The 'Lazy Keto' Diet Might Be For You If You Hate Tracking What You Eat

Kristin Salaky
Photo credit: Parker Feierbach
Photo credit: Parker Feierbach

From Delish

You have, no doubt, heard of the keto diet before, but did you know that there is more than one way to follow the diet? Yes, the principles of the diet might be the same (low carb, high fat), but there are a few more specific diet plans that fall under the keto umbrella that you can follow, including one called "Lazy Keto."

If you're interested in trying Lazy Keto, or are just simply intrigued by the name, stay tuned. We consulted health experts to get all the information to see if Lazy Keto is right for you.

What is Lazy Keto?

Lazy Keto is pretty much what it sounds like. It's a more relaxed version of the diet, one that focuses on simply eating low carb, rather than tracking all of your macros like calories, protein, etc. Typically, those on this low carb diet limit their intake to between 20-30 grams, said kuudose founding RD Aja Gyimah, MHSc. For context, your typical keto diet will let you have no more than 20 grams of carbs per day.

What's the difference between this and "Dirty Keto?"

Another popular variant of the keto diet is "Dirty Keto," which essentially means having no regard for how "healthy" a food is, but still tracking macros and keeping it extremely low carb, as to aim for ketosis. While both diets give you a bit more flexibility than traditional keto, both have their drawbacks.

The biggest differences between the two, according to our experts, are that you don't need to track macros on the Lazy Keto diet and that, in theory, you wouldn't be eating quite as much processed food on the Lazy Keto diet as you do on Dirty Keto. However, because both diets are fairly flexible, what they look like for each individual person will vary.

What are the benefits?

Following Lazy Keto means there are fewer things to track and fewer restrictions. It can be a good option for someone looking to go low-carb lifestyle, but who either are easing off keto or looking for something a bit more flexible. It can also be good for those who want something they'll be able to follow for a longer time, said Miriam Christie MS, RD, LD.

"Someone who is experienced at keto and is looking for a more long term low-carb diet allowing for more flexibility may take on lazy keto," Christie said.

For what it's worth, some people really do swear by the diet and have boasted huge weight loss from it.

What are the drawbacks?

Because the diet isn't super strict about carbs, it's unlikely you'll reach ketosis, the coveted mode your body goes into when you eat so low carb that you begin to produce ketones and burn those for energy instead. Especially if you've never gone keto before, Christie pointed out, you might not know exactly how to go about it.

Another drawback is that because you don't have to track macronutrients on this diet, it can be easy to skimp out on key ones that you need.

"By cutting out almost an entire food group, there is a risk that you might not be getting enough nutrients," said Gyimah said: "Some nutrients to look for in non-carbohydrate foods include vitamin D, calcium, selenium, magnesium and zinc. I don’t recommend taking a supplement for each of these vitamins, but make sure you are getting these nutrients from non-carbohydrates foods like mushrooms, nuts, fish, tofu, and leafy greens."

And just like keto, this diet is still fairy restrictive. Experts also reiterated that any time you essentially cut out a whole group of foods from your diet you should pay attention to your body and talk to your doctor before going all in.

"Before starting any keto diet, do your research," Gyimah said: "Successfully going keto requires a lot of planning and you want to make sure that you’re still eating nutrient-rich foods. Talk to a registered dietitian before making the switch!"

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