For all the lazy people out there, the lazy keto is the way to get your weight handled.
It is "simplified" version of the ketogenic diet.
And the most important factor, it's STRESS-FREE.
It's no secret that the keto diet gets raving reviews because it provides fast results, but it also requires you to count your macros and keep track of everything.
This type of diet micromanaging can be scary in the beginning and adds useless complexity and stress to your life.
Diet should be fun and enjoyable, and fortunately, lazy keto is that.
Hey, who wouldn't enjoy morning bacon or coffee with full-fat whipping cream?
What is lazy keto?
Thanks to a drastic rise in popularity of the ketogenic diet, there's a lot of confusing and conflicting information out there about keto.
Pretty much everyone seems to have their own definition about the lazy keto.
Let's go over what the lazy keto is and what it is not.
Lazy approach definition
The lazy keto is a type of ketogenic diet, where you don't track nor limit calories at all.
The only requirement is to keep your carb intake under 20 grams per day in order to achieve and stay in ketosis.
This means that you are not tracking your foods specifically, but you are eating only when you are hungry and as much as you feel that you need.
You are just eating keto approved foods and try to keep your carbohydrate intake as low as possible, in order to achieve and stay in ketosis.
Lazy keto is NOT
On the flip side, lazy keto DOES NOT mean that you follow "keto-ish" diet, meaning eating keto sometimes but not every day. Following any kind of keto diet (be it lazy or strict) means that you need to do it every day. There are no cheat days in keto.
Doing keto-ish diet, will result in you being frustrated and eventually giving up as you feel like crap, you don't lose weight and you will be constantly jumping in and out of ketosis.
The worst part of that is that you are constantly experiencing the keto-flu.
Friendly unenjoyable keto side-effect, that you can enjoy once you are entering ketosis.
Being keto-ish is really a recipe for disaster.
I don't even count carbs but for some reason, I feel guilty about it. Well, you shouldn't.
Remember, the best type of diet is the one you stick with and which is enjoyable in the long run.
Is lazy approach really keto?
There are plenty of people who are forcing an idea, that you need to track everything at all times, and if you are not doing that then you are not doing the keto diet.
They are the "keto gurus" or so-called "keto police" who scare people by stating that one bite of this, one bad ingredient or one failed cheat day means that you are a failure in life and in keto.
I think that this is an exaggeration and it does more harm than good for anyone hearing these statements.
Lazy vs strict keto?
There are two main approaches to the ketogenic diet: strict and lazy. Both work and both are ideal for different people.
- Strict keto - Group of strict ketoers insists on measuring every single bite and meal, counting calories and promoting the results like a chemistry set. The more accurate the results the better. In simple terms, counting calories while following the diet and staying under 20 grams of carbs per day.
- Lazy keto - The lazy group, who follow a more holistic approach to the ketogenic diet and emphasize focusing on more simpler factors to achieve ketogenic results. They reject obsessing over macros and micromanagement of your diet. In simple terms, not counting calories at all and staying under 20 grams of carbs per day.
You cannot always follow the keto diet fully.
You may have a big family, a big house or needy boss who pushes surprises on your road. And that's okay.
As long as you get right back on track as soon as possible.
At the end of the day, what the ketogenic diet really boils down to is putting your body into a state of ketosis and staying there.
You can absolutely achieve that without micromanaging your diet and still loving yourself.
Benefit 1. Stress-free fat loss
I have found personally, that the lazy keto approach is much less stressful than strict keto. I can just enjoy my morning bacon and all other delicious foods and I will get all the health benefits without the stress associated with the number in a calorie tracker.
There's much stress associated with how accurately tracking your food changes your results. Removing this from the equation, will give back your good mood and makes losing weight fun. Also, there are no restrictions when it comes to the number of calories I can or should eat during a day.
This means I can eat as much as I want any time during the day. The good news is that if your diet consists of 80% of fats, you get satiated pretty quickly and you don't want to eat so much after all.
Benefit 2. Tracking macros suck
This is probably the scariest part for the most people when they consider starting any diet. This can be annoying and time-consuming, especially in the beginning.
As we all know, the keto required macros are 80% of fats, 15% of protein and up to 5% of carbohydrates. Shuffling your food portions in order to achieve these goals sounds like a rocket science in the beginning.
The good thing about tracking your food is that the longer you do it the easier it gets. After some months you can already eyeball it and there's no actual need to fill out the crazy tracking apps anymore.
Never the less, in the beginning, everything is overwhelming and it's probably not worth your energy. The lazy keto is perfect for you if you just want to get your hands dirty and lose your first 20 pounds.
Benefit 3. Best for beginners
In my opinion, the lazy approach is the perfect way for beginners to start with the ketogenic diet. This allows you to test out fatty foods, allows you to see how your body reacts to removing carbs from the menu and overall you can tiptoe ketosis.
Once you feel more comfortable with this approach and keto overall, you can always go deeper and start tracking macros and so on.
I will definitely suggest lazy keto for anyone new who would like to try the ketogenic diet for the first time.
Cons 1. Eating hidden carbs
Okay, so this will make or break your ketogenic journey. The main key to entering ketosis is the absence of carbs in your body.
The problem with the lazy approach is that often many ketoers are half-assing this diet.
One day eating keto properly, allowing cheat days and not properly tracking (validating) their carb intake.
Although you don't need to track everything you eat, you NEED to know how much carbs are going into your body.
There's no wiggle room in here, especially in the beginning. The good thing about tracking is that during that process you will learn what foods have what carbohydrate quantity.
If you don't do that, then you need to acquire that knowledge from somewhere else - check out our keto friendly food list.
Cons 2. Weight gain
This won't be an issue for most people, especially in the beginning.
But in the long run, if you are fighting with cravings and have a great appetite, you can theoretically be in caloric surplus (eating more than you burn) and that happens consistently.
You may see weight gain during some time as you may be overconsuming calories, which ultimately leads to weight gain
It is just something to be aware of and if you don't like scales, try to be aware in general, on which side your bodyweight is moving so you can adjust accordingly.
Cons 3. Weight plateau
If you are doing a good job and following the lazy keto process properly, then you will probably lose a lot of weight without any issue.
But after some time, sooner or later you will hit your weight plateau.
Why does that happen?
Because you will reach into a point, where you should either raise your daily activity levels or eat fewer calories, in order to continue with the weight loss.
This is a good thing and maybe a good time to consider starting a stricter version of the ketogenic diet.
Should you go all-in-lazy?
Lazy keto is for you if you are total keto beginner or you have previously had problems following calorie restrictive diets. I feel you, they can be a hassle and a very stressful way of living. Lazy keto is a perfect start for your ketogenic journey. It's less restrictive and almost totally stress-free. Just enjoy your bacon and be surprised when your pants are 2 sizes too big for you.
Lazy keto is not for you if you have a tendency to obsess over anything and you enjoy keeping a track on everything. Whether it's money, mileage of your car, your weight or your food. Sooner or later most people who start with lazy keto will migrate to a more stricter version of the keto diet.
This is because of the weight stall that comes sooner or later.
If you have done keto before or you are not afraid of getting your hands dirty and keeping track of your food, then you should follow the strict version of keto.
In that way, your results will be faster and you can track your progress during that time.
How to ace the lazy approach?
Don't worry about tracking your macros specifically. But in order to get the benefits of the keto diet, you need to be in ketosis. And for that, you need to cut out carbs from your menu. The ketogenic diet (doesn't matter if lazy or strict) doesn't need to be hard work.
The best strategy to achieve ketosis and enjoy it is to keep things simple. So I have two simple but amazing tips for you, to successfully ace the lazy keto approach.
- Don't eat carbs at all - Just eat when you feel hungry and avoid anything that contains carbs. Duh. Okay, it may be difficult to ignore carbs 100% but everything that has moderate or high carb content. The only source of carbs can be from green vegetables. Just eat as much as you want and need, until you are satisfied.
- Eat as much fats as possible - The second part of this equation is to eat enough healthy fats. Allow yourself to eat as much as you want, but keep the fat intake high. This is because it's vital to enter ketosis, it will keep you full way longer and you don't get any cravings in the long run.
- Don’t forget to eat balanced meals with variety - We can’t neglect the fact that our body needs vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. Get those nonstarchy veggies and fresh meats in.
If in the beginning, you start feeling like crap, then this is a good sign. You are probably experiencing the keto-flu.
Probably after week or two, you will start feeling better, dramatically less hungry and you don't want to eat as much as before. Also, your energy levels and mood will be improved.
For example, when I first started, my breakfast was 3 full eggs, a LOT of bacon and an avocado. Today, I could probably kick in 1 egg, with a little bit of bacon and half of an avocado.
Examples of lazy meals
The biggest benefit of the lazy approach is that it makes your diet SIMPLE. And I also believe that things should be simple, only then they are especially effective. Your meal plans can and should also be as simple as possible.
It's especially important if you are not a foodie and don't have the time or enjoy cooking. Here is a fast and simple example of my average lazy keto daily meal plan.
Breakfast - Scrambled eggs with bacon and avocado. Butter plus eggs plus bacon equals perfect morning.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk them together with salt and pepper.
- Melt the butter and burn eggs into the skillet and stir. Add bacon to the mix.
- Serve with fresh veggies and avocado pieces.
Lunch - Avocado, bacon and goat cheese salad. The goto keto salad.
- Preheat oven to 400F and place half-inch goat cheese cubics in a baking dish. Bake until golden.
- Fry the bacon until crispy.
- Cut the avocado into pieces and mix it up with some arugula, bacon and goat cheese.
- Serve with some nuts on top of that.
- As a dressing, feel free to add mayonnaise, olive oil or heavy whipping cream.
Dinner - A naked cheeseburger. My all-time favorite keto meal.
- Mix seasoning with cheese strips and ground beef.
- Make four burgers and fry on a pan.
- Serve on lettuce with dill pickle, mustard, and cheese on top.
- And of course, add low-carb non-starcy veggies to the side.
Snacks - Cheese. Oh god, the most versatile and THE BEST keto snack of all time.
- You can buy it on the run.
- It tastes super good and satiates hunger.
- I love Moon cheese.
This is just an example of my go-to keto foods if I am lazy and don't want to cook. If you want more specifically lazy keto recipes, then you can check out this book.
How do you know it's working?
You are doing the lazy approach and everything is awesome. Your diet is delicious and you are losing fat faster than you can drink your bulletproof coffee. That's awesome! But after some time you will probably start thinking if this is working or not? You are asking the right questions. Here are some fast ideas to check if you are in ketosis and losing weight or not.
- The keto flu - This is something that you will experience during the phase when your body is entering ketosis. During this time you will feel like crap. Some keto flu symptoms include fatigue, headache, irritability, brain fog, lack of motivation, dizziness and muscle cramps.
This is totally normal and believe it or not, a good sign. This shows that whatever you are doing is working and your body is adapting to ketosis. If the keto-flu is unbearable for you then consider eating bone broth and adding exogenous ketones do your diet. Both of them will help with the symptoms and ketosis.
- Ketone tester - This is pretty obvious. Just test your ketone levels and it will be clear if you are in ketosis or not. There are two ways to do it. The first one is using ketone strips which are not as precise but will still give you a clear indication of the number of ketone bodies in your urine.
The second and more exact way to measure your state of ketosis is to use a blood ketone monitor. This will give you the most accurate results on the number of ketone bodies in your blood.
- Are you losing weight? - This is the most primitive approach but if it works it ain't stupid. When you start seeing smaller numbers on your scale or your clothes are starting to look baggy on you, that's a clear sign that whatever you are doing is working and rock on!
This also gives you the biggest motivational boost as well. For some ketoers, this has even become a real problem, as they are burning fat faster than they can afford new clothes. Sounds like a quality problem to me.
When it's time to move on?
Lazy keto approach is an awesome way to start your ketogenic journey. Keto is already pretty restrictive and can seem scary at first. This lazy approach is more newbie friendly and will get you going and results in no time.
All of this comes with a price. Depending on your lifestyle and habits and how active you are, you will end up sooner or later in weight loss plateau. This will come for some earlier and to others later.
If you have reached weight loss plateau by following the lazy keto approach, then it's time to reevaluate your diet. This means getting an overview of how much calories you eat daily vs how active you are. Also, there may be some hidden carbs that are compromising your efforts.
Hopefully, when you reach this point, you have a big baggage of experience with being in ketosis and keto lifestyle, so don't worry. This is the logical next step.
From here, just try counting your macros and I can say that it will work like a charm. Weight loss plateau is not rocket science. You are probably just eating too many calories or moving too little.
Are you just in the beginning of your ketogenic journey? Well, I got good news for you, the lazy keto approach is ideal for you to try ketosis.
Their strongest factor towards lazy keto is that it is the pretty much stress-free approach. There are no hard restrictions about the calorie intake nor how often you can eat.
The ONLY rule is that you need to keep your carb intake as low as possible. There are foods allowed which contain carbs in a very small amount. See more about this on keto friendly food list.
I need to reiterate that the lazy keto is not “keto-ish” diet, meaning eating keto sometimes and not every day. There are no cheat days and you need to go all in, no matter if you are following the lazy or the strict version.
The main difference between lazy and strict keto is that strict ketoers are keeping an exact eye on the macros and calories they eat as lazy ketoers just keep an eye out for carbs and that's it.
The lazy keto will sooner or later result in weight plateau and that's the perfect time to reevaluate your results and consider starting following the stricter version of keto. But not necessary.
Alex is editor in chief of Bodyketosis, an author, low-carb enthusiast and a recovering chubby guy who reclaimed his health using the ketogenic lifestyle. The need for the keto life began after his aunt and cousin were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and he was next in line. Through personal experience and extensive scientific research, Alex offers insightful tips for everything keto.