It is often said that one of the best things about following a ketogenic diet for weight loss is that you don’t have to adopt an exercise regime to lose weight. Many people don’t like the idea of working out, or think they don’t have time, and this makes the ketogenic diet appealing to them. But is it true?
Constant Fat Burning Through Ketosis
In essence, yes, you can lose weight, and at quite a good rate, without adding additional exercise to your daily routine. This is for two reasons inherent to the way the ketogenic diet works, which are different to the way a traditional low fat diet works:
Firstly, when you are on a ketogenic diet, your body is in a state called ketosis where it is burning fat you eat and your own body fat for energy. Energy of course, isn’t just used up by exercise and conscious activity, but by everything you do. Even when your sleeping, your body needs fuel to keep itself going. Because all of this fuel is coming from fat, you don’t need to exercise to burn it off and lose weight.
Secondly, because a ketogenic diet curbs your appetite, even though you don’t count calories you are likely to be eating a low calorie diet naturally. This means that your calorie use every day is likely to exceed your calorie intake, even without burning through extra calories by exercising.
So, this is good news for people who are too unfit to exercise safely, or who can’t exercise because of injury or disability. It is also good news for people who just don’t want to exercise, however, don’t rule it out just on that basis…
Why You Should Still Work Out if You Can
If you are able to work out, from a physical perspective (everybody can make time, so being too busy is no excuse!) then you will find it has an even greater impact on the speed and effectiveness of your weight loss on a ketogenic diet than it does on any other kind of diet. Again, this is because of how a ketogenic diet works:
Because you are always burning fat in ketosis, the entire energy burn of your workout is coming from your fat stores. If you have a carbohydrate rich diet, it takes around twenty minutes of cardio before you even begin to burn fat. On a low carb diet, you’re burning it from minute one.
Additionally, because a ketogenic diet only burns fat, and doesn’t cause you to lose lean muscle like a severe low calorie diet, the effects of any muscle building or toning exercise will be more pronounced. The fat will strip off, revealing those lean, strong muscles – but only if you work on them. This means that a ketogenic diet and exercise when used together will give you the best physique.