There is no conversation around weight loss and diets, without the Ketogenic diet coming up. The low carbohydrate, adequate protein, and high-fat diet is popular because those who have tried it have seen the benefits.
Despite its recent popularity, an article done by Harvard medical school shows that for centuries, the diet has been used to treat diseases like epilepsy, especially in children.
The keto diet works by forcing the body to use fat as opposed to sugar for energy. Sugar comes from carbohydrates, and if you deny the body carbohydrates, there will not be enough sugar circulating in the blood. The result is that the body will start to break down the fat molecules or Ketones, in a process known as ketosis, to get energy.
The process does not occur overnight. It takes two to four days of eating little carbohydrate to get your body to break down the fats. For some people, the initial days will come with unpleasant side effects like nausea, constipation, bad breath and insomnia.
How to Get Into Ketosis
Remember to consult a doctor before starting the diet. To reap the benefits of the Ketogenic diet, you should know how to get into ketosis.
Minimize your carbohydrate consumption to about 20 grams a day, integrate coconut oil into your diet, increase fat intake, do intermittent fasting, maintain your protein intake at adequate levels, and start exercising.
Ketosis and Exercise; Exercise Tips When On Ketogenic Diet
You may wonder how you will be able to exercise when on a Ketogenic diet because you are no longer eating enough carbohydrates, which you need for fuel. However, it is very possible to exercise when on a diet.
Before starting any exercise regime, make sure that your diet has the right kind and quantity of food you need. Also, check your ketone levels to ensure that you are in ketosis.
Take It Easy In the Initial Stages
The first thing you will notice is that in the initial period, you are very weak. You may also have other symptoms which resemble the common flu-like, fatigue, dizziness, and, irritability. The ‘keto flu’ will make it tough for you to stick to your normal exercise routine for a short while.
You may also experience what is known as ‘keto diarrhea.’ If you’re exercising in a gym or at home, you will have no issue. But, if you are exercising outdoors, consider somewhere with washrooms that you can easily access. Luckily, the situation should correct itself within a short time.
The experts recommend that you rest a bit more than you exercise during the flu period. However, do not entirely cut out exercise. Do low impact workouts, walk or take your bike for a short spin around the block.
Focus On Your Form
Do not go into the exercise regime with your main agenda being to burn calories fast. Cut back on very intense workouts and work on building proper form.
Check your stress levels, sleep patterns, and diet. Increase your water intake so that you are well hydrated. The Ketogenic diet will make you lose a lot of electrolytes as it passes through urine; thus you run the risk of dehydration. Keep a water bottle near you at all times.
Watch How You Exercise
Focus on low-intensity workouts, because the keto diet does not allow you to have too much carbohydrate in your system. You will, therefore, have very little energy as your body adjusts to burning fat for energy.
Keep strength training at a minimum, try not to exceed doing it more than 3 times a week. Cardio repetitions are good because they keep your heart rate elevated.
Slowly Integrate Your Usual Routine
Within a couple of weeks, you should be able to go back to your normal workout routine. However, those in high-performing sports like bodybuilders or marathoners may find it a bit challenging to go back.
Listen to your body and do not extend it more than it can handle. If you find that the keto flu is taking longer than usual to disappear, then the Ketogenic diet may not be for you.
Choose the Right Exercise
Choose the Right Type of Exercises
Low-intensity aerobic exercises are the best for Keto beginners. Yoga and other flexibility exercises are very good because you will stretch your muscles, increase your motion, and provide support for your joints.
Include balancing and core training exercises to help strengthen your muscles and improve your posture. Anaerobic exercises like sprinting and weight lifting will require a lot of energy. They should be left to the period when your body has gone into full ketosis and has enough energy to sustain you during the workout.
If you are in high endurance sports, use the standard or cyclical Ketogenic diet. When doing the standard Ketogenic diet, you need to accurately calculate your protein needs, and eat 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates 30 minutes before exercising.
Any carbs should be in the form of glucose and not fructose because the latter replenishes liver glycogen as opposed to going to the muscles. Eat the additional carbohydrates with the proteins or on their own, but never with fat, which will slow down their consumption.
The cyclical Ketogenic diet requires that you follow the standard diet for up to 6 days and then consume high carbohydrates for about two days so that you can refill your glycogen stores.
The Ketogenic diet, when used in combination with exercise, will give you maximum benefits. However, be very careful about your nutrient intake and follow the right exercise routine.
No matter how much you exercise, do not be disappointed that in the first few weeks you are not able to hit your exercise targets. Give yourself at least two weeks for your body to go into full ketosis so that you can get back your normal strength.