Feeling a little… lazy?
Yaaaawn. Us too.
And sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s even a type of Keto known as lazy Keto, and it’s all about maximizing benefits and minimizing efforts by sticking to foods that are low in carbs enough that they don’t need to be weighed, measured, or tracked.
What is Lazy Keto?
Jokes aside, lazy Keto doesn’t mean that you’re lazy. It’s actually a common term for following a Keto diet that doesn't involve tracking your food in a food journal or app.
Keto is a low-carb, high-fat, moderate-protein eating pattern that puts your body in a state of ketosis – where you’re burning fat for energy instead of carbs. This may help to reduce your appetite, regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels, and makes it easier for your body to burn stored fat.[*]
Many people have seen great weight loss and blood sugar management results following Keto.
Normally, food tracking is a key part of following Keto – at least when you’re first starting – so that you know that you’re hitting your calorie and macronutrient (protein, fat, and carb) goals each day.
But for some people, tracking food can be burdensome and time-consuming. Lazy Keto may be a great option for these folks.
Here are some of the potential benefits of following a lazy Keto diet:
- Convenience: Lazy Keto can save you time, and the extra mental burden of measuring and tracking your food intake.
- Weight loss: Like Keto WITH food tracking, following a lazy Keto diet may result in weight loss.[*]
- Blood sugar regulation: Lazy Keto can potentially help you regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels.[*]
- Brain health benefits: Ketogenic diets may also offer some brain health and mood support benefits.[*]
However, lazy Keto isn’t without its downsides.
The key downside is that, without tracking your food, you really can’t know for sure if you’re hitting your calorie or macronutrient goals each day.
If you’re inadvertently consuming too many calories, you won’t lose weight.
Likewise, if you’re consuming too many carbs without realizing it, your body won’t be able to enter ketosis.
Lazy Keto vs. Dirty Keto
Lazy Keto is sometimes confused with dirty Keto, but they’re two different things.
Dirty Keto refers to following a Keto diet without concerning yourself with food quality. For example, a dirty Keto diet may include fast food, highly processed Keto-friendly foods, seed oils, and artificial sweeteners.
On the other hand, a ‘clean’ Keto diet refers to a ketogenic diet that’s based on high-quality whole foods – like grass-fed beef, organic ingredients, pastured chicken and eggs, and minimally processed foods.
Lazy dirty Keto would be following a dirty Keto eating pattern without tracking your food, and lazy ‘clean’ Keto would be following a healthy, whole food Keto diet without tracking your food.
Overall, clean Keto is a better option for overall health.
How To Do Lazy Keto
Lazy Keto may be difficult for people who are new to eating Keto. Tracking for at least a few weeks or a few months can help you learn more about foods that contain carbs – sometimes they can be sneaky!
Still, it’s definitely possible. Here’s how to follow a lazy Keto diet:
- Do your research. To succeed with lazy Keto, you need to have a deep understanding of what foods are Keto-friendly and what foods aren’t. Our food guide can help you get started.
- Makeover your pantry. Making sure that your fridge and pantry are stocked with Keto-friendly foods — like meats and vegetables. If you can, get rid of all the non-Keto foods in the house so they’re not a temptation for you. (We understand this isn’t an option for many people who live with others, though.)
- Plan out your meals and snacks each week. Meal planning can be a great way to give your lazy Keto diet some structure without meticulous food tracking. If you have a rough idea of what you’re going to eat for each meal and snack for the coming week, then you’re much more likely to be successful.
- Keep a rough estimate of your carb intake in your mind. Even without tracking, you will need at least a general idea of how many carbs you’re consuming. Keep a running tally in your mind daily to help ensure you limit carbs enough to enter and stay in ketosis.
How Many Carbs on Lazy Keto?
Most people should stick to 25-50 grams of net carbs on Keto, including lazy Keto.
It will be difficult to keep an accurate count without measuring or tracking your food intake, so it’s a good idea to stick to very low-carb foods - like plain meats, healthy fats and oils, and non-starchy vegetables
Lazy Keto Meal Planning
Want to try Lazy Keto? Here’s how to plan meals to make your tracking-free Keto experience successful and effortless.
With Lazy Keto, you’ll need to be extra-vigilant about avoiding “tricky” foods that may contain hidden carbs or that can be easy to overeat.
That’s why it’s best to stick strictly to a protein source, a fat source, and a non-starchy vegetable source at every meal. Here are the portion sizes you should aim for, along with some sample foods:
- 4-6 ounces of protein: beef, chicken, fish, shellfish, pork, turkey, eggs, etc.
- 1 tablespoon of fat: butter, avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.
- 1-2 cups of non-starchy vegetables: zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, salad greens, spinach, cooked greens, bell pepper, etc.
Foods to Avoid on Lazy Keto
With no tracking on the Lazy Keto plan, you’ll need to be careful with foods that contain carbs, and foods that are easy to overeat. Either one of these can easily sabotage your goals and leave you wondering why you’re not making any progress.
High Carb Foods to Avoid
Here are foods high in carbs that will keep you out of ketosis. These should be avoided on all Keto diets:
- Sweets: cookies, cakes, pastries, ice cream, milkshakes, candy, chocolate
- Savory Snacks: crackers, chips, grain-based snack bars, popcorn
- Dairy: milk, flavored yogurt
- Breads and grains: bread, rolls, buns, pasta, tortillas, pizza crusts, oats, grits, cereal
- Starchy vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, most winter squash, peas and corn
- Beans: all beans and legumes, except for soybeans
- Fruits: most fruits except for low-carb options, like strawberries and raspberries
- Beverages: fruit juices, sugary sodas, sweetened teas, sweetened plant-based milks, oat and rice milk (even unsweetened), other sugar-sweetened drinks
- Ingredients: flour, sugar, honey, cornmeal, syrup
High Calorie Keto Foods to Limit
These foods are Keto-friendly, but they’re high in calories and very easy to overeat – especially if you’re not measuring your portions or tracking your food. There’s no need to totally avoid these on Lazy Keto, but proceed with caution if you’re trying to lose weight!
- Nuts, seeds, and nut butters
- Heavy cream
- Keto-friendly treats, like chocolate, candies, cakes, cookies, and other sweets
- Bulletproof coffee (coffee with added fat, like butter or MCT oil)
- Homemade Keto baked goods, particularly if they’re prepared with a fathead dough (which is made with mozzarella, almond flour, and cream cheese)
If lazy Keto does not work for you, don’t forget about us here at Carb Manager. Our app makes tracking your carb intake effortless, so you can spend less time logging and more time living (or lazing — whatever you prefer).