If you’re looking for a low carb diet to get lean, strong and fit – think again.
Keep reading to learn just a few of the reasons why keto can’t support the body composition changes you desire.
1. muscles need carbs.
Wanna know a big user of carbs in the body? Your booty! And for that matter, your strong legs, back and chest, too. It’s true! Your muscles, especially your big muscles, require a lot of carbohydrate fuel.
If you have goals to get stronger or develop a leaner body composition, eating enough carbohydrates will help you get there. Failing to replenish carbohydrate stores in the muscles after challenging workouts makes building, repair and recovery so much more difficult.
It doesn’t matter how hard you push in training it’s gonna take a seriously long time to see results without carbs.
2. Strict low carb diets are not sustainable.
Eating a diet that’s very low carbohydrate requires a TON of willpower.
Can you imagine yourself at a neighborhood BBQ, lunch date with your significant other, or girls night out sans carbs? You’ll be flexing that willpower muscle hard to find substitutions for all your favorite foods.
And it’s bound to backfire at some point.
People who lose body fat and keep it off for good are consistent with their habits because they enjoy the way they eat long term. Could you skip the breadsticks, bake keto-friendly birthday cupcakes for the kids, or skip wine (yes, that’s got carbs!) long term?
3. the keto diet lacks fiber.
Fiber-containing foods are usually carbohydrate-containing foods. When your diet is very low in carbohydrates, it tends to be low in fiber as well.
Undereating fiber means good gut microbes are being starved of the food they need to survive. This increases your risk of digestive issues like gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. It also means the bad bacteria have a fighting chance to overpopulate the gut and take over, leading to a cascade of other potential issues.
We know that there are metabolic and hormonal implications to poor gut health. If you have goals for a leaner physique, cultivating a diverse microbiome is a key part of the equation.
4. Eating keto might prevent you from getting key nutrients.
Metabolism starts at the cellular level. If you’ve got goals to build lean muscle and lose unwanted body fat, you best be thinking about the ways you can nourish your body (not strip it) of valuable nutrients.
Foods that tend to be rich in key vitamins and minerals, also contain carbohydrates so think about what you’d be missing without whole fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, peas and grains? B vitamins to convert food to energy, calcium for muscle contraction, vitamin C to protect against exercise induced inflammation, and zinc to produce muscle building testosterone and promote recovery. These could all be running low with a keto diet.
Tracking protein, fat and carbohydrate rich foods and eating to your personal needs (because you definitely need a bit of all of them!) is a much more effective, sustainable and realistic way to get results.
And, as a Registered Dietitian and macros expert, I know that your macros need to be tailored to you.
That might mean that you DO enjoy a lower carb eating pattern and feel better emphasizing more fats in your meals – but not as drastic as the keto diet requires.
It might also mean that you’re completely ditching low carb because you actually need far more than you think!
Pssst if you’re a strength training woman with goals for a leaner, stronger and fitter body composition I’m gonna put money on the fact that you do!
Tracking macros combines both the choice and autonomy that you want, with the structure and guidance that you need.
Simply put: Keto can’t. Or is it, keto kan’t? Keto kan not?
What would it mean to you to personalize your eats in a way that makes sense, feels good and delivers results – sans deprivation and nonsense food rules?