Not Exactly The Keto Diet: What Is Keto Cycling And How Does It Help With Weight Loss?

It's not easy to stop eating carbs, but the latest fad diet, ketogenics, calls for the complete elimination of the food group. The idea is that your body will go into a state of ketosis, a process that burns fat and helps shed pounds.

The complete elimination of all bread, pastas and even some fruit, can be tricky for most people. So a new and less restrictive form of the keto diet has emerged, called keto cycling.

There is no exact definition of what keto cycling is, but the gist of it revolves around adhering to a strict ketogenic diet for five or six days, and then one day per week as a cheat day, when you can eat carbs, Australia's News AU reported.

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Vegetables being weighed on a scale. A new version of the keto diet allows for at least one day of carbs per week. Media for Medical/UIG via Getty Images

"Giving yourself more flexibility in your diet by taking days out from keto may be helpful to provide a mental break from restriction," dietitian Chloe McLeod told publication. "It can be a good chance to get some extra fiber and whole grains in your diet, which is more beneficial for your gut health (and overall health) long term; high-fat diets have been shown to change the types of bacteria in the gut."

This can also help dieters avoid with what is known as the "keto flu," a period when your body shifts from burning carbs and sugar for energy, to burning fat. Just like any other flu, there are unpleasant symptoms, like stomachaches, insomnia and dizziness, according toWomen's Health magazine.

The diet relies mostly on lean protein and healthy fat foods. Weight loss comes because these foods have fewer calories, take more energy to break down, and make you feel fuller faster.

The diet has seen a rise in popularity recently since celebrities like Halle Berry have sworn by it. Berry even said it helped her keep her Type 2 diabetes at bay, Prevention magazine reported.

Doctors and dieticians have also raved about the results, but it's not clear what the long-term effects of staying in ketosis indefinitely are, dietician Pegah Jalali told NBC News. Since each person has individual calorie needs, Jalali suggested people seek help from a health professional before drastically changing their diets.

"Some adults will have to consume 15 grams of net carbohydrates to stay in ketosis, whereas some professional athletes may be able to consume more than 120 grams of net carbs and be in a ketogenic state," said Jalali. "This is another reason why it is best to work with a professional to design the diet."