Lazy Keto is a simpler version of the ketogenic diet that ditches macro tracking and only consists of counting net carbs.
Often times it's used for weight loss and is structured to be easy to follow. The reason it's easy to follow is because it's significantly less strict and you simply have to focus on your carb intake. To make your journey easier, check out 9+ lazy keto meals that are simple and delicious!
What is Lazy Keto?
When thinking about lazy keto, it's a less restrictive version of a traditional high-fat diet, very low-carb diet. It limits your daily net carb intake to between 20 and 50 grams per day. It’s one of many versions of the popular ketogenic diet. On a strict keto diet, it’s imperative to track protein, fat, and carbs actively. On lazy keto, you’re only keeping the carbs in check–you’re not even worried about calories.
Low-carb foods such as meat, fish, dairy products, and non-starchy vegetables are the key components of a lazy keto diet, while high-carb foods like bread, potatoes, sugary snacks, and fruits are avoided. Check out our complete keto grocery list for beginners to give you some inspiration.
Lazy Keto is an excellent entryway into the ketogenic diet if you’re looking to ease yourself into a more strict keto diet regimen long-term–because it’s just a simpler version of the diet. Even if you’re looking to stay lazy for the long term, that’s cool too. This is the type of diet that hardly feels like a diet since you’re really only counting net carbs.
Will you still fall into ketosis on lazy keto? Probably not. But, you’ll still drop pounds because of the restricted carbohydrate and sugar intake. So while you won’t be in ketosis, you’ll feel direct benefits that will improve your days, from improved cognitive function to weight loss and reduced cravings.
Lazy Keto Benefits
Following a lazy keto diet can introduce several health benefits to your life, such as:
- A reduction in appetite. Low carb diets help maintain blood sugar levels, leading to a decrease in cravings and hunger.
- Encouraged fat loss. Low-carb diets reduce insulin–a hormone that encourages fat storage.
- Better regulated blood sugar control. Cutting carbohydrates reduces blood glucose levels, which can help to stabilize blood sugar levels and help maintain sufficient energy throughout the day.
- More sustainable diet. A strict keto diet can be hard to stick to since it’s so restrictive. It may be easier to maintain lazy keto over the long run, helping you achieve and sustain your health goals.
Lazy Keto Disadvantages
Following a lazy keto diet can also come with some disadvantages, such as:
- Kiss ketosis goodbye. Ketosis occurs when the body burns fat rather than carbohydrates for energy. Without tracking the amount of fat you’re taking in, you’re unlikely to get your body to make the transition.
- Possible weight gain. Since there is no calorie restriction on the lazy keto diet, it is totally possible to binge and actually gain weight on this diet.
How to Follow a Lazy Keto Diet
A lazy keto diet can be as simple as you want it to be or you could put a little work in upfront to give yourself a proper start on your weight loss journey. Check out our recommendations for easy keto snacks on the go if you're looking for some inspiration.
Below are a few tips for your convenience:
- Calculate your personalized lazy keto net carbs limit. Input your personal values into a macro calculator to determine the amount of carbohydrates you should consume per day on lazy keto.
- Keep track of your net carb intake. Be diligent in reading labels to determine grams of net carbs in your food. Learn how to calculate net carbs.
- Eat only when you feel hungry. As you cut carbs, you should notice reductions in both appetite and cravings. Since you’re not counting calories, you’ll want to be mindful of how much you’re eating. Stop eating when you feel full.
- Stick to whole foods. Even though it’s a lazy diet, it’s still a diet! So, try to eat clean and natural foods when possible. Check out this healthy Keto Machaca Broccoli Salad!
- Be aware of common drawbacks. Things like the keto flu or diet stalling may occur, so go into the diet prepared with a plan for these common issues, so they don’t deter you.
Foods to Eat
- Ruminant meat: Beef, beef jerky, pork, poultry, lamb, steak, mince, bacon, sausages
- Seafood: Salmon, tuna, cod/haddock filets, mackerel
- Nuts & Seeds: Almonds, brazils, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts,
- chia, flax, hemp, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin
- Full-fat dairy: Butter, greek yogurt, heavy creams, milk, hard cheese
- Healthy fats: Olive oil, avocado oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil
- Low-carb veggies: Leafy greens and vegetables grown above ground
- Low-carb fruits: Avocado, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, watermelon
- Unsweetened drinks: Tea, coffee, sparkling water
Foods to Avoid
- Grains: Rice, quinoa, oats, flour, pasta, noodles, baked goods
- High-sugar fruits: Pineapple, banana, kiwi, oranges, peaches
- Starchy vegetables: Corn, potatoes, squash, beets
- Beans and legumes: Red, kidney, chickpeas, lentils
- Desserts: Cake, cookies, brownies, ice cream
- Sugars: White sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave
- Sugary drinks: Fruit juice, soda, sweetened tea
Lazy Keto Versus "Dirty" Keto
Most people fall somewhere on the spectrum between a VERY clean keto diet and a VERY dirty lazy keto diet. (Whether we know it or not). Often times, lazy keto and dirty keto are used interchangeably. The main difference is that there are different characteristics of the diet that are worth noting.
A lazy approach is one that prioritizes convenience while also focusing on improving your overall health. A dirty keto diet on the other hand focuses on eating high-fat foods that will promote ketosis but doesn't quite focus on micronutrients and overall health.
The Bottom Line
Like other kinds of keto diets, the “lazy” way works best with a mapped-out approach. Eat less processed foods, monitor your portion sizes, and exercise often to get the most benefits.
If you're looking for a keto-friendly beef jerky snack, try our keto collection!