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In Ketosis: Are My Workouts Too Intense?

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workout, exercise, itg, diet, itgdiet, keto, ketosis, gluconeogenesis, protein, carbs, sugar, fat, intensity, durationExercise is important when maintaining a healthy weight, especially in Step 3 of the ITG Diet. But what about exercise when you're trying to lose weight in Step 1?

There are a lot of opinions out there about how important exercise is, or is not, when trying to lose weight. It's not as simple as calories in versus calories out though. When you're in ketosis, intense exercise can have a detrimental effect on your weight loss progress and how your body ultimately burns off fats and carbs. It's important to understand why too much intense exercise can slow down your progress.

Why does this happen? Intense bursts of exercise require carbohydrates for performance. For example, when running a few quick sprints or lifting heavy weights, the body will tire quickly as it uses up the available carbs stored in muscle tissue. Once those carbs are depleted, hunger sets in to replenish everything that was just put to use. While on the program, the lower amount of available carbs just aren't enough to support this exercise, and the body will adjust accordingly. Your body will conserve energy in the form of more rest periods (you'll be too tired to exercise regularly) and will slow the metabolism. You may have noticed that if you've been on the program and working out too intensely you can be experiencing stalls in your weight loss progress.

ITG suggests that when you begin the program, cut back on your exercise intensity to 1/3 or 1/2 of the level that you are used to. We also suggest to cut back on weight training, which aims to build muscle and will cause hunger. Remember, the level of nutrients and calories while in the weight loss step of the program is not enough to support intense exercise and build muscle. Your body will simply use a process called gluconeogenesis to create glucose, or sugar, from other non carbohydrate sources (such as proteins and fats). This can put ketosis on hold as your body then converts to using sugar for energy.

What are the best options for losing fat on the program and still incorporating exercise? Sticking to steady-state cardio, which is lower in intensity, is a great option while focusing on the nutrition aspect of weight loss. When utilizing steady-state cardio, the body turns to breaking down fat reserves for energy rather than using carbs due to the lower intensity level. Walking, biking, swimming, and other low impact activities are perfect for fat loss and can help get the heart rate and metabolism up to achieve weight loss goals more efficiently.

For beginners, warm up and stretch for 5 minutes. Start your activity and maintain the pace for 10-15 minutes while still being able to speak in full sentences. If you're more advanced, the duration can be 30 minutes or more of an activity. The key is to start small, make sure you feel comfortable and aren't over-exerting yourself, and continue to build upon your routine steadily over time.

Keep track of your daily exercise and activity in your Food Diary and keep an eye on weekly results with your Coach. You can slowly increase the duration and intensity of your exercise over time. For example, you can take longer walks or bike rides (duration), add incline to your walk on a treadmill, or bump up the speed of your activity (intensity).

Once you've reached Step 3, Maintenance, exercise plays a very important role to help burn off the foods we'll be adding back to your diet. Those added foods will provide your body with the carbohydrates, fats, and protein you'll need to stay on course to maintaining that new weight for life! To build muscle, you may need to work with your nutritionist or doctor to make sure you are getting enough protein to support the process. A nutritionist or personal trainer certified in nutrition can help you decide how to time your pre- and post-workout meals as well.

For Body Basics tips, ask your Coach or log in to ITGdiet.com and view the Body Basics category. There are lots of great tips and workout ideas for beginners that will get you up and moving no matter what experience you have. Before starting any diet and exercise routine you should consult your physician.

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Joseph is Operations Director for ITG, a Certified ITG Coach for ITG Online, and also manages and coaches clients at ITG's flagship clinic, Slim Down St Pete. He lost over 75 pounds on the ITG Diet Plan, 10 inches from the waist and decreased body fat by over 20%.


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Guest Saturday, 15 June 2024
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