Is it necessary to exercise to lose weight on a low carb diet?
The answer to that is it depends...
If you have 20 or more pounds to lose, you may not initially need to exercise to lose weight if you are following a ketotic (less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day) diet. As one approaches our individual “set point” which is where our body wants to maintain weight, exercise WILL be necessary to move off of the plateau and keep the weight from returning.
Exercise has many wonderful benefits to include increased receptivity of our cells to insulin, improved sleep, more energy, improved blood pressure, and expenditure of calories, which can burn fat if combined with proper nutrition.
In the absence of proper nutrition, exercise alone cannot help us to lose or maintain our weight. We all have been to gyms that are full of people that are obese who work out many hours a week, without losing a pound. Most of those same folks eat tons of carbs per day including before and after exercise.
Exercise simply cannot compensate for overeating the wrong foods.
A great strategy for exercise is:
-Eat regular, small meals of about the same size every 3-4 hours, containing protein, fat, and a small amount of carbs.
-Have a small meal about an hour BEFORE exercise, with a protein shake (at least) or your regularly timed meal AFTER an exercise session.
-Have any protein shake that you like that has 100-150 calories, less than 5 grams of carbohydrates, and 15-30 grams of protein. This can be a powdered shake that you mix or a pre-mixed shake.
EAS Advant-Edge Carbs Control, Pure Protein, Premier Protein, and Designer Whey are brands that meet these parameters and come in chocolate, vanilla, and EAS also has a strawberry flavored shake.
EAS brand can be found at Target, Walmart, Safeway, most pharmacies.
Pure Protein can be purchased at Target, Trader Joes, and other locations.
Premier Protein is Costco’s brand of protein shake.
Designer Whey can be purchased from Vitamin Shoppe, GNC, Trader Joes, and other locations.
Be sure to incorporate high intensity interval training (bursts of high energy anaerobic exercise where you are out of breath and have a higher heart rate like sprinting, swimming a lap as fast as you can, etc) as well as sustained aerobic exercise like treadmill, jogging, elliptical, rowing, swimming, fast walking, etc.
You should be able to carry on a conversation without being out of breath if the exercise is aerobic and out of breath and not able to chat if it is anaerobic. Anaerobic exercise fatigues muscles quickly and you generally will feel a burning sensation in your muscles. Both of these combined will burn fat more efficiently than just doing one.
If you don’t have the time or money to join a gym, buy some inexpensive but good quality gym equipment for home use that you can push over to the corner of your room when not used. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to exercise regularly and efficiently.
The key to keeping weight off, is to incorporate REGULAR EXERCISE.
Aim for 30-45 minutes of combined aerobic and anaerobic exercise at least 4-5 times a week. If you are short on time, at least get in cardio exercise (aerobic).
Rotate your high intensity exercises to not work the same muscle groups daily, so they can recover.
Let’s get moving!
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