When you just start off your keto diet, you may experience some side effects such as drowsiness, low energy levels and something known as the ''keto flu''. Though some dieters may not have problems with any of these, others can experience them immensely. If you are in the second group, the beginning of your diet may not be the best time to start exercising.
You will want to wait until your body gets used to your new fuel source — ketones. But one thing goes for everyone on a keto diet — exercise is one of the key components of your lifestyle if you want to get into and maintain ketosis because it will have many benefits for you energy-wise!
Perhaps the most important piece of advice we can give you in regards to exercising while on a keto diet is that you should make sure to eat enough. This is essential in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Ketogenic diets have an appetite-suppressing effect on our metabolisms, making us feel less and less hungry as we continue our diet, and this can definitely have a negative effect on your body if you decide to include some exercise into your diet as well. Your body needs all the energy it can get, so having a healthy meal plan is a must for your daily routine!
Also, don’t forget about a balanced fat intake! If you do not eat enough fats on a daily basis, you can get extremely hungry, which can later result in losing muscle mass, and who would want that, right?
Your body needs an optimal amount of fats to compensate for the carbs’ intake you have now reduced to a minimum. If you do not give it the fats it needs, you will be left feeling tired and will actually miss out on getting into ketosis in the first place. Make sure not to make this mistake, because getting into ketosis and exercising on a daily basis can have immense benefits for you!
Though we have previously stated that you may want to avoid exercise if you have the keto flu, there actually are some workouts you can do without worsening your condition. Some of the low-intensity workouts you will want to include in your daily routine are yoga, walking, cycling or maybe even breaking a sweat on StairMaster.
However, until your energy levels are back to normal, there are some workouts you may want to avoid. Exercises like sprinting, rowing, high-intensity interval training, CrossFit or jumping rope can be quite energy-consuming, so until you have overcome your keto flu, consider cutting back on this type of training for a week or two.
Once the keto flu passes, there are several types of exercise you can start in order to improve your health even further! Since cardio has a fairly moderate intensity, it is the perfect match for ketogenic diets. What’s more, being in ketosis will actually help improve your performance, and you will be able to workout longer than before, without getting tired.
Some great exercises to get your optimal target heart rate is running, swimming, cycling, recreational sports, aerobic or circuit training. When you are just starting to train, you should aim to maintain about 50 percent of your maximum heart rate for about 10 to 15 minutes, and gradually increase your workout time. Your goal should be to go up to 70 percent of your max heart rate eventually but avoid doing it in the first weeks of your workout.
However, if cardio is not really your cup of tea, you can always take on lifting weights. Your muscle mass and your strength and power can greatly increase while on a keto diet, so this is the perfect choice for you to blow out some steam, all while staying fit.
A keto weightlifter’s training program should include five or more sets of five reps per exercise, in order to help increase power and strength. Lower set reps can actually help you maximize your muscle gain, so in means of weightlifting on a keto diet, less can actually be more!
Of course, you can keep your higher rep ranges if you wish, but if that is the case make sure to increase your carb intake a bit. In this case, you should consider starting a cyclical ketogenic diet, it will definitely help do the trick!
Of course, the previous statement does not necessarily mean that you cannot gain muscle without a high carb intake. It merely suggests that carbs prevent muscle breakdown if you are not on a diet.
However, once you start a keto diet, eating enough calories and protein will be sufficient to improve your muscle gain, just as it would with a high carb intake. As long as you follow nutrition recommendations, you will be just fine!
You can also choose from many no-carb supplements for your diet if you are looking to improve your exercise performance. Some of the most common keto friendly supplements you will hear about are:
- Creatine - the ideal choice for weightlifters and explosive athletes
- Medium-chain triglycerides - perfect for endurance athletes or for cardio training
- Exogenous ketones - best consumed with MCTs in order to boost your ketone production and your energy levels as well
Overall, if you are a keto dieter that does not want to give up on regular physical activities, you are in luck because you will not have to! Though keto diets are not ideal for high-intensity activities, they can be the perfect choice for losing weight and improving your health.
Combining a keto diet with regular exercise can be somewhat of a compromise, but if you are not a competitive athlete, it is definitely more than doable. You can choose from a range of different activities such as yoga, running, swimming, weight lifting, cycling and many more, and find your perfect way to blow out some steam and stay healthy.
All you have to do is do your research on optimal nutrition on a keto diet, and enjoy the results!