Exercise and Atkins | Atkins

Colette's Blog

May 20, 2015

While exercise is not essential if you want to lose weight on the Atkins Diet, it does offer many benefits, including:

• Preserves and builds lean body mass
• Improves mood and helps decrease depression
• Boosts your energy
• Helps you maintain your weight loss
• Helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and more
• Helps you sleep better

So, in other words, adding exercise to your program is a win-win decision. While exercise in itself is good, it helps to learn how the different foods you eat on Atkins affect your exercise performance. And knowing what to eat before and after a workout is equally as important.

Protein: The first thing your body needs for exercise is a fresh supply of amino acids from protein. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are used by your body for making muscles, hormones, neurotransmitters, bones and all sorts of other important things. Exercise depletes critical amino acids like glutamine and the three branched chain amino acids—valine, isoleucine and leucine. When you eat protein, it replenishes your body’s supply of these branched chain amino acids. Think meat, chicken, eggs, fish or whey protein (like in an Atkins Advantage shake).

Carbohydrates: Exercise draws upon your body’s stores of glycogen, which is the storage form of sugar. Glycogen waits in your liver and your muscles for a signal that sugar is needed—kind of like “Hey, she’s exercising, let’s give her some fuel!” Your body can hold about 1,800 calories of sugar as glycogen, which is plenty to fuel any workout short of a marathon. Your best choices are slow-burning carbohydrates like vegetables and low-glycemic fruits such as berries and nuts/seeds. If you are on later phases of Atkins 20™ or on Atkins 40™ you can also use high-fiber whole grains

What to Eat Before Exercise
Your regularly planned meals and snacks throughout the day should help you stay properly fueled for your workout. Schedule your exercise session so that you have something to eat about an hour before. Good pre-workout snacks include a hard-boiled egg or two (or deviled eggs), a serving of almonds or olives, an Atkins Advantage bar or shake or a ham or turkey roll-up. In later phases, or if you’re doing Atkins 40, cottage cheese or Greek yogurt with some fruit can also help fuel your workout.

What to Eat After Exercise
Plan on eating within 30 minutes of exercise—this is an important window when your body is primed to replenish nutrients, restore fluids and rebuild muscle. An Atkins Advantage shake is a convenient option, or any low-carb meal that features a combination of protein and carbohydrates, such as a salad with your choice of chicken, fish or meat.

More From Colette

Back in the Office? Tips for Low Carb Eating at Work

Tips for Low Carb Eating at Work Planning and Convenience Are Key to Low Carb Eating at Work 1) Plan ahead. 2) Choose satisfying, energizing foods. 3) Love your leftovers. 4) Review your choices before eating out. Low Carb and Keto Friendly Guide to Eating Out Low Carb and Keto Fast Food Options 5) Stock

Read More »

5 Low Carb Recipes with Spring Vegetables

5 Low Carb Recipes with Spring Vegetables Low Carb Soups, Salads and Seafood Dishes for Spring Sauteed Snap Peas and Cucumbers with Shallot and Dill Spring Asparagus Soup Spring Fennel and Pea Soup Keto Warm Chicken and Radish Salad with Wilted Romaine Scallops with Lemon Chive Sauce How to Make the Most of Your Spring

Read More »

    Low Carb Mother’s Day Baking Recipes

Low Carb Mother’s’ Day Baking Recipes 3 Delicious Low Carb Desserts for Mother’s Day Beginning Baker Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes Aspiring Baker Keto Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Skillet Cake Baker Extraordinaire Creamy Cheesecake with Macadamia and Pine Nut Crust More Low Carb Mother’s Day Desserts Low Carb Mother’s Day Dessert Recipes Tips for a Low

Read More »