The keto Diet is designed to put the body in Ketosis. The keto Diet aims to place the body into a state of Ketosis. In Ketosis, your body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. The benefits of keto are weight loss, increased energy, and less blood sugar fluctuations.
The Diet is an excellent way to lose weight but can also be a great way to improve your fitness.
“We don’t have any evidence to support the idea that a ketogenic diet would be better for exercise,” says Andy Galpin, Ph.D., a professor of Kinesiology at California State University, Fullerton. It may affect performance more for certain types than others.
Keto Diet Can Make It Harder to Perform High-Intensity Workouts
Carbohydrates are the primary energy source for high-intensity exercises requiring short bursts. Muscle glycogen is the form in which the human body stores carbohydrates. When you engage in any activity that requires intense movement, such as sprinting or strength training, your body will immediately use muscle glycogen for fuel.
When you follow the ketogenic diet (if done correctly), your body will burn fat as energy instead of carbohydrates. Galpin says the process could be more efficient because fat is metabolized less quickly than carbohydrates as fuel.
Keto may boost fat burning.
Keto may not be the best Diet for people who enjoy doing things like weightlifting, Spinning, or running at a constant pace. However, it helps burn more fat when you do aerobic exercises that are in a steady state.
A 2017 Study on elite competitive walkers found that athletes on Ketogenic Diets had a significant increase in fat burning during training compared to walkers who ate a standard diet with carbohydrates. The keto diet caused athletes to burn more fat while training, but they also performed worse than athletes who ate a more traditional diet. Race walkers on the ketogenic Diet felt it was more challenging to achieve the same exercises as athletes following a standard diet. They also reported being less likely to finish the workouts assigned to them.
At first, you may feel that your gas pedal isn’t working as well.
Your body will burn fat instead of carbohydrates as your “keto-adapted” state develops. This process can make you feel less energetic, especially when working out.
According to Nitin Sethi, MD, a clinical associate of neurology in New York City who studied the effects of a ketogenic diet on human performance, one of its initial purposes was to treat epilepsy; some research has shown that athletes can increase their ability to burn fat as fuel.
Dr. Sethi cites a small July 2017 study. “While athletes with a high-fat dietary pattern initially experienced reduced energy, they experienced a higher level later, especially when exercising.”
Sethi warns that athletes who participated in the study found it more challenging to perform higher-intensity forms of exercise.
Keto Diets May Help You Burn Calories More Quickly
A study showed that overweight adults who replaced carbohydrates with fat in their Diet for five months could burn 250 calories more per day than those who consumed a high- carbohydrate diet. Remember that fat is higher in calories per gram than carbohydrates or protein. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, each gram contains nine calories—Department of Agriculture.
This difference in caloric intake over a day adds up to weight loss. To lose weight, the body must burn more calories than they take in. Galpin says that calories are necessary but not the only factor.
Keto is better for maintaining muscle mass than adding muscle.
Maintaining and increasing muscle mass can protect you from age-related bone loss. Muscle mass can help you burn more calories even when you’re not exercising.
A ketogenic diet may be proper for you if you’re in the gym trying to maintain your muscle mass. If you want to gain muscle, you may find it harder on a ketogenic diet because you consume fewer calories and less protein. Galpin says that the average person will have more difficulty gaining muscle while on keto.
This is especially true if you aim to lose weight by following the Diet. It’s harder to gain muscle when on keto because fewer carbs are available. Your body would typically store these carbohydrates in your muscles for use during the growth process. Galpin says it’s not impossible to gain power on keto, but the method is less effective.
If you are burning fat, it doesn’t mean that you will lose weight.
The ketogenic Diet is a great way to teach your body how to burn fat for fuel, but it does not mean the body will use all that fat when you exercise. To lose weight and fat, you must burn more calories than you consume.
“Burning fat doesn’t always mean fat loss,” Galpin says. He explains that when you’re on keto, you burn more calories and store more, as more come from fats. “You need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight.”