Keto FAQs: What Is a Targeted Ketogenic Diet?

At Naples Vitality in Naples, FL, we have a lot of clients ask us about how their diet can improve their quality of life. We believe passionately that a healthy diet is one of the most significant things you can do for your health and quality of life. Today, we answer our most commonly asked questions about the ketogenic diet, including what is a targeted ketogenic diet. Read on to learn more.

19 Frequently Asked Questions About the Targeted Ketogenic Diet


1. What Is a Targeted Ketogenic Diet?

A "targeted ketogenic diet" is just the traditional keto diet wrapped up in shiny wrapping paper with a fancy label and eye-catching bow. The primary difference between the targeted keto diet and the traditional keto diet is that you get to splurge on carbs when you perform high-intensity cardio.

The targeted keto diet calls for a macronutrient ratio of 65% to 70% of your daily calories from fat, 20% from protein, and 10% to 15% from carbs. The idea behind this is carbohydrates allow for more intense workouts and more efficient post-workout recovery. Immediately before and after your workouts, you can eat 20 to 30 grams of carbs. Your RDA of carbs is 70 to 80 grams.

2. What Should I Eat on the Targeted Ketogenic Diet?

The healthiest way to get your carbs on the targeted keto diet is to consume fruit, dairy, and whole-grain foods. Fruits contain fructose. Dairy contains lactose. Whole grains contain glucose. When consumed in moderation, you may also get your carbs from dextrose, which is found in food and beverage products for "athletes."

To get your recommended daily allowance of fat calories, cook your food in vegetable oils that are high in omega-6 linoleic acid. Monounsaturated fats come from nuts, palm oil, olive oil, and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats come from nuts and fish. You can also get protein from nuts and fish as well as red meat and poultry.

3. Will the Targeted Keto Diet Kick Me Out of Ketosis?

When you eat any amount of carbs, your blood glucose levels elevate and your body's ketone production drops. Typically, consuming more than 12.5 grams of carbohydrates at once is enough to kick you out of ketosis. But the targeted keto diet says you can have over double this amount before your workout.

Imagine that you eat 30 grams of carbs before your workout. As soon as you burn 120 calories, you have burned off the carbs consumed and you are back in ketosis. You can accomplish this in under 30 minutes if you are exercising vigorously. Therefore, it's not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

4. Is the Targeted Keto Diet Right for Me?

If you're thinking about starting a new diet, it's important to speak to a doctor to ensure the diet is healthy for you given your unique needs and will help you achieve your goals. The targeted keto diet is most often recommended for people who are already in ketosis and want to take their workouts to the next level.

5. How Do I Know if I'm in Ketosis?

If you feel more focused than you have in years, you may be in ketosis. You may be in ketosis if you can think more clearly, recall information better and feel more energized than you can ever remember feeling. But the only way to know for sure if you are in ketosis is to test the levels of ketones and sugar in your blood, breath, or urine.

6. Are There Other Types of Keto Diets?

There are actually four types of keto diets. Specifically, people seeking a keto lifestyle can choose from the high-protein keto diet (HPKD), the cyclical keto diet (CKD), the targeted ketogenic diet (TKD) and the "standard" keto diet (SKD).

7. What Can I Eat on the High-Protein Keto Diet?

On the high-protein keto diet, you have an allowed macronutrient ratio of 60% to 65% fat, 30% protein, and 5% to 10% carbs. Assuming you need 1,635 calories per day, you may get 480 calories from protein, 80 calories from carbohydrates, and 1,075 calories from fat.

8. What Can I Eat on the Standard Ketogenic Diet?

On the standard ketogenic diet, your allowed macronutrient ratio is 75% fat, 15% to 20% protein, and 5% to 10% carbohydrates. Fat comes from olives, olive oil, butter, ghee, avocados, fatty fish, and fatty meats. Depending on your calorie needs, you may eat up to 150 grams of fat (1,350 calories) per day.

Protein typically comes from fish, shellfish, poultry and meat from farms. Many people who follow the ketogenic diet believe game meat is too lean to fit comfortably into their macros. Carbohydrates come from small portions of low-carb fruits, leafy, green vegetables, and low-carb legumes.

9. What Can I Eat on the Cyclical Keto Diet?

The cyclical keto diet is similar to the targeted keto diet in that it is beloved by athletes. On the cyclical keto diet, your macronutrient ratio is 75% fat, 15% to 20% protein and 5% to 10% carbohydrates on the days you follow the standard keto diet. On your "days off," your allowed macronutrient ratio is 25% fat, 25% protein, and 50% carbohydrates.

The most common cyclical keto diet has you follow the traditional keto diet from Sunday to Thursday. Then, on Friday and Saturday, you can enjoy carb-heavy meals. On your days off, you may get your carbs from high-carb fruits, starchy vegetables, dairy products, and whole grains. However, as long as a beer or cake fits into your macros, you can consume whatever you want.

10. Can I Drink on the Keto Diet?

This is tricky. The keto diet, and all of its variations, is based on three macronutrients. Fat has nine calories per gram. Protein and carbohydrates have four calories per gram each. Fitting alcohol into your macros is difficult because it has seven calories per gram. Moreover, unless you're sipping straight liquor, alcoholic beverages contain carbohydrates, too.

At the end of the day, you can fit alcohol into any variation of the keto diet. But before you order a beer at the bar hosting your Wednesday night pool league, you need to consider why you're on the keto diet in the first place. Most people use the targeted keto diet to enhance their athleticism and recovery. Alcohol won't help with this at all.

11. Will the Targeted Keto Diet Actually Make Me a Better Athlete?

A lot of research indicates that being in a fasted state makes incredible feats of athleticism easier. Take, for instance, marathoners. They "hit a wall," because they run out of stored glycogen and they're not fat-adapted. Many of the world's most successful marathoners find it easier to be fat-adapted than to consume carbs on their 26.2-mile run.

12. What Are the Primary Benefits of a Keto Diet?

Regardless of the type of keto diet you choose to follow, there are some pretty significant benefits. The most significant are as follows:

  • Therapeutic benefits for metastatic cancer
  • Weight loss or weight maintenance
  • Improved appetite control
  • Lower insulin levels
  • Lower blood sugar levels
  • Stable energy
  • Increased metabolic activity
  • Enhanced cognitive performance
  • Glycogen enhancement
  • Minimized systemic inflammation
  • Cleaner energy production

13. How Can I Start a Targeted Keto Diet?

There are seven steps to starting a successful targeted keto diet. First, you must follow a standard keto diet for at least four to six weeks. Then, you must determine your unique carb count. Third, minimize carbs. Fourth, eat carbs before or during exercise. Fifth, eat fast-absorbing carbs. Sixth, keep calories constant. Seventh, supplement wisely.

14. How Do I Start the Standard Keto Diet?

A successful targeted keto diet starts with first following a standard keto diet for four to six weeks. This ensures your body is fat-adapted and will slip back into ketosis easily after you eat carbs. To start a standard keto diet, keep carbs under 20 grams per day and drink plenty of water. Measure your ketone and glucose levels every day until you have entered ketosis.

To kick-start your keto diet, you can fast for 48 to 72 hours and exercise. You won't enter ketosis until your body has consumed all its stored glycogen. When you exercise, your body burns more energy, and when you don't eat anything, your body can only get fuel from its glycogen and fat stores.

15. What Is My Unique Carb Count?

Your unique carb count refers to how many carbs you can eat on the keto diet and remain in ketosis. Some people can eat over 50 grams of carbs per day and remain in ketosis. Others can only eat 25 grams of carbs per day before they slip out of ketosis. After you've followed a keto diet for four to six weeks, increase your daily carb intake until you reach 0.5 mmol/L of blood ketones.

16. How Do I Minimize Carbs on My Workout Days?

Start by eating between 15 and 30 grams of carbs before your workout. If your unique carb count number is higher, you can get away with eating more carbs pre-workout. However, if you need more carbohydrates to fuel and recover from your workouts, try to split them up. To minimize your time out of ketosis, try to keep your total carb count under 50 grams.

17. When Should I Eat Carbs on My Workout Days?

People who follow the targeted keto diet tend to experience the most success when they eat before and during exercise. First, they feel that the extra glucose helps to fuel glycolytic exercises. Second, when performing vigorous exercises, they burn glucose so quickly that they rapidly return to a ketogenic state. However, protein synthesis requires fat and protein, not carbs.

18. Why Should I Eat Fast-Absorbing Carbs?

According to the standard keto diet, you should eat low-glycemic, high-fiber carbohydrate sources, like squash, carrots, and blackberries. However, on the targeted keto diet, your goal is to use the carbs immediately to fuel a high-intensity workout. Some people like dextrose, which is found in pre-workout drinks and snacks. A more natural option is potatoes or rice.

19. How Can I Keep Calories Constant?

The beauty of a diet that counts macros is that maintaining consistent calories is easy. Simply subtract four grams of fat from your daily allowance for every nine grams of carbs you eat before your workout.

Learn More About Keto Diets Today

Have any more questions about the targeted ketogenic diet? Contact us today at Naples Vitality in Naples, FL to learn more. We're committed to helping our clients live their best possible lives. We are more than happy to answer any and all questions you have about this revolutionary diet.

About Naples Vitality

Known for his successful approach towards chronic wellness issues, Dr. Linell King and the team at Naples Vitality combine an integrative, functional medicine approach informed by advanced lab testing.

Our unique approach to diagnosing and resolving chronic health issues recognizes that lasting health depends on resolving the underlying root causes of your symptoms. Click here to learn more »

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One of the unique aspects of Naples Vitality is that we look at the body in a holistic manner... evaluating the imbalances between different organ systems, rather than looking at organs in isolation.

Our approach seeks to empower you with lifelong health skills that serve you and your entire family – supported by our entire team. Click here to learn more about our approach with Dr. Linell King.

Your Next Steps

After you have reviewed the information on our website, we encourage you to watch one of our amazing masterclasses or our free mini-course on conquering inflammation & autoimmunity that are part of our educational programming.

This way, you can make an informed decision whether partnering with Naples Vitality is right for you. Learn more...

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