It is possible to lose weight on a ketogenic diet without exercising. But, you might be ready to take the next step and try out physical exercise along with your diet. You stand to gain much more if you try this out. The pressing question for you might be, “does exercise speed up weight loss in ketosis?”
Ketosis occurs when your body does not have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy. Instead, it burns fat to produce ketones, which it can use as fuel.
To gain the best results regarding weight loss, exercise and dieting must go hand in hand. People who exercise are more likely to make healthier food choices and follow their diet. Besides practicing only one of these two activities, you may lose more weight if you exercise correctly and consistently with your diet.
Do you have a particular question about the effects exercising has on keto? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page.
Here's what we'll cover:
Does exercise affect ketosis?
By utilizing stored glycogen, exercise can help speed up the transition into ketosis. When physical activities are done for a long duration along with slower-paced endurance activities like cycling, swimming, jogging, etc., they force you to use fat as your primary fuel source. The combination of these further supports a ketotic state.
Moderate-to-high intensity exercise will help deplete your glycogen stores, allowing you to enter ketosis more quickly. Glycogen is the excess glucose (sugar) stored by your body in your liver and muscles.
However, not all types of exercise can be sustained without carbohydrates. For example, suppose you are doing intense conditioning, heavy lifting, or training throughout the week. In that case, you may need to consume more carbohydrates to maintain your strength and output.
Can exercise kick you out of ketosis?
Exercise might not necessarily kick you out of ketosis but will impact your ketones. Test your ketones before and after exercise. You may be surprised to find that your numbers after a workout are pretty different.
Remember that ketones are an energy source, not a badge of honor. When your body requires energy, it will consume ketones. It does not imply that you cheated on your diet.
On the contrary, it simply means that your body used the energy source that was available at the time. When ketone bodies are in short supply, your body will burn fat to produce more, which is a win.
Does exercise speed up weight loss in ketosis?
Yes, it does. We all know that exercise can accelerate weight loss on any diet, not just keto. As mentioned earlier, exercise can help speed up weight loss while on a keto diet by increasing calorie expenditure and muscle mass, increasing metabolic activity. Exercise can also help you get into ketosis faster and prevent muscle loss.
Fasting and physical activity are other excellent ways to get into ketosis faster. Because ketones are only produced once liver glycogen is depleted, an exercise that depletes liver glycogen can also boost the generation of ketone bodies.
Should I work out the first week of keto?
Getting the hang of your keto diet will make you feel tired or queasy as your body tries to transition. So it is highly recommended that you be gentle with yourself and forget about exercising. At least for the first few days.
Reduce your activity as much as possible, and reduce the amount of work you have to do.
If you are someone who regularly or semi-regularly works out or goes to the gym, you might want to consider taking some time off. On the other hand, suppose you are determined to stick with your regimen through thick and thin. In that case, however, you should consider taking a deloading week or training with a friend to ensure your safety and avoid unnecessary damage.
If you are inactive or get less than 30 minutes of light to moderate activity per day regarding exercising, you have two options:
- You can stay inactive during this stage. Because your energy levels might be low during the first few weeks, you may want to consider skipping exercise entirely.
- Take vigorous daily walks. On the other hand, you can speed up the process of entering ketosis by taking short walks for 30 to 60 minutes each day. Your body will have to produce more glycogen (a concentrated sugar) to replenish any depleted stores, making your transition to ketosis even faster.
If you believe your body can handle physical exercise and the keto diet simultaneously, consider taking brisk walks for 30 to 60 minutes several times per week.
As you reach ketosis, your body will begin to use ketones as fuel. Because ketones are an excellent energy source, most people report feeling more energized after consuming them.
How much weight can you lose with keto and exercise?
Weight loss through keto usually occurs at a slower, more consistent rate after a week or two into the diet. This is also when your body is transitioning from carbohydrate to fat-burning mode, which means you’ll lose fat now.
According to this study, one to two pounds (0.5 to 1 kg) should be lost safely on average each week. This weight loss can vary depending on your size and how much water weight you’re carrying. Anecdotally, people report losses ranging from 1 pound (0.5 kg) to 10 or more pounds within the first week (5 kg).
Can I eat more carbs if I exercise on keto?
On the ketogenic diet, everyone has a slightly different level of carbohydrate restriction. Some people can eat more and still stay in ketosis, while others may need to be more restrictive.
Most ketogenic diet recommendations recommend limiting net carbs to 15 to 30g per day, or 5-10% of total calories. In general, if you’re an extremely active person who exercises 4 – 5 times per week, you’re more likely to be able to eat more carbohydrates and maintain ketosis.
If you’re asking yourself, “does exercise help ketosis” the answer is yes, it does. Exercise speeds up weight loss in ketosis.
Weight loss can be challenging, but it does not have to be this way. You can practice ways how to accelerate ketosis, for instance, through exercise. All this is essential for any weight loss journey and is a sure way to reach your goals faster.
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