Ketogenic diets have been around since the 1920s when Dr. Russell Wilder of the Mayo Clinic developed a diet to treat epilepsy in children.
Though it has been many years since the diet came about, today people are rediscovering the ketogenic diet for its ability to induce and maintain ketosis, which is known as being “fat-adapted” or “keto”.
The classical ketogenic diet is composed of 70% fat, 25% protein, and a very small 5% carbohydrate content, but there are other types of ketogenic diets that allow up to 100 grams of carbohydrates per day.
To understand the different types of ketogenic diets, you must first understand what a ketogenic diet is.
The term “keto” comes from the metabolic state called ketosis, which happens when your body breaks down fatty acids into smaller components called ketone bodies. These are water-soluble molecules and can travel through the bloodstream to fuel your brain.
The goal of a ketogenic diet is to get your body in a state of ketosis where you are using fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.
Below are a few different types of the keto diet. Read on to find out which one may be best for you to try.
The keto diet is the traditional diet. You will need to count your carbs by grams. This diet is most appropriate for those looking to lose weight and want to make sure that they are not consuming too many carbs.
You can have a variety of foods as long as they fall within your carb limits for each meal. Additionally, you should aim to eat fats in the form of meat, eggs, butter, oils, and nuts.
A few examples of vegetables on this diet would be leafy greens like spinach or broccoli; cruciferous veggies like cabbage and cauliflower; cucumber; and zucchini.
It’s important that you avoid starchy veggies like potatoes and carrots because they’re not low enough in carbs to be considered part of this diet.
Standard keto is a modified version of the keto diet. You will need to calculate your net carbs as well as your total carbs. On the standard ketogenic diet, around 70% of your calories will come from fats, 25% from protein, and 5% from carbohydrates.
You can track your net carbs using online tools like MyFitnessPal or a similar app on your smartphone.
Like traditional keto, you can have a variety of foods, as long as they fit within your daily carbohydrate limits.
You will need to be careful about incorporating low-carb vegetables or fruits into this diet because the net carb count can easily add up quickly, making things unsustainable for you in the long run.
The most important part of this type of keto is that you must learn to count your carbs. Doing so is the only way to ensure that you remain in ketosis.
High Protein Keto
This is known as a modified Atkins diet. This version of keto is high in protein and moderate in fats, but it focuses on eating even fewer carbs than the standard or traditional diet.
On this diet, around 30-35% of your calories will come from protein. 50-60% will come from fat, and the rest of your calories will come from carbohydrates.
This diet is best for those looking to get ripped or who are athletes and need the extra protein.
People following this diet will want to eat mostly meat on this plan.
However, they can also have dairy products like hard cheeses and whey protein powders. Some good sources of protein to include in this diet are eggs, steak, pork chops, and chicken.
Cyclical keto diets represent a middle ground between the nutrient-dense ketogenic diet and low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diets. These approaches have been designed to emulate our hunter-gatherer ancestors’ ability to survive on the go or in situations when food was scarce.
Traditional ketogenic diets are high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrate. However, persistent nutritional deficiencies can develop resulting from inadequate intake of vitamins and minerals.
Cyclical keto diets include periods of increased carbohydrate consumption to restore glycogen stores.
This type of diet is also known as carb cycling or metabolic flexibility because it mimics the body’s natural response that allows people to switch from burning carbs to burning fat. This is thought to be more natural than constantly restricting carbs.
Cyclical Keto diets involve cycling between a normal ketogenic diet and periods of high-carb intake or “re-feeding.” The re-feed days allow glycogen stores to replenish after depletion from exercise, fasting, or complete carbohydrate restriction.
High carb days help maintain stable insulin levels, reduce inflammation and support the nutrient-dense eating pattern typical of a traditional ketogenic diet.
The targeted ketogenic diet is in the middle of a standard keto diet and a cyclical keto diet. This is mainly for people who need more energy around their workouts which is when fast-acting carbs are consumed.
The targeted keto diet has the same ratio of fat, protein, and carbohydrates as the standard ketogenic diet, but with a few more carbs.
This diet is for most people who work out regularly and can handle a bit more carbs to push through their intense workouts.
Around 15 g of net carbs are consumed during targeted keto eating periods within 30 to 60 minutes right before exercise.
Then, after working out, if you feel depleted or hungry again, you can have another small boost of fast-acting carbohydrates.
Not all keto diets are meant to last forever. In fact, just because you follow a plan for a few weeks or months doesn’t guarantee that it will be sustainable long term.
Preparation is key when changing your eating style and lifestyle, no matter what the change may be. Different types of keto can help you get there.
If you want to lose weight, kick start your exercise regimen or build muscle mass, there’s a different type of keto diet for each of these goals and more.
There are many ways to tailor a plan that will fit into your lifestyle so you can feel satisfied even while eating fewer carbs than you’re used to.
When you’re ready to start out on your keto journey, we recommend making the change as easy as possible.
Follow a plan that’s tailored to your specific goal. This type of plan will make it much easier to stick with and maintain in the long run.