In part one of this article we looked at what the cyclical keto diet was and how it would apply to those individuals who exercised regularly. A traditional keto diet is based solely around the consumption of protein and fat while keeping carbohydrate intake to a bare minimum.
In a CKD though (cyclic keto diet), you implement periods of higher carb eating called refeeds, usually once per week, in an effort to supply your body with the muscle glycogen it needs in order to keep performing the higher intensity work you are asking from it. This requires a carefully planned out depletion workout beforehand however and strict adherence to doing very low carb eating for the entire rest of the week.
Others may want to use some of the principles of the keto diet in their own lives but do not want to completely cut out carbohydrates every day. This is where the targeted keto diet or TKD comes in.
The Targeted Keto Diet
The principle behind this diet is very similar to that of a CKD only you are going to consume carbohydrates right before and after your weight training workouts. This will give your body the energy it needs to lift with a higher volume and at a higher intensity level.
Athletes who are involved in high intensity sprinting exercises will also likely want to use a TKD approach as this type of exercise does require carbohydrates in the system beforehand if you hope to produce optimal results.
Sprinting on a low carbohydrate diet is generally not something most people should be doing, particularly if they are taking in a low number of calories on top of everything (people who are maintaining or trying to gain weight on a CKD may try sprinting, but it still isn't going to be as easy to do in comparison to someone who is consuming a standard, more moderate carbohydrate intake).
Setting Up A TKD
To set up a TKD diet, follow the same procedure in terms of protein intake as a CKD, allowing for one gram of protein per pound of body weight. Then determine the number of calories of carbohydrates you wish to consume before and after your workouts.
Generally an intake of 0.33 grams of carbs per pound of body weight is recommended (so 40-80 grams for most people) for each meal however you may want to increase or decrease this depending on your particular goals (those who are trying to lose body fat may decrease while those who are trying to gain muscle may want to increase).
After you have figured out the contribution of your carbohydrate calories to the diet, add this to the contribution of your protein calories (remember both carbohydrates and fat supply four calories per gram) and then subtract this from your daily total calorie allotment. The final number you get there will determine how many calories should come from fat so divide by 9 in order to get total number of grams.
This will allow you to eat some carbohydrates on a daily basis so as to keep your body out of ketosis and supply more energy for your workouts. It is really up to you whether or not you want to eat the extra carbohydrates on days you don't workout, some people will choose to keep some carbohydrates in on those days but decrease them slightly while others might choose to completely remove them.
Furthermore, if you are only doing a moderate intensity paced cardio sessions, it isn't likely that you need the carbohydrates in your diet either so you can remove them from those days if you wish as well.
On the refeed side of things, in a CKD the main purpose of the refeed period is as already stated, to restore muscle glycogen levels. When individuals on a CKD do their refeeds, they are also by default eating many more calories on these days as well.
On a diet that does bring calories quite low, it is a good idea to do some type of refeed period of higher calorie eating in an effort to make sure your metabolism does not slow down too much and to give your body a break from the rigors of dieting.
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Therefore, even on a TKD, if you are still dieting pretty hard (meaning with the additional carbs you are still quite low calorie), adding in a couple of days of higher calorie eating is a good plan. You can add a great deal more carbohydrates if you wish, or take a more balanced approach adding a combination of more protein and fat in.
Since you are eating carbohydrates during the week you may not be quite as glycogen depleted as someone on a CKD therefore wouldn't need to 'carb load' in a sense as they do on a CKD. Definitely though, it would be a good idea to make sure a fair amount of this refeed does come from carbohydrates as if you are exercising heavy you are still likely to be low on glycogen levels.
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So if you want to maintain a more rigorous exercise program, consider giving a TKD a try. It works along some similar principles as a CKD, but also has some important alterations.
This diet would also be ideal for those who are looking to gain mass but want to maintain their blood sugar levels as the carbohydrates are placed into the diet at times when it is most likely that they will not get turned into body fat. The additional carbohydrates also make this diet a little more anabolic due to increased insulin levels which is another important thing you want whenever you are trying to gain muscle mass.
To rate this diet as far as fat loss is concerned, I would give it 3.5/5 and in terms of building lean muscle mass, 4/5.