The most popular types of Low-carb Diet Today
1. A typical low-carb diet is ideal for beginners. It is designed for those who want to lose weight, improve their physique and reboot mentally. The typical ratio of macronutrients for this variation is 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates. The recommended carb intake generally depends on your individual goals and preferences. An important step to successfully becoming a “low-carber” is choosing the “right” fats. Only healthy natural animal and vegetable fats of organic origin should be used.
2. A targeted ketogenic diet (TKD) keeps carbs so low that your body goes into a metabolic state called ketosis. This diet suggests adding extra carbohydrates during periods of intense physical training. Between workouts, you should follow the standard ketogenic diet (SKD). TKD is the diet of bodybuilders, powerlifters, and triathletes who burn massive amounts of simple carbohydrates in a single workout. It provides fuel for building muscle mass, increasing strength and improving overall athletic performance. But it is not suitable for the average gym-goer, anyone who does regular exercise just to keep fit.
3. Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD). In this type, you go low-carb most of the days but switch to a high-carb diet for 1-2 days each week. For example, 5 days a week you eat according to SKD, and 2 – with a high content of carbohydrates (called refeed days), thus replenishing glycogen stores. This diet is suitable for those who have already mastered TKD and want to bring their diet to the next level; those who regularly expose their body to intense training in order to quickly build muscle mass. On refeed days, carbohydrates should make up 60-70% of the total calorie intake, fats up to 15%, and proteins at the same level as with a standard diet. Carbohydrates should be dominated by “complex” carbohydrates obtained from unprocessed foods (berries, vegetables, quinoa, sweet potatoes, brown rice, durum, wheat pasta). Such refeeds will help regulate sex hormones and thyroid function.
4. High protein ketogenic diet (HPKD) is the least popular among “low-carbers”. It is suitable for those who want to lose weight while maintaining a lean body composition. In this diet, it is necessary to increase the amount of protein up to 35% (3.2 g per 1 kg of muscle mass). Fat should remain not more than 60% and the percentage of carbohydrates is still very low – 5%. This is a “standard protocol” that bodybuilders follow during their pre-performance cut to maintain no more than 10% of body fat.