Keto for muscle building

(Kaitlynne) #1

I have considering building some muscle through exercise. Keto isn’t too high protein so is it possible to still build muscle on this diet?

(George) #2

Definitely possible. I’ve been doing it and can feel a noticeable difference.

(Eric - I am a onelander!) #3


Lots of people training successfully here on keto.

Yes, I have been gaining strength and muscle and continue to do so.

Protein is not that limited on keto - see this post - Virta Health - How Much Protein on Keto

I do my training early (5-6 am) and usually don’t eat till 11:30 am and that is still not a problem for keto. The stricter I am keto and even drifting towards carnivore the faster I build muscle and strength.

I’m also doing slow resistance training to failure which builds strength and muscle faster than any other way I have found. I do lower body to failure and upper the same 1 / wk each and the 1 each volumetric resistance (more sets/reps) not slow. I walk and do the rowing machine 1/wk. When I do lower both slow and volumetric I do leg squats 4 different poses in increasing # of reps as time goes on.

(Eric - I am a onelander!) #4

Also I workout fasted 1 to 2 days a week. 36 to 72 hr fasts. No problem with energy because I am fat adapted. I can’t tell if it affects my bulk or strength. I’m most interested in strength. My upper body has some bulk but it is lean where I am no longer fat like my arms.

I hope this helps.

(George) #5

I work out fasted too, I do OMAD and make sure to do all my weightlifting about 30 minutes before I eat. The only times I’ve felt a little dizzy post-workout is on the tail end of a 72 hour fast

@daddyoh I know we’re all different, but how long would you say it took you to lose all the fat from the arms? While I am building muscle, I still have fatty arms so the muscle isn’t defined quite yet. I want to be able to see them already LOL

(Eric - I am a onelander!) #6

I’ll 11 months in and did not start losing arm fat till I added fasting. Maybe 6 months in. Before that I was losing <1 lb a week. Now I’m losing 1.5 to 2.2 lbs a week. My legs and arms still keep getting smaller and I’m not sure there is much left to lose, but I am gaining muscle definition. But the belly is finally going down. >50lbs today. And below 200 lbs today solidly. I’m a onelander now. Still obese for 1 to 2 more weeks.

(George) #7

Congrats on getting to 1’s!!!

I can’t wait till I’m there. After the initial rapid weight loss, my average is around 2.2 each week, currently at -55lbs or so. I started January 1st and started intermittent fasting with 16/8 at the end of month 2, and have been OMAD for the past 2 months with a few extended fasts in there too. I also started weight lifting in the morning from the beginning along with cardio in the evening, but have been doing solely weight lifting for over a month now.

(Jay Patten) #8

I have been strength training and I’m amazed at my gains! Keto provides all the strength training must-haves:

  1. Nutrition- all the training in the world can only go so far if the diet sucks
  2. Healthy fats- something I neglected when I was younger because I was too ignorant to understand the science
  3. Adequate, high quality protein- REAL protein, not junk

(⚕ ⚕) #9

One might argue a low-carb diet is a necessary precondition for muscular weight training. Depending on how far you want to go can lead you to a myriad of nutritional tweaks and options. Like @daddyoh I am physically active and find my low-carb routine now a requirement to maintain my workout schedule. I’m in great shape for a 56-year old, and I understand those of less advanced age find great results as well.

Regardless of what g/kg protein ratio (I track on the high side, 2 g/kg) you follow, you should find you’re eating more meat than the standard American diet achieves. There are several low-carb proponents in the medical and science world you should check out, although Dr. Stephen Phinney is the grandfather of performance nutrition as well as the clinical research on low-carb living. Some of the others get a little too close to the whole “bro” gym thing, which is too bad. I find I can ignore it, but it does irritate others. I’m thinking Dr. Naiman and Dr. Shawn Baker

(Bacon is the new bacon) #10

Eat as much protein as you feel you need. The expert opinions on the right amount of protein to eat vary, and they are all based on different concerns.

One of the concerns with protein used to be that excess protein would fuel a process in the liver, called gluconeogenesis, in which amino acids get turned into glucose. It is now well-understood that that process is well-regulated to match demand, and is not determined by the available supply.

Another concern is the activation of a chemical process called mTOR (mammalian or mechanistic target of rapamycin), which is supposedly bad for longevity. It is now being discovered that mTOR is a necessary process for maintaining muscle and is bad for longevity only when chronically activated. When activated in a pulsatile manner, it is perfectly healthy.

If people start telling you that they smell ammonia on your breath or in your perspiration, that would be a sign of eating too much protein—otherwise, have at it!

(Allie) #11

Yes this. I feel so much better since I stopped limiting protein to fit within keto ideals.

(Eric - I am a onelander!) #12

They are finding that seniors are living longer and with more health if they have muscle strength. The way I view this is mTor is critical for muscle maintenance and growth but fasting is critical for down regulating mTor. Combining the two in my lifestyle will hopefully lead to a healthspan that approximates my lifespan. Put another way, a compressed end of life morbidity.

I agree completely. That is what works for me.


If you chose keto just for weight loss or body recomposition, there shouldn’t be a problem adding protein as needed. If you desire to be in a state of ketosis then some testing will tell you if you’re inhibiting ketogenesis or not.

(Mark Rhodes) #14

@richard This would be a great place in my opinion for the information you posted recently on another platform in regards to upper thresholds of protein. Although not limited to the three of us ( you, myself and Jack) I do think it was highly informative. I was going to go and cut and paste it into this thread but thought perhaps if you had the time you could create a post and link it.


Like this? Better than FB even. :wink:

(Mark Rhodes) #16

Actually, no. Although that is good the conversation we had recently addressed some other issues as well as recapping this.


Then I second the nomination that @richard provide us a Wall of Text!

(Fast Freddy) #18


Why wouldn’t you?

I fast all day and lift heavy at the end of the fast and then eat

I am hitting all my increases in lifts with deads, squats, presses, etc

I feel amazing too. Tight as a drum :slight_smile:

(Ilana Rose) #19

Can you not link to the discussion on the other platform?

(Mark Rhodes) #20

i will if he doesn’t respond. There is also a lot of fluff in-between.