If you’ve ever tried the keto diet, you’ll know how hard it can be to stick to it. You can’t eat anything sweet or starchy, and there are a lot of other restrictions. But what if we told you there was a way you could reap all the benefits of the keto diet without having to give up on pasta and rice forever?

The cyclical ketogenic diet allows you to “cheat” on the weekend and stick to keto during the weekdays. It can help you avoid the keto flu, stick to the diet longer, and improve your athletic performance. Read on to learn more about this diet and the benefits it can have for you.


Before we dive into the cyclical ketogenic diet, let’s learn a little more about the ketogenic diet. This diet was initially developed as a treatment for epilepsy in children. It works off of the idea of increasing your body’s ketone count, which helps you to preferentially burn fat.

The ketogenic diet is moderate protein and high fat and includes little to no carbs. This can be a very effective diet, but it is very difficult to stick to. Part of the reason it was recommended as a treatment for children was because parents could control what kids did and didn’t eat.


A cyclical ketogenic diet creates cycles of eating extremely low carb and then eating high-carb for a couple of days. While you’re in ketosis, you want to aim to eat less than 50 grams of carbs a day. During this time, your body burns fat for energy instead of glucose from carbs.

Most cyclical keto diets operate on a five-and-two-day or six-and-one-day cycle. During the week, you eat based on the keto diet, following the recommended keto protocol of about 75 percent fat and the rest divided between carbs and protein. On the weekend, you load up on carbs to replace your body’s depleted glucose stores.


If you’re dialed into fitness diets, you may be thinking that cyclical keto sounds a lot like carb cycling. And it’s true that both diets cut carbs on certain days and raise the carb levels on the others. But they have completely different objectives and wildly different diets.

Carb cycling is about bulking up and trimming down on fat. And while the method is the same, carb cycling doesn’t cut carbs nearly enough to get into ketosis. Ketone levels would stay the same, and you could eat a lot of things on carb cycling that you couldn’t on the keto diet.


If you’re wanting to try a cyclical ketogenic diet, stick to a standard keto diet during the week. Eat things like eggs, avocados, low-carb nuts and seeds, nut butter, fatty meats, and full-fat dairy products. Protein should make up about 15 to 20 percent of your diet, and carbs should be less than 10 percent.

During the weekend, you can up your carb intake to about 60 or 70 percent of your total calorie count. During this time, protein can stay around 15 to 20 percent, but fats should stay under 10 percent during these days. You want to focus on healthy carbs during this time – things like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, brown rice, oats, quinoa, whole-wheat or brown rice pasta, beans, and lentils.


The cyclical keto diet can have a number of benefits, including losing fat and gaining muscle. It can also help boost athletic performance. A standard keto diet can help replenish some of the energy and carbs that athletes need to perform at their best.

One of the biggest advantages of a cyclical keto diet is that it makes the regular keto diet easier to follow. Keto can come with some nasty side effects known as keto flu – nausea, fatigue, headaches, constipation, trouble sleeping, and irritability. Not to mention that a cyclical keto diet allows you to have that giant bowl of pasta you want without messing up your diet.


Research on the cyclical keto diet is limited, so no one knows what exactly the side effects are. It can also be easy to overeat on those refeeding days, which can undo any benefit you’ve gotten during the week. You need to be extra careful to watch your calorie counts during these days so you don’t go overboard.

When you first start the diet, you may discover that you gain a little bit of weight. This is a temporary side effect of some water retention that increases with the start of the diet. Stick it out; this should go away in a few weeks.


The cyclical ketogenic diet can be a great option, but there are some people who shouldn’t go on the diet. If you’re a diabetic, the keto diet in any form is a bad idea for you. And if you’re on the keto diet for a medical reason, you need to stick to the standard keto diet.

But the cyclical keto diet can be a great option for athletes looking to boost their performance. Bodybuilders and people who work out frequently can also benefit from this diet. And advanced dieters with experience in nutrition can do well on this diet.


The cyclical ketogenic diet can be a great way to lose some weight and stick to the keto diet without being miserable. You have to be careful to monitor your nutrients and stick to your calorie limits on the weekends. But with some care, you could see amazing results in as few as a few weeks.

If you’d like to learn more about the keto diet, check out the rest of our site at Speedy Keto Living. We give you jet fuel for your life the healthy way. Sign up for our blog and discover all the delicious recipes you need to trigger ketosis.