Lazy Keto Diet: What It Is and How to Get Started

The keto diet has become a powerful tool to achieve ketosis, leading to numerous health benefits, including weight loss and improved metabolic health. Due to its popularity, variations have emerged to cater to different needs, including the lazy keto diet.

This comprehensive article will cover how it differs from other keto diet variations, its benefits and downsides, and guide you on what to eat and how to do it properly.

Key Takeaways:

  • The lazy keto diet only restricts carbohydrate intake, not fat and protein intake.
  • Like the standard keto diet, the lazy diet can help with weight loss, appetite regulation, increased fat loss, and improved metabolic health.
  • Lazy keto is often easier to follow for beginners.
  • Due to less restriction, lazy keto may result in decreased fat and increased protein intake than what is allowed to maintain ketosis.

What Is Lazy Keto?

The lazy keto diet is a simplified version of the standard ketogenic diet, focusing primarily on restricting carbohydrate intake while being more flexible in tracking other macronutrients.

Unlike traditional keto, which requires meticulous tracking of fat, protein, and carbohydrate intake, lazy keto simplifies the process by solely emphasizing carb restriction.

With lazy keto, you only need to restrict your keto macros by tracking carbohydrate intake to less than 10% of the total daily caloric intake, which often translates to 20-50 grams of carbohydrates, and not mind the amount of fat and protein.

Standard vs. Dirty vs. Lazy Keto

Standard Keto

Standard Keto is the traditional ketogenic diet, where precise tracking of macronutrients is essential.

The standard keto diet encourages the intake of healthy fat sources and the avoidance of highly processed foods.

Here’s the ideal keto macro ratio for the standard keto diet:

  • Carbohydrates: 5-10%
  • Proteins: 15-25%
  • Fats: 70-75%

Dirty Keto

Dirty keto is a keto diet variation where you still follow the macro ratio of the standard keto diet but without restrictions on the food quality.

This means that people following this diet can eat fast food, deep-fried food, and other sources of fat, protein, and carbohydrates as long as they are within the recommended macro ratio.

Lazy Keto

While the first two mentioned focus on restricting all three macro ratios, the lazy keto only restricts carbohydrates.

Lazy Keto Benefits

lazy keto diet

Weight Loss

Lazy keto, focusing on carbohydrate restriction, promotes weight loss1 through the induction of ketosis.

In this metabolic state, the body efficiently burns stored fat for energy, reducing overall body weight.

Reducing carbohydrate intake limits the body’s access to glucose, prompting the utilization of fat stores for energy. This continuous fat utilization contributes to weight loss over time.

Appetite Regulation

Carbohydrate restriction on a lazy keto diet may contribute to improved appetite regulation.2 The consumption of foods rich in healthy fats and moderate protein provides a sustained feeling of fullness,3 potentially reducing overall calorie intake.

This can lead to better adherence to the diet and support weight management goals.

Increased Fat Loss

Lazy keto’s emphasis on fat as the primary energy source can lead to increased fat loss. When the body is in ketosis, it becomes more efficient at breaking down and utilizing stored fat4 for energy.

By maintaining a state of ketosis, the body continuously taps into fat reserves, contributing to fat loss. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals aiming to reduce body weight and fat percentage.

Blood Sugar Regulation

The carbohydrate restriction in lazy keto can contribute to better blood sugar management.5 By minimizing spikes in blood glucose levels, the diet may benefit individuals with insulin resistance or diabetes.

Improved Metabolic Health

Lazy keto’s impact on weight loss, appetite regulation, lipid levels,6 and insulin sensitivity7 collectively contributes to improved metabolic health. This can have positive implications for conditions such as diabetes8 and heart disease.9

Improved metabolic health results in improved energy levels, mood, and well-being.

Beginner Friendliness

The simplicity of lazy keto makes it more accessible, especially for beginners or those new to the ketogenic diet. The reduced emphasis on meticulous tracking and the flexibility in food choices can increase adherence to the diet.

The lazy keto diet also allows a broader variety of food, which makes it easier for beginners to follow.

Drawbacks of Lazy Keto

Potentially Decreased Fat Intake

Lazy keto’s simplified approach, focusing primarily on carbohydrate restriction, may inadvertently lead to a decrease in fat intake.

While the emphasis on fat is not as strict as in standard keto, inadequate fat consumption can impact the ability to maintain ketosis, compromise overall nutritional balance, and may even decrease energy levels, which is the primary goal of ketosis.

Potential for Too Much Protein

Lazy keto’s lax approach to protein intake may result in excessive protein consumption.

Consuming more protein than the body needs can increase in gluconeogenesis,10 a process where the body converts protein into glucose, which may disrupt ketosis.

Too much protein can also strain the kidneys over the long term, especially in individuals with pre-existing kidney conditions.11

Prone to Weight Loss Stall

While lazy keto may initially contribute to weight loss, the lack of precision in tracking macronutrients may make it challenging for individuals to identify and overcome weight loss plateaus. This can be frustrating for those expecting continuous progress.

May Lead to Nutritional Deficiencies

The reduced emphasis on food quality in lazy keto, compared to standard keto, may result in nutritional deficiencies over time. The lack of nutrient tracking and reliance on processed or low-quality foods may deprive the body of essential vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients.

Lack of Long-Term Research

Most established studies on the keto diet focus on the standard ketogenic diet and are often done with medical supervision. This means the nutrients are strictly tracked, unlike the lazy keto.

What to Eat on Lazy Keto

  • Healthy fats: Avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, butter, ghee
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pecans
  • Seeds: Chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds
  • Fatty fish: Salmon, tuna, sardines, herring
  • Meat: Chicken, turkey, beef, pork, lamb, eggs
  • Shellfish: Shrimp, crab, lobster
  • Low-carb vegetables: Zucchini, asparagus, bell peppers, mushrooms, cucumber
  • Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, swiss chard, lettuce
  • Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage
  • Dairy: cheese, heavy cream, greek yogurt (full-fat, unsweetened), cottage cheese, sour cream, butter
  • Beverages: Water, black coffee, unsweetened tea (green tea, herbal tea), sparkling water (plain or with a splash of lemon/lime)

Foods to Avoid

  • High-carb foods: Grains (wheat, rice, oats), legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas), bread, baked goods, pasta, noodles, and cereals.
  • Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn
  • High-sugar fruits: Bananas, grapes, mangos
  • Processed foods with added sugar: Sugary snacks and sweets (candies, cookies, pastries)
  • Processed and packaged foods: Fast food (especially breaded items), pre-packaged meals with high carbohydrate content, processed meats with added sugars (certain sausages, deli meats), sauces and condiments with added sugar (ketchup, BBQ sauce), sugary salad dressings
  • High-carb dairy: flavored yogurts with added sugar, sweetened milk (e.g., chocolate milk, ice cream with high sugar content
  • Sugary beverages and snacks with hidden carbs: Regular soda, fruit juices, sweetened iced tea, energy drinks with added sugar, protein bars, and trail mix with sugar content

Example Meal Plan

The lazy keto diet allows a broader variety of food options due to its less restrictive approach. Here’s a sample of what a daily meal plan looks like:

  • Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Feta
  • Snack: Handful of Almonds and Walnuts
  • Lunch: Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
  • Snack: Celery Sticks with Cream Cheese
  • Dinner: Baked Salmon with Roasted Broccoli

How to Follow Lazy Keto

Following the lazy keto should be easy for beginners, but you should still be very strict in a few rules, especially with tracking your carbohydrate intake. Here are a few tips on how to follow the keto diet:

  1. Understand Carb Limits: Aim to keep your daily net carbohydrate intake between 20-50 grams. Net carbs are calculated by subtracting fiber from total carbs.
  2. Prioritize Whole Foods: While lazy keto is more flexible, emphasize whole, nutrient-dense foods. Choose fresh, unprocessed options to ensure a balanced nutritional intake.
  3. Increase Healthy Fats: Incorporate sources of healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil, nuts, and fatty fish. These provide essential nutrients and contribute to satiety.
  4. Moderate Protein Intake: Maintain a moderate intake of protein. Include sources like meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. Be mindful of excessive protein consumption, as it can impact ketosis.
  5. Watch Out for Hidden Carbs: Be vigilant about hidden sugars in sauces, dressings, and processed items. Check food labels for carb content to ensure you’re staying on track.
  6. Stay Hydrated: Water is essential for overall health and can also help alleviate potential side effects like the “keto flu.” Aim to stay well-hydrated throughout the day.
  7. Mindful Snacking: If you snack, choose low-carb options like nuts, seeds, or cheese. Be mindful of portion sizes to avoid overconsumption.

Will Lazy Keto Kick Me Out of Ketosis?

Lazy keto allows more hidden carbs, which can kick you out of ketosis.

However, being strict in your carbohydrate intake (20-50 g) will keep your body in ketosis. Measuring your ketone levels is an excellent way to identify your state of ketosis.

Should You Try It?

Lazy keto is a good option if you’re a beginner willing to try keto and do not want to be overwhelmed with all the macronutrient tracking. However, this method requires strict restrictions on carbohydrates to maintain ketosis and reap its benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you do partial keto and still lose weight?

Yes, partial keto still allows you to lose weight, but this greatly depends on how restrictive you are of the carbs you intake.

Can you still lose weight on dirty keto?

Yes, dirty keto still leads to weight loss due to the very low carbohydrate intake.

What is the difference between classic keto and lazy keto?

The main difference is the standard keto diet’s general restriction on all three macronutrients. On the other hand, lazy keto is just restrictive on carbohydrates.

References

1Ting, R., Dugré, N., Allan, G. M., & Lindblad, A. J. (2018). Ketogenic diet for weight loss. Canadian Family Physician, 64(12), 906. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371871/

2Roekenes, J., & Martins, C. (2021). Ketogenic diets and appetite regulation. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 24(4), 359–363. https://doi.org/10.1097/MCO.0000000000000760

3Samra RA. Fats and Satiety. In: Montmayeur JP, le Coutre J, editors. Fat Detection: Taste, Texture, and Post Ingestive Effects. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2010. Chapter 15. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK53550/

4Volek, J. S., Freidenreich, D. J., Saenz, C., Kunces, L. J., Creighton, B. C., Bartley, J. M., Davitt, P. M., Munoz, C. X., Anderson, J. M., Maresh, C. M., Lee, E. C., Schuenke, M. D., Aerni, G., Kraemer, W. J., & Phinney, S. D. (2016). Metabolic characteristics of keto-adapted ultra-endurance runners. Metabolism: clinical and experimental, 65(3), 100–110. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.metabol.2015.10.028

5Alarim, R. A., Alasmre, F. A., Alotaibi, H. A., Alshehri, M. A., & Hussain, S. A. (2020). Effects of the Ketogenic Diet on Glycemic Control in Diabetic Patients: Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials. Cureus, 12(10). https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.10796

6Batch, J. T., Lamsal, S. P., Adkins, M., Sultan, S., & Ramirez, M. N. (2020). Advantages and Disadvantages of the Ketogenic Diet: A Review Article. Cureus, 12(8). https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.9639

7Paoli, A., Bianco, A., Moro, T., Mota, J. F., & Coelho-Ravagnani, C. F. (2023). The Effects of Ketogenic Diet on Insulin Sensitivity and Weight Loss, Which Came First: The Chicken or the Egg? Nutrients, 15(14). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15143120

8Tinguely, D., Gross, J., & Kosinski, C. (2021). Efficacy of Ketogenic Diets on Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review. Current Diabetes Reports, 21(9). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11892-021-01399-z

9Dyńka, D., Kowalcze, K., Charuta, A., & Paziewska, A. (2023). The Ketogenic Diet and Cardiovascular Diseases. Nutrients, 15(15). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15153368

10Fromentin, C., Tomé, D., Nau, F., Flet, L., Luengo, C., Azzout-Marniche, D., Sanders, P., Fromentin, G., & Gaudichon, C. (2013). Dietary Proteins Contribute Little to Glucose Production, Even Under Optimal Gluconeogenic Conditions in Healthy Humans. Diabetes, 62(5), 1435-1442. https://doi.org/10.2337/db12-1208

11Ko, G. J., Obi, Y., Tortoricci, A. R., & Kalantar-Zadeh, K. (2017). Dietary Protein Intake and Chronic Kidney Disease. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 20(1), 77. https://doi.org/10.1097/MCO.0000000000000342

Mag. Stephan Lederer, MSc.

Mag. Stephan Lederer, MSc. is an author and blogger from Austria who writes in-depth content about health and nutrition. His book series on Interval Fasting landed #1 on the bestseller list in the German Amazon marketplace in 15 categories.

Stephan is a true man of science, having earned multiple diplomas and master's degrees in various fields. He has made it his mission to bridge the gap between conventional wisdom and scientific knowledge. He precisely reviews the content and sources of this blog for currency and accuracy.

Click on the links above to visit his author and about me pages.

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