How to Exercise on the Keto Diet

I am sure there are a lot of people who feel daunted by working out while they are trying to diet. This is true of most people actually. While in my experience it wasn’t as crucial as I had believed it would be but it is still a good idea to get into the habit of working out regardless of what kind of diet that you are on. That being said, there is a way you need to go about exercising on the keto diet if you have been leading a somewhat sedentary lifestyle.

First Two Weeks

Honestly I do not even recommend working out for the first two weeks of being on the keto diet My main reason is that you will generally just feel lousy for the first little bit. There are a lot of mixed emotions within the fitness community about how keto affects your body, but one thing is true about keto, you will drag!

During my first three days on keto I was at an all time low for energy. I was working every day and walking more than the average person. Having no energy wasn’t exactly ideal for my situation but there really isn’t any healthy thing you can do about it. A lot of people will take caffeine supplements to replace the caffeine intake from soda but I do not recommend this. Just break away from all the bad habits the first time and be done with it. You will be low on energy for a week or so but you will get it back naturally as long as you are sticking to the guidelines of the diet.

Start Somewhere

While it is not ideal to just diet alone, a lot of people do it. But, you do need to exercise if you want to see consistent results from this diet.

As I said earlier, most people wanting to go on this diet lead an almost sedentary lifestyle. You do not have to go Arnold with your workouts but you do need to pick a type of exercise that you like or can tolerate doing and make a schedule of it. The most important thing is that you start exercising once you have the energy to do so. What good is it to lose a few pounds if you are just gonna sit on the couch and stare at the television? When you lose weight you want to be able to show it off. Get moving! You will look and feel a thousand percent better.

Steer Clear of HIIT

Exactly as the title says, you may not want to participate in HIIT exercises while you are on the keto diet. There is a good reason for it to!

If you participate in HIIT exercises your body is burning glycogen as fuel. Doesn’t our bodies have glycogen? why yes they do, but, this nutrient in the body is stored by carbs. While you are on the keto diet the one thing you try to neglect in your diet is carbs. So if you were to choose to participate in a HIIT workout while on the keto diet you may not have the best workout of your life and you would not have the same results that you would having eaten more carbs.

So what kind of workout can you do?

A lot of people will boast weight training above all, and it works to a good extent, but cardio workouts actually do the best. On keto you’re burning fat for fuel. While you are doing cardio exercises you are burning fat. They go hand in hand! This is not to say to quit weight training all together, just that the keto diet is actually designed to go hand in hand with a body toning exercise instead of a body building exercise.

Let’s Keep it Moving

When you get down to it the important thing is that you stay as active as possible while on any diet. It is your body and you ultimately choose what workouts you like to do and to what extent you do those exercises. Just know that without exercise the keto diet is just a short-lived dream when you don’t get the results you want. So exercise, eat right, and look forward to seeing yourself in the mirror in the months to follow your journey.


Cheyenne Hamilton


  1. Thanks for your article ‘How to Excercise on the Keto Diet’.  I do agree that you should leave off training in the first for weeks of this diet.  I have a physical job and when i first started the diet I was physically drained at work for a few weeks and was really lethargic.  I did not know that doing HIIT your body is burning glycogen.  Thanks for the very informative article.

  2. Hello, you are so spot on concerning the information you just shared up here concerning keyo diet and exercises. The only mistake that I made in my life during the earlier days of starting keto diet was the fact that I did HIIT execisrs. Oh! I regretted my life because I lost all my body energycoupled with intermittent fasting. I had to later feed on carbs essentially to restore my strength. So, I can attest to the information here. HIIT is an enemy to keto

    • Glad to be able to hit on the subject. Trying to help others avoid the common mistakes. Thanks for the comment!

  3. This us really helpful. To be sincere, I don’t enjoy working out on diet because I don’t usually have that much energy but now I understand that it works better if accompanied by work out. Cardio workout is the best during a keto diet because both exercises burns fat unlike weight training. I find this so enlightening because I go on Keto diet without workout and I don’t seem to get the result I wanted, now I know why it is so. Thank you to the information.

  4. Thanks for this wonderful post its been worth reading. I have only recently stopped y vegan diet two days ago and I’m currently looking for a new diet entirely to try out. I have been suggested about 4 diets but Keto seem to be the most catching of all and this is why I have been making research on it. I’m glad to have comes across this post, because I work out on a daily and working out on a keto diet considering the fact that I may have just started may not go too well. I look forward to seeing more of such educational post. Thanks for sharing

    • Thanks for your input Chloe! If there are any specific topics you would want covered I would be happy to do so!

  5. Hey, Despite the fact that I am not on the Keto Diet I was interested to read about what exercise is best when you are feeling “drag”.  I lead a sedentary life (except for lawn bowls) because of my online business.  You mention muscle toning exercise which is a good fit for me.  Could you give me some ideas of what home exercises that are easier and quicker to do than working out at the gym.  I am time precious.

    I LOVE swimming however don’t have a swimming pool at home!  I’m working on that one big time!

    Look forward to your suggestions, Cheers

    • Thanks Jill! Yes actually there are three easy exercises you can do everyday in a short amount of time to tone. Those being simple push-ups, crunches, and squats. Doing 15-30 minute sessions of a morning is a great way to stay active and create lasting energy for the day ahead. Keep tuned in to the website and all try to cover the subject in greater detail. 

  6. Thanks for the helpful article Cheyenne. You are very right about the first week or two being rough when it comes to working out on keto. I am going through it again now and my workouts are suffering a bit. I just feel really flat and no energy. I have to really push through it to finish. I know that it’s only temporary but it’s still difficult. I’ve found my best results come when I front load all my carbs to before my workout. Say 40 g or so. I feel like this helps you get the best of both worlds and is the way I’ve found to keep making gains in the gym. Thanks for the great post!

    • Always glad to help! Yes i believe if you are going to workout within the first two weeks that is the way to do it. Spot On! Keep making gains!

  7. Excellent post!
    I like how you talked about staying away from working out during the first two weeks of being on the keto diet. I briefly tried having a keto diet, mostly to see how my body would respond, and I remember having trouble walking around even though I was in good shape.
    You have provided a ton of great information here. Staying active is definitely huge to keeping up your strength and not lose what you have worked hard for.
    There is some trial and error here for each person.
    Taking the time to experiment to find what works for you is probably going to give you the best results for maintaining a consistent exercise routine while remaining on a keto diet.
    Thanks for a helpful post!

  8. Hi Cheyenne,

    Really interesting, I specialise in helping people naturally increase and optimise their testosterone levels. One of the things I recommend for this is a Keto diet. As weight lifting is one of the major ways to increase T that is the main form of exercise I recommend, interesting with regards the Keto being more aligned with body toning as supposed to body building, I’ll keep that in the back of my mind.

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