The 4 Different Types Of Keto Diets Explained
The 4 Different Types Of Keto Diets Explained
If you’ve ever taken even a cursory glance
towards the Internet in search of advice on
how to diet, you’ve probably seen the word
“keto” crop up quite a bit.
“Keto” this, “keto” that…but what
exactly is “keto”, exactly?
The ketogenic or “keto” diet is a popular
mode of meal plan among people trying to lose
weight, which focuses on a diet that’s low
in carbs but high in fat.
But that’s something of a reductive take
on the keto diet; in fact, there are multiple
different forms of the ketogenic diet, with
some of these subcategories working better
for some people’s diet plans than others.
According to registered dietician Julie Upton
of Health.com, you can break down the core
philosophy of the keto diet into 4 key variations,
and today we’re going to go into these 4
variations in further detail.
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Standard Ketogenic Diet
The standard ketogenic diet, or SKD, can be
seen as sort of a basic entry point for people
looking to hop on the keto bandwagon.This
diet plan consists of a macronutrient ratio
of about 75 percent fat, 15 to 20 percent
protein, and 5 to 10 percent carbohydrates.
To put it more simply, standard keto dictates
you get somewhere around 150 grams of fat
every day in order to shift your metabolism
to focus on burning fat as a fuel source.
This process is known as ketosis, and as the
name implies, ketosis is the primary cause
of weight loss caused by the ketogenic diet.
As for where you obtain this fat, popular
sources for a fat-rich keto diet include olive
oil, butter fatty fish and even certain types
of fruit such as avocados.
While increasing your fat intake, the standard
keto diet always requires you to greatly reduce
your daily intake of carbs, to the point where
anyone on this diet can treat themselves to
a maximum of 50 grams of carbs every day.
This means cutting out foods such as grains,
starchy vegetables, processed foods and anything
with added sugar.
Instead, this diet prioritizes leafy greens,
vegetables that are low in starches, and low-carb
fruits such as berries.
Last but certainly not least, a standard keto
diet calls for a daily intake of protein somewhere
in the ballpark of 90 grams per day, which
Upton suggests you can break down even further
by trying to get at least 30 grams of protein
with every meal.
This means that you should be aiming for about
4 ounces of meat, poultry or fish, or an equivalent
for those of you who are vegetarian or vegan.
The bottom line is that the standard ketogenic
diet calls for more fat and fewer carbs, and
these two major points are the tent poles
to build a balanced meal plan around.
Targeted Keto Diet
While the keto diet is built on a principle
of reducing your daily intake of carbs, there
are some variations of the diet that allow
for slightly more leeway.
The targeted keto diet is a variant that is
popular among athletes and other individuals
who are highly physically active, and as such
allows for some adjustments for those who
require more carbs in their daily diet.
People who subscribe to the targeted keto
diet consume an additional 20 to 30 grams
of carbohydrates immediately before and after
working out; the added carbs not only allow
them to exercise at a greater level of intensity,
but also helps them to recover from the workout
Since these added carbs are burned off almost
immediately, they don’t end up being stored
as body fat and therefore don’t necessarily
impede the weight loss portion of the diet.
To break it down based on nutrients: the targeted
keto diet prescribes a meal plan consisting
of 65 to 70 percent fat, 20 percent protein,
and 10 to 15 percent carbs.
Cyclical Keto Diet
As we mentioned before, ketosis is the state
in which your body is primed to burn fat as
its primary fuel source, leading you to burn
off weight at a faster rate than normal.
A cyclical keto diet is designed to cycle
your body in and out of ketosis by dividing
your meal plan into “keto days” and “off
During “off days” the person dieting is
allowed to eat a more varied diet with a higher
concentration of carbs; some people on cyclical
keto diets might make room for two days off
every week, while others save their non-keto
days for special occasions such as birthdays
Either way, a keto cheat day doesn’t necessarily
mean you’re entitled to pig out on as much
processed junk food as you want; balance is
still key, and even on days off from your
diet it’s recommended that you get your
carbs from healthy sources such as fruits,
starchy vegetables, dairy and whole grains.
A cyclical keto diet usually prescribes 75
percent fat, 15 to 20 percent protein and
5 to 10 percent carbs on “keto days”.
For your more carb-friendly days off, this
can change to 25 percent fat, 25 percent protein
and 50 percent carbs.
Turns out you can have your cake and eat it
too– maybe even literally!
High Protein Keto Diet
Last but not least, the high-protein keto
diet is, well, exactly what it sounds like.
In terms of macronutrients, this variation
offers a slight adjustment to the standard
keto diet, instead suggesting 60 t0 65 percent
fat, 30 percent protein and 5 to 10 percent
carbs as part of your daily meal plan.
This equates to around 120 grams of protein
per day, while still restricting carbs to
less than 10 percent of your daily calorie
It’s worth mentioning that some people find
this variation of keto easier to follow than
the standard model, as the slightly more balanced
ratio between protein and fat allows for a
more diverse diet with more available foods
to choose from.
So what’s the catch?
Well, as it turns out, the high protein keto
diet might not actually trigger ketosis in
your body, since protein can be used as a
fuel in a similar manner to carbs.
However, ketosis or not, this diet’s exclusion
of most carbs will still result in weight
loss, though you might not see quite as fast
results as you would from one of the other
three variations of keto.
And with that, we conclude our breakdown of
the keto diet into four specific subcategories.
Before you decide to dive right in to any
of these meal plans, make sure to do an adequate
amount of research in order to determine which
of these variations is the best fit for your
Also, it’s worth mentioning that keto in
any form is not an exact science; in fact,
there’s still a great deal of conjecture
as to whether or not ketosis is a healthy
way to lose weight in the long run.
At the end of the day, you should always make
sure to make informed decisions about your
diet plan and avoid taking any unnecessary
risks in the name of weight loss.
Did you find this video helpful, interesting
Do you happen to follow any of these diets
If so, what’s your experience with the diet
been like so far?
We’d be interested in hearing your feedback,
so be sure to let us know in the comments
section below and help us keep the conversation