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Can the Keto Diet Work For Bodybuilders?

Can the Keto Diet Work For Bodybuilders | LEP Fitness

You’ve probably heard of the keto diet already? But for those who haven’t it’s basically a high fat, medium protein and low carb diet. Although it can be modified for bodybuilders who need more protein – for example high protein, medium fat, low carbs. 

The keto diet is often used by people who are wanting to lose fat and lean down, so it could be an option for bodybuilders who are looking to get super lean on stage. 

In this article the aim is to discuss the keto diet and whether or not it can work in bodybuilding…

The Theory of Keto

The Theory of the Keto Diet | LEP Fitness

The ketogenic diet is allegedly supposed to encourage fat loss, with dieters claiming to go into ketosis – which basically means that the body uses fat for fuel instead of carbs. The theory is that if you don’t put carbs into your system your body has no choice but to use fuel from other sources i.e. fat and protein.

This concept is slightly misleading though, because whilst it’s true that your body will become more efficient at using other fuel sources it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will lose fat.  A common misconception that lots of people still forget is that the only way to lose weight is by creating a calorie deficit i.e. burning more calories than you consume.

It doesn’t matter what diet you follow, unless you create a calorie deficit you wont lose weight. For example you could eat 2,000 calories per day of ‘so called’ healthy foods: chicken, steak, cod, vegetables, fruit, etc – or you could live of 1 x chocolate bar per day (300 cals) and you’d lose more weight eating the chocolate bar than you would eating 2,000 cals of healthy foods!

More Than Calories

Of course for bodybuilding it’s not only the calories that need to be looked at but also the macronutrients i.e. protein, carbs and fats.

In order to optimise your physique and keep/build as much muscle mass as possible you need adequate amounts of protein (at least 1-2g per kg of bodyweight).

Fats are also important because they help with things like increasing testosterone. Therefore if we look at a keto diet it could very well work in bodybuilding because it’s high in both protein and fat. 

foods to eat on a keto diet | LEP Fitness

When you look at a list of keto foods, there are plenty of options to choose from that are conducive towards a bodybuilding lifestyle, for example…

chicken, turkey, eggs, steak, mince, cod, haddock, salmon, tuna, butter, olive oil, nuts, whey protein, and vegetables

All of the above foods are the staple of most bodybuilders diets. 

Bodybuilding Without Carbs…

As we’ve already discussed following a keto diet means eradicating carbs from the diet. This causes a major issue for bodybuilders because carbs are an extremely important food group for hypertrophy training – swelling of the tissue also know as the pump.

Carbs are stored in the muscle as glycogen and are hugely beneficial during weight training when the body needs quick energy. Carbs are super important when it comes to bodybuilding and there’s no denying this, therefore following a keto diet all the time will not lead to optimal results.  

Keto Bodybuilding Conclusion 

Whilst the keto diet could definitely be used in bodybuilding it’s far from an optimal strategy, and you wont be winning any trophies if you follow this approach.

Most bodybuilding pros do what’s called carb cycling, which involves periods of low carb dieting, but then carbs go back into the system when the bodybuilder looks flat and needs a re-feed. This is to boost training performance and improve aesthetics – so they look bigger and fuller.

Like I said a keto diet could be used if you use it in cycles, and at correct times during your training phases. But long term keto dieting will definitely not lead to optimal performance results when it comes to bodybuilding. 

Thanks for reading, if you liked this post please check out my health and fitness blog – there are over 800 free articles!

South Yorkshire Personal Trainer | LEP Fitness

Nick 🙂

About the Author

South Yorkshire Personal Trainer Nick Screeton is the owner and founder of LEP Fitness – a Sheffield Personal Training company which was founded back in 2012. Nick has completed over 10,000 one to one personal training sessions and has a wealth of knowledge in regards to improving both the body and mind. Nick combines personal training with life coaching to get the very best out of his clients.

28 Day Keto Challenge By LEP Fitness…

If you like, you too can follow the exact method that I used to lose 16lbs in just 28 days.

I’ve also used this super successful strategy on hundreds of LEP members – check out the hundreds of testimonials on my site!

LEP Fitness | Sheffield
Testimonials | LEP Fitness


  • A 28 Day Written Plan of action – A personal road map guaranteed to achieve success
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  • A Post Keto strategy for further weight loss (once you’ve completed the 28 days) 


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LEP Fitness client David Loses 2 Stone Under Very Challenging Circumstances! Here’s How We Did It…

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