cyclical ketogenic diet

What Is A Cyclical Ketogenic Diet? (Everything You Need To Know About It In 2024)

A cyclical ketogenic diet is more flexible than the conventional keto diet plan. Further, it includes a combination of a strict high-fat diet, a low-carb ketogenic meal plan, and a high-carb diet. This diet allows you to have more fiber than you would have had in a normal ketogenic diet.

Also, a daily cyclical ketogenic diet can be beneficial for you in building muscles. Do you want to know more about this diet plan? Here is a complete guide for you.

What Is A Cyclical Ketogenic Diet?  

What Is A Cyclical Ketogenic Diet?  

A cyclical ketogenic diet for a week is divided into two halves. It will need you to follow a standard keto diet for around five to six days a week. For the remaining days, you can have more carbs in your diet.

As you follow the keto diet for five to six days a week, there is a remarkable decrease in your body’s glucose level. So, these “higher-carb” or refeeding days are very important to replenish the deficiencies. Further, a higher consumption of carbs for one or two days a week helps to boost your energy level and makes you more active.

Athletes and bodybuilders prefer the cyclical ketogenic diet bodybuilding as it can promote muscle growth. Also, you will be more functional and efficient during your exercise sessions by following this variation of a ketogenic diet. In addition, a cyclical ketogenic diet is effective in improving muscle strength.

What Are The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet Results Or Benefits?  

What Are The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet Results Or Benefits?  

By following a cyclical ketogenic diet plan (details to be shared in the next section), you will enjoy certain health benefits. Further, it’s easier to follow than a regular ketogenic diet.

Let’s know the benefits of this diet in detail.

Helps Athletes To Improve Performance  

If you are an athlete and following a strict keto diet, carbohydrate consumption will be limited. As a result, there can be an impact on your performance, irrespective of the sports or activities you are engaged in.

However, the cyclical ketogenic diet involves the intake of high-carb food items in a recurring and systemic way. So, there will be an improvement in your energy level, and you will be able to replenish the body glucose you have lost throughout the process.

By restoring the glucose level of your body, you will also notice remarkable improvements in your performance during daily exercise sessions.

Increases Your Daily Fiber Intake  

Increases Your Daily Fiber Intake  

You may suffer from constipation when on a strict keto diet. As the keto diet limits the intake of carbs and grains, there is a deficiency in the fiber element in your meal plan. Fiber is important to promote good bowel health and functionality. Further, soluble fiber promotes the growth of good bacteria in your gut.

In a cyclical ketogenic diet, you can have fiber-rich carbs like quinoa, oats, sweet potatoes, and beans. These will add the much-needed fiber element to your diet. As a result, you will enjoy better bowel movement and gut health.

Good bowel and gut health is very important if you want to get rid of extra weight.

Promotes Muscle Gain  

Promotes Muscle Gain  

When you follow a standard keto diet for a long time, there will be a decrease in the anabolic or muscle-building hormones. Insulin is one of those hormones that helps muscle building through protein synthesis. This suppression in the anabolic hormones happens because the carb percentage in a regular ketogenic diet is very low.

However, in the cyclical keto diet, you are allowed to have high-carb meals on one or two days a week. On those days, there is an insulin spike in your body, promoting muscle building.

The refined format of the ketogenic diet also makes your muscles stronger. However, more research is needed to prove the efficacy of this cyclical keto diet in muscle building.

Helps You Avoid/Overcome The Side Effects Of A Keto Diet  

If you are following a strict keto diet for many days, you can experience the following side effects.

  • Keto flu
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Irregular sleeping

All these symptoms happen when your body finds it tough to use ketones as the primary source of fuel instead of carbohydrates. Having a high-carb meal on a cyclical basis will help you avoid these side effects.

It’s Easier To Follow On A Long Term Basis   

It’s Easier To Follow On A Long Term Basis   

A standard keto diet is popular because of its multiple health benefits. It helps to lose weight and manage the blood glucose level. At the same time, a keto diet takes care of your heart health.

However, as I just mentioned, omitting carbs from your diet comes with many side effects. The cyclical ketogenic diet, on the other hand, allows you to have the right percentage of carbohydrates at regular intervals. So, it becomes convenient for you.

Also, when following a keto diet, you are depriving your body of carbohydrates that are rich in fiber and have many health benefits. The refeeding days in the cyclical keto diet can make up for the lack of carb consumption on other days of the week.

In addition, as you get to include carbs into your meal plans for one or two days a week, you have a better scope for experimenting with the dishes you need to make.

How To Follow A Cyclical Ketogenic Diet Plan?  

The cyclical ketogenic diet is more flexible, allowing you to plan your meals easily. For the first 5-6 days of the week when you follow the keto diet, you will have to consume around 65-90% of fat, 20% of carbs, and 10-30% of protein.

You can have the following items on those days.

  • Avocado
  • Eggs
  • Nut butters
  • Fatty means
  • MCT oil
  • Full-fat dairy products
  • Nuts and seeds with low carbohydrate percentage

For the second or refeeding phase of the cyclical diet, carbs should be 60-70% of the total calories, and the protein and fat intake should be 15 and 10 percent, respectively.

Final Words

A cyclical ketogenic diet is flexible and more suitable for people who have just begun their weight loss journey or have very active days. As a result, athletes and bodybuilders can enjoy the maximum benefit of this diet.

However, more research is required to prove the efficacy of this diet in promoting muscle growth and strength. So, don’t forget to seek advice from an expert nutritionist before taking a plunge.

sibashree bhattacharya
Sibashree has been into SEO and eCommerce content writing for more than 9 years. She loves reading books and is a huge fan of those over-the-top period dramas. Her favorite niches are fashion, lifestyle, beauty, traveling, relationships, women's interests, and movies. The strength of her writing lies in thorough research backing and an understanding of readers’ pain points.

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