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Modified Keto Diet: Is It a Real Keto Diet Variation?

If your New Year’s resolution included losing weight or being healthier, you’re probably deep in research to uncover the best diet to help you reach your goals. You’ve likely come across dozens of low-carb diet plans and weight-loss regimens, including the modified keto diet.

So, what is the modified keto diet (also known as keto 2.0)?

For some, the modified keto diet might sound like a dream come true. It’s a less restrictive version of the standard keto diet (SKD), yet it claims to have the same health benefits. But can you double your daily carb allowance and still get into ketosis?

In this article, you’ll learn all about the modified keto diet, how it compares to traditional keto, potential pros and cons, and whether or not it can help you get into ketosis.

Modified Keto Diet vs. Traditional Keto Diet

The modified keto diet is a more flexible approach to the usual keto diet. While both are considered low-carbohydrate diets, the modified keto diet splits the macronutrient values differently:

  • The standard guidelines for the traditional keto diet allow for 5-10% carbs, 60-75% healthy fats, and 15-30% protein.
  • There aren’t any defined “rules” when it comes to the modified keto diet, but followers seem to aim for these macronutrient percentages: 15-20% carbs, 30-35% protein, and 50-55% fat.

Both diets advocate the consumption of:

  • Healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado, and olive oil
  • Leafy greens, including kale, spinach, and Swiss chard
  • Low-starch veggies like zucchini, eggplant, and asparagus
  • Low-carb fruits, such as blueberries, raspberries, and lemons

On both versions, you’re to avoid:

  • Whole grains
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Sugar and other highly processed and high-carb foods

On the other hand, the modified keto diet meal plan revolves around these suggestions:

  • Most of your dietary fat should come from plant sources
  • You should lower your meat and dairy intake
  • Fish should be your main source of protein

In reality, the modified ketogenic diet is quite similar to the Mediterranean diet, which is considered a healthy diet that promotes longevity[*].

However, the question remains: Can you get into ketosis and reap all its benefits when you follow a modified ketogenic diet?

Potential Benefits of Keto 2.0

Modified keto diet: Bowl of protein and veggies

The modified keto diet claims to have the same health benefits of the classic keto diet while allowing you to eat twice as many carbs (up to 100 grams of carbs per day).

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Take a closer look at some potential benefits of keto 2.0.

#1: It May Be Used as an Introduction to the Keto Diet

If you’re not sure whether the keto lifestyle is for you, trying a modified keto diet might be a softer approach to see how you feel and how your body reacts.

Diving into a ketogenic diet isn’t always easy, especially in the beginning as you cut almost entire food groups from your eating plan. Starting out with a modified version might be a gentler way to initiate yourself to the high-fat, low-carb lifestyle, without having to deal with the possible side effects of the keto flu.

However, the reason you may avoid keto flu symptoms is because your body isn’t going into ketosis. This metabolic state only occurs if you follow a very high-fat diet, low-carb diet, or practice intermittent fasting.

#2: It Might Promote Weight Loss

If you’re not leading the healthiest lifestyle at the moment, then the modified keto diet can be a good way to change your eating habits, promote healthier food choices, and maybe even help you lose some stubborn body fat.

If your main goal is to burn fat, make sure you add some type of exercise — like HIIT or calisthenics — to complement your new way of living.

While weight loss is never guaranteed, you should be aware that your weight probably won’t drop as drastically or as fast as it would if you were following the standard keto diet. Moreover, you’d miss out on all the great health benefits that come with ketosis.

#3: It Can Promote Steady Blood Sugar Levels and Increase Satiety

Studies have shown that a high-fat, low-carb diet can help you feel fuller for longer, giving you long-lasting feelings of satiety that can lead to fat loss and support your wellness goals[*].

#4: It Might Prevent Heart Disease

If you’re doing keto the right way — focusing on healthy fats, high-quality protein, and plenty of low-carb veggies — then you’re sure to be supporting the optimal health of your body and mind.

On the other hand, if you’ve been doing keto the “dirty way” — building your diet around fast-food burgers, topped with low-quality cheese — then you might have a greater risk of developing high levels of triglycerides, which in the long-term may lead to high blood pressure and cardiovascular complications[*].

Better Options for Ketosis

In the end, the modified keto diet can’t really be called a variation of the keto diet because it’s unlikely that it will get your body into ketosis.

To achieve this metabolic state, your body needs to be completely depleted of glycogen — and that can only happen when you keep your carb intake very low.

Once you reach ketosis, your body swaps its main energy source from carbs to fat, a much more sustainable and enduring fuel source. Your body is now running on ketones, organic chemicals that are produced by your liver using fat[*].

This isn’t to say that some people following a keto 2.0 won’t be able to get into ketosis. Everyone has different and unique macronutrient needs. Those leading more active lifestyles can benefit from a slightly higher carb and calorie intake, while still getting the benefits of a ketogenic state.

That’s where the targeted keto diet (TKD) and the cyclical keto diet (CKD) come in.

The TKD is suitable for those who regularly work out and feel they need an extra energy boost for their training programs. This version of the keto diet allows for increased carb consumption within one hour before and after gym time.

If you’re a serious high-performance athlete, then you’ll want to consider the CKD. This variation follows standard keto diet guidelines, complemented by one or two days of high-carb intake per week (carb loading) to support an intensive training routine.

Both these keto versions allow for greater carb consumption, but still support a ketogenic state and deliver all its benefits.

As you can see, one of the great things about keto is that it’s a tailor-made approach to eating that allows you to calculate your ideal macronutrient ratio. All you have to do is use a ketogenic calculator.

Keto Macro Calculator: Find Your Unique Ratio

When you’re starting your keto journey, using a keto macro calculator is a crucial step toward reaching your health goals. It takes into account your age, gender, height, weight, and activity level to determine your unique macro needs.

Learning your macro ratio will help you to:

  • Easily enter and stay in ketosis.
  • Track your macros throughout the day (you can use an app for that).
  • Stop the guesswork regarding how much of what you should eat.
  • Support your weight loss or weight gain targets.

Even though the keto diet guidelines suggest a daily intake of 20-50 net carbs per day, this number can vary greatly depending on your one-of-a-kind profile. As such, keto is one of the most customizable diets out there.

Keto 2.0: Not Quite a Keto Diet

The modified keto diet might help you adopt healthier eating habits as it focuses mainly on plant-sourced fats, healthy proteins, and plenty of leafy greens. You could almost call this approach a low-carb version of the Mediterranean diet.

However, it can be very challenging for you to get into a state of ketosis and reap all the benefits with such a high-carb intake.

Unfortunately, some people who decide to give keto a go don’t make the distinction between “good fats” and “bad fats.” This can end up harming their health as a consequence of poor food choices.

Following a balanced keto diet — filled with nutrient-rich foods — can help you avoid possible nutritional deficiencies while enjoying enhanced mental clarity, boosted energy levels, and optimal health.

If you train hard and feel like you need an extra energy kick to power your workouts, then consider adopting either the targeted keto diet or the cyclical keto diet. Both these variations take into account your activity levels and allow a higher carb intake, but they still give you all the benefits of ketosis.

If you’re still not convinced about trying the keto diet because you fear you might have to give up all your favorite treats and snacks, take a look at these surprising and delicious keto-friendly recipes:


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