I’m sure you have heard many suggestions about exercise while on the keto diet. One of the first things I thought when starting Keto was “oh yea and I gotta start exercising”. I was always told you have to exercise and with any diet in order to lose weight and be healthy, well…not always. Let me explain to you what I know of it.
How your body reacts
Yes you can still lose weight on the keto diet without exercise, not that exercise is a bad thing. In fact, in the beginning stages it is advised not to exercise until your body is adapted to its new energy source. Your body is doing a lot of changes on the inside and needs time to adapt. Your body is on over drive trying to adjust to the knew changes you have made. So I would advise to take it easy until you know your producing ketones for energy.
After a couple weeks, you should be in a state of ketosis and producing those little ketone soldiers. Try to maintain this state because if you’re going in and out of ketosis this can be hard on the body and affect the way you feel as well as affecting how you respond to an exercise regiment. If you’re in ketosis, starting an exercise routine will be easy and won’t cause you any trouble but if your not in ketosis and the body is switching between sugar and fat for fuel this may be challenging. It may cause you to feel weak and tired and you won’t have the energy you need to complete the routine.
If you want to be sure you’re maintaining a state of Ketosis and your body is in fact burning fat for fuel instead of sugar you can do this at home with a ketone blood meter. I have one personally and I’ve never regretted the purchase.
Once adapted your body should respond very well to exercise. Exercise is a great release and a very powerful tool for healing and overcoming many obstacles, even if you have never exercised a day in your life. Always start out small and work your way up, LeBron James wasn’t born a world famous athlete.
You will read in some places that exercising while in ketosis will deplete muscle mass, this is a very untrue statement. Lets just think about years and years ago before sugar was produced and before carbs came into play. We were hunters and farmers and if you don’t know, hunting and farming can be quite physical. Years ago they didn’t have the farm equipment we have today nor did they have the luxury of just aim, point and shoot for hunting.
So if your doing intense training and heavy weight lifting you can up your intake of carbs by eating these types of vegetable and you should get everything you need. Carbs are in many other foods besides potatos, pasta, rice and bread. There are a variety of healthy carbs in cruciferous vegetables such as:
- bok choy
- brussels sprout
- green leaf veggies
When your body is ready
Once in ketosis, exercising will only optimize your results. Exercise is always good for your body and mind. It only makes sense that if your using more energy, you will burn fat quicker and more efficiently. This doesn’t mean to go over the top it just means if you exercised before keto, once your body is adapted there’s not reason you can’t continue. Even if you never have been one to exercise, its never too late to start.
If you are concerned that your body has not adapted to this change you can always test your ketone levels, I talked about the three different ways you can test for ketones in my article “How to measure ketones“.
Also there are many trainers and programs targeting this way of life now, as it is proving to have more and more health benefits. I would suggest finding an exercise buddy for support, it certainly helps to keep both parties motivated and going strong.
Your body is improving from the inside out. I’m sure once your in ketosis you will want to improve the outside, to match the inside. Its not only important to take care of our outward appearance, we need to be healthy conscience of our inside as well. Our mental and emotional health a lot of the times affect how we react or don’t react and is just as important to maintain. I find that many people brush this topic off or undermine its importance.
For an example if I am upset about something and I just can’t get a hold on it or target what is causing it, I may over eat or indulge in unhealthy ways. I may not want to work on getting healthy on the inside because I am feeling so unhealthy on the inside. I would suggest finding a way to recognize your feelings and be aware of what might be causing it, try to get to the root of that cause and confront it head on. I personally am an emotional eater and it has taken years to even recognize this problem and I am still working on it.
What exercises to do
This really depends on what you did prior to choosing this lifestyle change. If you were a moderate exerciser then continue from there. If you really don’t exercise, start slow and work your way up. Never push yourself too far but don’t underestimate yourself either. Remember everything in moderation, but any exercise in general is good for you.
Since the keto diet burns fat on a regular basis for energy rather than sugar, your workouts don’t have to be so intense. Your getting twice the result in less time, so its also time efficient.
There is no limit to what you can and can’t do just listen to your body, it talks to you more than we acknowledge.
Any questions or concerns
I welcome any questions you may have, feel free to comment or shoot me a message. I will always do the best to try and answer your questions and put your concerns at ease. If I don’t know the answer I will find out and get back to you, my goal is to help people be aware of their potential and learn along the way.
I hope this has been informative and useful for you. Good luck on your journeys and keep it real.