On the surface, the keto diet seems simple. There is less focus on counting calories and more on eating a high-fat diet that limits protein and almost eliminates carbs. While there might be less math involved than in your typical diet, many people find it challenging. To stay healthy on the keto diet, you’ll need to meal plan and properly fuel your body.
The idea of rapid weight loss intrigues many people, leading some to experiment with an easier alternative. Nicknamed “lazy keto” or “keto lite,” this diet claims to offer the same benefits as the regular keto diet but with a less strict dietary routine.
Ketogenic Diet Basics
The keto diet gets its power from shifting your body’s metabolism. Carbs are the easiest thing for the body to digest, so cutting them out forces the body to target fat. This means stored body fat is melted off faster, leading to rapid weight loss.
You enter a state called ketosis, where your body operates at peak fat-burning productivity. By limiting carb consumption to between 20 and 50 grams a day, you should be able to keep your body in ketosis long term.
The ketogenic diet, commonly known as keto, creates a meal plan that cuts carbs out almost entirely and limits proteins to no more than 20 percent of your calorie intake.
The rest of your diet will include high-fat foods like meats, dairy, nuts, avocados, high-fat fish such as salmon, and healthy oils like olive oil. You’ll combine them with low-calorie foods like low-carbohydrate vegetables. The diet requires consistently sticking to this food plan to get the maximum benefit.
Understanding the “Keto Lite” or “Lazy Keto” Diet
While the classic keto diet involves carefully calculating how much of each food type you’re eating to ensure the perfect ketosis balance, the “lazy keto” diet simplifies this concept. The core of keto is removing carbs so your body doesn’t have them to fall back on when it needs energy. While a low-protein diet is part of keto, proponents of “lazy keto” believe it’s not essential for your body to reap the benefits of ketosis.
“Lazy keto” restricts your carb intake to a similar level as the classic keto diet—no more than five to 10 percent of your daily calories. But all other requirements, like tracking calories or protein, are out the window.
If you’re someone who likes lean protein like fish or chicken, you can keep it as a mainstay of your meal plan without worrying about whether it’s fit for keto. This makes planning for meals easier, and lazy keto a popular choice for those with other dietary restrictions or allergies.
Does it work as well as keto? Keto experts and nutritionists are still developing meal plans that incorporate this approach and measuring the results.
Is the Lazy Keto Diet Less Effective?
Most experts believe that calculating macronutrients and maintaining a careful balance is the best way to induce ketosis. However, there is evidence that dieters still benefit from a lazy keto approach.
If you cap your carb intake at 20 grams, your body will still turn to other sources of energy. It’s important to make sure your body has enough fat to burn so your metabolism doesn’t start consuming protein and make it hard to build muscle.
While the lazy keto diet tends to be more protein-heavy than traditional keto, it’s important to work enough fat into your diet. This is as simple as adding olive oil to salads or fish, but supplements can also help.
MCT oil, or medium-chain triglyceride oil, is a flavorless oil that aids in the state of ketosis. It bypasses digestion and is absorbed by your liver, then breaks down into ketones. You can find the best MCT oil online to add as a supplement to soups, smoothies, and other dishes.
An Easier Path to Ketosis
For dieters who find the ketogenic diet too restrictive, “lazy keto” lets them reap the benefits of a low-carb diet. You can customize the process of ketosis to different tastes and needs, but one thing remains consistent—cutting carbs. Your body will process fat more efficiently, and you’ll see weight loss speed up no matter which form of keto you’re following.