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How To Bulk Up On Keto Diet

Being on the keto diet myself, like many people I wondered how it's possible to build muscle. Having increased my fat intake, I found myself feeling fuller faster and longer. This lead me to start eating less calories as I'm the type of person that can't force myself to eat. I started doing research because I didn't want to abandon the keto diet. I like the diet, and the health benefits. Low-fat, moderate carb diets never worked for me. We've long been told that carbohydrates are vital to increase muscle mass. Carbs help release an anabolic hormone that drives muscle growth. Which would make anyone wonder, can the low carb keto diet hinder muscle growth?

                                            Photo credit: Bodybuilding.com

When in ketosis, our bodies rely on fat for energy. In the beginning stages of ketosis most people feel fatigued which is normal and temporary. So beginner keto dieters will likely experience a drop in performance. Once your body adapts, here are some recommendations on how to build muscle on a keto diet. 

Increase Your Calories

Most people turn to the keto diet to lose weight. In order to build muscle mass you need to eat more calories than you burn per day which is also called maintaining a calorie surplus. There are several factors that determine your daily caloric intake. Lifestyle, current weight, activity levels, height, and sex. You can find a calculator here to determine your daily caloric intake. This typically is the amount of calories you need to eat to stay the same weight. You can also weigh yourself several times per week and use a calorie tracking app to see if your weight stays the same. Once you know your maintenance calories, it's recommended you increase your caloric intake by 15%

Protein Is Your Best Friend

Protein is vital when it comes to building muscle. Especially, when it comes to building mass you must eat more protein than your body breaks down. Studies suggest that eating 1.0-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight for muscle gain. Many keto dieters fear that if they consume too much protein it will knock them out of ketosis and stop their body from making ketones. According to a study from PubMed.gov , it is safe to consume around 1 gram of protein per pound of  body weight without being kicked out of ketosis. 

Continue To Track Carbs

It's still important to restrict and keep track of your carb intake to stay in ketosis. Most people can eat up to 50 grams of carbs per day to stay in ketosis. It might be beneficial to consume your healthy carbs before and/or after your workouts to help your performance. 

Monitoring Fat Intake

On ketosis, your body uses fat primarily for fuel. Carbs and protein provide 4 calories per gram with fat providing 9 calories per gram. Take your daily caloric amount and subtract your carbohydrate and protein needs. Divide that number by 9. That is your daily fat requirements. According to keto recommendations, typically fat requirements are 70-75% of your daily calories.

Weight Train Consistently 

To help gain that muscle mass you must weight/resistance train regularly. Opt for at least three times per week depending on your muscle building goals. It might be a good idea to hire a personal trainer if you're new to resistance training or lack knowledge of compound exercises. Whatever your workout routine, try to include pull-ups, squats, pushups, and bench presses that will help encourage muscle growth. 

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