The ketogenic diet has been growing in popularity for years, and now people have found a way to make it even easier. Lazy Keto, Dirty Keto, and Strict Keto all focus on low-carb, high fat foods. But which plan is right for you? Find out the details below!
Traditionally, the diet focuses on getting 70%+ of your food from fats, 5-20% from protein, and only 5% from carbohydrates to help you hit ketosis. The difference between the variations is the types of foods you eat.
What is Ketosis?
Lazy Keto, Dirty Keto, and Strict Keto all focus on helping your body hit ketosis. Ketosis is when your body stops using glycogen (found in carbohydrates) for energy and instead focuses on burning body fat. Learn More about Ketosis here.
If you’ve heard of the ketogenic diet prior to 2018, it probably used strict keto guidelines. These guidelines include eating whole, unprocessed foods found in our world – like avocados, rich-leafy greens, fibrous vegetables and ghee.
While the macros still focused on low carb and high fat, the quality of food was important as well.
What is Lazy Keto?
Lazy keto uses the same macronutrients as the ketogenic diet, but it doesn’t place as much importance on the quality of food. Typically, the only rule people follow on this plan is to keep their carbs under 20 grams per day. While it’s convenient, lazy keto lacks proper nutrition.
Since you’re still eating low carb, your body can usually find ketosis, and this is why people see it work for weight loss.
Lazy Keto Foods
- Meat and poultry
- Fish and shellfish
- Nuts and seeds
- High-fat dairy products
- Keto-friendly veggies
- Healthy oils like MCT or EVOO
- Unsweetened beverages
- Berries in moderation
Foods to Avoid on Lazy Keto
- Starchy vegetables
- Cow Milk and Yogurt
- Sugary foods
- Sugary drinks (Diet soda is okay).
What is Dirty Keto?
Dirty Keto involves just counting carbs and allows dieters to eat highly processed foods. While it doesn’t require meal planning, it also doesn’t offer any nutritional value. On Dirty Keto, anything low-carb goes – including pork rinds, cheez whiz and hot dogs.
Dirty Keto followers may have a bunless double-bacon cheeseburger from McDonald’s whereas someone following a strict keto approach would have a salad with chicken breast, avocado, and olive oil.
I think author and RDN, Dawn Jackson Blatner, sums up dirty keto perfectly saying… “Although you may lose weight [eating dirty keto], the quality of the food we eat impacts us beyond our weight.”
Lazy Keto Versus Dirty Keto
The main difference between lazy keto and dirty keto is that dirty keto allows you to have processed and unhealthy foods whereas lazy keto just means you’re only tracking your carbs.
Both variations don’t focus on the high-quality foods like strict keto does, but they both can be convenient.
3 Simple Steps on How to Do Strict, Lazy, or Dirty Keto
1. Download a Carb-Based App
If you want to follow any ketogenic diet variation, we recommend downloading a free macro-tracker app like MyFitnessPal and Carb Manager. Both apps allow you to track your macros and calories pretty easily.
2. Decide How Many Carbs, Proteins, and Fats You Need Daily
Remember, you’ll focus on eating 70%+ fats, 15-20% protein, and only 5% of carbohydrates on Lazy Keto, Dirty Keto and Strict Keto.
This online calculator can help you find your grams of each or Carb Manager also has a tool inside the app.
3. Start Tracking
You’ll need to do some research on what you can and can’t have on keto, as well as, look over nutrition labels.
Lazy Keto, Dirty Keto, and Strict Keto Risks
While your doctor will be able to go into your individual risks and general risks in more detail, it’s common to feel hungry on the keto diet.
Along with hunger, you may feel more bloated or inflamed on a dirty or lazy keto diet. You may also be missing out on vital nutrients if you’re eating only highly processed foods.
Is Lazy Keto, Dirty Keto, and Strict Keto Safe?
It’s best to talk to your doctor before starting any new diet including all 3 variations – Lazy Keto, Dirty Keto, and Strict Keto. This is because you’ll be dropping your carbohydrates much lower than you’re typically used to eating on any keto diet.
Should you try Lazy Keto, Dirty Keto, or Strict Keto?
This is totally up to you and your doctor.
We found that the keto diet wasn’t for us long-term. Yes, we mix in low-carb days here and there – especially before a big event or vacation – but overall we follow a 80/20 diet.
If you’re looking for a low-carb or carb-cycling program focused on nutrition, gut health and weight loss, check out our review of the 131 Method. It combines a lot of the principles found in Lazy Keto, Dirty Keto, and Strict Keto, but it also allows you more carbs as you go through the phases.