Can you build muscle with strength training on a low carbohydrate diet?
It is very common to hear people talk about going on a ketogenic diet. But what exactly is aketogenic diet?
Simply put, a ketogenic diet primarily refers to a low carbohydrate diet whereby energy is supplied to the body by burning stored fats. Generally used to increase the lean muscle mass, this type of diet keeps the human body in a state of constant ketosis. It is generally known that the presence of carbohydrates hinders the fat-burning process because the body would prefer to use the fresh incoming carbohydrate fuel, rather than convert its fat stores. Thus person on a low carbohydrate diet is compelled to burn stored body fat to gain energy and compensate for the absence of carbohydrates in the diet.
The right way to do it
Like any other diet, a ketogenic diet has its pros and cons. But following the procedure correctly helps to eliminate the cons and enhance the pros. Any ketogenic diet plan generally follows one of the following two patterns.
- A low-carbohydrate diet is strictly followed for 6 days of the week and a carbohydrate-based meal is allowed for dinner on the seventh night Or
- You are permitted to eat carbohydrates for a specified time period every night. The remainder of the day is, however, spent on a ketogenic diet and is carbohydrate free. This is also known as carbohydrate back loading.
The no mistake diet plan
The dangers involved in a low carbohydrate diet stem more from ignorance than from the actual diet itself. Before embarking on this diet, it is important to know the correct way to do it and avoid commonly made mistakes. You have to:
Time your carbohydrate intake very carefully.
Any carbohydrate intake triggers a rush of sugar in the blood, with one exception. You can satisfy your craving for carbohydrates by taking them immediately after exercising as long as the exercise is:
- Involves weight training or
- Lasts longer than 2 hours.
- Take stock of your fat levels.
Obese people have more fat to burn than those who are not fat. So what is your current fat level? Do you have enough fat to convert into energy to fuel your body’s needs? Seek the answers to these questions before going on a low-carbohydrate diet. The key to effectively building muscle with a low carbohydrate diet plan is to ensure that you are able to burn off any fat you have in excess of the essential store of 6% required by the body for its proper functioning.
- Give up processed food.
Processed food in the form of energy bars, ice-creams, sugar-free snacks and pre-made meals etc., often have a multitude of ingredients,have undergone several manufacturing processes and are filled with preservatives. These can cause more harm than good. However, naturally occurring food can never cause any harm. Real food in the form of fresh vegetables and fruits do not contain any artificial chemicals and can hence be eaten without having to worry about side effects.
- Gift yourself some carbohydrate from time to time.
Depleting the body of its carbohydrate reserves can cause serious long term effects such as
- Serious drop in your glycogen levels,
- Suppression of the immune system,
- Decrease in the body’s metabolic activities etc.
But gifting yourself some carbohydrate eating time will enable you to
- Prevent the blood carbohydrate levels falling to serious lows and
- Bring about stability in the carbohydrate levels in your body.
Use supplements only under supervision.
A low carbohydrate diet is always accompanied by intense cravings for carbohydrates but there are supplements available which can help to lower these cravings. One of these supplements, Phentermine, interferes with the neurotransmitters present in the brain and effectively suppresses your appetite as well as controls your carbohydrate cravings. Before you rush out to buy some, be aware that Phenterminecan only be used under medical supervision. For more information, contact a Phentermine clinic near you.
- Be mentally prepared for the long haul.
One point to keep in mind is that a ketogenic diet will not deliver instant results, even if you experience some initial weight loss. You have to be mentally prepared to continue with this diet plan even when your body seems to have stopped losing any weight. In fact,you may even experience a certain amount of initial discomfort as your body adapts itself to the new regime.
Staying hydrated is a necessity onany diet but it is an extra important factor here because intake of water helps to control carbohydrate cravings and to flush out the by-products of the fat conversion process. You also need to ensure you eat sufficient fiber, which can be challenging on a low carbohydrate diet.
The ketogenic diet, when followed correctly, is sure to help build your lean muscle mass and decrease your stores of body fat. If you combine the diet with strength training, you should see an appreciable difference in muscle size and strength.
Evie Coles is the writer of this article, and she is a professional writer and blogger. She writes on different health blogs and websites regularly. She always tries her best to write researched based article for her article. Find her socialFacebook, Twitter and Google+