Cyclical Ketogenic diet is perfect for people who want to lose fat, and simultaneously build up muscle mass. This diet is based on a cycle periods of low carb, high protein, and high fat with periods of high carb, high protein, and low fat.
If you have in plan to build up your muscles and while doing that to lose fat, too, then Cyclical Ketogenic Diet is a way to go. This diet will actually promote hormonal growth, such as testosterone, growth hormone and IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1).
How Should You Implement This Diet?
The best way to implement it is to have 5-6 days of low carb and after that, 1-2 days of high carb. In this way you will have normal week and carb up when the weekend comes. After that you will return to the low carb diet. Of course, this depends on how you train. If you have high intensity trainings, then you should probably have one high-carb day in the middle of the week just to fill up your muscles with glycogen.
Advantage of Low-Carb
When carbs are low in our organism, the body will switch to a fat metabolism, and that is called ‘Metabolic Switch’. This is a very positive thing for bodybuilders because it will increase the breakdown of fat (Increased Lipolysis) and it will also decrease accumulation of body fat (Decreased Lipogenesis).
This phase of the diet will take about three days to take full effect, so because of that newcomers can feel a little bit foggy at the start, but don’t hesitate. You will feel energized in no time, and maybe better and stronger than ever!
What Is The Role Of Insulin?
Insulin is produced by the pancreas in response to the carbohydrates in the diet, but since carbs are low, insulin will be low too. And that is the time when carb up period kicks in. That one period in the week when you are filled with carbs, insulin level will rise up too. It will shuttle amino acids into the muscles and refill glycogen that you lost during the workout.
Since more glycogen means better performance in the gym, loading up with glycogen will allow you to build up your muscles.
How Many Carbs Is In Low-Carb Phase?
If you want to burn fat, then you should intake about 60 grams or even less of carbohydrates in one day. Of course, every person is different, so you should first have some trial errors, that is necessary because of diversity in our bodies.
So, start with about 30 grams per day and adjust that number as you need, since it varies from person to person.
What Can You Eat
This diet is actually very enjoyable and easy to follow. As every diet, this one too can sometimes seem too hard, and if you tried something like this before and failed, then you probably think you will again. But, it doesn’t have to be like that.
You can make every day enjoyable and easy, if you are always in search for new recipes. Here is one typical one-day eating plan:
- Whole eggs scrambled and bacon
- Low-carb wrap filled with tuna, cheese and mayo
- Caesar salad
- Taco salad and post-workout shake
- Protein bar
Sounds delicious, right?
Concerning About Low Carb Phase
Many people just disappear when the low carb phase comes since they have concerns about this phase.
There is also a slightly worse performance in the gym, but that will go away when the body gets fully adapted after a week or two.
High Cholesterol and Saturated Fat
Even though there is a belief that high fat/low carb diet will increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, which is not true. With this diet good cholesterol (HDL) rises and bad cholesterol (LDL) decreases, so the risk of heart diseases is actually reduced.
This phenomena doesn’t happen to everyone, and when it happens, it is only in a ‘Metabolic switch’ period, since the fat metabolism needs different enzymes to function compared to carbohydrate one. It takes a little time for the organism to get used to, so try to stick it out.
If you decide to give it a try, prepare yourself for an initial weight loss, but keep in mind that you will put it back on in carb up phase. So, if you want to take your workouts and diet to the next level, Cyclical Ketogenic diet is the right choice for you.