A ketogenic diet is an eating plan designed to induce a state called ketosis, where the body switches from using carbohydrate to using fat, including the fat stored in your body, as its primary fuel source. Ketosis is a desirable state because it causes fast, sustainable weight loss, suppresses your appetite, and regulates your blood sugar levels, preventing food cravings and energy peaks and troughs. This is achieved by cutting the amount of carbohydrate you eat to very low levels (usually under 30 grams per day), which forces the body to start using fat as its default energy supply. A ketogenic diet is typified by a high fat content, a very low carbohydrate content, and a moderate protein content.
Ketogenic Diets and Working Out
Ketosis is a perfectly natural and healthy condition to be in, and in a state of ketosis most people have good energy levels for their day to day activities. One complaint some people have with living a low carb lifestyle, however, is that when they work out they don’t have the strength and energy to reach the levels of performance they could achieve when they were eating plenty of carbs. While weight loss without exercise is possible on a ketogenic diet, most people who are serious about losing weight and improving their overall fitness and appearance will want to work out, both to burn more fat and to build lean muscle. This drop in available energy for exercise is therefore a considerable drawback to the standard ketogenic diet.
Targeted Ketogenic Diet Plan
If you want the benefits of a ketogenic diet while still being able to meet your workout goals, a targeted ketogenic diet could be right for you. A targeted ketogenic diet means you follow a standard low carb diet every day, however on the days when you are going to work out, you eat an extra 25-50 grams of carbohydrate before you exercise. This gives your blood glucose levels a boost to get you through your session, without preventing your body going back into ketosis when your workout is done.
How Much Can I Exercise on a Targeted Ketogenic Diet?
A targeted ketogenic diet won’t give you sufficient glycogen levels to support your workouts if you are a serious weightlifter or do a lot of high impact cardio, however for the average dieter who has adopted a moderate exercise routine to help them reach their weight loss goals, it can be a great way to harness the combined powers of ketosis and exercise to really optimize your results.