A high-fat and low-carb diet (Ketogenic diet) is excellent for cutting down weight, but isn’t the minimization of the carb intake going to make it impossible to exercise now that glucose isn't the main energy source? Well the answer is no, a Keto diet and exercise perfectly complement each other, giving you superior results. A Keto diet workout plan may just be the most important exercise plan you undertake.
As well as that, a Keto diet workout plan will allow you to lose that weight faster or build that muscle with Keto specific exercises. That’s the reason behind its popularity among athletes looking at a reduced carb plan before and after workouts.
This article will cover:
- How exercises impact the Keto diet
- Dangers of certain exercise or over-exercising on a Keto diet workout
- Benefits of exercising on a Keto diet on your body
- Top exercises while on a Keto diet
- 7-day Keto diet workout plan
How Exercises Impact The Keto Diet
Like everyone else, you know just how pivotal exercise is on your weight, health of your heart, muscle building, and bone strength.
What most people don’t know, however, is that diet matters in achieving results. That’s why you will find people increasing the intensity of their workout and decreasing the number of calories they take in just so they cut down on weight. However, they end up with poor results and overwhelming physical and emotional exhaustion.
A Keto diet, on the other hand, allows you to eat adequately and enjoy great results. There are several ways through which exercise positively impacts your Keto diet:
1. Quicker Burning of Fat
As you already know, a keto diet stimulates the burning of fat through ketosis to produce ketones that are the energy sources when on keto. Exercising increases the demand for energy, and therefore, you will burn more fat than you would typically do on keto alone. Exercise in keto increases the number of calories you burn.
A study showed that you could burn fat as much as 2-3 times faster when you exercise in keto than you would on keto without exercise. Such evidence means combining keto and exercise makes the diet more effective than doing it alone.
2. Increased Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin regulates the blood sugar levels in your body. When you start a keto diet, your insulin levels drop because of the shift from the diminishing glucose levels to ketones as a source of energy. The drop in insulin boosts your weight loss.
Exercises can compliment the keto diet by increasing the sensitivity of the insulin in your body. It allows you to have a better control of your blood glucose.
Better control of your blood glucose means the easier achievement of results like weight loss and muscle building. Your ketosis stays uninterrupted as there are no glucose surges.
3. Better Overall Health
When you start a keto diet, the goal is always more than just cutting that weight or gaining that muscle. You want better health for yourself, and a keto diet is the best option. Keto exercise helps you achieve better results in the improvement of your overall health.
Your body becomes stronger in every aspect, from your joints, muscles, bones to the heart, and blood vessels. It adds several healthier years to your life expectancy.
How The Keto Diet Helps You Perform Better in Exercise Routines
On the other hand, a Keto diet boosts your athletic performance significantly. Before looking at how it helps you perform better in exercise routines, lets first look at which Keto diet works best when you are combining it with exercises.
There are three types of Keto diets which are the most effective when it comes to combining Keto diet and exercise:
Standard Keto Diet
You can do a regular keto diet when the exercises you perform are not of high intensity. The exercises need to be 3 or more minutes and of low to medium intensity.
Targeted Keto Diet
If you are an athlete and you need to do high-intensity exercises, the Targeted Keto Diet (TKD) is perfect for you.
The TDK involves taking 20-50g of carbs about 30 minutes to an hour before working out. These carbs are in addition to the standard 20-50g carbs you take in your regular keto diet. You will, therefore, increase the amount of glucose available in your blood to fuel the high-intensity exercises. The reason being, fats produce energy slower than glucose and therefore are best for low or medium intensity exercises.
Cyclical Keto Diet
The other option for your muscle and strength building endeavors is the cyclical keto diet. This involves cycles of 5-6 days on a keto diet followed by 1-2 days of high carbohydrate intake. This allows you to replenish your liver and muscle glycogen to power you during high-intensity exercises.
Now, how does a keto diet help you improve your performance in exercise routines?
1. Better Energy Source
A keto diet provides your body with ketones, which are a far better energy source than glucose. You can, therefore, last longer during exercises. Your athletic performance will receive a considerable boost.
The ketones produce more energy per unit of oxygen than glucose, and therefore, you will have more energy than a person who is not on keto.
2. Boosts Results
Working out to shed that weight? Try adding a keto diet to your lifestyle, and you will achieve results within no time. The ketosis enables you to burn the fats more.
If your target is muscle gain, then a keto diet has your back. It stimulates an increase in the levels of the growth hormone, which will boost your muscle growth.
3. Reduction Of Fatigue
More often than not, fatigue will stop you from accomplishing your workout routine. However, when on keto, there is a reduction of fatigue.
Ketosis makes more energy available to you, and hence, your endurance is taken to the next level.
4. A More Consistent Workout
As mentioned earlier, a keto diet results in a drop in insulin levels as your glucose levels drop. You are, therefore, able to achieve better blood glucose control.
It is for this reason that a keto diet is recommended for those trying to prevent or manage diabetes mellitus.
A good glucose control ensures energy provision for your muscles is consistent. The glucose rises to meet the need when fats cannot be burned fast enough to meet the requirements.
5. Reduced Inflammation
Finally, a ketogenic diet reduces the inflammation in your body. It comes in handy when muscles get inflamed after working out, which causes the soreness.
Keto reduces the inflammation and shortens your muscle recovery. You can, therefore, stay highly productive in every subsequent workout session.
Dangers Of Certain Exercises or Over-Exercising On A Keto Diet Workout
Although keto and exercises are great together, there is a need for caution because of the dynamics of energy production.
The type of exercise matters greatly when it comes to how well it works with a keto diet. There are dangers with certain exercises. Over-exercising too is dangerous. Before looking at the dangers, lets first look at the types of exercises.
There are four types of exercises:
Low-intensity exercises that have a long duration (over 3 minutes) are aerobic. The term aerobic refers to the fact that energy production involves the utilization of oxygen. They are usually the most effective at burning fats. Cardio exercises fall into this group
This group encompasses all exercises that are of high intensity and short duration. Anaerobic means that energy production is done without oxygen. A limit exists, however, as to how long energy generation lasts anaerobically and is usually in less than 10 seconds. Sprinting is an example.
Another type is flexibility exercise, which works on soft tissues. It helps in muscle stretching, increasing your muscle range of motion and improves the joints. An example of these exercises is yoga.
The exercises that improve your balance are stability exercises. Through core training, you can achieve impressive levels of alignment, balance, and control of movement. They are low to moderate in intensity.
You can now understand why the type matters. So what are the dangers? You will need to be cautious with high-intensity exercises as you can see, they rely mainly on glucose.
There are dangers associated with the following exercises:
- Weightlifting, for instance, doing five rep sets with a heavyweight
- Swimming for more than 10 seconds for example 50 meters freestyle
- Sprinting for more than 10 seconds like in the case of 100meters
- Sports that have minimal rest like rugby, soccer, lacrosse
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Always remember the glucose powers you up in high intensity for just under 10 seconds while the ketones from the fats are great after 2 minutes. It applies whether you are on a targeted keto diet or cyclical keto diet.
Ensure you tailor your workouts by keeping high-intensity exercises short and space them with rests.
No matter the type of exercise, over-exercising on a keto diet is dangerous. Learn to listen to your body. Do not push yourself beyond the limit.
The adverse effects of over-exercising include:
- Mental and physical exhaustion that will make you give up on your keto exercises
- Increase in cortisol levels which stimulate weight gain and counter your weight loss
- Leaves you feeling hungrier and hence a predisposition to eating more thus blunting your results
- Systemic inflammation which not only leads to poor health but also forces you to abandon your keto exercises journey
You also need to be cautious during the first few days to weeks as your body goes through keto-adaptation. You will experience a sort of mental fog which may be dangerous when you push yourself too hard.
Riding on a busy street or intense cardio exercises like long runs may be hazardous. Go slow on yourself for 1-3 weeks as your body adapts, and then you can pick up on the intensity.
Benefits of Exercising on A Keto Diet on Your Body
Having looked at how a Keto diet improves your workout routines, lets look at how this exercising while on a Keto diet directly impacts the body.
Combining keto and exercise provides your body with more energy, which not only boosts your endurance and performance but also leaves you more energetic throughout the day.
There will be that spring in your step and impressive levels of productivity in your life.
If you are looking to build your physique, then the keto exercises will give you better results in a shorter time. There will be adequate protein for the growth of your muscles, which also receives a boost from the increased levels of the growth hormone due to ketosis.
There is nothing as amazing as a nicely toned body and exercises in keto offer you that perfect lean body. It will be easier for you to get into shape and summon back your positivity and confidence in life.
You don’t have to battle with that weight and starve yourself for no reason. Keto exercises offer you a wholesome life that you can enjoy as you get the results you desire
Blood Glucose Control
A combination of keto and exercises can help you achieve better blood glucose control. You will be able to perform better and also minimize your risks for diabetes mellitus.
The keto diet lowers your insulin levels while the exercises increase your insulin sensitivity. It can, therefore, also help you deal with diabetes in case it has already set in.
All Round Good Health
It goes without saying that you will enjoy better health than ever before. It is the gateway to a happier, healthier life.
Top Exercises While On Keto
Now that fat is the primary energy source, the best exercises for you will be those low or medium in intensity and long in duration. They include:
1. Aerobic exercises
Increased cardiovascular fitness
decreased stress levels
Adaptation of muscle workload
Burns plenty of fat
Improves brain function
Anxiety and stress relief
2. Stability Exercises
Improve core strength
Strengthen lungs and heart
Improve digestion and circulation
Decreases risk of back injury
Boost in overall metabolism
3. Flexibility Exercises
Better all round fitness
Increases strength and endurance
Boosts cognitive function
Reduce risk of falls
Improves your posture
Excellent rehab for back pain
Builds up core strength
4. Controlled High Intensity Exercises
Mountain climbers - 30 sec. bursts
Increases cardiovascular fitness
Tones butt and legs
Low impact on joints
Burpees - 30 sec. bursts
Speed up metabolism through day
Great for conditioning
Improves capacity of heart and lungs
Run on spot high knees - 20 sec. bursts
Increase calorie and fat burning
Build healthier heart
Super efficient, easy to try
7-Day Keto diet workout plan
As well as planning your meals it's just as important on having a good solid plan for your workouts, this allows you to have a disciplined lifestyle which is the basis of any successful eating or exercise plan.
Below is a typical 7 day workout plan which compliments the Keto diet perfectly and can be used even if you are a beginner to all this.
Please note before undertaking any of these exercises warm up and stretching is crucial, a mix of some light flexibility exercises are ideal.
High Intensity Training / Weight Training
Mountain climbers - 8 reps of 30 sec. workout and 20 sec. rest / Light dumbbell workout
Cycling at least 10Km / running indoors or outdoors 5Km at a steady pace
High Intensity Training / Weight Training
Burpees - 8 reps of 15 burpees with a 1 minute rest between reps / Light dumbbell workout
Cycle at least 10Km / running indoors or outdoors 5Km at a steady pace
High Intensity Training / Weight Training
Burpees - 10 reps of 15 burpees with a 45 sec. rest between reps / Light dumbbell workout
Swim at least 10 lengths / running indoors or outdoors 5Km at a steady pace