The keto diet and low carb diet are two of the most popular diets around nowadays. Those who follow these types of diets often do so for weight loss or health reasons. We’ve written more about the differences between the two diets here, but for the sake of this article, we’ll assume you know the difference. But if you’ve gone beyond just low carb, and are following a strict keto diet, what about working out on keto? Is it possible to maintain a healthy low carb or ketogenic lifestyle and still get in a good workout?
The answer is yes! It is absolutely possible to work out on keto and see results. In fact, cutting your carb intake can actually help you burn more fat and build more muscle. Here’s how:
When you’re in ketosis, your body is using fat for fuel instead of carbs. This means that your body is burning fat all day long, even when you’re not working out. So when you do hit the gym, you’re able to burn even more fat than usual.
In addition, eating a high protein diet helps to preserve muscle mass. With ordinary diets, when you lose weight, it’s not just fat that you lose – you also lose muscle. But on keto, your body is using fat productively because it doesn’t break down muscle for fuel. This means that you can lose weight without losing muscle mass, which is essential for maintaining a healthy body composition.
So if you’re looking to get keto fit, don’t worry – you can absolutely do it! Just follow these tips:
- Start slow and gradually increase your intensity. If you try to do too much too soon, you’ll likely burn out or injure yourself.
- Focus on building muscle with resistance training. We love walking and running, but they can be hard on your knees. Swimming is a great cardio option, and low impact as well. However, you need to build muscle via resistance training. That means going to the gym if you don’t have weights or stretch-bands at home. You may want to consult a personal trainer for your first session to understand how the machines work (assuming you’re not lifting free-weights).
- Compound movements that work multiple muscle groups at once are best. Your largest muscle groups are your buttocks, legs (quads, specifically), calves, hamstrings, and back. Exercises like squats or deadlifts are a great way to target this entire region. If you’re a bit sheepish about the gym, buy a swiss ball and do squats at home. This will help you get the most bang for your buck in terms of time spent working out.
- Alternate your intensity on different days. You may feel that high-intensity workouts are too much on some days when you’re cutting carbs, so this is a great time to do a yoga routine or go for a leisurely bike ride. Give yourself permission to tone it down here and there. The goal is consistency not intensity.
- Make sure to stay hydrated! Drinking plenty of water is essential on keto, and even more so when you’re sweating it out at the gym.
- Eat right for a quicker recovery. Protein bars like these are your friend!
With these tips in mind, go forth and low-carb / keto workout like a champ! You’ll be burning fat and building muscle in no time. Remember, keto is all about progress, not perfection. So even if you have a less-than-perfect workout, as long as you’re moving in the right direction, you’re on the right track. Keep at it and soon you’ll be keto fit! Looking for more exercise ideas? Check out this article on our blog.