All About Keto Cycling: What It Is, how to Do It?

A keto diet is an acronym for a ketogenic diet, a diet low in carbohydrates, moderate protein, and high in fat. This type of diet is generally recommended to cure the case of epilepsy which gets hard to control among children or adults. This type of food diet enables the body to burn excess fat rather than carbohydrates to maintain the proper functioning of the body and brain. In several studies, it has been found that a keto diet is healthy and beneficial. However, many people are against this fact.

A ketogenic diet is usually exercised by people who want to lose weight over time. This is done by consuming food items with significantly low carbohydrates. By doing this, the body burns fat in place of carbohydrates, hence using the fat as an 'alternate fuel source' for the body's functioning. There are many advantages and disadvantages of shifting to a keto diet from a regular one. This diet benefits people looking for varieties in their diets.

Keto cycle and What to do?

The process of keto cycling involves following a rigorous ketogenic diet for a couple of days, followed by taking a day off when the person consumes food items of high carbohydrates and hence repeats the cycle over and over. One can choose to maintain a timeline of a week wherein the person exercises the consumption of a ketogenic diet for six days and have a single day to consume high-carbohydrate food items.

During the first phase of the cycle, when consuming a ketogenic diet, one should aim to consume about 50 grams of carbohydrates daily and consume fats that add up to 70%-90% of the total calories consumed in a day. The protein can add up to 10% to 30% of the total calories. Some food options that can increase healthy fats include eggs, avocados, butter, and fatty meats. 

During the second phase of the cycle, the person shifts to consuming food items that contain high levels of carbohydrates for about 1 to 2 days. During this time, the total calories consumed should comprise 60% to 70% of carbohydrates, 15% to 20% of protein, and around 10% of fats. Some food sources that can increase carbohydrate levels include sweet potatoes, brown rice, oats, beans, and lentils. 

During the third phase of keto cycling, it is recommended that the person consumes healthy food sources rich in carbohydrates and avoid choosing unhealthy food sources such as cake, soda, and processed food items. The reason behind consuming food items with high levels of carbohydrates is to prevent the body from entering the process of ketosis.

Ketosis can be defined as a metabolic state of the body wherein the body begins to burn fat rather than carbohydrates to produce energy. Some drawbacks of this state include constipation, low insulin levels, and fatigue.

Advantages of keto cycle diets

There are a few advantages of exercising the consumption of a keto diet. Some of these advantages include contributing to gaining muscles. Following a cyclical keto diet to raise insulin levels on specific days strategically could allow the person to use insulin's anabolic effects, further promoting muscle growth in the body. One should also remember that there is no scientific proof of this method's effectiveness.

Another popular advantage of following a keto cycle is boosting the overall performance of athletes. Athletes who periodically consumed a lot of carbs saw a performance improvement, while those following a strict keto diet did not. A study revealed that the athletes who received periodic high-carb foods before the training sessions had experienced significant performance improvements compared to those following a standard keto diet.

Disadvantages of keto cycle diets

Since there is no significant research conducted on the effects that can be an outcome of following a keto-cycle diet, there are few side effects known, which may be unsuitable for the health of the person. 

However, it is important to understand that people may temporarily gain weight when shifting from their regular to a keto diet. This results from consuming a large quantity of water when consuming food items of high carbohydrate levels during the second phase of the keto cycle.

One should also avoid consuming food items that may add too many calories during the second phase of the keto cycle. If a person consumes too many calories, his weight may increase to the point where the weight loss in the first phase of the keto cycle may no longer be of any value.

Before beginning the method of keto cycling, it is also recommended that a person follows a plan for at least four weeks for a stringent diet that severely limits the number of carbohydrates he consumes. This should be done before beginning the process. This is because the individual's body must increase its fat-burning capacity before initiating the process of keto cycling. Some people are not considered good candidates for the ketogenic diet due to their body's function. One whose body is healthy enough to handle the shift and allows him to eat a more controlled diet can switch to a ketogenic diet (or keto diet for short).


It is only recommended to follow a keto cycling diet if it appears that the diet could be better for the health of the body. If the diet is not suitable for health, it should be stopped. On the other hand, adhering to a keto cycling diet might be helpful for certain individuals. Because of this, whether or not an individual should follow a keto diet is highly reliant on the diet's effect on the individual's metabolism. Because of this, the suitability of keto cycling diets for different people varies substantially. A person unsure about following a keto diet can try it for some time, see its impact on the body, and then decide whether or not to continue. This is an option for people who need clarification about following a keto diet. 

Updated on: 06-Feb-2023


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