A lazy Keto diet is a modified form of the restrictive Ketogenic Diet. As the name implies, “a lazy keto diet” relaxes the strict calorie and macronutrient counting (fats, proteins & carbohydrates) and focuses solely on restricting carbs to 50g or fewer per day for most people.
Bowling is an old passion of mine… Bowling is a great sport, I grew up on bowling. At one point I was an avid bowler, several weekly leagues, periodic local pro-am tournaments, bowling themed vacations… completely immersed in the culture, I was one of those bowling snobs that hated having to bowl next to open bowlers because of their lack of bowler etiquette. Now, a casual bowler, it’s more of a semi-annual event with the friends for a few hours of laughs. Same game just different level of focus and attention. A lazy keto diet is the “casual bowler” it’s the same game but with a diminished level of focus and attention
What can you eat on a Lazy Keto Diet?
So much like the rules of bowling apply to casual and the avid bowler equally, the rules of keto & lazy keto are equal in terms of what foods are allowed on a lazy keto diet.
- Meat and poultry: beef, pork, chicken, and turkey
- Fish and shellfish: salmon, trout, tuna, shrimp, lobster, and crab
- Eggs: fried, scrambled, hard-boiled, and most other types of eggs
- Nuts and seeds: peanuts, tree nuts, sunflower seeds, and nut and seed butters
- High-fat dairy products: butter, cream, and most cheeses
- Low-carb vegetables: leafy greens, broccoli, tomatoes, onions, and many others
- Healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, flaxseed oil, and others
- Unsweetened beverages: water, coffee, and tea
- Sugar-free Sweeteners: Stevia, Monk fruit, Erythritol
- Some fruits: berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, in small portions
In bowling, both the avid and the casual bowler must avoid rolling their ball into the gutter, once a ball rolls into the gutter the roll is dead and no points can be recorded from that roll. In both keto and lazy keto you need to avoid the foods that will put you into the “gutter” in terms of ketosis…(I know…really stretching the bowling analogy)
What to avoid on Lazy Keto
- Beans: including peas, lentils
- Grains: rice, pasta, and oatmeal
- Low-fat dairy products: Low fat often means high sugar
- Added sugars and sweeteners: Honey, maple syrup, high fructose corn syrup, agave syrup
- Sugary beverages: juice and soda
- Traditional snack foods: potato chips, pretzels, and crackers
- Most fruits: except for lemons, limes, tomatoes, and small portions of berries (listed above)
- Starchy vegetables: corn, potatoes, and peas (here’s that damn pea again… is it a vegetable or a bean?)
- Trans fats: margarine or other hydrogenated fats
- Most alcohols: wine, beer, and sweetened cocktails (For more info see my post on The Keto Diet & Alcohol )
Invoking the beleaguered bowling analogy one last time…. the avid bowler will have consistently better scores than the casual bowler, the focus and attention that the avid bowler pays to his game is going to yield him greater results. Following a keto diet strictly and consistently will yield greater results than following the more “casual” lazy keto diet in much the same way.
Can you still lose weight on Lazy Keto?
The answer to that is definitely… maybe… hard to say… it depends… aye yi yi! A lazy keto diet still maintains the same principles of the standard ketogenic diet by reducing sugars and restricting carbohydrates. If you’re coming from a world of fast food, sugary drinks, highly processed foods, and severely overweight, a lazy keto diet would be a tremendous improvement and you would definitely expect to see weight loss in people fitting this scenario.
Conversely, if you’re coming from several months of strict keto experiencing various degrees of success, then dropping off to a lazy keto would most likely result in a slowing down of weight loss, plateau or possibly even a minor slide back.
The allure of a lazy keto diet is its simplicity is easier for the standard American diet fast food junkie to transition from Big Macs & fries to a lazy keto diet vs. going hardcore into a strict ketogenic diet….not more effective, just easier to do… baby steps. On the flip side, after following a strict ketogenic diet for enough time it’s hard not to get burned out by the measuring & recording. Backing off a bit and following a lazy keto diet gives the mind and body a respite while continuing to monitor and restrict carbs keeps you from completely going off the rails.
What is the difference between Dirty Keto and Lazy Keto?
First lazy keto, now Dirty Keto… not very appealing adjectives to be paired with. In the traditional Ketogenic diet, there is an emphasis on eating more whole foods, lean meats, healthy fats while limiting carbohydrates and also achieving a caloric deficit. Dirty Keto de-emphasizes the whole foods and focuses only on the macronutrient ratio (70% fat, 25% protein, 5% Carbs), meaning that a dirty keto diet includes more processed foods.
- Artificial sweeteners.
- Processed oils.
- Processed proteins. SPAM is 1g of carb per serving, 6g of carbs for the entire 12oz package
- Low-carb snack foods: keto-friendly ice cream, energy bars
- Chai and coffee drinks that contain coconut milk and sugar-free syrup.
- Pork rinds and beef jerky.
- Cheese chips.
- Chocolate. Dark chocolate
- Salami and cheese
Lazy keto refers to modifying the strict macronutrient counting and relaxing it to counting carbs alone. Dirty Keto refers to relaxing the “whole foods” tenet and adding in processed foods that still support the macronutrient requirements. That being said, it’s entirely possible to do dirty & lazy keto at the same time. Below is an example of the macros of a dirty keto day based on the data supplied the MyFitnessPal app
What to do… Lazy Keto… Dirty Keto… Traditional Keto…?
The truth of the matter is that they are all relevant and there’s a time and place for each one of these strategies in a Ketogenic lifestyle.
Strict Ketogenic Diet: You’re 8 weeks from your wedding, or tropical vacation and you want to be at your very best… this is the time to ramp it up. Starting out when you’re at your heaviest is also a good place to implement this strategy for maximum effect, although it could be tough to make the transition
Dirty Keto: Busy schedules, family life, work, travel…. life, in general, can get in the way of your nutritional goals. What do you do when you’re not at home and in complete control? Traveling for work my life resembles Steve Martin & John Candy’s classic comedy Planes Train and Automobiles sometimes. When you spend a week in and out of airports and hotels and rental cars things are going to get a little “Dirty” and getting a little dirty is still preferable to the going completely off the reservation. (See my related post “Keto on the GO“).
Lazy Keto: You’ve had some success on the ketogenic diet and you’re past the point of needing to look up the carbohydrate content of every item that you eat because you’ve been there done that already. you allow your mind and body a break from obsessing calories and macronutrient ratios because it’s no longer a diet,… it’s simply the way you eat now, you get a little “Lazy” with the constant food tracking and just monitor the carbs… way more sustainable long term.
So what do you do…Traditional… dirty… lazy… extra crispy?
Regardless of your diet regimen; keto, paleo, weight watchers, Mediterranean, American, whatever you follow… Are you:
- Hardcore traditional?
What results are you seeing?
Let me know in the comments section.