(Plus— a tasty keto-friendly recipe for Wild Berry “Dough-tein” Muffins)
You’ve likely heard the term ‘keto’ slung around more frequently than ‘low fat’ or ‘sugar-free’ over the last few years. But did you know that there are different types of Keto? We caught up with Daniel Calabrese (AKA Cala) to discuss Cyclical Keto. This diet is often compared to carb cycling— but we can assure you, it’s not the same thing.
“I’m a guy who had some auto-immune flare-ups in the past, so I decided to be more mindful of nourishment. By doing so, I’m able to manage inflammation and still be able to keep a low-stress sustainable lifestyle.
A lot of people associate minding diet as restriction of things we enjoy. That is by far the case with me. I tend to be on the extreme end— trying to have the most food on my plate without the unnecessary calories to align with my training, support immune function and promote recovery.
I’m a big fan of using all the tools in the box to build the body at its full potential. It took some time to figure out, and a big reason was because I was ashamed of being a “big eater.” Now, I embrace that by focusing on nutrients for the majority of my diet— doing so keeps calories low during the week followed by big re-feeds where I can embrace my big eating behavior and have a good mindset of starting the week of ‘dieting’ all over again.”
Q & A
For those who are new, can you explain what a Cyclical Keto diet is?
There are a variety of approaches, but basically adhering to a ketogenic diet for [the] majority of your 1-2 week time frame— followed by 1-2 days of a high-carb re-feed. It can be followed in many ways, but the way I’ve been sticking to it this year is following a low-carb diet for 5 days, in a pretty severe deficit [35%~] followed by two day re-feed. Some stick as low as maintenance on re-feeds, but I’ve been going double maintenance for a good few months now and its working well. So why not?
Of all the diets, what made you consider Cyclical Keto?
I started keto for health reasons. I feel way better.
When grocery shopping, what are your keto-friendly must-haves?
Meat and green veggies. I have 2-3 eggs almost every meal, so more leaner meats. Some crazy as kangaroo, camel, emu— to “normal foods” like chicken and fish.
What are the most popular misconceptions about a keto diet, and how do you debunk those myths?
The idea of protein protein in the 15-20% is a good idea for fat-loss/health. Thinking 85% fat is necessary to produce ketones. The idea that ketones matter at all when fat-loss is from being in a calorie deficit— not because of keto.
You mentioned a ‘low-stress sustainable lifestyle’. What are your best tips to stay calm during chaos and keep the stress at bay?
Select foods you enjoy and align with goals. Lose the idea that restriction needs to be part of improvement. Focusing on who you want to be vs. what you want to look like. Adapting better habits by building a structured relationship eating behaviors.
How have your workouts benefited from switching to a cyclical ketogenic diet?
Before cyclical keto was two years ago— so I’m stronger and look better? Not sure if its the diet specifically— I blame most of it being able to adhere best on this diet. So any adequate diet and training should give you results regardless.
Are carbs really the enemy? How many do you consume on a high-carb day versus low-carb day?
Not my enemy. We’re great friends, best friends. But too much partying with your best friend is probably gonna do more damage than good. I keep low carb 50g-75g on training days 30g on rest days and refeeds are 650-850g (fats are very low, >30g).
Do you find it difficult to get back into ketosis after a high-carb refeed day?
Not at all. I couldn’t eat how I eat on my carb days more than two days. By the end of the refeeds, I’m sick of carbs and want meat, eggs, fish and veggies.
What’s your favorite True Nutrition product/flavor?
CHOC. FUDGE. BROWNIE. BEEF. ISOLATE.
Any advice for a newbie transitioning into a keto diet?
Join my facebook group, NUTRIENT KETO— its crazy fun. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter: @nutrientdieting (I post every meal). People say I eat some crazy things— but damn its tasty!
Wild Berry Dough-tein Muffins
What You’ll Need:
• Egg White Protein (Cala used TrueFlavor Raspberry Streusel)
• 3/4 cup Egg Whites
• 1 tsp. Baking Powder
Watch below as it turns into a delicious, nutrient-dense muffin!
Cala’s philosophy for sustainable long-term eating habits is surely working well for him! What do you make of this ‘wild’ way of eating?
Yours in Health,