Cyclical Ketogenic Diet: The Impact of Carb Cycling


Cyclical Ketogenic Diet

The difference between a regular low carb diet such as Atkins and a cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD) is that the cyclical diet is more focused towards those who who like to lose fat and preserve muscle. A CKD is used mostly by people who are active, and they cycle carbs to gain the needed energy for their daily activities.

A cyclical ketogenic diet is much more effective than the other aforementioned low carb diets. For instance, while people on an Atkins diet do lose weight and drop some fat, a descent amount of the weight they loss comes from water weight and muscle loss. The CKD promotes only fat loss, which is why it is one of the best diets you can use.

How It Works

Click here for an overview on how the ketogenic diet works.

Aside from the fundamentals mentioned in the above article, the cyclical ketogenic diet works by simply incorporating carb loads into your diet. When following a CKD, a typical keto diet plan would consist of several days out of the week where you intentionally eat carbohydrates, which temporarily kicks you out of ketosis.

CKD Carb Load

Glycogen found in muscles is the main source of energy used during anaerobic exercises. When you deplete your body of all carbs, your glycogen stores will be empty which isn’t suitable for exercising. If you work out while your body is completely depleted then your body will start to use protein for fuel instead of fat. However, this won’t occur on a CKD because of the occasional carb loading days.

Most people using a cyclical ketogenic diet eat no carbs sunday-friday morning and then load up on carbs until sunday. It’s a brief time where you can satisfy your cravings from the previous days and eat whatever high carbs foods you want. More importantly, by eating carbs you will replenish your muscles glycogen stores allowing you to work out again the next week.

Weekly Eating Patterns

Sunday – Friday morning = low carbs
Friday afternoon = high carbs
Saturday = high carbs

Aerobic Exercise

Many people find that cardio and aerobics exercise is not needed at all the first month of the diet. However, after a while, fat loss may begin to slow down. That is when you need to starting including aerobic exercise as part of your schedule on some days of the week. You only need to add cardio if you feel your fat loss has slowed down. It is not needed otherwise.


The cyclical ketogenic diet is without a doubt one of the best diets ever created. Some people dislike following any keto diet plan because they can’t go without carbs for extended periods of time. That is not a probably with the CKD though, since you get to reward yourself for your efforts during the week by eating whatever carbs you want at the end of the week. Follow this diet and I can assure you that you will notice dramatic fat loss results quickly with no workout or muscle loss problems at all.