Cyclical Keto is constantly going in and out of a ketogenic diet on a weekly basis. Cyclical keto is also known as carb cycling because it includes an intermittent period of a high level of carb intake.
On regular keto, the carb intake is supposed to be lesser than 50g each day. However, on a cyclical keto diet, you can eat 50g for 5-6 days of the week and raise the intake to 150g for the rest days. This high intake of carb will temporarily kick you out of the keto diet.
What are the Benefits of the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet?
Cyclical keto is an excellent choice for athletes as it helps to build muscle and provide plenty of fuel for a workout session. Also, sticking to a diet with less than 50g of carb each day is quite excruciating both physically and mentally. Therefore, this diet is super convenient for people who like to give their system some carb boost once in a while.
Doing standard keto on a long term basis can have some harmful effects. It can lead to mineral deficiencies as well as electrolytes imbalance. However, as the carb intake is higher on cyclical keto, the insulin rate is also higher which helps to upregulate the thyroid and speeds up the metabolic activity.
The cyclical keto also helps to enhance the overall level of glycogen stored compared to a regular high carb diet as the low carb intake is followed by high carb intake. The high intake of carb creates an anabolic response by luring the amino acids and glucose into cells. As the body is topped up with glycogen, the muscles look fuller compared to the standard keto diet.
What are the Downsides of a Cyclical Ketogenic Diet?
Well, cyclical keto sounds fun indeed but it does come with few drawbacks too. A recent study has shown that people cyclical keto diet, people lost more lean muscle mass while the people on standard keto diet mostly lost fat.
Keto dieters commonly go through a phase called “keto flu” where they experience headaches, brain fog, smelly breath, etc. On cyclical keto, people tend to get “carb flu” which results in similar side effects like keto flu. Due to a sudden increase in carb intake, it takes the body some to adapt to the process which leads the body to undergo a minor energy crisis.
Is It Better than Standard Keto?
Well, this one is quite a tricky question because everyone’s body is different and what works for you may not work for someone else. If you’re someone who takes cheat meals very often then we’d suggest you give the CKD a try as this lets you have a high carb dose once or twice in a week.
You can also give both standard keto and cyclical keto a try for a few weeks and then decide whichever works for you the best. Whichever one you pick to make sure your fat intake is high and you follow a strict diet plan to make the best out of your diet regime.