What is Cyclical Ketogenic Diet?

Ketogenic has a lot of variations, one of them is known as cyclical ketogenic diet.

Basically, keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet plan. When you are on keto diet, you are supposed to have less than 50 grams of carbohydrates daily.

When you significantly decrease carb-intake, your body will resort to burning fat to be used as energy, rather than utilizing glucose. This process is called ketosis.

When your body is in the ketosis state, it uses ketones, which are the compounds produced when fat is broken down. Ketones are the alternate energy source used by the body when there isn't enough glucose to work with.

What is cyclical ketogenic diet?

It involves sticking to the basic keto diet protocol of 5 to 6 days a week, followed up 1 to 2 days of higher carbohydrates intake. These higher-carb days are known as refeeding days. As the term implies, its main purpose is to replenish depleted glucose reserves in the body.

If you choose to follow cyclical keto diet, you will need to switch out of ketosis during the 2-day refeeding days to be able to enjoy the benefits of carb consumption for a limited amount of time.

Many people follow cyclical keto diet for muscle growth and improved performance during exercise work out. Is cyclical keto diet the same as carb-cycling?

These two are often interchanged, but they actually two different diet plans. With carb cycling, you cut on your carb-intake on certain days of the week, then increasing carb-intake on others.

Typically, you have a lower carb intake between 4 to 6 days a week, while you increase carb intake for 1 to 3 days a week. While carb cycling has the same concept, it does not decrease your overall carb intake drastically enough for you to reach ketosis.

What should you do?

There are no fixed rules when following a cyclical keto diet. But, if you are just starting, you will need to stick to the standard keto diet of 5 to 6 days a week of low-carb intake, then 1 to 2 days of high-carb consumption.

The Standard 5 to 6 Days a Week

Remember to consume only less than 50 grams of carbs a day. At this point, healthy fats should be able to deliver about 75% of your body's total calorie-intake.

Choose to eat healthy fat, like:



Coconut oil

Unsweetened coconut

Low-carb nuts and seeds

Full-fat dairy products

Fatty meats

Nut butters

Proteins will make up 15 to 20% of your total calorie-intake, as carb-intake is maintained at under 10%. Increase Carb Intake 1 to 2 Days a Week

This second phase allows you to choose 1 to 2 days a week to become your refeeding days. You have to consume more carbs during this phase to break ketosis.

During the refeeding days, remember:

Carbs 60 to 70% of your total calories

Protein 15 to 20% of your total calories

Fats 5 to 10% of your total calories

The goal is to increase carb-intake. The following will give you enough carbs:

Butternut squash

Sweet potatoes

Brown rice



Beans and lentils

These contain vitamins, minerals, and fibers that will help fuel your body and keep your blood sugar levels at acceptable levels.


Cyclical ketogenic diet follows a standard keto diet for 5 to 6 days a week, then eating high-carb for 1 to 2 days a week.

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