The question of whether the ketogenic diet requires exercise as a component to be successful comes up often. The short answer is, no. Yes, the various activities of which we’ve been advised to partake can be good for general fitness, beneficial in regards to bone density and, for some, actually fun. But for fat loss? Not really. As a matter of fact, not really at all. But there can come a time when even dedicated non-exercisers - moi, par exemple - feel the need to add to one's existing repertoire of getting in steps as dictated by one’s stupid smart watch. (Actually, I really like my over-the-top Garmin. I purchased it after I had lost about 50 pounds and thought that I would, for sure, start doing all the swimming, biking and running I had attempted to do in the Year of the Triathlons. That year I trained for and hauled my very heavy self through dismal performances in several entry level sprint triathlons. When I say dismal, I mean crossing the finish line after the results had been posted and the vendors were packed up to leave.)
I figured at fifty pounds down I would get back in the exercise game. And with my super duper sports watch I’d kill. If not at fifty down, surely at sixty. But wouldn’t it be even better at seventy pounds lighter than the Year of the Triathlons?
You get the idea.
Now, having kind of settled at 97.4 pounds lost - yes, those 1/10 of pounds matter to me - the time is ripe. And, in truth, I feel motivated to push my body. I wasn’t at those previous milestones. Who knows why this has changed?
Seriously, I’m asking. If anyone knows, please share….
To that end I’ve joined the wonderful new athletic facility at my alma mater. Everything from climbing walls to salt water pools to sauna to yoga classes to all the latest cardio and weight lifting equipment is there for a great rate for alumni. There's even a 'relaxation pod' (!?)
I’ve belonged to gyms before, pretty much since about 1987. Everything from little private establishments to chains to the YMCA. Even though the thought process was that the financial commitment would spill over into personal commitment - spoiler alert: it doesn’t work that way - I’d make a couple of sad passes at going and then stop. Cold. Finally about 4 years ago I realized that it was folly to keep up the pretense so cancelled my membership at the gym du jour and gave up thoughts of becoming toned, strong and fit.
Until now. I’ll be curious to see what the difference in my weight, mood and physical comfort level (no more sore joints) will impact the exercise experience. And how my energy needs and appetite will change, fully realizing that putting on muscle mass may mean a tick upward in the scale or that increased caloric output can require more input. The difference this time around is I'm cognizant of what's going on with my body. I'm in charge and no longer flailing about in confusion over why 'move more/eat less' just doesn't work for me and feeling a failure as a result. This time I'm the boss, not the cowering victim.
No real structure is planned. I’ve tried the “do this 3x/week; that 2x/week: alternate muscle groups on every 3rd day”, etc., And although I like plugging results into spreadsheets I’m going to let this evolve. Perhaps I’ll end up with regimens, charts, graphs and trend lines - oh, how I love me some trend lines - but for now, I’m going to carry my eating guidelines over to my exercise, which is to say, I’ll listen to my body. I’ll remind myself that the only goal is to feel better. To be healthier, happier and at peace with the person inside this skin.
If I’m lucky enough to achieve that, I’m lucky enough. I'll keep you posted.
Disclaimer: I’ve been fortunate to have had the time and resources to research the ketogenic diet, also known as LCHF (low carb/high fat). The information I share is based solely on my understanding of that research. We are all responsible for our own choices, including what we put in our mouths and there’s no substitute for each of us checking things out ourselves. And I’m not a medical professional in any way. Go Keto With Casey is not a medical site. “Duh,” you might say. But best to make it clear to all. I welcome questions, comments and even civil criticism. I’m still learning. So, if you have something to add, go for it. Links in this post and all others may direct you to amazon.com, where I will receive a small amount of the purchase price of any items you buy through my affiliate links. Thanks!