So what is the keto diet?
- The keto diet is one of the most popular and well-known diets around and generally, it’s a pretty easy diet to follow. Put in broad strokes, all you have to do is cut out the carbohydrates from your diet and you’re good to go. In practical terms, of course, this means more than just laying off the bread and donuts.
- There are also several common vegetables that come off the menu and all fruits except for berries are forbidden. However, that still leaves a lot to work with, and it’s not as hard as one might think to eat well and feel satisfied on a keto diet. In fact, there are several variations of the keto diet which allow you to tweak your carbohydrate and protein intake.
The Basic – The Standard Ketogenic Diet
- The standard ketogenic diet is, as its name suggests, the basic keto diet with which we are already familiar. On the standard keto diet, you consume very low amounts of carbohydrates, typically about 5% of your daily caloric intake.
- However, you can take that carb content as low as 0% as long as your body seems to be tolerating it. On this plan, you do consume a small amount of protein, about 20% of your daily caloric intake, but your fat intake makes up the rest of your diet, about 75% to 80% depending on your carb intake. In general, this is the keto diet plan that most keto dieters follow in order to lose moderate amounts of weight.
Rotating Carbs – The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet
- This version of the ketogenic diet allows dieters to cycle in and out of no carb and carb intake periods. The cyclical ketogenic diet is the same as the standard ketogenic diet in all respects. The only difference is that the dieter alternates between pure ketogenic days with little to no carbohydrate intake and two to three day periods where they reload on carbs at a higher rate.
- This mitigates the concern that many keto dieters have about being in a state of perpetual ketosis and the problems that this can create in terms of muscle loss and overly low insulin levels. It is a good option for those who want to stay on the keto diet long-term, but don’t want the negative effects of prolonged carbohydrate starvation.
Especially for Athletes – The Targeted Ketogenic Diet
- Bodybuilders and athletes are particularly drawn to the keto diet because it allows for rapid weight loss and it helps them to maintain their body fat ratio at peak levels. However, the downside for keto athletes is that although the keto diet helps them to keep in shape and bounce back from their offseason weight gain, it also breaks down muscle mass over time.
- For athletes, a balanced regime of carbo loading and keto dieting is far more optimal than cutting out carbohydrates entirely. With the targeted keto diet the goal is to design a workout plan that allows for both muscle building and weight loss and the athlete either eats carbs or a keto diet based on the workout in question.
Energy Boost – The High Protein Ketogenic Diet
- The standard ketogenic diet includes a relatively low amount of protein, which is not the ideal option for some keto users. People who are on the go all day or who have jobs that demand that they stand for a long time often find that they lack the energy needed to get through their day on the basic keto diet. This version allows them to add about 15% extra protein to their daily intake while cutting down on fat intake to about 60%, allowing for greater energy boosts throughout the day.
- Whichever version of the keto diet you use, make sure that it is the right one for you. If you feel yourself seriously lacking in energy or facing harsh side effects, you can always tweak your intake levels of protein, carbohydrates and fats to tailor the keto diet to your specific needs.