Everyone who has tried to do some research on the keto diet knows that there are some consequences to be dealt with in the beginning phases. The infamous “keto flu” is one that especially comes to mind; participants notice a decreased energy state when their body is getting accustomed to operating without carbs, and instead operating on fat.
I have talked about this in past posts, but it is especially important in considering what workouts you should be doing while going through this phase of the diet. It can last for a couple days or up to a week, and some people are not willing to sacrifice this much time off from their workout regimen. It is best to easy into workouts when going through the keto flu, just to see where you are at and what you are comfortable with.
It is also important to consider what your goals in the diet are. If your primary goal is weight loss, your workouts could vary drastically from those who are trying to gain muscle and lose fat. Regardless of what your specific goals are, testing the water to see where you’re at is vital.
For someone who is primarily trying to lose weight, low intensity aerobic exercises might be the best way to acclimate yourself. Whether this be taking a casual walk, riding a bike, or going for a light swim, start off slow and see what your body can handle. Once you feel more comfortable, transitioning into workouts like running, intense swimming, and hiking are all great weight loss exercises.
For those who are looking to increase muscle mass, anaerobic, or strength exercises are what you want to be doing. Once again, the key to success with this is to start off slow, and see where you are at in terms of ability. If you feel as if you lift more, increasing weight gradually is the most beneficial next-step. Understanding that you won’t have 100% capacity in the beginning stages is of utmost importance in injury prevention.
When you work out on a standard diet, carbohydrates are the best tools to increase energy before a workout. With the absence of carbs from the diet, it is important that you still focus on getting proper electrolytes. One of my favorite ways of doing this is keeping a steady supply of Gatorade zero, as it replenishes my electrolytes without throwing my body out of ketosis. Fats are another way of getting energy before a workout, and I find nuts extremely beneficial in preparation. Getting a solid amount of protein in after a workout is crucial as well, just make sure you don’t take in too many or your body will stop recognizing them as proteins and throw you out of ketosis.