Lazy Keto – What Is It and How to Do It
Learn what the lazy keto diet is, how to do it, and the benefits and drawbacks of lazy keto versus other types of ketogenic diets.
The “lazy keto diet” has sparked the interest of those wanting to start a low carb diet but want something less restrictive than a standard ketogenic diet. We thought you might be curious about this new take on the keto diet, too, so we decided to dig a little deeper into this new version. In this article, we will cover what the lazy keto diet is, how to do it, including a complete lazy keto diet food list and recipes, and address some of the potential benefits and drawbacks of lazy keto versus other versions of the ketogenic diet.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to replace personalized medical advice. A low carb diet may not be suitable for you. Consult your health care provider before making any changes to your lifestyle or use this information at your own risk.
What Is Lazy Keto?
The lazy keto, simply put, is a low carb diet. It is solely concerned with reducing your carbohydrate intake to 10% or less of your daily calories. This makes the lazy ketogenic diet more similar to the Atkins diet, which reduces carbohydrates based on your weight loss goals.
The goal of a standard ketogenic diet, in contrast, is to achieve the fat-burning metabolic state known as ketosis. To do so, the body requires a certain percentage of daily calories from each of the three macronutrients:
- 70-80% of daily calories from fats
- 20-25% of daily calories from protein
- 10% or less of daily calories from carbohydrates
The purpose of a lazy keto diet is really just to help avoid refined carbohydrates and added sugars. Removing processed sugars can help people manage their weight or improve their health, but these outcomes also depend on many other factors besides the amount of carbs consumed in a day. In contrast, a standard ketogenic diet, if done properly, can help reduce the risk or severity of medical conditions such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and neurological disorders, and can be an effective route to weight loss, as well.
How To Do a Lazy Keto Diet
To do a lazy keto diet, you simply need to calculate how many calories a day you should be consuming from carbohydrates, and aim to stay under this target.
One gram of carbohydrates contains 4 calories, so if you want to limit your daily intake of carbohydrates to 10% or less of your daily calories, the math would go a little something like this:
Based on 2000 calories a day, 10% of your daily calories = 200 calories
200 calories / 4 calories per gram = 50g of carbohydrates (or less) per day
Either by reading nutrition labels or by using a kitchen scale to measure unpackaged foods, you will need to track the number of grams of carbohydrates you eat at each meal or snack. It can be helpful to keep a journal of everything you eat in a day, in case you lose track.
Check out our blog post about how our bodies burn calories to learn how many calories a day you should be consuming based on your unique metabolic rate!
The Benefits of Lazy Keto
For Simplicity’s Sake
The most obvious benefit of the lazy keto diet is that it is a much simpler approach than a standard ketogenic diet. Rather than tracking every macronutrient, you only have to concern yourself with the number of carbohydrates you eat in a day. This can be much easier to manage for those who have never tried a low carb or keto diet before or are just getting started. It can be quite intimidating and require a lot of planning to follow a standard ketogenic approach, so focusing on just one macronutrient – carbohydrates – allows for greater manageability.
Cut Sugar and Refined Carbs
Restricting carbohydrates alone can also have positive health outcomes, especially if it involves cutting out things like refined grains and sugars found in many processed and packaged foods. These foods are very high calorie, have a very high glycemic index and are low in essential nutrients, meaning that they can aggravate such as diabetes or prediabetes and lead to weight gain if consumed in excess.
Drawbacks Of the Lazy Keto Diet
Under a standard ketogenic diet, ketosis is achieved by limiting carbohydrates and protein. Both of these macronutrients can be converted into glucose, which provides fuel for the body. But if consumed in excess, glucose gets stored as fat to create a reserve of energy in the body. By consuming a low carb, moderate protein, high fat diet as per the standard ketogenic diet, one can convert the body to a fat-burning metabolic state, the benefits of which may include weight loss, reduced risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome, and management of neurological disorders.
A Lazy Keto Diet May Not Achieve Ketosis
Since the lazy keto diet does not track fat and protein consumption, it is possible that you may not achieve the required macronutrient ratio to be in ketosis. As a result, you may not lose weight as efficiently as you would on a standard ketogenic diet.
You May Gain Weight on a Lazy Keto Diet
Another drawback is that since the lazy keto diet is intended to be less restrictive, you could actually gain weight if you are not keeping an eye on your caloric intake! Removing carbohydrates from the diet means that you will be consuming more protein and fat. Fatty foods are much higher in calories than carbohydrates, so you can easily slip out of a caloric deficit which allows for weight loss. That said, if you follow a lazy keto diet and decide to count calories as well, you can still shed a few pounds.
Lazy Dirty Keto
The emergence of lazy dirty keto has coincided naturally with the “lazy” approach. Tempting as it sounds, however, this version of the lazy keto diet has its drawbacks. The premise of this diet is to restrict carbohydrates but have no other restrictions when it comes to calories, fat, protein, or food quality. It may very well include a bun-less burger from your favourite fast-food joint and lots of “shortcut” keto products including highly processed shakes and bars. Although convenience is definitely a plus with this diet, its followers may not be getting their daily required intake of fibre, vitamins, and minerals which are essential to good health and weight loss.
While the macros may be the same in clean vs. dirty keto, the quality of the food consumed – especially the type of fats – can create very different results. Healthy fats promote optimal digestion and metabolism, improve cognitive health, and prevent cardiovascular disease, while the wrong kind of fats can have the exact opposite effects!
Lazy Keto Food List
Below is a beginner’s guide to foods that you can enjoy on a clean lazy keto diet.
Fruits & Vegetables
- Non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, broccoli, bell peppers, cucumber, celery, radishes, cabbage, artichokes, zucchini, eggplant, green beans, onions, and mushrooms
- Fruits such as berries, cherries, melons, pears, and avocados (in moderation)
- Olives, pickles, and pickled vegetables
- Pasture-raised/free-range eggs
- Wild-caught seafood
- Free-range/grass-fed poultry and meat
- Organic tofu or tempeh
- Legumes such as lentils, peas, and beans (in moderation)
- Nuts and unsweetened nut butters
- Seeds such as chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds
- Healthy oils such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, flax oil, grass-fed butter, and ghee
- Greek or natural unsweetened yogurt
- Low carb cheeses such as parmesan, feta, goat’s cheese, ricotta cheese, and cottage cheese
- Water (2-4L a day)
- Coffee (you can add heavy cream, half & half, 2% milk or a dairy-free alternative and sweeten with a low carb sugar substitute)
- Bone broth
- Sugar-free teas, sodas, and seltzers
- Low carb bread, wraps, buns and bagels
- Foods made with alternative flours such as almond flour and coconut flour
- Low carb spices and seasonings
- Keto-friendly mayonnaise
- Sugar-free ketchup
- Low carb salad dressings
- Hot sauce
- Low carb snacks such as cheese chips, jerky, and nuts
- Sugar-free dark chocolate (70%+ cacao has the most benefits)
Lazy Keto Recipes
As the saying goes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Whether you choose to intermittent fast or eat right after waking, what you consume to break your fast has a ripple effect on your cravings and dietary needs for the rest of the day.
Starting the day with a high carb, high sugar diet causes blood sugar levels to spike, followed by a crash that leaves you feeling hungry by mid-morning. It is best to start the day with a high-fibre, high-protein meal to keep you feeling full and energized throughout the morning. Having a balance of fibre, fat, and protein at breakfast also helps regulate blood sugar levels to prevent rapid spikes and crashes that lead to sugar cravings.
Here are a few low carb breakfast recipes we recommend trying:
- Low Carb Raspberry Chia Pudding (6g net carbs)
- 6-Ingredient Veggie Egg Cups (1g net carbs)
- Keto Yogurt Granola Parfait (11g net carbs) – shop low carb granola here!
- Portobello Spinach Eggs Benedict (7g net carbs)
- Low Carb Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie (6g net carbs) + add optional protein powder
For lunch, we suggest keeping it simple in keeping with the theme of a “lazy” keto diet. For example, you could opt for a salad with a source of protein and fat or a sandwich made with keto-friendly bread. Check out recipes on our blog for low carb and keto-friendly sandwiches and keto-friendly salad tips and recipes! You could also graze on a spread of nuts, cheeses, olives, sliced avocado and low carb crackers.
For dinner, you could go the simple route and prepare a meat-and-potatoes dish, but replace the potatoes with one of these low carb potato substitutes. However, it’s a good idea to add some variety to your diet once in a while, too! This can prevent you from getting bored on your low carb diet, and consuming a wide variety of foods is great for gut health as well. Check out the recipes below if you are looking for something different to try:
- Asian Beef & Cashew Lettuce Wraps (4g net carbs)
- Keto Salmon Coconut Curry (5g net carbs)
- Low Carb Chicken Parmesan (4g net carbs)
- Teriyaki Tofu Bowl with Cauliflower Rice (10g net carbs)
- No Bean Low Carb Turkey Chilli (5g net carbs)
We hope that you enjoyed reading this article and gained some insight into the lazy keto diet! If you try a lazy keto diet or want to share your thoughts or experiences about this topic, head over to our Facebook and Instagram pages to connect with our low carb community.
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