How to Combine Exercise with Keto

Published: 1 month ago

How to Combine Exercise with Keto

If you have decided to try the keto diet, you are undoubtedly hoping to benefit from some of the health benefits it promises to provide. The keto diet works by inducing ketosis in the body. And when your body is in ketosis, it uses fat as a fuel source instead of carbs. As a result, the benefits of keto include weight loss, increased energy, and more minor blood sugar fluctuations. Yet, you might ask yourself if you can exercise while on keto. The answer is that exercising and following a keto diet can be compatible. However, you should realize that because you are fueling your body differently, it will respond differently. Therefore, we wrote this article to help you combine exercise with keto in a healthy way. So here are some tips on how you can combine them and have the best results.

What to eat before your workout?

Track your macronutrients to get the most out of your keto diet, especially before exercising. It would be best if you also did activities that will not tire you out but keep you in ketosis. That can be difficult at first, but when you find your rhythm, it can be an effective way to lose weight without losing muscle. So, to prevent weariness during workouts, fuel your body with proteins and carbohydrates. Eat 25-50g of carbs within half an hour of working out and 0.6-0.9g of protein per pound of body weight every day. Proteins will protect your body from losing muscle weight, and the carbs will give you the energy for the workouts. Additionally, don’t consume your protein in one sitting. Instead, spread your protein intake throughout the day, preferably over four meals. 

A plate with salmon and asparagus

To properly combine exercise with keto, you must consume adequate meals before workouts.

Watch your fats!

Fat is, as we all know, the most important macronutrient to consume on a ketogenic diet. The calories you will use during exercise will come from fats. As a result, if you are training with a specific goal in mind, such as muscle gain or weight loss, you must limit your fat intake. Unfortunately, many people believe that, on keto, you can eat as much fat as you want. It will not harm you, and you will not gain weight. However, this is not accurate information. Just imagine what would happen if you consumed 4000 calories of fat each day. Some of it will stick, right? So, with your protein consumption estimated, fat should account for 70% of your daily calories. That will keep you in balance, neither gaining nor losing weight. 

Start it easy

Even though it’s good to combine exercise with keto, never push yourself to do it, especially if you are unwell. When you begin keto, your body goes through a metabolic change. It will transition from glucose to ketones as its primary fuel source. As a result, you will experience what is called the keto flu. The “keto flu” refers to this adjustment phase, which can last anywhere from one to three weeks, depending on the person. And even if exercise might help ease the symptoms, it can be harder to work out now. Therefore, don’t force yourself and let your body lead you. It will get easier in time, and you will start enjoying your workouts once your body adjusts. Just be patient, and everything will be fine. 

Woman exercising on a mattress.

If you combine keto with exercise, you must gradually raise the difficulty of the workouts.

Opt for strength training

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is better fueled by carbs. It is composed of short bursts of high-intensity activity that might exhaust you if you are on a keto diet. As a result, if you are training for a team sport or an intensely physical activity, you should avoid keto. It will affect your performance by reducing your endurance and tiring you out. Instead, try strength training, stability training, cardio, or yoga. Work out by yourself or in a group, in a gym, in a park, or at home. 

However, if you use training equipment and move it regularly, ensure you store it carefully after each use. Also, if you need to relocate, protect your gear during this time by cleaning, disassembling, and packing it correctly. Transport it with care, and you will have it in working order for the next time you need it.

Adapt your diet to your exercise routine.

Depending on your goals, you can use the keto diet to help you get there faster. Here are some examples:

Losing fat

If your goal is to lose fat, you need to decrease your fat intake to a caloric deficit of 250-500 calories. If you are overweight, you can slightly increase your caloric deficit. In addition, you need to keep your protein intake at around 0.6 grams per pound of body weight. Consume carbohydrates just when necessary and only around the time of exercise.

Gaining muscle:

In this case, you need to increase your calorie intake by 250-500 calories a day. These calories, however, should come from fat rather than carbohydrates or proteins. At the same time, you need to increase your protein intake to one gram per body weight.

Endurance exercise:

Fat intake should be around 70% of macros and protein at one gram per pound. Maintain your carb intake at 35g, but increase it if it affects your endurance. Or, use supplements to fuel your workouts if you see that your performance isn't as good as it was previously.

The keto diet can work wonderfully with all types of exercise. Anything from cardio to weight lifting will help you build muscle and strength or lose weight, or stay healthy if that is your goal. You must, however, pay attention to how your body reacts to each workout and adjust your food accordingly. Nothing will stand in your way of accomplishing your objectives if you find the right keto meal plan for your training routine.

Different types of food on a table.

During keto, you should adapt your meals depending on the goal you want to reach.

Combine exercise and keto the right way

As you can see, keto dieting and exercise don’t exclude each other. So, if you have only recently begun the keto diet, you can incorporate exercise as your body adapts. Just do not try to do too much at once, and gradually increase your workout program. In the end, if you combine exercise with keto, you will have the health benefits of both. 

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