T Nation

Finishing Keto Diet, Building Metabolism



I am 38, female and have battled a weight problem my entire life. I have come down from 230lbs to about 145lbs (as of today). I am currently on the last 2-3 weeks of a ketogenic diet. Once I am done, the nurses at the clinic will help reintroduce foods over a 3-4 week period. What I have learned of myself is that I am very sensitive to carbohydrates and have what seems to be a low metabolism. I am very sensitive to any cold or chill in the air and have always put weight on easily.

I have joined Gold's Gym and would like to get on the right track for increasing my metabolism and getting as lean and defined as I can as I head towards 40yrs old. I would love to work towards the type of fitness that Madonna has or Kelly Ripa (just as examples of definition).

I cannot afford personal training. With my membership at Gold's, I have access to a 'wellness key' which contains a prescribed workout routine using Technogym equipment. Personally I am a little disappointed in this as the technogym doesn't always log your reps properly.

I'm not sure where to begin to put together a routine that will provide the most tone/definition in the quickest time. Fortunately I don't have any saggy skin from all the weight loss...maybe a teeny bit around the abs, but I can't tell if that's just some remaining fat to burn off. I do have the 'wavy arms' though which I would love to get rid of LOL.

I'm 5'4" and also prefer to do abdominal work on a stability ball as I find lying on a mat very painful. I might have an S-I joint stiffness.

I enjoy the elliptical machine and the 'wave' machine for cardio. Other than that, so far I don't have any physical restrictions that I have encountered.

I don't know what supplements to take and when...I am overwhelmed with information from so many sources. What I do know is that an hour after a weight training workout, you want to take in some protein.

Would any of you like to take me under your wing and teach me where to start?


Well done on the loss.

Now, I'm far from being a good source of info, but I can (well, hopefully what I'm telling you is right) give you some key things to take away.

Nutrition side of things:

Key points
- Eat 5-8 small meals every day (try to eat at least something every 2-3 hours)
- Most of your carbs at breakfast and post-workout
- Complex carbs at breakfast, before & during workout (if you choose to eat before & during, some people don't, others feel it's often overlooked and is very important).
- Simple carbs for post-workout
- Good quality protein with every meal
- At least 1g protein per pound in bodyweight each day
- Cheat meals are okay occasionally, but not too often as you start to develop a taste for it and could fall back into old habits

you don't need to take anything, but it can be helpful to do so (for example: boosting protein intake)

Post workout meal should come within an hour after training, but more than anything it's important to get SOMETHING in you. Simple carbs + protein is what you want. It doesn't necessarily have to be a meal; a lot of people have a protein shake for example.

Training side of things:

Muscles can grow, stay the same size, or get smaller. I can give you a number of links to girls with great, feminine bodies who use heavy ass weights. You will not accidentally get bulky - I wish you could accidentally get too big, that would be awesome, lol. If you want that tight, toned look, you're probably going to have to put on a bit of muscle, don't be scared to do this. You won't wake up tomorrow night with 18" biceps. Okay, just wanted to basically hammer home the point that high reps w/ low weight is essentially wasting your time.

For your goals, it will probably be beneficial to do some cardio. Do this after weight lifting rather than before. Some people like to do it in the morning on an empty stomach, that's debatable. Or on your off days (i.e. off days being when you don't lift weights). I actually need to research this more so I can't say any more at this time on the issue.

As for routines, I'm going to leave that to someone else. Hopefully, they're not too confusing for you right now.

Technogym not registering the reps - don't worry about how many reps you're doing so much. The important thing is you're going all out, as hard as you can. You want to finish knowing you couldn't have done any more reps, so the amount you did doesn't really matter. Aim for more weight/reps than last time each separate occasion on which you do a particular exercise (so if you do exercise A once a week, every week you want to be improving on last time for that particular exercise)

Not a fan of the sound of this "Technogym" thing, but I'm leaving the routine to someone else, so I won't say anymore.

Hope that helps.


Thank you for the kickstart!

I do find the Technogym process of logging your workouts annoying; it's supposed to be a perk with my membership. It doesn't remember my last performed weight and I have to keep changing the prescribed weights I am supposed to be using according to the plan that is loaded on the usb key.

At this point, I am actually just coming through a tough period of 3 months of depression. I am totally not a depressive person, so this has been a difficult 3 months. My goal right now while I'm finishing up with the diet is to just get into the gym at least 3 times a week and focus on what I have enjoyed about it. I have gone twice this week and have really appreciated the feeling of "I can do anything/I can take anything life throws at me" when I'm done.

I would like to come up with a beginner routine that builds muscle and I am not worried about getting bulky. I am concerned about taking in so many carbs though when historically my body does not metabolize them very well and I gain weight quickly. I am hoping someone can pitch in their two cents about what sort of weights I should be tackling to start off with. Here's what I was capable of today given my ketogenic diet (all performed on Technogym equipment)

chest press machine - 25lbs (I find this pretty difficult)
vertical traction (lat pulldown) - 60lbs feels like I'm pushing it and it feels great..each bar moves independently
leg press (where you are pushing against a static plate) - 100lbs
leg extension - 55lbs
glute machine (where you stand and push your leg back on a padded roller) - 35lbs-40lbs
abdominal work on stability ball...no specific reps, I just do as many crunches/pulses as I can listening to a great song and then I switch to my side and target the side muscles on the ball adding some twisting motions to help work more of the muscles.

I haven't added any arms mostly because I've just been following the plan on the usb key.

I generally work out in the evening after work as it helps relax me at the end of the day I have noticed.

Love some feedback!