The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate eating pattern that produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy.
Ketosis generally occurs when two conditions are met:
- There’s an inadequate supply of glucose from dietary sources; or
- The body has switched its main fuel source from carbohydrates to fat because it requires fewer calories or nutrients than what may be offered by carbohydrates.
When this happens, your liver converts fatty acids into ketones, becoming the body’s primary energy source. This process is called “ketogenesis.”
The goal of following a targeted ketogenic diet (TKD) is to enter and remain in nutritional ketosis while providing adequate but not excessive amounts of protein so as not to impair muscle growth or overall health.
This article will discuss the TKD and how to implement it into your lifestyle.
What Is The Targeted Ketogenic Diet?
The TKD provides more protein and carbohydrates than the classic keto diet but is still not enough to impair muscle building as long as overall calorie intake remains at maintenance or above.
This allows those who practice the TKD to have more flexibility in their carbohydrate intake, both when aiming for fat loss and building muscle. The targeted ketogenic diet is an excellent way to lose weight while also maintaining health, a combination that’s hard to find with any other diet.
For this reason, it’s an extremely popular option among bodybuilders and highly active people who want to lose fat.
The Benefits Of Doing TKD
The targeted ketogenic diet is best for athletes interested in maintaining muscle during a cut, while also improving recovery from workouts and increasing fat burning.
It’s also helpful for people who want to gain weight without putting on excess body fat, as it allows you to lift heavier weights and still eat enough protein to support all of your fitness goals.
If you’re a professional athlete, long-distance runner, Crossfitter, or do something similar, some carbs will be necessary for optimal performance. However, when it comes to stamina and recovery, carbohydrates can really help.
The TKD is recommended as one of the best ways to lose fat while gaining muscle mass, which is a common goal among athletes of all types.
Standard Keto Vs. Targeted Keto
The TKD is very similar to the standard ketogenic diet, but some differences in approach make it more suitable for people who engage in high-intensity training. The main difference between the two diets is protein intake. With a regular keto plan, you would aim for 0.8g of protein per pound of total bodyweight.
The recommended protein intake is 1-1.2g per pound of target body weight (with the target body weight being your lean body mass or something less than that if you’re on a fat loss program).
When it comes to fat intake, both plans are very similar. Standard keto allows for the consumption of healthy fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado, and fatty protein sources like red meat, but it also allows for a few more grams of carbohydrates per day.
The TKD is also similar to the standard ketogenic diet when it comes to macros. On the regular keto diet, your daily breakdown of macronutrients is 70-75% fat, 20-25% protein, and 5-10% carbs.
The targeted ketogenic diet is slightly different in that it allows for a few more protein and carbs per day. On TKD, your ratios will be around 60% fat, 30% protein, and 10% carbs.
How To Start A Targeted Ketogenic Diet
Like the standard keto diet, the TKD is relatively easy to implement and doesn’t require you to count calories or weigh your food.
The first step involves determining how many calories you should be consuming to lose weight. To do this, you’ll need to use an online calculator to determine your maintenance calories.
When it comes to the macronutrient breakdown, you’ll want your calories to be split up like this:
- 60% fat
- 30% protein
- 10% carbs
When you know how many calories to consume daily to stay in maintenance, take the percentages above and apply them to your total daily calorie intake.
Here’s how you calculate it:
If you can consume 2,000 calories a day, 60% of that is 1,200 calories, 30% is 600 calories, and 10% is 200 calories. So you can have 1,200 calories from fat, 600 calories from protein, and 200 calories from carbohydrates.
If you need to break that down in grams, you need to know how many calories are in a gram of fat, protein, and carb.
One gram of fat has 9 calories, one gram of protein and carb each has 4 calories.
That means there are 134 grams in 1,200 calories from fat (1,200/9), 150 grams in 600 calories from protein (600/4), and 40 grams in 200 calories from carbs (200/4).
To start a targeted keto diet, you should be fat-adapted first. This means that your body has become accustomed to using fat for energy, and you have lowered your insulin levels.
If possible, work towards becoming fat-adapted before starting the TKD so that it’ll be easier to transition from carbs to fats and hop in and out of ketosis.
To make your workouts more effective, you’ll want to consume some carbs beforehand. You want to be consuming around 15 grams of carbs before your workout, but they should be fast-acting carbs.
Options for this include a small banana or half a cup of berries about 30 minutes before your training session.
The targeted ketogenic diet is great for those who are looking to lose fat without losing muscle mass. It’s also better suited for more active people because it helps you recover more quickly than the standard keto diet because of its higher protein and carb consumption.
To start a TKD, you need to determine your body fat percentage and adjust your daily caloric intake and macronutrient levels accordingly. A TKD is less restrictive than the standard ketogenic diet because it allows for more carbs and calories.
So if you’re looking to get ripped, build some muscle, or just stay healthy by eating a high-fat diet, then adapting the targeted ketogenic diet could be the way to go.