What Are the Benefits of Keto Cycling?

So, you’ve been hearing all about this trendy ketogenic diet that helps burn fat and optimize energy levels, and that sounds great. Until you look into it and realize, woah, that’s gonna take some commitment, and I already got my flu shot. If you’re looking for the benefits of ketosis without quite the level of intensity that’s required to maintain it, here’s another idea for you: keto cycling.

Keto cycling calls for following the keto diet for a specified amount of time, and then taking a day (or a few) off. The idea is that not cutting yourself off from carbs and sugar completely will make the diet a little easier to stick to –  kind of like a “cheat day.” If you know that there’s a day in the near future when you’ll be allowed to snack on some carbs, it might be easier to stay with the diet than if you’re operating with no end in sight.

The biggest benefit of cycling is that it helps you stick with the diet, and the longer you’re in ketosis, the more fat you’ll burn. For elite athletes and those that love the exercise grind, keto cycling can actually help them power through challenging workouts and competitions where having a small amount of carbs to burn can give them a burst of energy. But be careful – for some people who reintroduce refined carbohydrates, the carb hangover can be very real.

If you do decide to take on keto cycling, it’s a good idea to stick to a 1-2 day break so you don’t accidentally overflow those glucose stores, making it more difficult to get back into ketosis. Some experts even recommend waiting until you’re a full two or three months into the keto diet before starting to cycle, with the idea being that if your body has already adapted to using fat as energy, then it’ll be easier to switch back into ketosis when the cheat days are over.

So if keto cycling is the right move for you, go ahead and sneak a few carbs, just make sure you’re doing some HIIT the next morning so they know not to get too comfortable.