The Ketogenic diet’s basic principle is to restrict the intake of carbs to a bare minimum and focus more on healthy fats and proteins. The idea is to shift the body’s metabolism from the utilization of glucose as primary fuel to fats by triggering the production of ketones in the liver. However, due to certain or specific requirements many dieters choose to modify the diet to suit their needs. In this article, we will explore what these modified versions of Ketogenic are and if they are suitable for you.

Although experienced keto dieters after a certain period understand what works better for them and thus create their own diet. But, more or less they follow the same principal of a standard keto diet: Low carb intake (not more than 50 g a day), high healthy fat intake and adequate protein intake.

But there are three versions of the diet that have been widely popular. Let’s look at these modified versions of Ketogenic Diet in more detail:

1. Targeted Ketogenic Diet


It was actually the more traditional approach for keto dieters, wherein dieters consume their daily carb intake (about 50 g) an hour before exercise. This version was popular among dieters who were fairly active and wanted to engage in high-intensity workout routines.

The idea is that since you are eating the carb right before workout, the body will automatically burn the carbs first and thus not affect ketosis. Additionally, it will provide an energy boost required to sustain the workout.

Suitability: Although in theory it makes sense but TKD’s approach hasn’t been found to be that effective. If you do engage in rigorous workout or regular exercise routines you may try this version. However, we would like you to keep the following points in mind:

  • Eat only glucose carbs with high GI values and avoid fructose-based carbs because they would only add liver glycogen and affect ketosis.
  • Eat a protein heavy and low fat meal post the workout. If you eat high fat then it might affect nutrient absorption. Additionally, the excess protein will help with muscle repair.

A more-suitable version of this diet is to replace the carbs with MCT oil (or Coconut oil). MCT is much readily used by the body for energy and being a fat it has zero impact on ketosis.

2. Cyclical Ketogenic Diet

Mid section of a fit woman exercising with dumbbell

In the version of the diet, dieters typically take a 1 or 2 days off from the Keto diet and load up on carbs (>500 grams). The idea is to divert the body’s protein consumption under ketosis completely and replace it with carbs so that lean muscle growth can be increased while lose weight continuously facilitated by ketosis.

This diet is mostly used by athletes and bodybuilders to expedite lean muscle growth while losing fat at the same time. But, note that they use it for extremely specific purposes such as during a tournament or competition. They don’t use this version on a regular basis either.

Suitability: For people who are looking to beef up or engaging in excessive workouts such as preparing for a marathon or an athletic competition. For normal dieters looking to lose weight this is only going to make matters worse – so avoid it.

But many normal dieters use this version as an excuse to cheat on carb consumption. They take the 1-2 day carb loading breaks from keto, thinking it will be compensated through exercise. But, there is a high chance that you’ll affect ketosis and struggle to get back.

3. Extreme or Restricted Ketogenic Diet

Used primarily for medical reasons and usually done under medical supervision, the third version of the diet is called the Restricted Ketogenic Diet. In this version, carb intake is completely cut-off to prevent targeted diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer, and epilepsy.

In cancer, this method has been found to be highly effective. Most cells can use ketones to derive energy but cancer cells can not. As such, the cancerous cells, in the absence of glucose starve to death.

The same method has been used by doctors successfully for more than 100 years to treat epilepsy in children. In fact, it is believed that this is what led to the discovery of the Ketogenic diet. Read more about the origin of Ketogenic diet here.

Suitability: Only for people when recommended by doctors and conducted under strict supervision. Not for normal dieters.


Depending on special requirements several modifications of the Ketogenic diet have been adopted by dieters across the world. However, as it could be seen earlier, they are mostly suitable for only a specific section of dieters.

For most dieters though, the standard Ketogenic diet is still the best option. Of course, depending on personal preferences and suitability minor modifications are allowed but the principle largely remains the same.

If you are excited to get onto the ketosis and reap its numerous benefits, learn how to start Ketogenic diet and enter ketosis within 3 days.

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