fatiguing your body. So, you need to ensure that you factor in some strength training as well.
Most gyms offer strength and conditioning training and classes so it’s always worth checking with your closest fitness center to see if they have any strength workouts to take part in. Your body will be able to deal with these kinds of workouts even with a reduced energy supply, and you should find that the paleo diet isn’t too much of a hindrance. It could even benefit you, as the body will need a lot of protein to repair the muscles after strength exercises.
Practice Good Rest And Recovery
The key to all good exercise is the rest and recovery afterwards. If you don’t give your body and mind the chance to recover from each of your workouts, you will find that the next one will be more difficult to endure. The body needs this time to repair any damage that may have been done to it.
Not only that, but also the rest and recovery period also gives you a chance to get your energy levels back up to where they should be. And that’s really important when you aren’t eating few or any carbohydrates. Without carbs, and not giving your body the right amount of recovery time, you’ll find that the exercise really hits you hard!
Boost Your Electrolyte Intake
Electrolytes are naturally occurring minerals in the body (think calcium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium) but you will also find that they are very often added to sports and energy drinks. If you have ever had a Gatorade, you will probably already know all about them!
When you are on the paleo diet, and most especially when working out, these electrolytes are super important and you need to make sure you are supplementing your diet with them. That’s because they will prevent you from suffering from dehydration, cramps, aching muscles, and a pounding heart.
People who are following the paleo diet often don’t have enough electrolytes but, thankfully, there is a way to increase the number of them in your body without spending all your cash on expensive sports drinks. Check with your dietician but here’s what I do: I add pink sea salt and magnesium citrate and magnesium malate to my water plus take supplements for calcium, potassium and magnesium glycinate.
Take Time Getting Used To Changes
Suffering during exercise might not be the result of your diet. Check with your personal trainer or your physician to be sure there isn’t something more serious going on. Or it simply could be because you have recently altered your usual workout and your body is still getting used to the changes. Give yourself a couple of weeks to get over things, and you should find that your stamina and performance levels return to what they once were. If they don’t, then there could be an issue with your diet that needs checking out.
I hope these tips are helpful in following your paleo diet without it diminishing the energy you need to complete your fitness regimen! Along this vein, be sure to check out my review of Mark Sisson’s Primal Cookbook full of paleo recipes!
And remember to always check with your trusted healthcare provider before beginning a diet and exercise routine to ensure it is appropriate for your level of fitness and health conditions.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life