You may be wondering if you can build muscle while on the keto diet. The question is valid because some people tend to associate muscles with high consumption of carbohydrates. How then can one hope to achieve bulk in the muscles with between 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day?
A study published in the journal of nutrition and metabolism in 2006 indicates that a low carb diet will result in changes in your body composition, which preserves muscle mass while favoring the loss of fat.
However, be advised that it will take some time for muscle building to occur in a keto diet. You will initially go through a phase known as keto-adaptation as your body adapts to using fat as opposed to glucose for fuel. The process may take up to one month so be patient.
Tips for Gaining Muscle While On Keto
Before we discuss food combinations that can help you gain muscle mass, it is important that you understand certain basics. You need to be very patient when on a keto diet, especially as your body tries to adjust to it.
Train regularly using the right type of strength training and eat enough calories. Incorporate intermittent fasting so that your body goes into ketosis faster.
Keto Eating Guideline for Muscle Building
If you’re on the keto diet, you need to consume fat, protein, and carbohydrates in the percentage ratio 75:20:5. Fat will allow you to gain muscles because the muscles will have the fuel they require to grow.
Consume protein but be watchful about the amount. Your muscles will need the protein for a process known as protein synthesis, which is important for muscle growth. An ideal amount of protein would be 0.82 grams for every pound of body weight.
If you consume too much protein, gluconeogenesis, which is the conversion of protein into sugar, will occur, thereby interrupting your ketosis.
Following a guide to a keto diet can help you achieve muscle building by showing you what to consume and what to avoid.
5 Appropriate Meals for Muscle Building
We will share with you some of the combinations you can consider for your muscle building keto meals.
Some interesting combinations to consider include:-
- Eggs and steak – Eggs and steak will give you an instant double dose of protein. It is an extremely tasty combination, and you can eat it at any time of the day.
- Rib-eye steak – Sear the rib-eye steak in bacon to give it flavor, healthy fats, and tenderness.
- Chicken salad – When making the chicken salad, combine it with cilantro and coconut cream so that you get enough fat and protein in each mouthful. The coconut cream is a wonderful replacement for mayonnaise which will do nothing much for your keto diet.
- Baked salmon – Add butter and lemon to give the salmon great flavor.
- Avocado egg – Combine bacon, avocado, and egg for a wonderful combination. Avocado egg is a meal you can eat at any time of the day.
- Roast beef – Bulk up your muscles using protein from the roast beef.
- Lobster – if you feel like you need to treat yourself to a sumptuous meal, wrap lobster in bacon and season it with pepper and garlic powder.
- Baked eggs – Baked eggs will give you protein and fat. Combine them with zoodles, and you’ll get the feeling that you are eating pasta.
You have many options for vegetables. These include:
- Turnips – use grass-fed butter and sea salt to cook your turnips;
- Brussel sprouts – Brussel sprouts contain low amounts of carbohydrates and will give you vitamin k, vitamin c, and fiber. Use the sprouts to make a salad and have it as a side dish;
- Cauliflower – Make bacon, cauliflower quiche, and you’ll achieve about 27 grams of fat and 25 grams of protein. Have it for breakfast or anytime you are feeling hungry;
- Broccoli – Roast your broccoli for that added flavor. The broccoli will give you phosphorus, calcium, fiber, and Vitamin C and K. These nutrients are very important for building strong muscles;
- Swiss chard – This will give your plate a crunchy tasteful, easy meal. Add some red pepper and garlic for that extra flavor.
Add nuts and seeds to your meal plan will help you build muscle mass. Buy macadamia, walnuts, peanuts, flaxseed, and pumpkin seeds among others. If you prefer not to eat the actual seeds, you can opt for peanut, cashew and almond butter.
Supplements will boost the ketosis process and give you the energy you require to get throughout the day.
Beverages – be ready to consume a lot of water because your body will need hydration. If you do not like the taste of flat water, put in a wedge of lemon or lime to make it easier to swallow.
You can continue to drink your coffee and green tea but do not add any sugar to it. Try and avoid alcohol as much as possible, but if you feel like you need a treat, then you can have something like vodka or tequila. Beer is a no-no.
Other Foods to Consider
There is a wide range of foods you can have in your diet including poultry like chicken and turkey, fatty fish like herring and mackerel, grass-fed meat like venison or pork, full-fat cheese like mozzarella, cheddar, goat cheese, and cream cheese.
Fats are important – consider using avocado oil, sesame oil, coconut butter, olive oil and coconut oil. Even more so regarding fruits and vegetables; get avocado, tomatoes, pepper, and mushrooms among others.
The Keto diet does not restrict the use of condiments; all you need to do is make sure that they are sugar-free.
It IS possible to build muscles while on a keto diet. Be mindful of the kind of food you eat and get the right kind of exercise. Avoid foods like whole wheat bread, doughnuts, sugar, soda, spaghetti, rice, root vegetables, beans, legumes and sauces that have high carbohydrates.
Cut out processed foods and unhealthy fats. Avoid foods that have plenty of additives or preservatives and try and stick as much as possible to natural, unprocessed food.