The ketogenic diet is low carb diet that lets the dieter consume different types of food items. Even those that are high fat, as long as the calorie count of the said items is within the acceptable ketogenic diet plan. It is highly restrictive in portion size but not the food type. It will ideally result in ketosis or the metabolic process of the body wherein it burns fats instead due to a lack of carbohydrate intake.
In short, the ketogenic diet forces the body to go into a regular state of ketosis by eating low amounts of carbohydrates forcing the body to consume the stored fats instead. This should ideally result to weight loss and improved metabolism. This approach to weight loss however also raises some important questions such as “Can I exercise while in keto?” and “Is it even safe to exercise while in a state of ketosis?”. In this article, we will look at the various exercises that are safe and one can do while in keto.
What is the Ketogenic Diet and What are the types of Ketogenic diets?
As stated earlier, the ketogenic diet is a very low carb diet. It is believed to burn fat quickly and efficiently. A lot of ketogenic dieters have already the experienced multitude of health benefits the ketogenic diet has to offer. Ketogenic diet is mainly based on the active stimulation of ketones. Ketones are the alternative fuel of the body when carbohydrates and sugars are low in the body. Ketones are usually produced during fasting and are believed to improve focus and alertness. However, since nobody can fast forever, the alternative would be to consume small amounts of carbs, which in this case, is what the ketogenic diet is all about. There are three (3) major types of ketogenic diets and these are:
- Standard Ketogenic Diet or SKD entails consuming only around 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day
- Targeted Ketogenic Diet or TKD entails consuming only around 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates 30 minutes to an hour before workout sessions
- Cyclical Ketogenic Diet or CKD involves eating a low carbohydrate ketogenic diet for a number of days. Then, shifting to a higher carbohydrate diet in the following days.
Based on the different types of ketogenic diets, one can evidently see the advantages of using a targeted ketogenic diet (TKD) as the meals consumed may be adjusted to suit the workout requirements of the body. Why is this specific adjustment to meal intake before working out very important while doing the ketogenic diet?
The Ketogenic Diet and the Different Exercises
The ketogenic diet focuses on the concept of going low on carbohydrates. Exercising usually uses carbohydrates to fuel the body during workouts. As such, it is but natural to think about the effect of a carbohydrate-consuming activity during a low carbohydrate diet as it may negatively impact the boost in energy needed by those who wish to exercise while in keto. Fortunately, there is a targeted ketogenic diet (TKD). It will provide the body of individuals with enough workout fuel before and after the workout itself. There are also a number of exercises that can be done while in keto and these are:
1. Aerobic Exercise
More popularly called as cardio exercise. This kind of exercise usually lasts for around three (3) minutes and is considered a form of low-intensity workout. A steady rhythm of cardio exercise can effectively burn fat, making it one of the most keto friendly exercises.
2. Anaerobic Exercise
This kind of exercise is characterized by short bursts of energy such as weight training or High-intensity interval training or HIIT. Anaerobic exercises primarily consume carbohydrates as fuel during workouts, making this a more challenging type of exercise for keto dieters.
3. Flexibility Exercise
Flexibility exercises are beneficial in muscle stretching and improving the range of movement of muscles and joints. These flexibility exercises can help prevent and decrease the chances of injury caused by shortening of the muscle fibers as we age. Examples of these would be yoga and post-exercise stretching.
4. Stability Exercises
Stability exercises are usually a combination of core and balance training. This kind of exercises primarily improves alignment, enhances muscle strength and overall bodily control.
As a ketogenic dieter, one should also be aware of how energy is consumed, and what type of fuel is used up. Low-intensity workouts such as aerobic or cardio exercise primarily use body fats as its main fuel or energy source. On the other hand, high-intensity aerobic workouts usually consume carbohydrates as its fuel or energy source.
The Health Benefits of Exercising while in Keto
Exercising while in keto may be challenging at first. However, it can actually provide excellent health benefits to those who can stick it out. Some of these health benefits are:
- Exercising while doing the ketogenic diet and while in a state of ketosis may yield two (20 to three (3) times more fat burn than regular diets.
- It was noted that there was no difference in terms of muscle glycogen replenishment for the low carb diet group versus the high-carbohydrate group.
- Ketosis helps individuals lessen and even prevent feeling fatigued even during longer periods of aerobic exercise.
- Ketosis has also been shown to help people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels during aerobic workout sessions
- Keto-adaptation helps the body of ketogenic dieters to consume less fuel (carbohydrates) during intense workouts over time.
The best part of this is that the human body can undergo what is called keto-adaptation (as mentioned earlier). Keto-adaptation usually occurs within the first two (2) to three (3) weeks. It makes the body adapt to your needs in terms of physical activity and workout fuel or energy source. In short, this makes the body more efficient and effective in terms of energy consumption (fats and carbohydrates) and actual physical outputs through exercise.