I’ve read a few arguments that exercise is not a necessity when living a low carb / keto lifestyle. Personally, I call bull$hit!! I’ve been lifting weights since I started my journey three (3) years ago and honestly, I feel that I owe a lot of the weight loss to the inclusion of exercise. Can you loose weight on low carb / keto without exercise? Sure! But why not include it? Not only will you feel better, you’ll build and strengthen muscle; and the more muscle mass you have the more fat you burn.
Okay, so hear me out… I’m not saying you have to start running a 5k tomorrow or bench pressing 200 pounds (right away); it all depends on your ambitions and goals. For me, I have a set body image in my mind that I AM GOING TO ACHIEVE! My goal is to be 12% body fat and cut, well this is going to require strength training; luckily I enjoy it! Also, I have A LOT of extra skin due to being SO obese for SO long. Skin doesn’t just shrink back in place so i’m going to have to fill as much as I can with muscle and have the rest removed (which I dread).
Everbody Walk (MOVE)!
So back to YOUR ambitions and goals. Maybe your main goal is weight loss. Okay then, get up and start moving! Walk around the block, your office, to the mailbox (and if you live in the country like me the mailbox is a nice little walk), walk around your yard, whatever just move! Now, when I say walk I don’t mean like you are behind slow people at the mall; I mean walk fast enough to get your heart beating. Walk as far as you can or as long as you can today, then push your self harder tomorrow. The point being, progress and push yourself forward. As soon as it becomes easy, add more distance until it becomes hard again. You will find that the more you push yourself, the more you can accomplish!
Another suggestion I have, add strength training (weight lifting) to your routine. Again, adding muscle will help you burn fat. A common misconception to weight lifting is that “you’ll get too muscle-ly.” That is NOT the case, trust me it takes A LOT of work to look like the fitness models and professional body builders. These athletes normally spend hours in the gym performing rigorous exercises, and that’s okay; they all have goals just like you have yours. Again, the keyword is YOUR goals. I’ve been lifting weights for 3 years and I still have a lot of flab. Yes, I don’t spend more than an hour at the gym and I’m not lifting extremely heavy weights BUT I am starting to see definition in my arms, chest, neck and back…I still have a big butt and legs LOL!
To the Gym…
If you decide to join a gym (which I recommend) find one that’s right for you. Most should let you visit and look around; some may even let you try a day for free. Feel out the atmosphere. Don’t join a gym that makes you feel ashamed to be there or where the other patrons snicker. On the other hand, don’t let anyone keep you from going either… screw those guys! You do not need that kind drama! Focus on YOU!
Stepping into the gym Day 1 has been probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Think about it… an introverted, 380 lb, 5′ 4″ butterball of a man that is already ashamed to be in public walks into a gym with the pre-conceived notion that “the’re all gonna laugh at you.” I found a treadmill the further-est to the wall, began walking and observed. I learned a valuable lesson, everyone is focused on their own workouts; not how you look. And if they are, report them to the staff; most have a policy about body shaming. Just think about it, rather than sitting in front of the couch stuffing your face with potato chips and continuing to gain weight, you are changing your life forever! NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT AWAY FROM YOU!!! Use negativity as a motivator! Show ’em you are not a quitter!
Maybe you don’t want to join a gym, and while I recommend it, you can still exercise at home. Start out small…buy some dumbbells, find a place in the house where you can exercise, learn some dumbbell exercises and PUSH! I moved to dumbbells a while back because dumbbells exercise each arm independently where as with barbells one arm may do more of the heavy lifting and cause injury. If money and space is not an issue begin adding home gym equipment. Unfortunately for me, I’m short on both.
Of course you can also walk, yoga, ride a bike, kayaking, swimming (hopefully you didn’t fall out of the kayak), and perform body weight exercises such as squats and push ups away from the gym too. My biggest take-away from this is don’t make excuses for not exercising. Make it a part of your daily life; thus your low carb lifestyle.
In case anyone would like to know my current routine, I currently follow Go From Zero To Hero In One Year. I began with this 3 years ago and somewhere along the way I got complacent and began doing enough to “count” it as exercise. Yes, shame shame… However, I started from square 1 and began doing this again from the beginning. After doing this for 3 years I was hoping to have my superman cape by now but no dice. I can’t say enough about the bodybuilding.com website and their app. I track my workout using this. It has a built in timer so you don’t spend too much time on facebook between sets or exercises.
If you are still reading this, thank you and I hope you were able to follow me down the rabbit hole that I have lead you down. Until next time 😉