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Top 6 Tips To Train Effectively On a Low-Carb Diet

Madhura Mohan

Posted on July 08 2021

T

he low-carb diet has been regarded by studies as a solid metabolic strategy for weight loss. People who practice this type of diet form do agree to this, yet there’s one downside to the low-carb diet. Most people doing workouts on a low-carb diet often suffer from fatigue, lack of focus, and low energy for lifting. Some also complain that this diet pattern causes them to lose muscles!! This is something undesirable for anyone.

 

Do you think we should blame a low-carb diet for the low energy feelings and the loss of muscles? Your muscle loss upon following a low-carb diet means something like you have low fuel in your bike and you want to ride long miles. Should you blame your bike for the low fuel, or the extra distance you want to cover?

 

Modification of fuel and distance is required in order not to be in trouble, likewise, there’s no reason for you to feel fatigued or lose muscles while you on a low-carb diet. The idea is to balance your carbs and workouts in such a way that you have enough to fuel your workouts while at the same time preserve and build muscle mass.

 

This blog will provide you the tips you need to kick off the low-carb fatigue and forge a lean muscular body while on a low-carb diet.

 

Let’s start from the basics…

 

 

HOW DOES A LOW-CARB DIET FACILITATE WEIGHT LOSS?

low carb diet

As per studies, low-carb approaches are superior to other dietary approaches in producing rapid weight loss. The benefit of a low-carb diet for weight loss stems from the hypothesis that lowering carbs lowers insulin which is the chief anabolic hormone that leads to a fat-storing state. When you’re lowering carbs from your diet, the macronutrient intake of fat and protein generally increases to compensate for the reduction of carbohydrates. Fats and proteins increase satiety, reduce overall calorie intake, and produce a caloric deficit.

Related Article: Low-Carb Diet For Weight Loss – How Does It Work?

 

TIP1 -  IT’S IMPORTANT NOT TO MISS OUT ON REPLENISHING GLYCOGEN STORES POST-WORKOUT WHILE ON A LOW-CARB DIET

low carb diet plan

While a low-carb diet can help you get shredded by cutting your body fat levels, it can cost your valuable muscles! How to prevent this?

 

I’ll explain how…

Our skeletal muscles represent the largest depot of glycogen. During your workout, your body uses muscle glycogen stores as fuel. Your ability to workout day after day depends in large parts on the adequate restoration of muscle glycogen stores, by consuming sufficient dietary carbohydrates. Consuming carbs?? Is that how you are responding? Proper muscle glycogen store doesn’t just power the muscle contraction but also prevents fatigue. When you are on a low-carb diet, make sure you eat sufficient carbs along with proteins post-workout between 30 minutes and 2 hours window. This is considered by studies as the best time to replenish your glycogen stores, while also provide your muscles the most needed vital amino acids to initiate the process of muscle repair and muscle rebuild.

 

TIP 2 - SIMPLY DOING CARDIO MAY BURN FAT BUT NOT BUILD MUSCLES

work out

I hope you know that the more muscles you have, the more calorie you’ll burn at rest. The common mistake that many do is, they choose cardio over weight training for weight loss. This is not correct! Your goal is not just burning away fat stores, but also to improve body composition by building muscles. You can make this happen by combining both cardio and weights. Weight training/resistance training is a type of workout in which you are using significant resistance to stress and challenge your muscles. The resistance you offer to the muscles can come in the form of weights, resistance bands, machines, or your own body weight. Perform weight training before cardio, as weight training requires greater glycogen stores. Your muscle glycogen stores will be high when you start your workout, performing weight training at this time will burn glycogen stores before your body switches to burn fat to fuel the cardio workout. Your metabolism stays elevated for longer and you’ll burn more calories while at rest when doing weight training.

Related Article: Cardio Or Weight Training?

 

TIP3 - THE INTENSITY OF YOUR WORKOUT SHOULD BE MODERATE WHILE FOLLOWING A LOW-CARB DIET

cardio

Brief workouts consume less muscle glycogen than longer workouts. If you are someone who feels you’ve not done a good workout until you’ve spent the entire afternoon in the gym, you need to know that your training volume is inversely related to your training intensity. The greater the exercise intensity, the greater is the rate at which muscle glycogen is degraded. Endurance athletes who do train for an hour will experience a decline in muscle glycogen stores at a slower rate than those who perform high-intensity activities like sprinting. Those attempting to lose weight on a low-carb diet need to keep the workout sessions short and no longer than 60 minutes. When you are in the process of burning fat, you’ll also risk muscle loss if don’t replenish glycogen store post-workout and if you plan to intensify your workout.

 

TIP 4 - ON A LOW-CARB DIET, THE BODY REQUIRES EXTRA TIME TO RECOVER

low carb diet

It’s very common for you to feel like not exercising on a particular day during a low-carb diet. When you feel so, listen to your body and take a break. Otherwise, you’ll risk yourself from injury and muscle cramps. You’ll need to take frequent rest while performing sets on a low-carb diet, this will allow your body to regain energy between sets. You can workout for 3-5 days a week and get more rest days. If you feel you have not worked out enough to build muscles, then have one high-carb day in a week, and reserve that day for a very high-intensity weight lifting session. Your increased energy levels, elevated glycogen stores combined with increased reps of strength training will contribute for a more productive exercise session.

Related Article: Learn The Importance Of Proper Recovery After a Workout

 

TIP 5 - FOCUSING ON PROPER DIET & NUTRITION IS MUST DURING LOW-CARB DIET

nutrition diet

You should give up refined and starchy carbs and focus on fibrous, low-carb vegetables like asparagus, leafy greens, carrots. Consume a high-fat and protein diet which includes meat, nuts, seeds, oils, meat, eggs. You should restrict the quick digesting simple carbs and rely on complex carbs like sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa, oats, flaxseeds, berries, whole grains which release carbs slowly into the bloodstream. Your body takes longer to process complex carbs into glucose, this prevents you from crashing in between workouts and avoid mood swings and low energy levels in between workouts. Since your body doesn’t have fast bursts of energy during the low-carb diet, you take the aid of supplements like creatine, citrulline, bcaa. Creatine will produce faster bursts of ATP, citrulline produces nitric oxide that boosts circulation and muscle pumps. BCAAs take care of muscle protein synthesis and prevent muscle breakdown, it also burns to produce energy through the process of gluconeogenesis. Try to replenish electrolytes through food or supplements and focus on proper hydration.

 

TIP 6 - PLAN ON COMPOUND EXERCISE RATHER THAN ISOLATION EXERCISE

compiund exercise

Since you’ll be on limited carb intake, your net carb intake will be low, which means you will need to stay away from high-intensity workouts. Treadmill workouts, push-ups, pedaling the stationary bicycle, hitting the rowing machine are some of the low-intensity cardio exercises you can perform when on the low-carb diet. You should focus on doing compound exercises that work for multiple muscle groups at the same time. Squats, deadlifts, pull ups, incline barbell bench press, crunches are some of the low-intensity strength training workouts that would help burn fat and build muscle at the same time. Since compound exercises elicit greater energy expenditure compared to smaller, isolated movements like bicep curls, your body will burn more calories and fat. The idea is to train multiple muscles groups at once and avoid lengthy workout sessions.

Related Article: Full Body Workout Vs Split Workout

 

Don’t push your body too hard while in a low-carb state, as your muscles get less stimulation, which leads to muscle loss, it is advised to keep your workout volume short & effective…

 

Timing your carb intake is most important when following in a low-carb diet, reserve most of your carb intake to about an hour before & after your training sessions to boost glycogen stores & to replenish glycogen stores respectively…

 

 Also read: How to lose weight without losing muscles?

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