Hi. I am doing Keto and exercising strenuously. 3 workouts a day sometimes up to 3 hrs max. It seems to help me lose weight but am I ruining myself here? I am looking for proper bodybuilding and cardio advice for aspiring athletes. Thank you!
Any particular reason you exercise so much? I did several hours of training per day for years - I enjoyed it but didn’t really do me much good.
It really depends on your goals. You state that you’re an aspiring athlete, can we assume you’re not starting keto for a lot of weight loss or health issues?
If superior performance is your main goal and you aren’t hitting an energy wall from the lack of carbohydrates I don’t think your training habits are an issue. Make sure you’re getting plenty of fat in if you don’t have much stored on your body especially before you start to get fat adapted after about 2 months of keto.
If you need to loose a lot of weight back way down on the work out routine and do as @Q66 suggested below.
My advice if you’re starting out and just trying to lose weight and get into shape is to:
- Walk for an hour a day.
- Do light weight training 2x week.
Once you get your eating right and drop some weight and tone up a bit, then you’re in a better position to ratchet up the physical fitness part.
Its easy to burn yourself out mentally working out that much, as well as setting yourself up for a potential injury from the overwork.
You’ll lose weight on keto by keeping the carbs low and without exercise. The exercise paradoxically, will make you more hungry.
I am not interested in only being thin. I want to be strong and fit. I find I struggle to be 100% on point with Keto but do quite well with it. I get bored with the food. I also have gut issues and have to watch the intake of dairy. My cholesterol is remaining freakishly high the LDL/HDL ratio is out of whack. We are remeasuring in the fall as I’ve been on Victoza since January to help the weight-loss. I’ve seen a Keto specialist and a heart specialist and will not die from this presumably but it still worries my endocrinologist and me. I’m ultimately seeking optimal health.
I want fruit once in awhile. I’m allergic to wheat and stay away from that. Exercise has pushed me through weight loss plateaus to get 55 lbs off this past year…from 233 lbs to 176.4 so far. But for sure there’s unclear info about bodybuilding while on Keto. I also practice intermittent fasting as my ultimate goal is to become non-diabetic after 7 years.
I feel like I’m engaged in a race against time for my life. I’m suffering metabolic syndrome with a protruding gut that’s going down. I’m 52 and fighting for my life in the form of good health. I test a few times a day and am aware that if I really stick to Keto, and exercise, weight comes off. I just want to optimize.
I exercise up to 6 times a week, alternating arms and legs each day, walking one hour or dancing it when not doing power dancing at a moderate and relaxed pace for 20,000 steps or three hours. That’s rare and new. I must be getting stronger. Consider it like marathon training. Normally I strive to walk 10,000 steps for 1-1.5 hours. Then I’ll swim for an hour…slow backstroke of 800-1000 meters in summer weather, as we have an outdoor pool.
I just ultimately need another 35-40 lbs off, as I’m still obese!!! Exercise also helps me avoid binges. I think. Mentally good for me. As I said, my main goal is fitness, shape, strength.
Thanks for weighing in. I’m not experiencing more hunger and I do track macros. It’s the ingesting of dairy I struggle with. Meat bores me and ethically I’m starting to have a problem with it. But I’m worried there’s no way to go vegetarian and be successful here. It’s all quite confusing with the high cholesterol still. And diabetes.
Too much cardio can easily become counterproductive - increased cortisol, injury & burnout are all real risks. I wouldn’t dump cardio altogether but I would be sure to include some resistance training - muscle building is entirely possible on keto as long as you’re getting sufficient protein. Muscle is an excellent ‘glucose sink’ too so is great for helping to rectify metabolic syndrome & it’s the best form of exercise for shape & strength.
The fact that you’ve lost so much already is fantastic but trying to exercise away the last bit can be frustrating. Good diet, sufficient but not too much exercise & a bit of patience will get you there if you give it time
Thanks for providing more context about your situation.
It appears getting control of diabetes is a priority. As you read posts throughout this site, you’ll find many people who have got off diabetes meds, insulin and metformin through keto/low carb – in a matter of months – without lots of exercise, and many times with no exercise at all. Perhaps someone who that has happened to an weigh in and give you more perspective on it – and hope that you can become non diabetic sooner rather than later.
I’m not diabetic, but have been low carb for a year and got my HbA1c down from pre-diabetic levels to 5.1, improved my HDL, although LDL went up slightly, and that many be due to the fact that low carb eating made me prefer fat over carbs for fuel. I also lost 60 pounds in five months, and my primary source of exercise was 1-2 hours of daily walking. Also did alot of IF last year as well.
I achieved all this as low carb rather than keto, meaning except for IF days, I almost never did less than 20g carbs. I tracked macros and daily avg was 50-60g carbs per day. I too enjoy my fruit. Mainly strawberries and apples.
I’m all for exercise and workout several times per week. My focus now is more on weight training and body building. Keto is good for weight training. So keep up the good work. A 55 pound loss is a great accomplishment. Just that working out 3x day will eventually burn you out or lead to injury. You should consider a fitness program that is more realistic. And even consider giving yourself a break from the gym when called for. I do it myself to keep my motivation high.
As far as dairy and meat issues, I don’t know what to say about dairy, as lots of low carb and keto folks rely on dairy to a degree. If you have meat issues, there are a few on these boards with the vegan low carb approach. It does seem to be more of a challenge though. It will be tough to do low carb without dairy or meat. Perhaps try fish, I eat lots of salmon, tuna and sardines, with olive or avocado oil, as well as mash sardines into an avocado.