The keto diet has become popular around the world. The high-fat, low-carb diet was formulated to control the symptoms of epileptic seizures in children. and this diet forces your body to burn fats instead of available carbohydrates. To simply call, out of the total daily caloric intake, nearly 70 to 80 percent comes from fat, 20 percent from protein, and under 5 percent of daily calories from carbs.
These variations of diet are incredibly difficult to follow, due to the extreme restriction on carbohydrate intake. And many medical professionals do not usually recommend this kind of diet.
And now, another variation of the ketogenic diet that gained attention from the keto curious and even some devout keto dieters. It is called the lazy keto. So what is lazy keto all about? Will it be as effective as the ketogenic diet in weight loss? Well, let’s find out!
What is lazy keto? How does it work?
The most common definition of lazy keto is a less restrictive version of the traditional high fat, very low carb ketogenic diet. Traditional keto diets require you to closely track your macronutrient intake and follow a strict, very low carb, high-fat eating pattern, wherein dieters just focus on reducing carbohydrate intake to less than 20 grams per day without counting calories or tracking the other macronutrients, protein, and fat.
The intention is to induce ketosis, the process that occurs when the body stops using glycogen stores for energy and starts burning fat instead. Likely most of the ketogenic diet, lazy keto dramatically restricts your carb intake. Typically, restricted to around 5–10% of your total daily calories — or around 20–50 grams per day for most people.
Tracking your calories, protein, and fat intake and measuring ketones is part of the ketogenic diet. On lazy keto, it is not required. By following a lazy keto diet, it is important to eat whenever you are hungry and to keep you satiated. Dieters can’t know whether they’re truly in a state of ketosis.
Potential Health Benefits of Lazy Keto
Studies on various versions of the ketogenic diet suggest that they may provide many health benefits, especially for metabolic, neurological, or insulin-related diseases. Though lazy keto has not been studied specifically.
Though research on lazy keto is limited, lazy keto doesn’t have any rules about calorie restriction, this may make it easier to reduce your calorie intake without feeling hungry. Still, it may offer the same potential health benefits as the traditional keto diet.
The Potential Downside of Lazy Keto
It’s easy to eat too few calories
Solely focusing on your carb intake, almost all diets rely on the dieter eating fewer calories to lose weight, ignoring the importance of adequate calorie intake and diet quality.
“Calories are extremely important on this diet and any other diet for that matter,” Knott said. “First, eating enough calories to meet your needs while also promoting weight loss will help the diet be more sustainable over the long term if weight loss is the goal.”
Knott added, “Second, going too low on total calories can present risks, no matter the macronutrient ratio. Shifting the macronutrient ratio so significantly can impact hunger or fullness cues, and without tracking total calorie intake, you have no way of knowing if you’re meeting your needs.”
Unfortunately, like the traditional keto diet, lazy keto limits many nutrient-rich food groups like grains, legumes, starchy vegetables, and fruits. Which is difficult to obtain essential fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
You may not reach ketosis
The goal of lazy keto is to induce a metabolic state called ketosis. However, on this simplified version of the keto diet, if you don’t get enough fat because you eat too much protein, you may not enter into a state of ketosis.
“If protein and carbohydrate intake is not managed, the person on a ketogenic diet may not go into ketosis and may just feel completely deprived and hungry. If the body isn’t burning fat or carbs for fuel, it may be burning nothing. The transition of fat burning is the most important component in a keto diet and is impaired if it is not done perfectly,” Shapiro said.
To reach ketosis, not only do you have to severely restrict your carb and fat intake but also monitor your protein intake.
You might miss other vital nutrients
Many carb-rich plant foods are not allowed on the keto diet. That leaves very low-carb fruits and vegetables, like cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus, as the primary sources of antioxidants and polyphenols.
“On a strict ketogenic diet plan that has been created by a registered dietitian or other medical professionals, you are more likely to meet all your essential nutrient needs. Like any other diet, it must be customized to your individual needs, which is why it is so important to work with a professional to know what diet is best for you,” Knott said.
The well-balanced keto diet can provide plenty of minerals and vitamins. But lazy keto might be lacking.
Some Of The Foods You Can Include In Your Lazy Keto Diet
On lazy keto, very low-carb foods are encouraged without consideration for their protein and fat contents.
Below are some examples of foods to eat on lazy keto:
- Meat and Poultry: Preferably of the lean kind as they are high in protein, but you can include red meat in small quantities too
- Nuts and Seeds: Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, peanuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, there are options galore. Make your nutty trail mix and munch on the go. Seeds are the new superfood, they are loaded with nutrients and easy to eat. You can sprinkle them on salads, smoothies, and shakes
- Fish: Fish is replete with omega-3 fatty acids that are good for the brain. It is also a good source of protein. Protein helps keep you full and prevents the need to binge.
- High-Fat Dairy: Do not refrain from dairy such as yogurt, butter, high-fat milk, cheese, and cream. Make sure you consult your dietician before including them in your diet.
- Olive Oil: extra virgin olive oil and other nutritious oils like avocado oil and flaxseed oil are an excellent addition to this low-carb diet. Olive oil is a Mediterranean wonder that has captured the imagination of the fitness world for quite a long.
- Low-Carb Veggies like spinach, onions, broccoli, and tomatoes are a good pick too
- Fruits: Make sure your diet is replete with seasonal, juicy, and colorful fruits.
- Unsweetened beverages like water, coffee, and tea
Foods to avoid
Lazy keto restricts all carb-rich foods.
Below are some foods that are limited or completely avoided on lazy keto:
- Grains: bread, pasta, rice, cereal, and oats
- Starchy vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, and corn
- Fruit: bananas, apples, oranges, and most other fruits
- Legumes: all types of beans, lentils, soybeans, and chickpeas
- Some dairy products: milk and yogurt, especially flavored yogurts
- Sugary foods: cookies, cakes, ice cream, candy, and most other desserts
- Sugary drinks: fruit juices, sports drinks, and sodas
Does The Lazy Keto Diet Lead To Weight Loss?
Now let’s come to the most important aspect of the diet – does it give results? Lazy keto may be an option for those looking for a quick, short-term weight loss solution. But experts have argued that the lazy keto diet loses out to the original ketogenic diet. This is because just restricting your carb intake may not be enough to jumpstart ketosis – you also need adequate amounts of healthy fats and proteins to burn fat. Given that the diet restricts many healthy foods, it may be difficult to obtain all the nutrients you need, which could lead to deficiencies and poor health over time. This is where the lazy keto diet may fail, despite its obvious benefits of convenience.
Whichever diet you follow for weight loss, it is important to remember that you should not do so at the expense of your long-term health. Make sure to consult a healthcare provider, such as a registered dietitian, before you try lazy keto. They can help you implement the diet safely and effectively and ensure that you are meeting all your nutrient needs.
The bottom line
Lazy keto could be an introductory form or an appealing option for those people who find the traditional keto diet too restrictive. It is vital you also emphasize the quality of the food you eat. While it limits carbs, there are no rules regarding your intake of calories, protein, or fat. Still, lazy keto may offer the same potential benefits as the traditional keto diet, at least in the short term.
Most importantly, remember that the quality of food is just as important as measuring your macronutrients. It doesn’t matter what type of diet you are on.