Considering a Low-Carb Diet? This May Be the Ideal Time to Start Using a Treadmill Desk

March 9, 2021
low carb diet treadmill desk

If you’ve been considering starting a “ketogenic” diet then this may be the ideal time to adopt a treadmill desk into your lifestyle. The aim of this type of low-carb diet (e.g.Atkins, Ideal Protein, Medifast) is to try and burn off unwanted fat by forcing the body to rely on burning fat for energy, instead of getting the energy from carbohydrate intake. But being on a ketogenic diet requires that you significantly reduce your exercise regimen during the dieting period, to ensure success. This can be quite a challenge for physically active individuals.

Dieters following this protocol are on a low caloric diet (we’re talking 800 calories), yet their body is actually using more calories than they were prior to starting the diet. Why? Because they are burning their fat stores for calories. Their bodies must make the necessary enzymes to fully burn the ketonic bodies that are produced from fat metabolism (beta oxidation). It takes about two weeks for this to happen, and then requires careful attention to what they eat and how they engage in exercise in order to maintain this metabolic state.

Ease Up on the Exercise

Vigorous aerobic exercise during the first three weeks of a ketogenic diet is ill-advised because the increased demand for glucose can trigger gluconeogenesis, a process that causes the body to convert muscle into glucose instead of drawing the calories it needs from fat stores. To exercise vigorously during this period is to risk muscle loss, which will make it harder to lose weight in the future (and make you weaker). For this reason most diet protocols suggest reducing exercise intensity to between one-third and one-half of what the dieter normally undertakes.

Remember, with ketogenic diets it’s not about calories in – calories out, it’s about hormones and metabolism. Dieters were fighting a hormone (Insulin) before and they can’t exercise their way out of it, the hormone always wins.

After the first three weeks dieters may reintroduce more exercise, but are advised not to get overly tired. They must take nutritional supplements (in order to avoid serious cardiac problems such as arrhythmia or tachycardia), and keep well hydrated in to stay healthy and to continue to lose weight.

For many people it is difficult to participate in their favorite sports during this dieting process. Violating the protocol can interrupt the ketogenic metabolic machine, slowing weight loss. There is also the risk of exhaustion if they exert themselves too much for too long during sport or exercise.

More Movement with a Treadmill Desk

For these reasons, adopting a treadmill desk at work will allow ketogenic dieters to continue a practice of healthy movement in their daily lives, but without elevating their heart rates into the exercise zone. Because treadmill desking typically involves walking at only 1 to 2 mph, dieters can benefit from raising their basal metabolic rate (resting heart rate) by 100-150 calories per hour, without breaking into sweaty aerobic exercise.

An additional benefit of using a treadmill desk is the increased focus and productivity that comes from working while walking. In transitioning to ketosis, dieters can experience side effects like headaches, leading to difficulty concentrating on work tasks. Strolling slowly on the treadmill desk can help to counteract these effects, keeping dieters optimally productive while achieving their health goals at the same time.

For the best chances of success with a low-carb diet, adopting a treadmill desk – or at least the middle step of a sit-to-stand desk – may be just the ticket.

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