Tips for Exercising When on a Ketogenic Diet

Ethel Gonzales

A lot of things happen when you are exercising. Some of these are good for your health and others are not so good – like when you exercise excessively.

Exercise is a stressor. While it can be a good stressor, it can however cause your adrenals to go into overdrive. This situation increases your insulin levels and therefore reduces your ability to lose weight.

When exercising, your insulin levels goes up while your hunger reduces. However, this often results in a significant reduction in blood sugar levels which results to you becoming hungrier.

It is important to note that even a moderate increase in insulin levels causes a significant lowering of fat loss or lipolysis.

One problem we have when we want to lose weight is that we focus so much on the numbers showing on the scale. We almost unconsciously forget about the most important thing which is losing body fat.

We have more than 80 percent of our body fat stored in fat cells. To be able to get rid of these stored fat, one would need to burn it for energy production.

However, before your body can start burning your stored fats for energy, your need to be in a negative fat balance. This is condition in which you are burning more fat off than you are actually taking in through your diet.

If your body has become used to burning fat for energy, it can now use both body fat and dietary fat for energy. This is one of the key powers of using a ketogenic diet for losing weight.

If you do not increase your dietary fat intake but increase the amount of energy your body needs through increasing your exercise intensity, your body will get almost all of that energy from burning body fat.

However, if your body is fueled with carbs, you will mostly be burning glucose for energy. This makes it a lot difficult for your body to burn and lose body fat.

It is however important to understand that while exercise can help you lose weight, it is more important to get the diet right first.

When you get the diet right, such a by using a well-designed ketogenic diet, your body will start tapping into its fat deposits for generating its energy. This is what effectively enables you to start burning and losing body fat.

Once your body gets used to the ketogenic diet, you will start feeling more energetic. At such a point, you will be better positioned to adjust your menus in order to start building strength and muscles.

When you get to this point during the “standard ketogenic” diet, you can then alter the diet to either a “targeted” or a “cyclical” ketogenic diet. These versions of the ketogenic diet allow more carbohydrate consumption to enable you engage in more exercises for longer.

Targeted Ketogenic Diet

The Targeted Ketogenic Diet allows you to ingest more carbs around your exercise period. This form of the diet allows you to engage in high-intensity exercise while still remaining in ketosis.

The carb intake within this window provides your muscles with the necessary glucose to effectively engage in your workouts. The extra glucose should normally be used up during this window of about 30 minutes and should not affect your overall metabolism.

The Targeted Ketogenic Diet is designed for beginners or intermittent exercisers. The TKD allows a slight increase in your carb consumption. However, it does not kick you out ketosis and causes no shock to your system.

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet

The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet is more appropriate for advanced athletes and bodybuilders. It is generally used for maximum muscle building results.

There is however a strong tendency for other individuals to end up adding some body fat. This is because it is easy to overeat while using the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD).

In this version of the ketogenic diet, the individual follows the standard ketogenic diet for 5 or 6 days. He or she is then allowed to eat increased amounts of carbohydrate for 1 or 2 days.

As a caution, it can take a beginner close to 3 weeks to fully get back into ketosis if he or she attempts the CKD. It requires real commitment and advanced exercise levels to successfully carry out a CKD.

The aim of the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet is to temporarily switch out of ketosis. This window gives the body the opportunity to refill the amount of glycogen in the muscles to enable it undertake the next cycle of intense workouts.

Therefore, there must be a complete depletion of the resultant glycogen build up during the subsequent workouts in order to get back into ketosis. The intensity of your planned workout will consequently determine the amount of increased carbohydrate intake.

Cardio Exercises

When you exercise at an intense rate, a lot of amazing things happen to your body.

When you engage in cardiovascular exercises, they help to improve the efficiency of your heart and lungs. This also helps to increase the rate at which your body burns energy and over time this will lead to weight loss.

Engaging in cardio exercise causes many metabolic changes that positively affect fat metabolism.

Cardiovascular exercises helps to increase oxygen delivery through improved blood flow. This way, body cells are able to more effectively oxidize and burn fat.

This also has the effect of increasing the number of oxidative enzymes. Consequently, the speed at which fatty acids are transported to the mitochondria to be burned for energy is greatly increased.

During cardio exercises, the sensitivity of muscles and fat cells to epinephrine is greatly increased. This increases the amount of triglycerides that are released into the blood and muscles to be burned for energy.

Strength Training

Strength training helps to improve your moods while also helping to build healthy bones. It also helps you to develop an overall strong and healthy body.

Using a well-designed ketogenic will help you preserve your muscles even when carrying our strength training. Muscles are built with protein and not fat or carbs. Also, given the fact that protein oxidation is less in a ketogenic diet, engaging in strength training should not be a problem.

You need to challenge your body with heavy weights to really see results and get a stronger body.

Interval Training

Interval training is simply alternating intervals of high-intensity and low-intensity workouts. It is simply for you to: go fast, go slow, and repeat.

While sounding so simple, interval training is one the most powerful ways to burn body fat quickly. Apart from burning fat while carrying out interval training, the “afterburn effect” stimulates your metabolism for a longer period of time.

Circuit Training: Cardio + Strength

Circuit training is basically the combining of cardiovascular exercises with strength training exercises. This combination helps to provide all-over fitness benefits.

This form of exercising combines cardio exercises such a jogging and a resistance workout without allowing a resting period between them. The lack of rest in-between both exercises make circuit training as effective as a cardio-based high-intensity interval training workout.


The exercise benefits of yoga really come from its ability to help the body reduce levels of stress hormones and also increase insulin sensitivity.

Yoga helps you to consciously connect with your body. This connection can translate into you being more mindful of how your body works and changing even your eating habits.

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