Without doubt, exercise is extremely important, whether you are following a low carb,
ketogenic lifestyle or not. However, exercise is able to act more efficiently when following a
Let’s face it- the primary reason you are exercising is to look good, period. Sure, health benefits
are a nice secondary benefit, but if we are brutally honest, it’s because looks matter to almost
Mere diet can never help you achieve the body you want, even though diet is essential in
supplying the building blocks, and setting the stage for your desired outcome.
Interested to know exactly how exercise can help you while on the ketogenic diet? Read on and
Exercise Improves Insulin Sensitivity
In many people, insulin sensitivity decreases with age, along with level of physical activity.
Sedentary persons are much more likely to have elevated levels of blood glucose, record a
higher level of insulin secretion over the course of the day, retain excess body fat and may likely
pave the way to pre-diabetes.
Exercise, especially weight bearing, anaerobic activity has been shown to improve the efficiency
of insulin in response to blood glucose, or amino acid levels, and promotes absorption of
When following the ketogenic diet, blood glucose levels are lowered, along with muscle
glycogen stores, making the body more efficient at handling small bursts of glucose either
ingested or produced via Krebs cycle.
Fat Burning Is Amplified
One of the most sought after benefits of low carb diets, but more specifically the ketogenic
diet, is its marked effect on fat metabolism. In the absence of carbohydrates, insulin’s activity is
markedly decreased, paving the way for significantly increased levels of lipolysis.
Under the influence of insulin, fat burning is stalled, in addition to storage of more fat being
promoted. This is a terrible scenario if you are trying to lose weight, since at this time if you
exercise your body will be utilizing strictly carbohydrates for energy.
Not following a strict ketogenic diet?
That’s fine. In fact, there are many variations of the ketogenic diet that are not as strict, but
which still reap many of the benefits associated with it. For example, exercising first thing in the
morning on an empty stomach places the body in a position to be able to burn fat for energy, as
glucose levels are depleted following 8 hours of fasting. This is the preferred time many
athletes perform cardiovascular exercise, as it amplifies fat metabolism.
Exercise Promotes Muscle Gain
Well, this depends largely on the type of exercise you perform; weight bearing, anaerobic types
providing significantly more onus for muscle growth that steady state aerobic varieties. Why is
muscle growth important?
Muscle is where the “powerhouse” in our bodies is located. These powerhouses, better known
as the mitochondria, is what’s responsible for the literal burning and oxidation of ATP. The
more muscle we have, either the more of these power units we have, or the larger they are.
Greater caloric burn while doing absolutely nothing, including enhanced fat burning. It is also
important for you to keep exercising, as the old adage, “use it or lose it” is very much true.
There are keto adaptions for bodybuilders, athletes and others who perform intense exercise
where carb intake revolves around exercise.
Cyclical Ketogenic Diet – This plan is widely used by athletes, bodybuilders, weight
lifters and anyone participating in high intensity exercise and features short periods of
high carb intake. Typically 5 keto days followed by 2 high carb intake days.
Targeted Ketogenic Diet – This plan is also used by bodybuilders, athletes and those who
workout regularly to fuel intense workouts and features high load carb intake based
If you’re trying to extract maximum benefit from the ketogenic lifestyle, exercise is a mandatory
addition. Your health will significantly improve; including glucose and lipid profile, but so will
your overall body composition.
If you truly want to look your best, you will not attain it unless you incorporate sessions of both
aerobic (cardio) and anaerobic (weight bearing) sessions.
Exercise may seem difficult during the first two weeks or so of adapting to the ketogenic
lifestyle, but once your body efficiently begins producing ketones, fat loss, strength, and muscle
gains will ensue.