I wanted to share with you some thoughts on exercise during the Weight Loss phases and during Maintenance. Many of you have had questions about exercising during Phase I and II so I will hopefully address some of these here.
Your body has stored energy from carbohydrates in your bodily tissues called glycogen. During the first 3 or so days of the diet we are reducing this stored glycogen by the diet. Your body will then be burning your fat stores for energy (ketosis) after this. It takes about 2 weeks for your body to make the necessary enzymes to fully burn the ketonic bodies that are produced from fat metabolism.
During the first 3 weeks, your body is getting the necessary “enzymatic machinery” in place so it can use 100% of the ketonic bodies (for cellular fuel) that your body is producing from burning the fat. In the first couple of weeks it cannot use all of them so you breathe them out (acetone breath), “pee them out” or you excrete excess ketones in your feces.
If your blood sugar gets too low during this time period, the proteins we supply and the muscle you have can undergo gluconeogenesis so glucose can be produced. Gluconeogenesis is when the body turns the amino acids contained in the protein stored in the muscles into glucose. When you increase the glucose demand (by exercising vigorously) during these first 3 weeks you will increase gluconeogenesis markedly. This can result in muscle loss, which WE WANT TO AVOID!!! Remember during this period you are literally “peeing out calories” without having to exercise. You will lose the same amount of weight, but will not risk losing muscle. Also, remember your muscle is your metabolism burning friend so we want to keep it! This program isn’t about calories in-calories out, but about hormones (mainly insulin) and metabolism. We are treating Metabolic Syndrome. Getting that pancreas back in shape and functioning correctly!
So, after the first 3 weeks you may exercise, but keep in mind these things and discuss with your coach how your particular body is reacting to this exercise:
- Do not get overly tired (remember you are on an imbalanced lower calorie diet for the weight loss so have an extra product AFTER you exercise, 4 a day for those on 3 packs a day for example, but only 1 X product in a day ever)
- Supplements are a must!! (serious cardiac problems can result)
- Keep well hydrated by increasing your water even more. You can add some salt to the water after to help with any fatigue as well.
- Keep your intensity lighter than you normally would. Strength training would be particularly helpful to continue building muscle which helps burn more fat. We generally recommend exercise 30 minutes, 3 times a week. Light walking and/or stretching could be possible daily if it doesn’t interfere with your weight loss.
We are not saying exercise is a bad thing. In fact, it is an important part of your Maintenance program. So start doing something to begin building the habit. You may even want to look back to your childhood to see what was fun and what you enjoyed. Maybe dancing, biking, walking, shooting some hoops, skating, whatever you will enjoy and want to continue doing. Just be careful to not do too much while you are in weight loss. You have the rest of your life to be active and it will be much easier if you are lighter 🙂