Can you do high-intensity workouts while on a low-carb diet? It might seem impossible since carbs provide the body with instant energy. As the name suggests, HIIT combines high-intensity exercises and shorter rest periods. It can provide various benefits, including more fat loss. There are various cardio exercises you can use for HIIT, including running, rowing, and stair-climbing. However, HIIT on keto is the opposite of a slow treadmill walking. It’s Cardio 2.0 because it requires you to push yourself to the limit.
The main issue when doing high-intensity workouts on keto is the high-intensity itself. The body typically gets energy from carbs for such exercises. So this means you’ll need to do some tweaks so you’ll get enough energy from stored fat and ketones when doing HIIT workouts.
If you increase your carb intake, there’s the risk of getting kicked out of ketosis. So it’s critical to know details about extra carbs including what, when, and how. For example, if you’re boosting carbs before workouts, how can you stay in ketosis after workouts? Such issues can help you do Keto and HIIT effectively to get the best results.
What Exactly Is HIIT?
This acronym stands for high-intensity interval training, it’s like other high-intensity workouts because it requires more strenuous movements than a walk in the park or down a flight of stairs.
On the other hand, the “interval” in the name is also critical. It is related to how much rest time between sets. In many cases of high-intensity workouts, there’s a lot of rest time to recover from the previous set.
The problem with this approach is it causes body changes that reduce weight/fat loss. They include a lower heart rate and others that can help to maximize fat-burning. You’ll want to avoid that situation to burn the most fat.
One of the main benefits of HIIT is you can use it for any kind of cardio workout. They include running, jump-roping, stair-climbing, etc. A key issue is during the recovery period it’s important to keep moving instead of sitting down, for example.
This allows you to burn more fat if you stop moving completely during workouts. If that happens then it’s tougher to lose lots of weight/fat. The reason if it gives your body less of a chance to slow/cool down.
There are various benefits of HIIT workouts. They include better results. Since you’re constantly moving you’re also constantly burning calories and burning fat.
This approach can also save you time. You get the same results in a fraction of the time it would take doing low-intensity workouts. This is important if you’re short on time and have to make your workouts as efficient as possible. In that case, you’ll want to get the most from every minute of your workout.
HIIT on Keto: 5 Tips
1. Eat fast-acting carbs
You won’t have to boost your carb count for the day. What’s critical is to consume carbs that quickly boost your blood sugar levels. Keep in mind the body’s first choice for energy is carbohydrates.
This doesn’t mean you should go high-carb for the day. It’s about getting a pre-workout carb spike.
2. Consume daily carbs 30-60 minutes before workouts
This will help to provide the best results. It’s important to stay within this range since it’s the sweet spot for blood sugar spikes. If you consume the carbs sooner or later than this range then you’ll likely get fewer results. Make sure to go with fast-acting carbs to get the benefits sooner.
3. Stay on keto during the day
Carb-counting while boosting carbs as a pre-workout method is necessary. You are required to stay within the 20g to 50g range. In some situations like Phase 1 of Atkins, the maximum carb count is 20g/day. However, a standard keto program allows up to 50g.
4. Use a keto macro calculator
It is essential to help determine your carbs while doing high-intensity workouts. The figure will differ based on various factors. To get the best results, consider using the calculator so you’ll know exactly what your daily carb count should be. This will help you to stay on track for the program.
5. Consume carbs after workouts
Make sure to also consume some carbs within half an hour of your HIIT workout. That helps provide the best results in terms of doing HIIT while on the keto diet. You should also consume the same fast-acting carbs to get the best post-workout results after doing various HIIT exercises.
Top Pre/Post Workout Keto Foods
Being in ketosis can burn 2x more fat than when your energy source is carbs. When picking carb sources, you should consider if your main goal is fat-burning. If it is, then you could go 0-carb before workouts.
However, the situation is somewhat different when doing HIIT workouts. In this case, the main energy source will be carbs. So the key is to go with fast-acting carbs and make sure you stay within your daily totals of 20g, 50g, or somewhere in the mushy middle.
Here are some pre-workout foods to consider:
- High-fat food
- High-protein food
- Full meal
- Protein shake with MCTs (omega-3)
You could even go with a full meal before your workout. The key is to make sure it’s a keto-friendly meal. That means staying within your macro split, which is typically about 70g fat, 20g protein, and 10g carbs.
In the case you consume pre-workout carbs, make sure to go low-carb. It is usually 5% to 10% of your total daily calories.
Like when on other diet plans, the goal after your workout is recovery. It’s one factor of how the body recovers following exercise. Protein is one of the best options. It can help to speed up the recovery process.
If your main goal for exercising is building muscle mass, then it’s especially critical to consume protein. This will help to repair the tiny tears in muscle tissue that cause soreness after a tough workout.
The recovery time is often up to 3 days post-workout. However, you can speed up the process by consuming more protein as a post-workout food/meal.
The recommended protein for keto dieters is usually about 20% to 25%. However, if you’re doing HIIT you should consider boosting this figure and reducing carbs. That would keep fat at 70%, which is important to stay in ketosis for HIIT on keto.