Similar to other low-carb diets, Keto dieting varies too.
Being in Ketosis for a long time could give you hard time keeping up with your workouts. This is because you’ve been restricted from carbohydrates for an extended period already. However, there are some Keto diet changes that you can try from time to time. If you get to the point where you already feel like struggling in working out due to carb depletion, you can then use some carbs to boost your energy a little. This is where cyclical keto takes place.
What is cyclical keto?
Doing a standard Keto diet, your body can only consume up to 30g of net carbs only. This major rule is already pretty common to those who’ve done Keto dieting for a long time already. The thing is, this rule could also have an exception. High-intensity training or workouts made by athletes or gym goers can play with their Keto diet every once in a while. This will be the time that your body will use glucose for energy rather than fats.
Cyclical keto is having a one to two days of carbohydrates loading where you will restore your muscles and liver with glucose. Having said, this cycle is not really advised for those who do not intend to do intense workouts and trainings.
The ultimate goal of cyclical keto diet is for to use carbs as a tool to fuel your body with the energy that you need as you go on with your rigorous training schedule. This also helps with your muscle growth and athletic performance as you still get the exact benefits of a normal Ketogenic diet.
Generally speaking, cyclical keto is when you do a 5-6 day Ketogenic dieting and the 1-2 day high carb eating. As for other low-carb dieters, they use the term “carb load” whenever they feel like their body needs the extra glucose to help them with their workouts. Doing this diet doesn’t necessarily mean you will finally exit Ketosis. Cyclical dieting is temporarily switching out of Ketosis for 1-2 days in order to refill your muscles with glucose to regain the strength and energy that you need for your next Keto cycle.
Again, this diet will only be suitable for those who undergo high-intensity trainings. So if you’re only doing a low-moderate training and you may be in Ketosis only for health reasons, this diet will be unworkable for you.
How to do the cyclical keto?
In order to get optimal results, depleting the muscle glycogen will require a good workout schedule. Now, since we’re dealing with the intensity of workout here, the amount of training in order for you to successfully deplete muscle glycogen will solely depend on your carb intake.
For workout royalties, they make sure they do body split workouts to avoid them from being too drained. As a result, they would be able to finish every set per body part.
A good example of a workout schedule would be:
Body Split Workout
- Monday – Chest and Back
- Tuesday – Arms and Shoulders
- Wednesday – Legs and Abs
- Friday – Full body
If you’re not using any weights while working out, bodyweight could also help deplete glycogen in the muscles. You may consider doing sprints and cardio variations such as squat jumps, burpees, high knees, and mountain climbers.
As you workout, the number of sets and the number of repetitions will also matter. If you plan to go heavy, 2-3 sets would be advised. This is actually a good program if you’re trying to go all out and plan to grow some muscles. On the contrary, if you’re doing a light-weight, high-reps training, 5-6 sets will be recommended in order for you to shock your muscles.
After you’ve already depleted your muscles, you can now enter the carb loading for 1 to 2 days.
How much carbs can I eat?
One of the beauties of doing a cyclical keto is that you can do your own experimentation on how you want to consume your carbs. Just in case you don’t know which guideline to follow yet, you may refer to the simple indication we’ve provided below.
Day 1: In this phase, 70% of your total caloric intake will come from carbohydrates. 15% will come from protein, while the remaining 15% will be allocated for fats. Keep in mind that carb refeeding doesn’t mean you can eat any kind of food that you want. You will still need to restrict your body to only consume quality and clean carbohydrates. Some of the foods that you can consume with quality carbohydrates are potatoes (which you can prepare it any way you want), bananas, pineapples, carrots, raisins, and rice.
Day 2: Your carb intake on the second day will be lowered to 60% now – 60% carbs, 25% protein, and 15% fats. Foods that you can eat are whole grains, peas, berries (blueberries and blackberries, and black beans.
Going back to Ketosis after carb refeeding
You need to make a complete u-turn in order for you to re-enter Ketosis once again. Here’s how:
Day 1: Do not eat after 6pm
Day 2: Workout with an empty stomach. You have to perform high-intensity trainings with an empty stomach in order for you to get back to Ketosis rapidly. On this phase, you can only limit your carb intake with 0-2% macro.
Day 3: Again with an empty stomach, you have to perform medium intensity weight training You can then go back to your standard Keto carb limit of 3-5% daily.
Optional: For rapid Ketone boost, you may take MCTs to help you enter Ketosis fast.
Benefits of Cyclical Keto include:
- Improves immune function
- Improves sleep
- Appetite Suppressant
- Helps makes you lean
- Hormonal Imbalance
Carb refeeding or carb cycling can make use of all the advantages that Keto dieting could give you. As much as we appreciate the rapid results of weight loss that carb restriction could bring, you know that it isn’t healthy to perform that at an extended period.
Once you’ve completely learn and understand the ropes in Keto dieting, there are instances that you need to modify your routine in order to magnify lasting results in the future. By doing so, you will not only gain the benefits of cyclical keto but you will also find dieting and losing weight more fun and rewarding as you enjoy your carb refeed days.