By now, you’ve surely heard everything there is (or just about everything) about the keto diet. Short for ketogenic diet, this low-carb, high-fat eating plan is great for our health. Not just for weight loss – there’s legit evidence that it can prevent a host of diseases and conditions. Like all diets, it has its pros and cons, with the cons largely being restricted to the unavailability of low-carb ingredients and foods that just don’t taste so good.
A notable drawback of keto diets has bee pointed out by experts. Many believe that the diet isn’t healthy when followed for a long time. That’s where keto cycling comes in – a less restrictive and more sustained way of getting all the keto diet benefits and none of the downsides.
What’s a Keto Diet?
First things first – a ketogenic diet is a diet which involves a low-carb, high-fat meal plan. It’s one of the most popular diets worldwide as it has helped millions of people lose weight. What the diet does is essentially shift our metabolism to burn fat for fuel. Since you’re not entering carbs and they are our main source of energy, the liver starts producing compounds known as ketones which then fuel our bodies instead of carbs.
It’s a complex diet that works unlike any other. Instead of starving yourself to death, you will eat a fairly normal meal plan. Not as tasty as a regular diet, of course, but still.
The beginner’s keto diet plan goes on for 7 days. That’s the time it takes for your body to start adjusting to the new lifestyle. Many people follow a few cycles of this, while the bravest ones go for 60-or-more days on keto. Since the diet depletes your energy levels, doctors don’t recommend such a thing. However, you can follow the diet cyclically and get top results without the disadvantages.
The Different Types of Ketogenic Diets
There are different types of keto diet circulating the web right now:
- Standard keto diet: keeps your carb intake between 20 and 50 gr. per day;
- Targeted keto diet: you eat the full daily allotment of carbs 30 minutes to an hour before workouts;
- High-protein keto diet: a ketogenic diet meal plan with a higher percentage of carbs;
- Lazy keto diet: has a lower carb allotment per day (20-30 gr.);
- Dirty keto diet: allows foods from outside the keto menu if they fit your macros;
- Cyclical keto diet: you follow a low-carb diet plan for around a week, then eat a high-carb diet for a few days and repeat the cycle.
What do You Eat on the Cycle Keto Diet?
Many dieters may be confused over the different keto diet types. You shouldn’t be – they all follow mostly the same diet plans with a few differences. Ketogenic cycling doesn’t alter the meal play. You eat the same foods and meals, but as mentioned, you cycle between low-carb and high-carb days.
Expert keto USA nutritionists say that this optimized plan can maximize fat loss and help you build up muscle mass. Building up muscle mass is a common problem for keto dieters. Thanks to ketogenic cycling, it is now possible to build your muscles without adding additional weight.
It all starts with preparation. You need to be aware that the keto cycle diet begins with meals that have less than 50 gr. net carbs and follow this course for 5 days at least. You will then go into a carb-loading phase where you can have 10 times that amount or roughly 500 gr. net carbs per day for a few days.
The keto cycle diet works best when started on Monday. You can start it any day you like, but it’s easier to follow if you go Monday-Friday on low-carb meals and have ‘cheat’ carb-loading days on the weekends. In this way, you’ll be keeping your carb intake in the right zone and have plenty of energy and time to exercise on the weekends. Those guns need carbs, so you can push them to their limits on Saturday or Sunday.
How Does Ketogenic Cycling Help You Lose Weight?
The cyclical keto eating pattern is a bit hard to follow for first-timers, but experienced keto dieters should have no problem with it. Going off and on carbs is a bit challenging, but from an athlete’s perspective, it’s a great idea.
You can follow the low-carb part of the diet with ease during the first 5-6 days and do some light exercise. After it, you can load up on carbs properly and go for a few days of intense exercise that will burn a lot of your body’s fat reserves.
Of course, it will require your full focus and a lot of discipline. Not all people can go on and off carbs that quickly, so the keto cycle diet may be challenging for some groups.
Who Is the Keto Cycle Diet For?
The cyclical ketogenic diet should be suitable for all types of people. However, it’s best suited for athletes and bodybuilders who want to lose weight but not muscle mass. On high-carb days, you can hit the weights harder and grow your muscles while reserving low-intensity exercises on low-carb days.
If you’re not sure if this diet is right for you, you can take the keto quiz and find out. Many websites have questionnaires that will allow you to choose the right keto diet for you if you don’t know where to start. Try a keto quiz yourself and find out if the keto cycle diet will suit your daily carb needs.