Keto Diet While Bodybuilding

Ketogenic diet and bodybuilding have long been considered as opposites. Most people believe that bodybuilding requires a high-carb diet which is not possible on a keto diet as it is a strictly carbohydrate limiting diet regime. This has led to them questioning the effectiveness of a keto diet when you are trying to do bodybuilding. While your workout intensity may decrease after moving to a keto diet, it is a temporary phenomenon which will last 3-4 weeks. Slowly as your body adjusts to the keto diet, your intensity levels become more intense than earlier. The key principles you should comply with on a keto diet during bodybuilding are as follows:

Eat Sufficiently to Build Lean Mass

When you are on a ketogenic diet, you should ensure that you eat sufficiently to build lean mass. You body will be unable to develop lean muscle mass if you do not eat sufficient calories. If you are unable to develop muscles, then you should either increase your calorie intake or decrease the amount of energy you are burning.

Eat Less to Lose Body Fat

You should be consistently on a calorie deficit diet for you to lose body fat. Hence, to burn body fat, you should be able to burn more energy than your calorie intake.

Maximize Nutrition Before and After Training

It is important to maximize your nutrition before and after training when you are on a keto diet. This means that you should eat your keto diet rich in fats and moderate proteins nearly two hours before starting your workouts and one hour after completing it. You should prioritize taking adequate quantity of calories and nutrients before and after your workout sessions.

Eat 3-6 Meals Daily

Eating healthy is important and while on a keto diet, you should try to take at least 3-6 meals per day. It helps you to stoke your metabolism and achieve the desired results with the keto diet. In addition to eating 3-6 meals daily, you should focus on ensuring that the required calorie count and nutrients are being met by your diet. You should stick to this meal pattern consistent with your diet for best results.

Prefer Compound Exercises

Compound exercises like barbell squats, presses, rows, deadlifts, etc. provide you with the most effective results. They help you to exercise and tone different parts of your body with single exercise form. This does not mean that you should completely cut out single-joint or isolation exercises from your workout regime. You should focus and prioritize on the compound exercises first followed by single-joint or isolation exercises like triceps press downs, dumbbell front raises, etc.

Low-Carb Diet Vs Ketosis

There have been growing debates on which of a low-carb diet or keto diet is best for you. Both these diets involve consuming less carbohydrates and their suitability depends on your goal. If you want to lose weight, then keto diet has been known to have better effects than the low-carb diet. The key differences between both these diets are as follows:

Ease of Following

Both the low-carb diet and keto diet provide best results when you stick to them in the long run. Due to the restrictive nature of these diets, it becomes difficult to adhere to it for long for most dieters. Keto diet is more restrictive than the general low-carb diet and is thus more difficult to follow. It generally requires a complete overhauling of your eating habits and practices. You should start slowly and gradually decrease your food intake. You can remove all unhealthy food items from your home and not consume it again. If things are not working out, you can consult your dietician to work out alternative strategies for adhering to low-carb or keto diet.

Weight Loss

It is possible to lose weight under both a low-carb diet and keto diet. If you are on ketosis, then it is far more specific and measurable than a low-carb diet. Ketosis is considered to be a much better state to be in for weight loss. However, there is no empirical data or research to substantiate how much extra weight you can lose in ketosis compared to a generic low-carb diet.

Health Benefits

Low-carb diets has been known to regulate and improve important health markers like triglycerides, cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, etc. It can also be helpful in type 1 and type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, fatty liver conditions, etc. Some studies suggest that keto diet can be more effective than generic low-carb diet in addressing health problems like diabetes, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and fatty liver. Keto diet is also known to be particularly helpful in addressing epilepsy in children.


When you are following a generic low-carb diet, then you cut down on the carbohydrates and replace it with fat and proteins. Consuming more proteins has a flipside in such a diet plan as the excess protein will be converted to glucose by a process known as gluconeogenesis. This takes away the positive effects of reducing your carbs intake. However, when you are in ketosis, the protein you consume will not be converted to glucose. This provides the ketogenic diet and edge over regular low-carb diet.