The keto diet has become all the rage these days. This diet type proves beneficial to health-conscious individuals. It is considered ideal for weight loss and physical fitness.
But what comes to mind when you hear the word ‘keto’? It immediately conjures an image of a person eating low carbs, high fat, and just enough protein regularly. However, there’s more to it than meets the eye.
If you’re wondering how the ketogenic diet works, it involves depriving your glucose intake by eating low carbohydrates. As you can see, glucose is the primary energy source in your body. As a result, your body releases alternative energy called ketones produced from stored fats.
When these ketones enter your bloodstream, the ketosis process takes place. That’s when the magic begins. It helps you lose weight and makes you healthier.
While it has become increasingly popular in recent years, the keto diet has long been effective for health and well-being. It was commonly used for controlling diabetes back in the 19th century and became a treatment for epilepsy in 1920. Today, researchers have undergone various studies to prove its efficacy in alleviating health conditions like diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease (*).
But what about the keto diet for fitness enthusiasts? Is it beneficial to individuals like athletes, gym buffs, and fitness experts?
For the most part, carbohydrates have been the energy source for strength training and physical fitness. Consuming less of these through the keto diet may impact your workout. While some claim it can lower energy levels and affect performance, others focus on its potential benefits like rapid fat burning, boosted endurance, and overall health improvements. However, there are ways to make the most of your keto diet for your exercise.
In this article, we’ll share six keto secrets for fitness experts. Keep on reading to learn more about its benefits for fitness enthusiasts.
How Keto Diet Can Benefit Fitness Enthusiasts
There has been a controversy about the effects of the keto diet on physical exercise. Some fitness enthusiasts claim its potential drawbacks like low energy levels and impaired muscle growth. But on the other side of the spectrum, some fitness experts have seen the benefits of the keto diet on physically active individuals.
According to John Gardner, Co-Founder & CEO of Kickoff, it’s just a matter of identifying the types of exercises that work best for the keto diet or the other way around. “Here at Kickoff, we are keen on ensuring fitness and diet work hand in hand. We can attest to how many of our clients have reaped the benefits of incorporating the keto diet into their fitness routines.”
That said, here are some benefits of the keto diet for fitness enthusiasts:
The keto diet is rich in fats. When you work out, it makes sense that you’ll burn out more of these fats. But what’s good about this diet is that it helps boost fat-burning all the more during a workout. In fact, one study showed that it increased the body’s ability to burn fats among race walkers (*).
The keto diet requires more fats and less carbohydrates. For one, it decreases your food cravings due to the high-fat content. Also, it lowers your appetite-stimulating hormones (insulin and ghrelin) due to eating low carbs. Lastly, the production of ketone bodies plays a vital role in reducing your hunger (*).
Rapid muscle recovery
Another good reason to try the keto diet while exercising is how it can speed up your muscle healing and repair. In fact, Kyle Risley, the Founder & CEO of Lift Vault, has laid out some workout plans for weight loss and muscle growth. “We’ve noticed how many of our clients on a keto diet have had muscle faster muscle recovery.”
While some claim that the keto diet may not be suitable for high-intensity training, others have found it helpful in boosting endurance. The effect can get attributed to the metabolic state of ketosis. It can increase endurance due to the fats considered effective as alternative energy sources.
Performing exercises all boil down to becoming healthy. Sure, you may work out to achieve body aesthetics and physical fitness. But you also do so to boost your health. Apparently, being healthy is a combination of regular exercise and proper nutrition. Several studies have seen the various health benefits of the keto diet. With this in place, you’ll be able to promote your overall health and well-being.
Six Keto Secrets for Fitness Experts
Now, let’s delve into six keto secrets for fitness experts. Here’s how to make the most of your keto diet for your physical fitness:
1. Go back to the basics: low carb, high fat, and moderate protein
If you’re working out and taking the keto diet, you must have the correct dietary regimen. Unfortunately, some fitness enthusiasts tend to make some tweaks to their diet. However, it’s crucial to go back to the Keto basics.
The keto diet entails the consumption of the following macronutrients in percentage (with some examples):
- Carbohydrates: 5% or less (green leafy vegetables)
- Protein: 20 to 30% (lean meat, fish, eggs, etc.)
- Fats: 70 to 80% (coconut oil, olive oil, butter, avocado, etc.)
2. Consume plenty of healthy fats
We’ve established that the keto diet entails a high-fat intake. As explained, it helps produce your ketone bodies and reach the metabolic state of ketosis. But it’s one thing to consume healthy fats; it’s another to eat bad ones.
Make sure to ingest good fats such as monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. While the former can get found in nuts, vegetable oils, plant-based butter, and avocado, the latter are those rich in omega-3 fatty acids. However, avoid trans-fatty acids such as those found in fried foods, margarine, baked goods, and processed foods.
3. Pay attention to your protein intake
Some people tend to ignore their protein consumption for their keto diet. They focus more on high fats and low carbs. However, they fail to realize that protein is a part of the overall equation.
In fact, protein is all the more necessary for muscle growth. However, the rule of thumb is to have just enough protein, which means not having less or too much protein intake. This approach is to achieve ketosis, which is good for muscle recovery, appetite control, and weight loss.
4. Have a short fasting or fat fasting
Another way to achieve the state of ketosis is to either have a short fast or try a fat fast. Short fasting is simply not eating for several hours. A perfect example is intermittent fasting, which may lead to ketosis during the fasting hours. On the other hand, fat fasting is when you have a high-fat, low-calorie diet for about two to five days. Same with short fasting, it can also trigger ketosis.
Tim White, Founder of Milepro, believes that traveling is good for health. In a brief interview with White, he mentioned: “how discovering new places such as a hidden paradise can be therapeutic for the mental health.” But he also said that some of their clients had a keto diet, intermittent fasting, and even activities to boost their physical health while traveling.
5. Increase your physical activities
Did you know that the keto diet works wonders on your physical exercise? When on a keto diet, you must be as physically active as possible. These physical activities can translate into your body’s state of ketosis.
Why? You deplete the glycogen in your body when you work out. However, the glycogen stores get replaced when you eat carbohydrates. With less carbs, you’ll have less glycogen. As a result, your body produces more ketones, which are great for your physical fitness and overall health.
6. Focus on low-intensity exercises
While the keto diet is good for your physical exercises in achieving your fitness goals, it’s vital to know what workout exercises are best for you. Apparently, eating carbs is appropriate for high-intensity training like boxing, sprinting, and swimming. But for the keto diet, be sure to focus on low-intensity exercises. These include jogging, biking, and yoga.
Brett Larkin, the Founder & CEO of Yoga Uplifted, said that while she endeavors to uplift the yoga community in the area, she also wants to promote her clients’ overall health and well-being. “What I teach my students, apart from the yoga session itself, is to eat properly. I go as far as recommending the likes of Keto diet to achieve their weight loss and fitness goals.”
A Road to Weight Loss and Physical Fitness
At this point, we’ve seen the benefits of the keto diet for fitness enthusiasts, from weight loss to muscle recovery to health improvements. We’ve also learned the six keto secrets that every fitness expert should know to make the most of it.
It’s safe to say that incorporating the keto diet into your workout routine can make a difference in weight loss and physical fitness. If you’re looking to lose weight, become physically fit, and stay healthy, the keto diet is the key.