Ketogenic diet has grabbed all the limelight for being the most talked about diet plan in the world today. Numerous people are reaching out to their dietitian or searching across various web platforms about its overall concept and health benefits. While this happening, there are still some who are finding it hard to achieve their weight loss goals with the help of a standard ketogenic diet. If you are a part of that rare group, let us introduce you to the “Cyclical ketogenic diet”, the efficient sibling of the very famous ‘ketogenic diet” regime.
What actually is this “Cyclical Ketogenic diet”?
Before getting into the Cyclical Ketogenic diet, you must first understand the overall concept of Ketogenic diet. A ketogenic diet is a diet plan which is low in carbs, moderate in protein and high on fats .A ketogenic diet perfectly trains the human body to bring in the fat content to fulfill the energy requirements. This means that the body is going to use the fat content as a fuel and you can eventually get rid of the fatty acids and the ketone bodies.
A Cyclical Ketogenic diet, on the other side, simply means that you are going “in and out” with your Ketogenic diet regime. The “keto cycling” process will go on for around 5 days followed by one or two days with high carbs in your diet. Once you are on a cyclical keto diet, you are going to follow a diet which is high on fats, moderate on protein and low on carbs. On the 6th and 7th day, you can go on for a high-on carb diet. The Cyclical Keto diet is perfect for all those people, who are:
- Unable to stick to the strict Keto diet and want to stay easy with their carb intake, once in a week
- Indulged in sports and athletics and require high carb before their performance on a given day
- Looking to utilize their anabolic hormones like Insulin to further gain high muscle strength
- Heavy lifters and want to utilize their glycogen storage during their weight training
While the 5-6 days period will be quite same as the keto diet with 75% fats, 20% Protein and 5% carbs, the ‘Carb days” would be a bit different.
Diet during the ‘Carb days’ or ‘Re-feeding days”
This would mean that you will be re-feeding your glycogen stores within these 1-2 days period in order to fulfill the energy requirements to the body. It would require you to consume more carbs to further break the ketosis process in the body.
- Carbs must comprise around 60-70% of your total calories intake
- Protein content must go around 15-20 % of the total calories intake
- Fat content must be only 5-10% during this period
Although you would be feeding onto a lot of carbs during this period, you must ensure taking care of the quality of carbs in the process. Instead of going with unhealthy carbs like white bread and processed foods, you must rely on healthy and complex carbs like sweet potatoes and oats.
Health benefits of Cyclical Ketogenic diet
1. Increased Fiber content
Constipation comes as one of the most common issues faced by all the people, who are following a keto diet. The biggest reason behind this is the absence of enough fiber in their diet, whilst they are consuming high fat, low carb diet in the process. This is where Cyclical Keto diet comes as winner as it allows the person with some high-fiber carbs like oats, sweet potatoes, beans and quinoa within their diet.
2. Supports lean muscle growth
Almost every athlete and bodybuilder across the globe follows the cyclical keto diet, simply because of the fact that it supports lean muscle growth with proper carb cycles. This is the sole reason why even fitness models and Hollywood celebs also follow the cyclical keto diet in their daily fitness routine. The diet helps big time in promoting lean muscle mass to the body without going high on fat content.
3. Helps you in managing those carb-cravings
Not everyone can go well with a Ketogenic diet and this is where cyclical keto diet comes for their rescue. Whilst going along with that standard keto diet for around 5-6 days, you can add certain healthy carbs like sweet potatoes, oats, whole wheat, squash, and white rice into your diet for the 7th day. This will not only help your body to function properly, but provide fuel to your brain and joints alongside. This is the reason why cyclical keto diet is quite popular amongst most of the fitness enthusiast around.
4. Helps in weight loss
All those people who are really finding it hard to get rid of that extra flab via a standard keto diet can get benefitted with cyclical keto diet. The glycogen storage of the body gets used properly and the body will start pushing for lean muscle growth in the process. On top of that, you can still have a bit of carbs once a week to get along with your body’s energy requirements.
Precautions and prohibitions to follow whilst being on Cyclical Keto diet
You got to hold off for sometime before adding those high-carb days into your existing keto diet. This is due to the fact that the body is habitual by now of burning fat into fuel and sudden change would limit the benefits out of your keto cycle. There may be a certain reduction to the water content to the body and the person might feel a bit dizzy or sleepy at times. Also, people with various cardiac conditions must refrain from getting along with the cyclical keto diet.
Foods you can eat during a Cyclical Keto diet
• Sweet potatoes
• White or brown rice
• Whole wheat bread
• Whole wheat pasta
• Butternut squash
• Multigrain cereal
Foods which must be avoided during a Cyclical Keto diet
• Sugar-sweetened beverages
• Fruit juice
• White flour
• White bread
• Refined grains