What Is Lazy Keto? Pros, Cons, Food List, and Sample Meal Plan

If you’re looking for a simpler way to do keto, consider lazy keto. This version means less tracking while maintaining an emphasis on your carb intake.

We all know that the classic keto diet can require a ton of effort to work. You have to get 60% of your calories from fat, 30% from protein, and the remaining 5-10% from carbohydrates 1. This way of eating depletes your body’s glycogen and burns stored fat.

But picture this:

You try to figure out how many grams you need per macro for each meal, daily. And yes, you could end up feeling annoyed and frustrated. Not to mention, the need to ensure that everything you eat is healthy and unprocessed.

It ain’t fun down the road. This can be true for those who lead very busy lives.

There’s some news for you though – if you stick around, we’re going to reveal a modified keto diet version that offers more freedom. Keep reading.

What Is Lazy Keto?

The lazy keto diet, as the term implies, is a relaxed way of following the ketogenic diet.

By “lazy,” it means not tracking every single thing that goes into your mouth. This includes your calories, fat and protein macros, and sometimes the quality of your food. However, your carb count still matters.

How many carbs are in a lazy keto diet? That’s about 20 to 50 grams per day 1.

Take note that decreasing carbs helps to achieve weight loss, blood sugar control, and other health benefits 2.

Lisa Richards, CNC, creator of The Candida Diet, makes a good point:

The ketogenic diet can be difficult for most to follow long-term, which has led to the development of lazy keto.

lazy keto diet macros
On a lazy keto diet, you still need to limit your carbs the same way you do on a classic keto diet.

 

We also think that people who are used to eating a Standard American Diet can get lots of benefits by starting lazy keto.

Anyone can do lazy keto, including newbies who are interested in keto but aren’t ready to go “all-in” yet.

“Those who cannot dive into traditional keto right away can begin with lazy keto. When they feel they have adjusted well and want to lose more weight, this is a good starting point,” said Nicolle Harwood-Nash, a Fitness Coach.

Benefits of Going Lazy Keto

While no research has been done yet specifically on lazy keto, we can discuss its benefits in terms of carb reduction.

These include weight loss, reduced insulin resistance, better blood glucose levels, and lowered blood pressure and cholesterol levels 3.

However, Nicolle adds that although one will lose weight on lazy keto, the rate is slower than a traditional strict keto diet.

And let’s not ignore its main benefit for someone who feels overwhelmed with the stricter approach – it makes low carb dieting more manageable.

Hayley Cimring, BSc, RD, author at Fitness Savvy, mentions, “It might also seem easier to sustain, therefore leading to more beneficial outcomes long-term.”

Potential Drawbacks of Lazy Keto

This less restrictive eating pattern also has some downsides. Before you actually dive in, you need to be aware of the following.

You might eat carbs unknowingly

If you don’t pay much attention to your food quality, it’s easy to overeat carbs. Carbs lurk in foods that lazy keto and dirty keto dieters eat. Top culprits include 4:

  • Processed meats (like bacon and salami)
  • Sauces
  • Restaurant foods

A little research and checking of food labels go a long way. Just because you’ve gone “lazy” doesn’t mean you opt for convenience 100% of the time. Whenever there’s an opportunity, keep your choices clean.

You might not enter ketosis

Another potential issue with the diet is the possibility of not reaching ketosis. The reason behind this going overboard with protein.

Cimring says, “To reach ketosis, you need to not only severely limit your carbs, but you also need to control your protein intake.”

Without tracking protein, how would you know that you’ve had a moderate amount?

Too much dietary protein causes gluconeogenesis. It’s a process in your body in which amino acids from protein get converted into glucose 5. This could raise your blood sugar, fill your glycogen stores, and put you off ketosis.

You aren’t focused on eating healthy fats

Fat becomes your primary fuel source on a keto diet.

In order to achieve the best possible health, it’s important to choose the right fats. Because not all fats are created equal!

avocado shake and avocado
Monounsaturated fats boost your health on a keto diet. Avocados are a popular choice with these fats.

 

But since you’re only paying attention to your carb intake on a lazy keto diet, you could unknowingly consume low-quality fats.

Bad fats, such as trans-fatty acids, often cause inflammation which raises your risk for heart disease. Common sources of trans fats include vegetable oils and restaurant food 6.

Lacks research and evidence

You can find a ton of research on the classical ketogenic diet – but none for lazy keto.

One concern we have when doing the lazy version of the diet is food quality. Because at the end of the day, we know that optimal health matters most.

You wouldn’t want to put yourself at risk for potential long-term side effects as a result of being lax about other key aspects of your diet.

Foods You Can Eat

How do you start a lazy keto diet?

By now, you already know that eating low-carb foods is our main focus. You won’t need to track protein, fat, and calories. Get started with this lazy keto food list:

  • Meat and poultry – Beef, pork, lamb, veal chicken, turkey, deli meats
  • Dairy – Butter, ghee, cheese heavy whipping cream, greek yogurt, sour cream
  • Low-carb vegetables – Spinach, lettuce, celery, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage
  • Nuts and seeds – Almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Oils – Avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil
  • Drinks – Water, sparkling water, diet soda, plain black coffee, bulletproof coffee, black tea, green tea
  • Fruits – Avocados, berries (blackberries, raspberries, strawberries), coconut meat, watermelon
  • Seafood – Fatty fish, mussels, clams, oysters, shrimps, crabs
  • Snacks – Pork rinds, coconut chips, salami bites, bacon, keto-friendly bars, fat bombs, cheddar taco crisps
  • Condiments – Low-sugar ketchup, barbecue sauce, and salad dressings

Foods to Avoid

At the same time, stay away from these foods that pack lots of carbs:

  • High-carb, starchy vegetables – Potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, squash, beans, beetroot, parsnips, cassava
  • Grains and grain products – Rice, barley, wheat, bulgur, quinoa, oatmeal, popcorn, granola, muesli, flour
  • Drinks – Fat-free or low-fat milk, evaporated and condensed milk, soda, fruit juices, and other sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Fruits – Apples, bananas, pineapples, melons, mangoes, cherries

7-Day Lazy Keto Meal Plan

Need delicious and healthy lazy keto diet recipes? We’ve rounded up a list for you below. These will ensure that you don’t go above your individual daily carb limit!

7-day lazy keto meal plan
Fill your week with delicious keto-friendly recipes.

 

(Note: We’ve indicated the total carbs for each serving per meal instead of the net carbs.)

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Is Lazy Keto Right for You?

That depends on your current lifestyle and goals.

Think about it: At the end of the day, you would want a diet that works to your advantage.

If you want to do keto but your schedule leaves you little room for tracking all your macros and calories and labor-intensive meal prep, lazy keto could be a great option. It’s also a great alternative for those who find the traditional ketogenic diet a bit extreme.

We hope you learned from this guide. If you are interested in another variation of the keto diet, especially if you live an active lifestyle, you might want to check out the cyclical ketogenic diet.

Takeaways

  • Lazy keto is different from the classic keto diet in that lazy keto only emphasizes carb counting. As long as you have a general idea of how many fats, protein, and calories you’re getting, you should be fine.
  • The key strategy is to limit your carbohydrates to allow for glycogen depletion. That way, you can enter ketosis.
  • Being a low-carbohydrate diet, it offers benefits such as weight loss and improved blood glucose levels and cholesterol levels. Possible downsides can include the inability to enter ketosis. This happens if you eat excess protein or poor quality foods that could contain hidden carbs.

REFERENCES:

  1. Masood W, Annamaraju P, Uppaluri KR. Ketogenic Diet. 2020 January - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/

  2. Wylie-Rosett J et al. Health Effects of Low-Carbohydrate Diets: Where Should New Research Go? 2013 April - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3595318/

View all references