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So, you’ve decided to start your keto lifestyle. Congratulations! You’re on your way to a healthier you.
But what about working out? Before you start working out on keto, there are a few things you should take into consideration.
When it comes to keto, some people swear by it, and others think it’s a complete sham.
But one thing that everyone can agree on is that you need to do your research before starting any kind of diet, including keto.
Keto is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that you can use to help with weight loss, improve mental clarity, and increase energy levels.
And, before starting keto or any other diet, it’s a smart idea to talk to your doctor about whether it’s a good idea to consider or not based on your unique circumstance.
They can help you decide if keto is the right choice for you, and they can also help make sure that you’re staying safe while on a diet.
Related: Learn about the 7 different keto methods.
That said, there are a few things to take into consideration before starting keto. It’s a high-fat diet, which can be hard on your heart if you’re not careful.
You also need to ensure that you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals, especially if you’re not eating many fruits and vegetables.
And finally, it’s crucial to get enough protein–especially if you’re working out on keto– because it can be hard on your muscles.
If you’re someone who likes to work out, you can continue to do so while on keto. But it’s essential to make sure that you’re fueling your body with the right things.
If not, you might end up feeling tired and sluggish – or worse – you might put your health at risk.
Some keto diet risks include heart disease, bad cholesterol, and constipation. But with a bit of planning, you can help avoid these risks.
The debate about whether working out on keto can be done safely is considerable.
Some people say that you need to eat a lot of carbs to have enough energy for a workout, while others say that you can still work out on keto as long as you’re careful about what you eat before and after.
To settle the debate, we spoke with some of the top nutritionists, dietitians, physicians, and other health professionals to answer once and for all whether or not working out on keto is safe. Read on to see what they have to say!
Penny Laurier, 10 Minute Homemaking
A lot of people think that they can’t work out on keto, but that’s just not true. When you’re on keto, your body is in a state of ketosis, which means it’s burning fat for energy instead of carbs.
This makes it a good time to start working out. Here are some tips and answers to help.
Can you work out on the keto diet? There are a lot of misconceptions about working out on keto, but the truth is that it’s safe to work out as long as you’re eating the right foods.
Ketosis is a state in which your body is burning fat for energy instead of carbs, so you’ll have more energy to work out.
Just make sure you’re eating plenty of healthy fats and protein, and avoid sugary sports drinks.
What are the limitations of working out during the keto diet?
First, you may find that you fatigue more easily than usual because your body is using more energy to burn fat.
Second, you may not be able to work out as hard as you usually do because you’re not getting the same level of energy from carbs.
Finally, you’ll need to make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and electrolytes, especially if you’re doing a lot of cardio.*
Jay Cowin, ASYSTEM
When you are on the keto diet, working out can be a bit more difficult.
The main goal of the keto diet is to get your body into a state of ketosis, where it is burning fat for energy instead of carbs. This can be a challenge if you are trying to work out at the same time, as your body will not have as much energy to burn. However, there are still ways to work out while on the keto diet.
To work out while on the keto diet, it is important to be aware of how your body is responding to the diet. For some people, working out during keto can be difficult because they may feel lightheaded or weak.
If this is the case for you, start by doing lower-intensity workouts or gentle exercises like walking or yoga. You don’t want to put too much strain on your body while you’re in ketosis.
As you get more comfortable with your body’s response to the keto diet and increased energy levels, you can start to add in more strenuous exercises.
Always listen to your body and be honest with yourself about what you are capable of. Always stay hydrated and take breaks when needed. If you are feeling good and have plenty of energy, go for it!
But if you’re feeling tired or sluggish, take it easy and save the hard workouts for another day.
Are any exercises off limits on keto? Yes, avoid doing heavy physical exercises like weightlifting or bench presses as the whole point of losing weight through keto is limiting physical exertion.
Any workout routine that exhausts you or involves the use of rods and dumbbells should be avoided on a ketogenic dieEcho Wang, Yoga Kawa
Can you work out on the keto diet? Yes, but it’s best to stick to low intensity workouts such as yoga.
Yoga and the ketogenic diet [may] appear to be from different planets. However, these two can complement one another and boost your general health. Yoga and the keto diet both offer their own set of benefits. Yoga increases mental acuity as well as physical flexibility.
The ketogenic diet, on the other hand, is an effective weight-loss method. Now when you do both, it will be like putting icing on the cake.
You may notice that your exercises aren’t as fantastic as they were when you were on a typical high carb diet, but this is only a phase that will pass because your body has to get used to the drastic change.
Continue on. The most important thing is to stick to the diet. Because weight loss is made up of both exercise and diet.
Nutritionist Maryam Azhar seconds the idea of sticking to low-intensity workouts because the keto diet is deficient in carbohydrates which are the primary energy source for our body.
If you’re not a fan of yoga, you can also try other low-intensity exercises like walking, cycling, or jogging because they are less likely to drain your energy.
Megan Ayala, Nutrition, Fitness & Health Expert for Patricia and Carolyn
It is safe to work out on a keto diet, but you have to understand the difference in keeping yourself physically active and exerting yourself.
Exercises like yoga, biking, jogging and practicing light exercises can be immensely beneficial to your added ketogenic diet. It helps promote your immune system and build core muscles in the process of losing weight.
Mary Wirtz, Registered Dietitian and consultant for Mom Loves Best
Characteristic side effects of the ketogenic diet often include abnormal blood sugar control, fatigue, and gastrointestinal distress, all of which may limit and affect the ability to exercise consistently and exercise well.
If an individual wants to exercise while following the ketogenic diet, it is essential to stay well hydrated and aim for >3.7L (15.5 cups) of fluids per day for men and >2.7L (11.5 cups) of fluids per day for women for adequate hydration per the Mayo Clinic.
It is also imperative to include some healthy carbohydrate sources such as vegetables if you plan on working out on keto.
If an individual wants to follow a lower carbohydrate diet and not fully keto, other nutritious carbohydrate sources are beans, lentils, fruit, and starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes and squash.
Furthermore, if an individual is insistent on following a very low carbohydrate diet such as the ketogenic diet, starting with low-intensity exercise such as yoga, stretching, or even a brisk walk to monitor any symptoms or side effects would be a good place to start before increasing intensity.
For endurance athletes specifically, there is limited research to suggest that a ketogenic diet improves exercise performance at moderate and high intensities.
Of note, the ketogenic diet may be an effective tool to lose weight in the short term if an athlete is looking to reduce body weight or body fat, such as during the off-season.
It is always best to discuss any significant changes in your diet and lifestyle with your medical care team, including physicians and a Registered Dietitian.
According to the experts, working out on keto is safe. Just don’t over do it! And, stick to low intensity workouts like yoga. While weight loss may be the goal, staying safe is critical to your health.
Ready to start working out? These posts may help:
- How to Start Working Out for Beginners
- How to Get Started in the Gym for Beginners
- 5 Best Workout Apps to Help you Achieve Your Fitness Goals
- 12 Animal Exercises – A Workout Routine Inspired by the Animal Kingdom
- Lose the Bat Wings: 4 Triceps Exercises to Sculpt Your Arms
- How to Get Rid of Armpit Fat
- Best Leg and Butt Workout at Home – 6 Exercises You Can Do Anywhere