Increase Carb Consumption 12 Days Per Week
The second phase of the cyclical keto diet involves choosing 12 days per week to refeed your glycogen stores.
During refeeding days, you should consume more carbs in order to break ketosis.
On refeeding days:
- Carbs should comprise 6070% of your total calories.
- Protein should account for 1520% of your total calories.
- Fats should deliver just 510% of your total calories.
Though the goal of the refeeding phase is to increase the number of carbs, carb quality also matters.
Instead of relying on unhealthy sources like white bread and baked goods, you should get the majority of your carbs from healthy sources.
Some examples of nutritious, complex carbs include:
- Sweet potatoes
After high-carb, refeeding days, you should consider intermittent fasting to return to ketosis fast.
The most common intermittent fasting method involves fasting for 16 hours of the day.
High-intensity workouts on the days following refeeding are also advised in order to achieve ketosis while optimizing muscle growth.
In the cyclical keto diet, you follow a standard ketogenic diet most days of the week, then refeed with carbohydrate-rich foods a few days per week.
Research on the cyclical ketogenic diet is very limited. Still, it may provide advantages.
Is The Keto Diet Safe
While eating a diet with high amounts of protein/healthy fats and fewer carbs is generally safe, you should be aware of health concerns with following the keto diet, including:
- Low blood sugar levels, especially among people with diabetes who are taking medications.If you have diabetes and are set on following this diet, I would strongly encouraged you to contact your physician to discuss how/if to adjust medications during the diet, as low blood sugar levels can be deadly.
- Increased cholesterol levels, which can increase risk of heart disease.High intake of saturated fats and high fat meats can lead to increased cholesterol levels, which can increase risk of heart disease.
- Nutrient deficiency risk.Eliminating or greatly restricting multiple entire food groups puts a person at risk of developing a nutrient deficiency. This risk increases the longer the diet is followed. And yes, you could take a multivitamin, but most vitamins are best absorbed when consumed as food, rather than in a pill, and they dont contain the same antioxidant benefit as whole foods.
- Dangers for those with kidney disease.People with kidney disease would want to avoid this diet, as the excess protein that often comes along with this diet may progress kidney disease more rapidly.
Medications That Can Throw Off Your Ketogenic Diet
- The Health & Wellness Center703-354-7336
- Address: 4501 Ford Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22302
- Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. – 12 a.m. EST Saturday – Sunday : 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. EST
- TALK TO A KETO CONSULTANT: Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 9 p.m. ESTSaturday – Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST
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Key Takeaways For Step 2 Of Starting The Keto Diet
The most effective way to lose weight is by eating the right amount of calories. Since fat will be your main source of calories while you are on the keto diet, you will need to adjust your fat consumption based on the results you are currently getting and the results you want to get.
The fundamental principles you can use to help you figure out how much you should eat are as follows:
- Eating fewer calories than you need to maintain weight will lead to weight loss.
- Eating more calories than you need to maintain weight will cause weight gain.
- It is healthiest to lose weight at 1 to 2 pounds per week.
While you are on keto, it is important to eat the right amount of each macronutrient as well.
Follow these three keto principles to help you with this:
- Keeping carbs lower than 35 grams per day will help you stay in ketosis.
- Eating the right amount of protein will help you preserve muscle mass as you lose weight.
To help you find out how much you need to eat of each macronutrient, I recommend using these two tools:
- A calorie tracking app
Opt For Keto Approved Cheat Meals
Arguably, the best way to approach cheat days is by not cheating on your diet at all and splurging on keto-friendly substitutes to curb your cravings instead, saving true cheat meals as a last resort.
You can find a recipe a ketogenic version of just about any popular meal you can think of to keep you on course. not to mention the endless supply of packaged keto snacks and “cheat foods” hitting the market. So if it’s an option to grab one of these instead, this should be your first line of defense.
Keep the cheat days and stay in ketosis. Get our delicious recipes and hacks for free right now!
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The Downside Of Going Off The Keto Diet
“When you’re not on a keto diet, you consume a fair amount of carbohydrates… so when you go on a keto diet one of the things that happens quite quickly is that, because your glycogen stores are depleted, you do lose water weight,” registered dietitian Andy Bugatti says .
So when you stop doing keto, expect that the water weight will come back on. “When you reintroduce carbs you also introduce additional water with every gram of carb, you get 4 grams of water,” dietitian Shoshana Pritzker tells Shape. “This can make you feel like you’ve gained a ton of weight rapidly, though much of it is probably water retention.”
But even if you stick to healthier, unprocessed carbs, bloating could come to haunt you. “The most common issue that people deal with is bloating and intestinal issues because of the re-introduction of fibrous foods,” dietitian Taylor Engelke says but as long as you stick to unrefined carbs, the bloat should disappear anywhere from between a few days to a few weeks.
Is Keto Cycling Healthy
Eating carbs one day a week may be harsher on your body than just sticking with keto, says Liz Weinandy, R.D. at The Ohio State University.
Remember, this is about more than just food choicesâleaving ketosis means completely changing your metabolic state.
“You donât just loop in and out seamlessly,” says Weinandy. “The body is not going to like switching from one major energy source to another.”
And if you’ve been in ketosis for a long time, the transition may not be smooth,
“Thereâs a lot of metabolic process where the body is like, ‘whoa whoa whoa.’ Itâs kind of like yo-yo dieting,” says Weinandy.
This drastic change could make you fatigued, moody, and hungry. Weinandy says ketones suppress appetite, so you’ll likely want a snack until you’re back in fat burning mode.
“If someone is trying to lose weight and theyâre doing that it could be counterproductive, says Weinandy.
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How Does Keto Cycling Work Exactly
Keto cycling doesn’t have a set definition. Some people choose to have five or six days on keto followed by a day or two off. Others will do keto for 10 to 12 days followed by three to four days off.
Devine typically doesnt recommend taking more than two days off keto. She says to start with just one day so you can see how your body responds and how quickly you return to ketosis.
If you have too many carbohydrates, youre going to build up your glycogen stores, and its going to be very hard for you to get back into ketosis, she says. She says to think about your glycogen stores, which are your bodys supply of stored carbohydrates, as a gas tank. As long as we dont let that tank dip over, we can deplete it pretty quickly again and get back into ketosis, she says. But as soon as we go beyond that three or four days , our tanks flood over and you start to actually store some of that glucose as fat, and it becomes very difficult to deplete that tank again and get back into ketosis.
On those higher-carb days, Devine recommends sticking to healthy carbs with low amounts of sugar rather than going on a full-blown carb binge. Foods like fruit, sweet potatoes, and whole grains rather than white bread and sweets will make it easier for the body to adapt to ketosis again.
A Week Of The Keto Diet: 7
The goal of a ketogenic dieta nutrition plan high in fats and low in carbsis to help you lose weight more efficiently by achieving ketosis. Ketosis is when your metabolism starts to burn fat for fuel instead of carbs and sugar. Atkins is a ketogenic diet, but unlike the standard keto diet, Atkins is less restrictive, meaning you get more food choices and a better balance of macronutrients.
With Atkins 20®, net carbs are restricted to 20g or fewer per day for a two-week induction phase to guarantee that ketosis is achieved, before gradually adding small amounts of net carbs back into your diet. Consuming a well-constructed keto diet thats low in carbs, moderate in protein, and high in healthy fatsas you do on Atkins 20® or Atkins 40®has shown to be safe and effective. Typical of Atkins 20 ®, this 7-day keto plan is broken down as follows:
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Benefits & Downsides Of The Keto Cycle Diet
No diet is perfect. No matter what option you go for there are bound to be benefits as well as downsides and keto is no different. While cyclical keto may be easier to stick to than conventional keto, it can still cause a few unpleasant side effects while your body is adjusting to the change in fuel. But that doesnt mean there arent benefits of a cyclical ketogenic diet there are.
Is Keto Cycling Right For You
The prescriptive nature of total carb abstinence may be appealing to some, but for others, can feel unnecessarily rigid. Its important to get clear on where you fall in the spectrum and use that to guide your dietary decisions. Whether youre trying to lose weight or just get healthier, it also makes sense to think about the foods you enjoy and the way you like to cook and then pick a plan that lines up with your food and lifestyle values. Be real with yourself and identify some non-negotiable foods. If pasta is one of them, keto cycling might be preferable to keto, but you might want to try another approach altogether.
Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, Director of Womens Cardiovascular Prevention, Health and Wellness at Mount Sinai Heart, Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association, and spokesperson for the American Heart Associations Go Red for Women campaign, is also in favor of the Mediterranean diet over the keto diet or keto cycling approach. She says the Mediterranean diet has been shown to reduce the incidence of heart disease by as much as 30 percent and that weight loss and better blood sugar management can be achieved by boosting your vegetable intake and cutting way down on your consumption of overly processed carbs and sweets.
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Coming Off Keto Symptoms
While I personally didnt experience any symptoms fromcoming off keto some people report that in addition to gaining back some weightor getting a bit bloated, they experience a bit of fatigue, mood swings, andincreased hunger from blood sugar spikes.
This is why its important to transition off keto slowlyand not go overboard in the high carb sugary treats.
It’s Advertised As A Weight
In the world of weight-loss diets, low-carbohydrate, high-protein eating plans often grab attention. The Paleo, South Beach, and Atkins diets all fit into that category. They are sometimes referred to as ketogenic or “keto” diets.
But a true ketogenic diet is different. Unlike other low-carb diets, which focus on protein, a keto plan centers on fat, which supplies as much as 90% of daily calories. And it’s not the type of diet to try as an experiment.
“The keto diet is primarily used to help reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures in children. While it also has been tried for weight loss, only short-term results have been studied, and the results have been mixed. We don’t know if it works in the long term, nor whether it’s safe,” warns registered dietitian Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
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What Are The Benefits Of Keto Cycling
Outside of finally eating sweet potatoes or a slice of bread, there really is no benefit, according to Boehmer. Some people believe keto cycling is necessary because prolonged carb restriction interferes with hormone levels. However, Boehmer explains there are no scientific studies looking at the effects of keto cycling.
“I feel like itâs a relatively new concept. To be honest people are taking this traditional ketogenic diet and trying to manipulate it because itâs hard,” she says.
You Might Experience Mood Disturbances
“When the brain gets less sugar from the blood for energy, this can impact mood and result in feeling irritated, fatigued, and difficulty concentrating,” says Palinski-Wade.
Feelings of restriction or the inability to socialize through food on a keto diet might make you feel extra blue. Before diving in, give some thought to how much you’re willing to sacrifice to attain keto success.
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How To Do Keto Cycling Correctly
The best way to do it is to eat healthy foods for those carb sources. So, instead of eating white bread and cookies, go for whole grains, like quinoa or buckwheat or brown rice instead. Or you might enjoy sweet potatoes as a yummy side, which offers some fiber and antioxidants for the higher carb source.
Same goes with fruit. Maybe you might have more high carb fruit, like an apple or mango, instead of the usual small serving of berries, in a smoothie or in your yogurt.
Still eat good protein and fats and make sure your carb sources are clean. Avoid frying things and eating carbs without nutritional qualities.
Another piece of advice:
Stick to a strict carb-restricted keto diet for at least 4 weeks before you enter keto cycling. Its important for your body to develop its fat-burning potential. Also, do not cycle just because you feel awful on your first week of a low-carb diet. Cycling is something that you earn after youve reached fat-adaptation.
Why I Quit Keto
Keto Benefits Wearing Off
While I had been enjoying all those keto benefits for thefirst 8 months, things started to change once I hit month 9.
That awesome increase in energy I had enjoyed started tofade. By mid-afternoon I found myselffeeling extremely tired. By the end ofthe 9th month, I was basically exhausted every night. Even when I started going to be earlier, thatmid-day energy crash kept hitting me.
Maybe it was just because of the lack of energy but my focus and concentration were being affected too. I found myself struggling to get any writing done in a decent amount of time and my mind wandered frequently. It got so bad I started taking lions mane mushroom supplements to help me stay focused while I was writing.
Negative Effects on My Body
Then I started noticing some other weird things happeningto my body.
My hair had become thin. While I had noticed this earlier and wasnt too worried about it, the researchI had done on hypothyroidism had me wondering if the hair loss had just beenfrom losing weight or if it may have been a sign of something more serious.
Then I noticed my nails had become brittle. While my nails are never super long, I foundmyself constantly breaking them just by banging a finger on something.
Then there were the rashes.
It started out with some eczema on my fingers. I had wondered if it was just from the coldweather, but even when it started warming up the eczema didnt go away.
Sick of Counting Carbs
I hated it. I wastired of it.
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I Want More Variety In My Diet
Simply put, this is the bottom line.
The keto diet was a fantastic weight-loss vehicle for me, and I couldn’t have made the progress I did in the amount of time I made it without following this way of eating. It has incredible value for those who are seriously overweight or who have a food addiction, diabetes, or any number of other health issues.
I would certainly never discourage anyone from trying keto or claim that it doesn’t work and isn’t worth it, because it totally is. That said, I feel like I’m in a place now in my health and fitness journey where strict keto is no longer a good fit for me.
I’m still focusing heavily on the “calories in, calories out” method and choosing carbohydrates that are whole, unprocessed, and slow to digest. I haven’t come off keto so that I could start chowing down on french fries or eating peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches on white bread every day.
Instead, I’m focusing on things like oats with unsweetened almond milk and seeds for breakfast, or adding in things like quinoa or butternut squash with my evening meals.