What Is Lazy Keto—And How Is It Different from Traditional Keto?

Published September 05, 2019
Ben Kissam

Written By: Ben Kissam, BS

Ben has a B.S. in Movement and Sports Science and over 7 years Certified Personal Training Experience.

<article> <section> <p>If there’s one perceived downside to a low carb diet like keto, it’s that people consider it restrictive. Tell a bread-lover that, starting tomorrow, they must <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/why-you-should-be-calculating-your-macros" rel="noreferrer">count macros</a> and only eat 20 grams of carbs; see how they feel about it. </p> <p>They’ll likely tell you that nutritional approach would <i>never</i> work for them. Which is a shame. </p> <p>For one, this “downside” is a bit exaggerated (you won’t miss carbs as much as you think, we promise). </p> <p>But second, it’s why <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-101-a-beginners-guide/" rel="noreferrer">keto diet</a> spinoffs like <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/5-reasons-to-pass-on-dirty-keto/" rel="noreferrer">dirty keto</a>, and the “lazy keto diet”—eating low carb, but also eating as many calories as you want—get popular. Theses “hacks” get the same results with much less work. </p> <p><i>But are they healthy for you?</i></p> <p>In this article, we’ll look at what lazy keto is, the pros and cons, and one proven, much less restrictive solution for losing weight on a low carb diet.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/coconut-oil-jar-wooden-spoon-rustic-0234.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/coconut-oil-jar-wooden-spoon-rustic-0234.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/coconut-oil-jar-wooden-spoon-rustic-0234.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/coconut-oil-jar-wooden-spoon-rustic-LR-0234.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="coconut-oil-jar-wooden"> </picture> <header>What Is Lazy Keto?</header> <p>Lazy keto, as the name implies, is a more laid back approach to the popular low-carb ketogenic diet. </p> <p>To make sure they’re not eating too many carbs or calories, most keto dieters <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/why-you-should-be-calculating-your-macros" rel="noreferrer">track their macros</a>. It’s not required, but knowing how many macronutrients you need each day from protein, fat, and carbs helps you make informed choices with your eating.</p> <p>If you’ve never tracked macros before, it can feel frustrating at first because it takes up time and, well, feels a bit like homework. And because <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-101-a-beginners-guide/" rel="noreferrer">keto dieters</a> eat only 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day, counting macros can feel discouraging.</p> <p>On lazy keto, you basically say “forget it” to counting macros and calories. Instead, you don’t count calories but commit to as few carbohydrates as possible.</p> <p>Do this long enough, and you’ll achieve a state of <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/ketosis-and-brain-function" rel="noreferrer">ketosis</a>, where your body burns fat as its primary fuel source (the key to weight loss on the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-101-a-beginners-guide/" rel="noreferrer">regular keto diet</a>).</p> <p>The goal of a “lazy keto dieter” is to reap the fat-burning benefits of <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/ketosis-and-brain-function" rel="noreferrer">ketosis</a> but eat as many calories as they want. Think of it as a “hack” or spinoff from the original diet.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Lazy Keto: Pros</header> <div class="sub-head">1. It Might Help You Adjust</div> <p>Switching how you eat can be stressful, both psychologically and physically. Your body is making adjustments and you’re mentally wrapping your head around the fact that you can’t eat your favorite bread (well, at least for <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/keto/14-day-diet-upgrade/" rel="noreferrer">11 more days</a>).</p> <p>Lazy keto—or not counting calories—might make it easier to adjust to a high fat, low carb diet, at least initially. You can get used to new foods, then start counting calories later.</p> <div class="sub-head">2. It’s Less Restrictive</div> <p>When it comes to setting and achieving <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/how-to-set-realistic-fitness-goals-you-can-achieve" rel="noreferrer">health and fitness goals</a>, it’s imperative that you adopt habits you can live with <sup>1</sup>. Crash diets and insane workout programs might help you lose weight in the short term. But if you can’t stick with it, you’ll end up gaining all the weight back.</p> <p>Not counting calories is one way you might “loosen the reins” to make the ketogenic diet work for you. </p> <p>This benefit, of course, assumes you have some level of self-control with your eating to begin with. If you’re, say, combining lazy keto with the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/5-reasons-to-pass-on-dirty-keto" rel="noreferrer">dirty keto</a> diet, the benefits kind of go out the window. </p> <div class="sub-head">3. . . .You <i>Are</i> Still In Ketosis</div> <p>There’s no sense hiding this: if you deplete yourself of carbs, you’ll eventually get into ketosis. You don’t have to eat a single piece of broccoli, and you <i>might</i> still be able to lose weight without counting macros. </p> <p>And the health benefits of <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/ketosis-and-brain-function" rel="noreferrer">ketosis</a> are still available to you. A few include <sup>1</sup>:</p> <ul> <li>Reduced appetite.</li> <li>Improved blood markers, like cholesterol.</li> <li>Reduced blood sugar and insulin levels.</li> <li>Can help ward off diseases like metabolic syndrome, cancer, and type II diabetes.</li> </ul> <p>But this benefit, like the last one, also requires a realistic viewpoint. Being in <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/ketosis-and-brain-function" rel="noreferrer">ketosis</a> won’t “make up” for an unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, or other unhealthy habits. </p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/cheese-cube-slice-net-white-pepper-0234.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/cheese-cube-slice-net-white-pepper-0234.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/cheese-cube-slice-net-white-pepper-0234.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/cheese-cube-slice-net-white-pepper-LR-0234.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="cheese-cube-slice-net-white-pepper"> </picture> <header>Lazy Keto: Cons</header> <div class="sub-head">1. Calories Are King</div> <p>If there’s one thing that wipes the slate of benefits clean on lazy keto, it’s this:</p> <p>Eat too many calories, and you won’t <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com" rel="noreferrer">lose weight</a>.</p> <p>It’s a simple rule, though admittedly, most of us wish it wasn’t. Life would be easier if calories didn’t count. But if you’re overweight and eat an extra 1,000 calories per day relative to your daily caloric needs (calculate that number <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/why-you-should-be-calculating-your-macros" rel="noreferrer">here</a>), you’ll keep packing on body fat.</p> <div class="sub-head">2. You’re Robbing Yourself</div> <p>It may sound cliche, but applying “hacks” and workarounds to <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/" rel="noreferrer">your nutrition</a> only hurts you in the long run. Instead of developing lifelong habits you can live by to stay lean and healthy, you’re using quick-fix solutions that don’t lead to long-term results.</p> <p>We get that it’s hard. But we also know how great a feeling it is to do the work and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/how-to-set-realistic-fitness-goals-you-can-achieve" rel="noreferrer">reach your goals</a>. And we want that for you.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/weight-loss-tape-measure-0234.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/weight-loss-tape-measure-0234.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/weight-loss-tape-measure-0234.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/weight-loss-tape-measure-LR-0234.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="weight-loss-tape-measure"> </picture> <header>Lazy Keto—Other Questions</header> <div class="sub-head">1. Do You Gain Weight Before Losing on Keto?</div> <p>It’ll take around <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/how-long-does-it-take-to-get-into-ketosis" rel="noreferrer">3 to 10 days</a> to get into ketosis. You might deal with symptoms like headaches, dehydration, or fatigue during this period—also known as the keto flu. But weight gain isn’t common.</p> <p>But if you’re using lazy keto, the surplus of calories might tack weight gain onto your list of symptoms. Since it takes about a week for your body to get into <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/ketosis-and-brain-function" rel="noreferrer">ketosis</a>, you’re essentially overeating while not burning fat for fuel, which, naturally, would result in weight gain.</p> <div class="sub-head">2. What Happens If You Cheat on Keto?</div> <p>You get back on the horse and move on with your life, that’s what!</p> <p>Keto can feel restrictive at first, but once you get used to it, you learn that there are <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/" rel="noreferrer">hundreds of delicious foods</a> you can eat on a low carb diet. It starts feeling less restrictive.</p> <p>Perhaps the best reason to not use the lazy keto diet is that you don’t <i>always</i> have to count calories or macros. </p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/burgers-beef-grill-flame-close-0234.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/burgers-beef-grill-flame-close-0234.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/smilling-woman-healthy-skin-0161.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/burgers-beef-grill-flame-close-LR-0234.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="burgers-beef-grill-flame"> </picture> <div class="sub-head">3. Lazy Keto vs. Dirty Keto</div> <p>The <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/5-reasons-to-pass-on-dirty-keto" rel="noreferrer">dirty keto diet</a>, like lazy keto, is another spinoff of the ketogenic diet. With dirty keto, food quality isn’t taken into account. You’re free to gorge on bunless cheeseburgers and pork rinds and omit superfoods like spinach from your diet—again, because you’re still “technically” on keto.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Our Solution: The 14-Day Diet</header> <p>We’re kind of at a crossroads: you want to lose weight, but you need an approach that’s less restrictive than eating 20 grams of carbs per day forever and ever. </p> <p><i>Good news!</i> We’ve got a solution: the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/keto/14-day-diet-upgrade/" rel="noreferrer">14-Day Diet</a>. This two-week nutrition plan works cyclically. Here’s an outline:</p> <ul> <li>Days 1-12: Eat low carb. </li> <li>Day 13: Cheat day!! (Can you say pizza time?)</li> <li>Day 14: Use intermittent fasting and a killer workout to jumpstart your metabolism and get you back into ketosis.</li> </ul> <p>Wash, rinse, repeat. You eat healthy most of the time, get a full cheat day every two weeks, then actually <i>maximize</i> that cheat day by doing a <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/push-yourself-to-the-limit-full-body-workout" rel="noreferrer">killer workout</a> while your muscles are full of glycogen. </p> <p>Now there’s an approach you can feel good about and <i>still</i> get results from. Forget lazy keto—use something you can stick with and get sustainable results!</p> <div class="sub-head">Resources</div> <ol> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.shape.com/weight-loss/tips-plans/best-non-diet-diets" rel="noreferrer">The Best Non-Diet Diets</a></li> </ol> </section> </article>

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