I am assuming by now you have heard all kinds of keto diets on the internet, especially if you are health conscious.
However, if you want to know more about the keto cycle diet – how it works, how to follow it, its benefits, and its negative effects, this article is for you.
In this today’s article, I’m going to give you my honest review of the keto cycle diet and whether you should consider following it or not. Let’s start with what it means when people tell you that they are keto cycling.
What Is A Keto Cycle Diet?
A keto cycle diet involves eating a ketogenic diet for a certain number of days of the week in a row, then eating at least normal or high levels of carbohydrates for the rest of the week.
Normally, a ketogenic diet involves eating a minimal amount of carbohydrates, forcing the body to go to a state of burning stored fats for energy instead of sugar. This process is referred to as ketosis.
In a keto cycle diet, you should ensure that the number of days you have your keto diet should be more than the ones you break your carbohydrates ‘fast’. Typically, you are required to be on a ketogenic diet for 5 or 6 days straight, then cheat for the rest of the day/days.
With this method, you will not feel that you’re missing out on that huge cheeseburger you have with your friends every weekend at McDonald’s or your grandmother’s favorite weekend get-togethers. Who would even want to miss those?
Keto cycling gives you the freedom to plan your meals and is easily adaptable. They are also sustainable since you will always know that you can compensate for your lack of enough carbs for Monday lunch on a Saturday dinner.
Generally, the keto cycle diet is different from the normal ketogenic diet because you are eating more carbohydrates than usual for extra one or two days a week to remove your body from the ketosis state.
To make keto cycling easier for you, this keto cycle diet app was created to help you learn the basics of the dieting method. It also provides you with more than 500 recipes and recipes created by nutritionists to keep on track with your diet goals. I would highly recommend it if you want to up your keto cycling game.
Carb Cycling vs. Keto Cycling
Ever heard of carb cycling?
This is simply a diet where you “cycle” your carbs intake, meaning you alternate the amount of carbohydrates you consume daily, and this entirely depends on the kind of workouts or activities you will be doing that day. For instance, on days that you go heavy in the gym, you consume more carbohydrates since you will need that energy. On the other hand, you will take a tiny amount of carbs on days you do light workouts or don’t work out at all.
A keto cycle diet is quite similar to the carb cycle.
However, the greatest difference is that you will not cut enough carbs with a carb cycle diet to allow your body to go into ketosis; thus, you will not lose more fats than you will with a keto cycle diet.
How Does A Keto Cycle Diet Work?
There isn’t any scientific proof that keto cycling makes you lose weight, but there are theories to suggest that it may help in hormone regulations.
But let’s first appreciate the flexibility that comes with this diet. You do not need to follow a strict diet plan 7 days a week. One thing I loved about this diet plan is that I could follow it under my own terms. I know that I love spending time with my family and close friends during the weekends, and because of this, I scheduled my cheat days for Saturdays (and on some Sundays as well).
This meant that I would follow my keto diet from Monday till Friday, then indulge in more carbs during the weekend.
But some people use a different plan. They use the keto diet for 12 to 14 days straight, then break for 3-4 days before starting the process all over again.
I wouldn’t recommend you take more than a 2-day break since it might be difficult to bounce back to the diet if you go for long breaks.
Can I Lose Weight While on A Keto Cycle Diet?
You have probably seen the amazing weight loss transformations resulting from following a ketogenic diet. And now you are wondering, will the same happen to me if I follow a keto cycle diet?
This is a tricky question because when on a keto cycle diet, our bodies tend to retain more water. This water may cause the scale to go up.
But this should not give you any worries, since it’s not fat gain but just water weight. When you get back to ketosis, this water will come back off.
For certain, when you stick to the keto cycle diet for long, the chances of losing weight are higher in the long run.
How Am I Supposed to Follow This Keto Cycle Diet?
Like we said before, there is no right specific formula to follow with keto cycle diet. As long as you follow your 5 to 6 day ketogenic diet and 1 or 2 cheat day rule, you are good to go.
Let’s break this down so you can understand what I mean by this.
Stick to The Regular Keto Diet 5 Or 6 Days A Week.
During your keto diet days, make sure that your carb intake does not exceed 50 grams per day.
At this time, consider increasing your fat intake to constitute approximately 65-90% of your entire caloric intake.
Some of the healthy fats you could take are:
- Fatty meats and fish.
- Nuts and seeds low in carbs.
- Flax seeds.
- Dark chocolate.
- Seed batter.
Your protein intake should contribute to around 10-30% of your total calories, while carbs should be the least consumed and should not exceed 5% of your caloric intake.
To achieve the maximum results with a keto cycle diet, ensure that you stick to the 5 or 6 days ketogenic diet per week.
Consume More Carbs Than Your Usual Intake For 1 Or 2 Days A Week.
The second phase of the keto cycle diet involves selecting 1 or 2 days a week to refuel the glycogen stores.
During this time, you are required to take more carbohydrates to break ketosis.
The following is a breakdown of how your diet should look like:
- Increase your carb intake to at least 70% of your total caloric intake.
- Your proteins should constitute around 10-20% of your entire diet. ‘
- You should consume fats the least; they should not exceed 10% of your total caloric supply.
Yes, this phase aims to increase the amount of carbs you consume, but will you see progress if you take unhealthy carbs? I bet not. That’s why it is recommended to consider taking healthy and quality carbs.
Instead of indulging in fries and bread, try something healthy such as:
- Sweet potatoes.
- Brown rice.
- Whole wheat or whole grain.
These carbs are rich in vitamins, fiber, and minerals, which will fuel your body and keep your blood sugar levels stabilized.
Avoid consuming foods and drinks with high sugar content such as soda, cake, and candies. They lack enough nutrients and will create blood sugar irregularities, which may create more hunger and irritability.
Bounce Back Fast.
After your high carb phase, it is necessary to look for ways to allow your body to return to ketosis mode as fast as possible.
You should consider trying intermittent fasting to hasten the ketosis process. This also varies with individuals. Some prefer fasting for 12 hours while others work with 18 hours. But the most common method is the 16 hours fasting and the 8-hour eating phase.
Apart from intermittent fasting, other people do high-intensity workouts after refueling to achieve ketosis while still getting their desired muscle definitions.
Is the Keto Cycle Diet for Everyone?
Not necessarily. I wouldn’t advise everyone to go this way. For instance, pregnant and breastfeeding women should be very cautious when using this kind of diet. It would be essential to consult your doctor before beginning keto cycling if you fall under this category.
Besides, those with type 2 diabetes or other chronic illnesses and underlying conditions should consult a doctor before following this diet. In contrast, those with type 1 diabetes or kidney issues should altogether avoid the program.
How Much Weight Can You Lose in A Month with The Keto Cycle Diet?
The amount of weight lost using a keto cycle diet varies from one person to another, depending on metabolism rate, genetics, body size, etc.
However, the typical weight you could lose in a month if you strictly follow your keto cycle diet, your body will begin to burn fat for energy. It is estimated that you will lose roughly 5 to 10 pounds monthly.
What Are the Benefits of Following A Keto Cycle Diet?
Since it is a new dieting method, enough research has not been conducted yet on the keto cycle diet.
However, the following are some of the benefits of following a keto cycle diet based on the consumers like me.
Can Help You in Your Muscle Gain Journey.
Some studies suggest that the normal keto diet will help you build lean body mass when you do resistance training, while others argue that the keto cycle version will let you achieve better results.
The hormones responsible for building muscles in your body, such as insulin, are usually suppressed when following a diet involving deficient carb intake.
Insulin will regulate your muscle growth by allowing the access of amino acids and glucose into your muscle cells, thereby increasing protein synthesis and decreasing the breakdown of proteins in muscle tissue.
Therefore, when under a keto cycle diet, your refueling days that you consume more carbs will increase your insulin levels, which could allow you to gain muscles due to insulin’s anabolic effects.
However, you should be well aware that there isn’t enough research to support the effectiveness of this method.
Are You an Athlete? This Diet May Boost Your Performance.
For the athletes, following a ketogenic diet, including a 1 or 2 high carb intake days may just benefit them.
A study conducted among 29 race walkers determined that they benefited more from the occasional high carb intake, even though the study did not specifically target a keto cycle diet.
This study showed that the race walkers who had a high carb intake before training sessions had better and improved performance than those who strictly followed a pure ketogenic diet.
This led to the researchers concluding that the athletes who occasionally indulged in a high carb diet had a better performance than those who used a strict keto diet.
Lowers the Side Effects Related to A Ketogenic Diet.
Following a strict keto diet could come with a serious health side effect known as the keto flu.
Keto flu involves symptoms such as:
These symptoms usually result from your body trying to adapt to using ketones as its primary source of fuel.
With a keto cycle diet where you cycle your carbs 1 to 2 days per week, these symptoms may be significantly reduced.
Increases the Fiber Content of Your Diet.
One major complaint by those beginning their keto diet is constipation. This is due to the fact that most people struggle to obtain enough fibers from foods that are high in fat but have very low carb content.
As much as consuming enough fiber while in a ketogenic diet can be achieved, following a keto cycle diet will make it much easier.
On your refueling days, you can consume foods rich in high fiber content, such as quinoa, oats, and sweet potatoes.
It Is More Sustainable and Achievable.
The usual ketogenic diet is known to come with great health benefits like control of blood sugar, reduced heart disease risks, and weight loss. The only problem is that the method is challenging to sustain and follow in the long term.
Since you have to decrease your carb intake significantly in a ketogenic diet, many healthy but high-carb foods are out of the equation.
But when you use a keto cycle diet, you can eat these healthy high-carb foods on your refueling days, making it a more sustainable diet in the long run.
However, since we lack enough information or research on this type of diet, we cannot clearly state its long-term benefits yet.
Are There Negative Effects of Following A Keto Cycle Diet?
Every good thing comes with some sort of disadvantage. Not all that glitters is gold, they say.
As much as a keto cycle diet seems to be more sustainable and effective than the ordinary keto diet, some negative impacts may come with.
First, let me begin by claiming that there still isn’t enough evidence to show the side effects of this kind of diet since its research is still limited.
However, health experts claim that keto cycling can lead to some adverse effects explained below.
Promote Eating Disorders
A keto cycle diet may lead to an individual developing an eating disorder or significantly contribute to binge eating behaviors.
Most people think that when under a keto cycle diet, all they need to do is eat in a low carb diet for 5 or 6 days a week, then in the remaining 1 or 2 days, they can eat anything they want.
No! A keto cycle doesn’t work that way.
Eating more than required on your refueling days may interfere with your weight loss goals and take you one step behind.
May Cause Weight Fluctuations
You should understand that transitioning from a normal to a keto cycle diet may temporarily lead to weight gain. This is mainly because of the excess water retained during the intake of a high carbohydrate diet.
For those just coming out of several weeks or months of pure carb restriction diet, their weight might significantly fluctuate. Some health professionals argue that this kind of diet fails to build a great relationship with food and mentally makes people gain all the weight they had lost before.
Reviews from Other Clients
It is essential to know what people are saying about a particular diet before following it.
Most people who have followed this diet have a lot of positive things to say about it.
For instance, one client, Debbie living in Massachusetts, terms the keto diet cycle as a lifesaver. She goes ahead and says:
I’ve tried keto multiple times, but always failed to stick to it. So I was a bit sceptical, when I found Keto Cycle. My only regret today is that I didn’t get it earlier. It’s a life-saver, literally! It’s fully personalized, super easy to follow, and has a ton of tasty recipes
With this kind of testimony, we are assured that the keto diet is indeed effective and will work on whoever is patient enough to stick to it and follow a healthy diet.
Another review was from Jessica from Texas, who claimed that she achieved her weight loss goals by following the keto cycle diet. The 64-year old says:
I don’t like weighing scales, I don’t even have one so I don’t know how much weight I’ve lost but my husband did ask whether I did my hair. Nope, I didn’t. My jeans got too big. :))
This does not end here, as we have several other testimonies from people who have tried and tested the keto cycle diet. Some say that they have discovered new healthy and yummy keto deserts they never even knew existed. In contrast, others were so happy with their results that they recruited their entire family into the program.
Should I Try the Keto Cycle Diet?
Yes, you should try this kind of diet.
First, keep in mind that one cheat day can turn into a cheat week, and before you know it, you have been cheating on your diet the entire year. But if you have no problems with diet control and binge eating, then having a cheat day or two can be helpful.
The keto diet is quite challenging for many people to follow on a long-term basis due to its restrictions. This is why it is advisable to follow a keto cycle diet where you have some form of freedom on how you will take your carbs.
If you know that there is a reward at the end of the week waiting for you in the form of having the high amount of carbs you are craving, it will be easier to manage the diet.
However, you still need to understand that it is crucial to keep a healthy diet and lifestyle. Do not expect to reach your fitness goals if you binge on sodas, cakes, donuts, and alcohol during your cheat days.
The keto cycle diet involves sticking to a normal ketogenic diet for 5 or 6 days straight, then taking a break and eating more carb foods for the remaining day or two before continuing the cycle again.
This kind of diet has numerous health benefits on the human body, such as reducing keto flu symptoms, gaining muscles, boosting athletes’ performance, and increasing the body’s fiber content.
However, there isn’t enough research done yet on the diet to determine its long-term adverse effects.
From the benefits observed by other customers who have followed this diet and me, I believe it is worth trying to anyone thinking about it.
However, it is crucial to understand that whether you go for the keto cycle diet or any other kind of diet, observing a healthy diet by consuming foods rich in enough nutrients will help you achieve your body goals effectively.