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The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD Diet)

About the CKD Diet

A more advanced type of ketogenic diet that is specifically designed for athletes and bodybuilders is the cyclical ketogenic diet, primarily known as the CKD diet. This program should be used by people who are training heavily at least four times per week and wish to maintain strength, performance, and muscle mass while cutting body fat.

The defining feature of the CKD diet is a 24 to 30 hour refeeding period of heavy carbohydrate consumption each week. Other than this period of time, the rest of the week is a typical ketogenic diet. This carb-up period replenishes the muscle glycogen that has been fully depleted throughout the week’s workouts. Therefore, this diet should only be used by experienced athletes who are completing enough training each week to fully deplete muscle glycogen before the carb-up period.


The Carb-Up

The refeeding period should last about 1.5 days each week. For convenience, I suggest starting on Friday or Saturday late afternoon and continuing until late the next night. Many individuals may find that they can adequately replenish glycogen stores simply by eating a large amount of carbs without worrying about quality or overall macronutrients. However, it is possible optimally structure this period to minimize any fat gain, which is what you will want to do if you are a serious bodybuilder.During the first 24 hours of the refeeding period, you should eat 4-5 grams of carbohydrates per pound of lean body mass. For example, if you are 200 pounds at 20% body fat, you have 40 pounds of fat and 160 pounds of lean body mass and you would consume between 640 and 800 grams of carbs during the 24 hour period. This should be about 70% of overall calorie consumption with the remaining calories spread evenly between fat and protein. Feel free to indulge in some of the cravings you have been missing all week. However, a truly clean carb-up will contain primarily healthy sources of carbs. Eat plenty of fruit for simple carbs since you haven’t gotten any all week and eat whole wheat breads, pastas, yams, oatmeal, and brown rice for good complex carbs.

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