In the last few years, there’s been a lot of hype about the keto diet and the benefits it can bring. And it sounds miraculous – a diet that teaches your body to preferentially burn fat, leaving you lean and muscled. But in truth, the keto diet can have some serious pitfalls.
The cyclical keto diet aims to solve those problems, providing your body with the fuel it needs and you with the rice you want. Read on to learn more about this diet and how it can help you achieve your fitness goals.
ABOUT THE KETO DIET
The ketogenic diet focuses on getting the body into ketosis, a state of aggressive fat burning. It does this by seriously upping your fat intake and dropping your carb intake to little or nothing. Without the normal fuel of glucose from carbs to keep you running, your body starts burning excess fat reserves.
But while the keto diet can be very effective, it’s extremely hard to stick to. The truth is everything delicious is made of carbs, and one cheat day can throw you out of ketosis, undoing days or weeks of hard work. But what if we told you there was a way to get the benefits of a ketogenic diet without removing all carbs from your diet?
WHAT IS THE CYCLICAL KETO DIET?
The cyclical keto diet uses cycles of the normal keto diet alternated with a high-carb, low-protein diet. Usually, these cycles run in five-and-two-day or six-and-one-day combinations. This helps to replenish your body’s glucose stores without ruining the benefits you get from ketosis.
This may sound similar to carb cycling, but in reality, the two diets are very different. Yes, they both use higher and lower periods of carb intake. But carb cycling never limits carb restriction nearly enough to get into ketosis.
The cyclical keto diet can have a number of benefits, not the least of which is that it’s significantly easier to follow. It’s extremely hard to stick to a standard keto diet since it means you can’t ever have bread, potatoes, rice, or any other starchy or sweet foods. But since you can eat more carbs on the weekend with cyclical ketosis, you get a “cheat” day that doesn’t mess up your diet.
A keto diet can also come with some pretty nasty side effects. Your body is meant to run off glucose, so when you start denying your body that fuel, you can get symptoms that include nausea, fatigue, headaches, irritability, and difficulty focusing. By replenishing your glucose stores on the weekend, a cyclical keto diet can help you avoid the keto flu.
WHO SHOULD TRY IT
A cyclical keto diet can have amazing benefits, but only for people who can manage it properly. If you’re diabetic, you should never try to get into ketosis of any form without first talking to your doctor. But even if you aren’t diabetic, the cyclical keto diet works best if you have some experience in nutrition to help guide you in your food choices.
The cyclical keto diet can also be a good option for serious athletes. Because your body is still getting some glucose while aggressively burning fat during the week, this diet can help you bulk up and increase muscle definition. And intense workouts are one of the best ways to offset the heavy carb loads you’re taking in on the weekends.
WHAT TO DO DURING THE WEEK
During the week, you’re going to want to focus on following the standard keto diet. You should be aiming for about 75 percent of your diet to come from healthy fats. Fifteen to twenty percent should come from protein, and less than ten percent should come from carbs.
Some good foods to eat when you’re doing the keto diet include eggs, avocado, full-fat dairy products, nut butter, fatty meats, and coconut oil. Try to replace flour with alternatives like coconut or almond flour, and use maple syrup as a sweetener. You want to aim to eat less than 50 grams of carbs every day.
ON THE WEEKENDS
On the weekends, you’re going to flip your carb and fat intake levels. So you need to be aiming to get 75 percent of your calories from healthy carbs and only 10 percent or so from fats. Protein can stay around the 15 to 20 percent mark.
During the weekends, don’t go crazy on pasta and cake; you need to focus on eating healthy carbs. This can include things like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, brown rice, oats, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta, and beans. These carbs are high in nutrients that help give your body the kind of fuel it needs.
One of the biggest downsides of the cyclical keto diet is that it’s easy to go overboard on your calorie count on the weekends. You need to make sure to keep a close eye on those counts or you’ll counteract all the benefits you gained during the week. The focus during this time is to replenish your body, not to go crazy on carbs.
The side effects of the cyclical keto diet have not been studied in depth yet, so we aren’t sure what sort of effects you could see from the diet. But there is a good chance you’ll gain a few pounds when you first start the diet. This is a result of some excess water weight you’ll start carrying, and it should go away within a few weeks.
LEARN MORE ABOUT A CYCLICAL KETO DIET
The cyclical keto diet can be a great option if you find that standard keto isn’t sustainable for you. It helps you avoid keto flu and can replenish your body’s glucose storage so you can continue to bulk up and perform better in your workouts. Be sure to monitor your carb intake on the weekends and this diet could work very well for you.
If you’d like to learn more about a cyclical keto diet, check out the rest of our site at Speedy Keto Living. We can help provide you with jet fuel for your life the healthy way. Sign up for our blog today and receive delicious keto-friendly recipes and tips for living a keto life.