Types Of Ketogenic Diet

Posted by Josh Gape on

There are three main variations of the Ketogenic Diet; Standard Keto Diet (SKD), Targeted Keto Diet (TKD) & Cyclical Keto Diet (CKD). ⁣

All approaches have there pros and cons, and which one's right for you depends on your goals / lifestyle. ⁣

Standard Ketogenic Diet 

To follow this approach you need to keep your carb consumption between 25 and 50g per day (check our last article for the best keto friendly carb sources). 

  • Pros - Best for feeling the full benefits of being in ketosis, which includes; fewer cravings / better appetite control (often resulting in fat loss), enhanced cognitive function / decreased brain fog, consistent energy levels, improved insulin sensitivity, simple to follow, increased ability to fast (which triggers autophagy - the body cleaning out damaged cells), decreased inflammation. 
  • Cons - Not ideal for athletes who need to perform anaerobically and isn't very flexible. ⁣

Targeted Ketogenic Diet

This involves eating the standard 25 - 50g of carbs per day plus an additional 50g of carbs pre / post training ⁣

  • Pros - Best for athletes who want to experience the benefits above without experiencing diminished performance in the anaerobic training zone (medium to high intensity exercise from 15-120s), which relies on glucose. Additional benefits include; metabolic flexibility (ability to use both fat and carbs as a fuel source), easily getting lean, preventing muscle loss during calorie restriction, optimised strength to body weight ratio (great for weight class athletes), better endurance. ⁣
  • Cons - Not the best for getting the maximum out of all the SKD benefits above. However, if carbohydrate intake is timed correctly, you'll still experience the benefits to a great extent. ⁣

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet

As with the standard, this also involves eating 25 - 50g of carbs most days, but you can add in a couple of higher carb days ⁣now and then. 


  • ⁣Pros - Best for flexibility. If you're someone who enjoys relaxing on your diet over the weekends then you're better off taking this approach and sticking to your plan than trying to take option 1 or 2 and falling off the wagon every week. The best diet is the one you can stick to and make into a lifestyle. Therefore it's important to be realistic when starting out so you don't get demoralised and give up or grow to hate the diet you're following. ⁣
  • Cons - Taking this approach, you're unlikely to get into a deep state of ketosis and therefore won't access the full benefits of the diet. However, you'll still be able to reap the rewards to a certain extent. 


Let us know if you have any questions or want us to dive deeper into any particular points in the comments below.