The Keto Diet has fast become one of the most popular weight loss diets on the planet, thanks to the fact that it has proven both effective and easier to follow than many other drastic diets. But for those who want to find alternatives, the Targeted Keto Diet may be a good variation to try. While it’s structured similar to the regular Keto Diet, it includes a few changes to the diet that may make it easier for you to follow.
Keto Diet 101
The Ketogenic Diet is a diet that involves high fat consumption, plenty of protein, and just 50 grams of carbs per day. The goal of the diet is to train your body to burn fats for energy instead of carbs, controlling your blood sugar levels and regulating insulin, all for the purpose of preventing body fat gain. For some people, however, the Keto Diet is a bit too restrictive on carbs. Carbs are, after all, an important part of the average person’s diet, so cutting them back to just 50 grams per day isn’t easy. That’s where the Targeted Keto Diet comes in.
The Aim of the Targeted Keto Diet
The Targeted Keto Diet (also known as TKD) is a diet intended to help you incorporate more carbs into your diet after long periods of strict Keto dieting. You’ll need to give your body at least 60 days on the Keto Diet before going for the TKD, but using the TKD is a good way to help your system adapt to the new fat-burning paradigm while still getting a bit of carbs in your diet. This is especially important around your workouts—your body uses carbs to power your muscles and cardiovascular system far more efficiently than fat.
The goal is the TKD is to increase your daily intake of carbs, but only around the times of day that you work out. You’re still following a high-fat, high-protein, low-carb diet, but you end up consuming 20 grams of carbs before your training session, followed by another 20 grams of carbs after the workout is done. This is intended to stop your body from breaking down muscle tissue for fuel, protecting your lean muscle mass and helping your body to utilize energy more efficiently. There will be just enough glucose in your bloodstream that you’ll have the energy required to build muscle, but you’ll remain in ketosis to encourage better weight loss and fat burning.
The Carbs Do Matter
Specifically, the type of carbs you eat! While it’s okay to include a few more grams of carbs into your diet around your workout, that doesn’t mean that pizza and burgers are back on the menu. You should focus on high quality carbs: fruits, carb-rich veggies, rice, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and whole grains. High-sugar, low-fiber carbs may actually knock your body out of ketosis, which will set back all of your Keto Diet efforts. By eating the right type of carbs in limited quantities, you’ll be able to control your ketosis and maintain that fat-burning.
Who is TKD for?
If you’re an athlete, chances are good you’re going to need a lot of energy around your workouts. Athletes may want to consider the TKD, as it will provide them with the glucose required for high-intensity, prolonged exercise. CrossFit athletes, bodybuilders, and anyone who does a lot of exercise may find the TKD diet is the variation that will work best for them. They can maintain their ketosis while getting a few more grams of the carbs their body needs to be active.