You have probably read that a ketogenic diet plan is one of the few safe ways you can effectively lose weight without exercising. This is true, because when your body is in ketosis, every unit of energy you use comes from fat, meaning that even at rest, your body fat stores are being used up, making you slimmer. This is good news for people who are too severely overweight to safely start an exercise program just yet, or people who are disabled or recovering from injury.
However, the way that a ketogenic diet plan works means that if you do exercise, it will give you even better results than exercising on a traditional low fat diet. When someone with carbs in their diet exercises, it takes around twenty minutes of cardio for them to get into the “fat burning zone”. If you are in ketosis, you are always in the fat burning zone, so the weight loss potential of your workout is vastly higher. Working out also helps you gain lean muscle, which burns more energy than fat meaning that even when you’re not working out, you’ll be burning fat at a higher rate (as well as giving you a nicer, more toned appearance).
All of this means that if you are able to, you should adopt an exercise regime alongside your ketogenic diet plan to achieve even faster and better results.
If you are new to exercise, you can begin with just thirty minutes of easy cardio like walking or swimming, three times a week, and add some resistance training to further improve your lean muscle mass. As you get lighter and fitter, you can increase how much you do or the intensity of your workouts.
If you are already quite fit and exercise regularly, you may find that the absence of glycogen in your muscles from following a ketogenic diet plan makes it harder for you to perform as well as before in your workouts. If this is the case, consider switching to a targeted or cyclical ketogenic diet plan, so you have enough carbs to see you through higher impact workouts. A cyclical ketogenic diet plan means you carb load on weekends but follow a normal low carb diet the rest of the week, and a targeted ketogenic diet plan involve eating some extra carbs before you work out. Research these options and see if these will be better suited to your activity level than a full time low carb lifestyle.
This post is part of a series on Ketogenic Diet Success:
- Ketogenic Diet Success Part 1: Low-Carb Dieting Habits
- Ketogenic Diet Success Part 2: Measuring Ketogenic Diet Success
- Ketogenic Diet Success Part 3: Ketogenic Diet Exercise Tips