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Weight Loss

What Is Lazy Keto? Is It Right for You?

Published on: April 08, 2019

What Is Lazy Keto? Is It Right for You?

The internet is all hyped up about a new ketogenic diet that offers the prospects of losing weight while not being as strict as the traditional keto diet.

Have you been searching for a diet that will help you lose weight without completely changing your usual routine? Do you hate tracking your macros with every meal you consume? ,If your answer to these questions is “yes”, then the so-called “lazy keto” diet might be just the thing for you.

What Is Lazy Keto?

Lazy keto, also referred to as “Dirty keto”, is a more relaxed and lower-stress version of the traditional ketogenic diet. While it may not provide the same results as the traditional keto diet, it may still be quite effective for weight loss. [1]

The idea is pretty straightforward; you can essentially eat whatever you want without tracking it, as long as you keep your carb intake around 20-50 grams or less per day. Some keto groups call it “dirty keto” because there may not be as much focus on high-quality and nutritious protein and fat sources as there is on the traditional keto diet.

The primary purpose of the lazy keto diet is to get your body into a metabolic state of reduced appetite and increased fat burning via ketosis without having to do all of the work of tracking specific macro targets.  The lazy keto diet follows the same principles as the traditional keto diet regarding strictly limiting carbohydrate intake. Examples of high-carbohydrates foods to avoid while on the keto diet (lazy or not) include:

  • Candy
  • Grains
  • Cookies
  • Chips
  • Starchy vegetables such as corn, potatoes, peas, beans, and some kinds of squash

To help you better understand and follow a lazy keto diet, feel free to use our highly informative and detailed keto diet grocery list.

Lazy Keto vs. Strict Keto: Understanding the Differences

A keto diet is all about restricting the number of carbs you consume and increasing the amount of fat you eat in order to help your body use fat as a form of energy, which results in the metabolic state called ketosis.


Lazy keto

Lazy keto diet follows similar principles as the traditional keto diet without tracking fat and protein intake as long as you keep your carb intake under 20-50 grams per day to maintain ketosis, you’re in the clear.


Strict keto

A strict keto diet, on the other hand, encourages you to get your macronutrients from more nutrient-dense and healthful sources, focus on healthy fats, not go overboard with saturated fats, and to keep your protein intake moderate.  The typical keto macro distribution is 60–75% of calories come from fat, 15-30% from protein, and 5–10% from carbs.

With traditional keto, you need to keep track of the macros for all your meals and snacks in order to meet your target macro goals.

Lazy Keto Benefits

It can be overwhelming to some dieters to follow a strict keto diet to the tee, which is a primary reason why some people are opting to try out lazy keto; its laid-back approach is easier for some to follow in order to achieve weight loss.

1. Less stress

Imagine trying to accurately measure and track your food every time you need a snack. These rules and limitations can cause some stress.

If you’ve been on a strict diet before, you may at some point have wondered whether you recorded your nutrition information correctly, or whether you prepared the meal with the right ingredients.  With lazy keto, the tracking is less tedious since the primary goal is only to keep carb intake under 20-50 grams per day.

2. More flexible eating choices

Lazy keto doesn’t have as many restrictions other than limiting carbs. Unlike traditional keto, you also won’t have to worry about the balance of fat and protein you consume.

3. Best for beginners

Starting on a new diet plan can be tricky enough as it is; add the fact that you may have to cut out a lot of the food you used to eat before (such as carbs), and it’s even more overwhelming.  Some dieters aren’t a fan of recording everything they eat and trying to achieve the target balance of macros, which makes lazy keto more attractive to beginners wanting to try keto.Once your body adjusts to a diet lower in carbs with lazy keto, you may opt to dive deeper into stricter keto and start tracking all of your macros.

4. Kick-start weight loss

Simply cutting out carbs from your foods can have a profound impact on your weight loss journey.  Many people have a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar, such as sweets, soda, and white bread.  When these foods are dramatically reduced and exchanged for more filling protein and fat, weight loss tends to be a result.


How to Do Lazy Keto

Any diet can be difficult to follow, especially at first However, how you organize and plan ahead makes a huge difference, and the same can be said about lazy keto diet. For best results, here are a few things you can incorporate into your daily life to make the transition easier and functional.

Step 1: Do your research

You’ll need to understand which foods contain carbs so you know which foods to avoid on a keto diet.  Many people may be unfamiliar with carb sources and are under the impression that only sweet foods have carbs, so familiarizing yourself with this ahead of time will make lazy keto easier to follow.

For more information, consider using our keto food list as well as our keto grocery list.

Step 2: Clear your pantry

Cravings may occur when you abruptly cut out foods that you are used to eating on a regular basis. After you have an idea of which foods you want to have on hand, clear your pantry of high-carb foods and replace them with keto-friendly products. This move will make it easier for you to prepare keto meals and to get used to a different way of eating. If you are unsure of where to start, visit our informative keto grocery list.

Step 3: Stop tracking

Now that you’ve rid yourself of carbs it’s time to start focusing on limiting your carb intake.  If you were tracking calories before, you don’t need to do that on lazy keto, which is one of its biggest perks.  Instead, aim to be mindful of your hunger and fullness cues and try to avoid getting both overly hungry and overly full; being mindful is a very important part of a weight loss journey as it can reduce binge- and overeating.  The only thing you need to keep track of with lazy keto is your carb intake to keep it at or below 20-50 grams per day.

Step 4: Choose when/if you want to weigh yourself

Instead of weighing yourself daily, consider stepping on the scale only once a week to keep track of your weight loss. Many people get discouraged by the normal fluctuations they see on the scale, which can derail the goals they set for themselves.  If stepping on the scale causes a lot of stress and will have the power to make or break your day, consider other methods of tracking progress, such as how you feel physically, how your clothes fit or even your body measurements.

Step 5: Use ketone sticks

To check or confirm if you are in ketosis, measure yourself using urine ketone sticks, which measure the amount of ketones in your urine. This can provide reassurance that you’re on the right track if you are unsure.

How Long Should You Be on Lazy Keto?

The lazy keto diet plan offers different benefits due to the psychological changes that take place when your body begins to burn fat rather than carbohydrates for energy. With that being said, the duration of the  diet will differ among individuals based on their health goals and lifestyle preferences.  If you’re no longer getting the results you want with lazy keto, you may consider trying a more traditional keto diet or otherwise changing your game plan.


Lazy Keto Sample Foods

Here are some examples of lazy keto-friendly foods which require minimal preparation (this list is not inclusive, so check out our blog for more in-depth lists and ideas):

Lazy keto sample breakfast foods

  • Sugar-free protein shakes
  • Pre-cooked bacon
  • Peeled hard boiled eggs
  • Sausage
  • Make-ahead chia pudding
  • Keto coffee
  • Whole milk Greek yogurt
  • Scrambled eggs with cheese

Lazy keto main dish ingredients (can be prepared for lunch or supper)

  • Pre-cooked frozen shrimp
  • Deli meat
  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Canned meat or seafood
  • Sandwiches using lettuce instead of bread
  • Shirataki noodles
  • Hot dogs
  • Smoked salmon
  • Salami
  • Low-carb pre-made dishes
  • Non-starchy vegetables (e.g. cauliflower, green leafy veggies)
  • Premade low carb salads

Meat & protein staples

  • Chicken and other poultry
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Wild game
  • Eggs
  • Nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts)
  • Nut butters

Seafood staples

  • Fish
  • Shellfish

Vegetable staples

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach, kale, arugula, etc.
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Mushrooms
  • Green beans
  • Asparagus
  • Bell peppers
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Bell peppers
  • Celery

Fruit staples

  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Dairy staples

  • Sour cream
  • Cream cheese
  • Cheese
  • Cream
  • Whole milk Greek yogurt
  • Full-fat cottage cheese
  • Non-dairy milk alternatives, e.g. almond milk, coconut milk, etc. (in the dairy section of grocery stores)


Condiments & spices

  • Any plain dried herb or spice
  • Soy sauce
  • Vinegar
  • Mayonnaise
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive & canola oils
  • Full-fat salad dressings
  • Salsa & hot sauce

Lazy keto drawbacks

1. You might eat carbs unknowingly

Although the diet doesn’t require you to keep track of calories or how many grams of protein and fat you’re getting, you still need to know how many carbs each meal contains so you don’t go over your target.

To be successful with lazy keto, familiarize yourself with how many carbohydrates are in foods you regularly eat, as well as keto-friendly food staples. This way; you’ll be able to make different choices and adjust to a low-carb way of eating.

2. You may hit a weight loss plateau

After starting lazy keto, you will likely notice some weight loss. However, after some time, your body may adjust and reach a point where you’ll stop losing weight.

If you are adamant about shedding more weight, you may need to change things up and be more mindful of your total caloric intake than you were with lazy keto. Increasing or changing up your exercise routine is another way to tackle a weight-loss plateau.

3. You might gain the weight back

If you’re not very mindful of what you’re eating throughout the day,, you might be taking in more energy than you are burning, which results in weight gain.  One of the benefits of a stricter keto approach is that more thought is put into meal, snack, and drink choices to assess their compatibility with the overall macro goals.


If you are just getting started with keto and are a bit overwhelmed, you may do better easing into the keto world with the “lazy” approach. The lazy keto diet will help you understand your body, get used to changing your eating habits and can still result in weight loss.

However, if you’ve been doing lazy keto for a while and you’re not getting the results you want, you may consider a more focused approach such as stricter keto diet where you’ll track your intake of all three macronutrients instead of just carbs.  By being aware of your typical energy consumption compared to energy output, you may identify variables which were impeding on your goals before and be able to effectively address them. We don’t recommend the lazy keto diet to anyone who is already doing well with the traditional keto diet.


  1. Dashti HM et al. Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients. 2004 -
View all references

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