There are different types of Keto, and a rainbow of types in between for each individual. It’s important that we get all of our daily nutrients, especially for those of us with Charcot Marie Tooth. I have tried a few different types of Keto since I started doing Keto. I plan to detail each that I have tried, my experience with that type, and which I have had the most success with and do now. Please keep in mind that this is my personal experience with these different types of Keto. Each person is different. You should consult your doctor and possibly a fitness and/or nutrition expert before significantly changing your diet in this way.
Different Types of Keto
Standard Keto Diet (SKD)
The SKD is a low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat diet. Some would also say that the SKD is low-calorie, but this isn’t true. The Keto diet is only calorie restrictive if one is trying to lose weight. The Keto diet can be high-calorie if the person’s goal is to gain weight or muscle mass. The SKD macro profile typically consists of 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs.
My experience with the SKD was a good one. After starting with the Ideal Living Program at Avera, and with some guidance from my nutritionist, I slowly migrated over to the SKD. That makes it my first experience with Keto, and therefore how I fell in love with Keto. The SKD is definitely a good place to start! Remember to always do your own research and consult your doctor first, though.
Cyclical Keto Diet (CKD)
When a person follows CKD, they will have certain lengths of time where they consume high-carbs to reset their metabolism. For example, a CK dieter could do a month of Keto followed by a week of a high-carb diet and repeat.
I didn’t much like this type of Keto. Cycle weeks just dragged me down. I would feel great during Keto, and then I would feel tired and weak during the week of high-carb eating. It just didn’t seem worth it to me. CKD didn’t appeal to me. I didn’t miss bread, fruits, desserts, or other carb-heavy foods. With that said, someone else might find the CKD perfect for their lifestyle!
Targeted Keto Diet (TKD)
TKD is when the dieter consumes most of their carbs around workouts. The theory is that the carbs will give you a boost of energy for the workout and prevent your body from using any protein as an energy source, allowing the protein to be used for muscle growth.
TKD was an enjoyable way to do Keto. It allowed me to work in higher carb foods like berries into my diet. I would eat next to zero carbs for the day except for before a workout. Strawberries and blueberries were my favorite. A handful of these an a protein shake before a workout helped fuel me through the cardio and weight lifting.
High-protein Keto Diet
A high-protein Keto diet is exactly what the name implies: a SKD with more protein. An example macro profile for a high-protein keto diet would be 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
The high-protein Keto diet has obvious benefits for those that exercise and patients with Charcot Marie Tooth. With the extra protein, less muscle wasting tends to take place. There is some evidence that excessive protein can be dangerous. Dr. Mercola speaks of about excessive protein, and gives advice. There are studies that warn against excess protein intake, so be careful about how much you consume. With that said, a standard high-protein Keto diet is just fine as long as you keep in mind the maximum amount of protein you’re supposed to intake for your own body.
What Type to Follow?
Well, I’m obviously going to advise that you figure out which is best for you after consulting your doctor and a fitness and/or nutrition expert. Each person has different goals and a different body type. Please keep in mind that any Keto diet is a significant diet change from a Standard American Diet.
For me, a combination of the Targeted Keto Diet and the High-protein Keto Diet works best. I now have an intense exercise routine as well as Charcot Marie Tooth disease. In order to have to energy to workout everyday, I use the TKD method and eat carbs around the time I exercise. My goal is to not only build muscle, but to build muscle. I use the high-protein Keto diet and increase my protein percentage to gain muscle. To summarize, I follow the TKD with a macro profile of 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
Micronutrients and CMT
Micronutrients are very important as well, especially electrolytes. I haven’t found a study to backup this claim, so I’m just speaking personally: I’m very sensitive to electrolyte imbalances, and I blame my CMT. If I’m low on potassium and magnesium especially, I start to not feel OK. I have fainted before due to this. Please be sure that you’re getting the proper amount of sodium, potassium, and magnesium each day. It’s a lot more than one might think! I consume a lot of avocados and spinach, as well as using potassium enriched salt in my diet. Avocados and spinach are both great sources of potassium and magnesium.