Keto, or the ketogenic diet, is an umbrella term for many different types of diet plans that reduce carbohydrates to the point that our bodies switch over from using carbohydrates as an energy source to fats.
It's a great way to lose weight. Many people find their cholesterol levels, diabetes, anxiety, and blood pressure improve while doing keto. That makes sense because sugar causes many problems, and on the keto diet, you're removing almost all sugar from your diet.
But, keto is not the easiest diet to do. The first one to two weeks are rough, with many people experiencing the keto flu, an irritation and depression because of the sudden lack of sugar. And, many people find exercising difficult because, without the easy burning sugars, it's easy to become fatigued and weak until your body switches over to burning fat.
What Happens During Keto That Makes Exercising So Hard
In a Standard American Diet, a person usually consumes about 300 g of sugar per day. That's about one cup of sugar or just over half a pound.
And that's a lot of sugar, a very unhealthy amount of sugar.
Most people typically need 60 to 80 grams of sugar per day to be comfortable. Keto reduces that to a much lower level, usually lower than 40 g per day, and even sometimes lower.
Ketogenesis is a mirror to glucogenesis. A glucogenesis, glucose (sugar), is used as a primary fuel for our body. In ketogenesis, ketones become the primary energy source. Ketones are broken up molecules of fat. So, to get enough energy, our body pulls out of our fat reserves to burn energy.
Being in ketosis means you're burning ketones. We produce a lot more energy in ketosis versus any other method. We just get more bang for our buck.
The downside is it's not fast, so when we exercise and use up a lot of energy, it's more difficult to replace. You can get energy from sugar in just a few minutes, but it takes close to an hour with fats.
That's why it's harder to exercise when doing keto - once you burn through your energy, it takes longer to replace.
How To Exercise In The First Two Weeks of Keto
And the first two weeks of keto, it's best not to exercise heavily. Stick to calmer forms of exercise such as yoga that does not intensely burn energy.
Pay very close attention to how your body feels. If you get to feel light-headed, weak, or shaky, you need to rest a little while, most likely having to stop your exercise altogether.
It's unlikely that you would pass out from exercising beyond this point, but it has happened.
How To Exercise In The Next Couple of Keto Weeks
Once your body switches over into proper ketosis, you'll probably find yourself with more energy. At this point, you can step up your exercise and do more for longer.
Exercises that use as many muscles as possible helps your body remain in ketosis easier. As your muscles use up their energy, it needs replacing. Replacing the energy in your muscles will help keep your whole body using ketones and fat as an energy source.
Plus, using more muscles means you remove the interwoven fat from between the muscle fibers. This will help make your muscles stronger and your whole body healthier. This fat interwoven between the muscle fibers makes it very soft (think beef steak and marbling) and makes it very weak.
By using as many muscles as possible, you will accelerate your weight loss and increase your strength.
How To Maintain Long-Term Exercise Habits
At some point, you will have lost the weight you wanted to lose and move into a maintenance lifestyle plan. This most likely will be a lower-carb diet, but not enough to keep you in ketosis.
As you switch back to sugar metabolism, you may find your energy levels decreasing, and that's okay. Your body will still have a nice mix of carbohydrate and metabolism and fat metabolism, so you'll have a mix of energy. Only once you start increasing your carb level will you switch back to carbohydrate metabolism.
If you continue to exercise, combine a mix of aerobic exercise with strength training and stretching, you'll continue to maintain your weight and have a healthy blend of metabolism. It helps you stay healthy with a strong immune system.
You'll have to feel what works best for you. Some people need more aerobic exercise to maintain their weight and muscles, whereas others can use yoga to a better degree. After you do ketosis, you may find your preferred style of exercise changed to something more intense.
Yes, we know aerobic exercise is challenging, and many people dislike it. But, if you can find something you thoroughly enjoy, it makes it a lot easier to keep going long term.
Overall, ketosis is an excellent diet that can help you lose weight. The principle in ketosis is the majority of the food you eat is still fruits and vegetables, and they're just low carb. So, enjoy your salads!