There’s a lot of talk about the benefit of a ketogenic diet for weight loss, but it doesn’t address the need for carbs when doing high intensity exercises. That’s one reason a cyclical ketogenic diet has become so popular. It provides a diet that has a moderate protein content, is low in carbs and higher in fat. It has the advantage of reducing hunger, making you feel fuller, lowering levels of insulin and blood sugar. You normally eat fewer calories because you aren’t as hungry and because insulin levels are lower, you’ll burn fat cells for energy. There are some problems with doing this continuously.
It’s hard to maintain a keto diet when you’re out with the gang.
Going out to eat with a group brings on a whole new pressure. By cycling the diet, to allow you to have your keto cheat day when you’re socializing, you don’t have to worry. Eat what you like when you’re with friends…unless you have a super active social life, then you might have a problem. There are health benefits to cycling this type of diet. For instance, the higher fat diet improves the body’s ability to use fatty acids while improving the health of those with insulin sensitivity and lowering inflammation throughout the body.
Not just any fat will do.
Whether sticking with a straight ketogenic diet or cyclical one, you have to consume healthy fat and protein. Just like carbs, not all fat is healthy and some sources of protein are better than others. Healthy fat includes coconut products, nuts and seeds, avocados, butter and animal products from grass-fed cows and extra-virgin olive oil. The carbs you should avoid are starchy carbs and consume ones that are low-glycemic. Having a diet too high in carbohydrates continuously, diminishes the body’s ability to burn fat, internal, external, healthy or otherwise.
Cycling out of a ketogentic diet is important for a number of reasons.
If you’re constantly on a ketogentic diet, your body goes into a state of chronic nutritional ketosis..which occurs in the feast and famine cycle. That’s not good because it causes the insulin levels in the blood to be too low and your blood sugar levels to rise. Insulin causes the suppression of glucose production in the liver, so without it, it raises your blood sugar levels. Low carb diets can also alter the microbes in your digestive tract that can affect both your digestive system and health. Cycling in and out of a ketogentic is based on your needs. You can even add a day of fasting to it. Many people eat low carbs during the week and have one or two days on the weekend to double or triple their carbohydrate intake.
- Make sure your body is getting the right types of fat, including fatty acids. The recommended balance of Omega-6 fatty acid to Omega-3 fatty acid is 4 to 1. The average American has a 25+ to 1 ratio. Sources of good fat include oysters, salmon and walnuts.
- Your fasting time when cycling in and out of a keto diet can be as short as 16 hours to reap benefits. Just stop eating earlier one day and begin again later the next to achieve that.
- Eliminate processed foods from your diet, which is wise advice no matter what type of dietary plan you follow.
- Even on a “cheat” or cycling out day, make sure the carbs you consume are healthy carbs, to achieve the biggest benefits.