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Beginner’s guide to lazy keto

English breakfast on a plate; bacon, sausage, fried egg and half an avocado.

This beginner’s guide to lazy keto shares everything you need to know to kickstart a simplified take on the keto diet.

Fat loss, increased energy levels, boosted focus and no more carb cravings? Yes, please! Meticulously tracking your macronutrients? No thanks.

If you’re keen to reap the benefits of a keto diet but feel put off by the amount of tracking required, lazy keto could be just what you’re looking for.

Lazy keto is a less restrictive and much simpler way to start (and stick to) a keto diet. While you’ll still need to be very mindful of your carbohydrate intake, you’ll have way more wiggle room when it comes to protein and fat.

It’s an easier way to cut carbs and potentially lose some weight.

What is lazy keto?

Lazy keto is a low-carb diet that limits your daily net carbohydrate intake to under 20–50 grams per day. Unlike a strict keto diet, you don’t need to how much protein or fat you eat. You also don’t need to track how many calories you consume.

A lazy keto diet consists of low-carb foods like meat, fish, full-fat dairy and non-starchy vegetables, but limits high-carb foods such as bread, potatoes, sugary snacks and some fruits.

If you’ve tried the keto before and found it too tedious, lazy keto could be a good compromise. It’s essentially an easier, more relaxed version of the ketogenic diet. Not having to track every aspect of your nutrition will save you time and energy. Plus, as you’ll only have to keep an eye on your carb intake, you may find it less restrictive and easier to stick to over the long term.

As you won’t be paying as much attention to your fat/protein ratio, you’re unlikely to achieve ketosis whilst following a lazy keto diet. However, by sticking to a lower daily carbohydrate and sugar intake, you’re still likely to benefit from weight loss and steadier energy levels. 

Lazy keto vs strict keto

Lazy keto

  • Keep your net carbohydrates under 50g per day, but ideally under 20g
  • Don’t worry about tracking calories, fat and protein

Strict keto

  • Keep your net carbohydrates under 50g per day (5–10% of daily calories)
  • Eat a moderate amount of protein (10–20% of daily calories)
  • Eat lots of fat (70–80% of daily calories)

While many are able to lose weight whilst eating 50g net carbs per day, some prefer to keep their carbs under 20g per day. According to Diet Doctor, the fewer the carbs, the more effective low-carb, lazy keto and strict keto diets appear to be for losing weight and improving type 2 diabetes.

Plate of anti-pasti; green and black olives, tomato, buffalo mozzarella and prosciutto crudo.

Can you reach ketosis on lazy keto?

You’re unlikely to reach ketosis – the state in which your body burns fat for energy instead of glucose –on a lazy keto diet.

Reaching ketosis requires a diet of very few carbs and lots of fat. This helps to train your body to use fat as its primary energy source. It also requires a controlled intake of protein. As the body is able to convert protein into glucose (carbs), eating too much protein can tip the body out of ketosis. 

Without tracking protein and fat, it’s pretty hard to eat the perfect ratio of ketosis-inducing macronutrients. For this reason, lazy keto may not promote weight loss quite as intensely as the traditional keto diet.

But that doesn’t mean lazy keto is pointless. Watching your carbohydrate intake can naturally help you to improve the overall quality of your diet, achieve a calorie deficit and lose weight. Low-carb diets can also help to suppress appetite and food cravings, which makes it so much easier to avoid unhealthy foods.

And let’s not forget that the best diet for sustained weight loss is the one that you can stick with. If you feel good on a lazy keto diet, find it easy to follow and get the results you’re looking for, being in ketosis isn’t really necessary.

Is lazy keto healthy?

It’s possible to be (and feel) healthy on a lazy keto diet, but it’s not as simple as just cutting out carbs and hoping for the best. Don’t let the word ‘lazy’ influence how you approach your entire diet. 

While you may be able to eat highly processed foods, diet drinks and low-carb junk foods whilst sticking to under 50g net carbs per day, doing so isn’t good for your long-term health. You could become deficient in some of the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) your body needs to function at its best. Your meals and snacks may also lack protein, fat and fibre, which could leave you feeling hungry and more likely to reach for unhealthy foods.

In order to achieve the best possible health and weight loss results, focus on filling your low-carb shopping list with nutrient-dense whole foods. Whole foods offer more micronutrients, alongside gut-healthy fibre and powerful anti-inflammatory benefits, for better long-term health.

Here are some more benefits & drawbacks of a lazy keto diet to consider:

Smoked salmon, spinach and avocado salad.

Lazy keto benefits

  • Easier to stick to: The traditional keto diet can be hard to stick to. With fewer restrictions and less tracking required, lazy keto may feel easier to maintain over the long term. This could help you to achieve the results you want and sustain them.
  • Encourages fat loss: Low-carb diets reduce the amount of insulin circulating in the body, which encourages your body to use your stored body fat for energy. This can result in fat loss.
  • Reduces appetite: Low-carb diets have an evidence-backed reputation for decreasing appetite. This is because high-carb diets cause peaks and dips in your blood sugar levels, which increases hunger. Studies show that low-carb dieters naturally reduce their calorie intake due to decreased appetite.
  • Improves blood sugar control: Carbs raise blood glucose levels more than protein and fat. This means that reducing your carbohydrate intake can help to stabilise your blood sugar levels and provide a steadier stream of energy throughout the day.

Lazy keto drawbacks

  • Unlikely to lead to ketosis: Without tracking exactly how much protein and fat you’re consuming, you’re unlikely to consistently be in ketosis.
  • Can lead to nutritional deficiencies: While strict keto encourages ‘clean eating’, lazy keto has more flexibility, as the only true restriction is carbs. If you’re not eating a wide variety of whole, unprocessed low-carb foods, you may be at risk of micronutrient deficiencies.
  • Could cause weight gain: While unlikely, the lack of focus on your wider diet could lead to unintentional weight gain, especially if you fill up on processed foods. If your calorie intake is higher than your output, regardless of the source, you will gain weight.

How to start lazy keto

Keen to start a lazy keto diet? We’d recommend taking these 3 steps to set yourself up for lazy keto success and maintain a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet.

1. Start small

Instantly cutting your net carbs to under 50g can be overwhelming, so it’s best to ease into a lazy keto lifestyle gradually.

Before you even think about tracking, spend some time familiarising yourself with the low-carb foods you can eat, as well as the high-carb foods you’ll need to avoid. Print out lists, bookmark recipes and start building a low-carb shopping list – the more prepared you are, the easier lazy keto will be.

Check out our go-to low-carb/keto websites:

Spend a few weeks making simple low-carb swaps to your daily meals, without the pressure of tracking your carbs, to ease the transition. Think courgetti in place of pasta, celeriac fries in place of potato fries and Purition instant porridge in place of oats. Find more easy swaps in our guide to low-carb alternatives.

Homemade keto friendly curry with cauliflower rice.

 2. Track your carb intake

When you feel ready to, start tracking your carb intake. The ketogenic diet typically includes a net carbohydrate intake of less than 50g per day, but some go as low as 20g per day. We’d recommend starting on the higher end, seeing how you feel and gradually reducing further if you’re not seeing the results you were hoping for.

You can track your carbohydrate intake using an app like MyFitnessPal. Although you’ll need to input all of the ingredients of your meals (you’d be surprised at how many unsuspecting foods contain carbs), you only need to pay close attention to the net carb count.

After a few weeks on lazy keto, you might prefer to eye-ball your macros, rather than having to track everything scrupulously. Once you’ve got a grasp on which foods contain carbs and discovered your go-to meals, it’s possible to maintain your new low-carb way of eating (and a healthier weight) without tracking.

3. Think protein, fibre, fat

While lazy keto focuses on carbs alone, being mindful of a balanced plate is key to feeling your best and protecting your long-term health.

Protein will help you to avoid hunger and maintain muscle mass whilst you’re losing weight, fibre is essential for healthy digestion and gut health, and fat is a major source of energy in the absence of carbs. Eating adequate amounts of them all, on a daily basis, is key to your lazy keto success.

When you’re planning or cooking a low-carb meal, just ask yourself “where’s my protein, where’s my fibre and where are my healthy fats?” or PFF for short:

  • Choose protein: Any fish, poultry or meat
  • Choose fats: Avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds, cream, cream cheese
  • Choose fibre: Green leafy vegetables, salad or veggies grown above ground

Then, choose your favourite herbs and spices for flavour:

  • Indian: Chilli, garam masala, cumin, coriander, spring onions
  • Mexican: Chilli, cumin, coriander, paprika, oregano
  • Mediterranean: Garlic, oregano, basil, dill, chilli, thyme, parsley
  • Thai: Lemongrass, coriander, chilli, cumin, lime, spring onion

You can even use your hands as a guideline:

Infographic; how to measure how much protein, fibre and fat for your plate.

Lazy keto food list

The best thing you can do to set yourself up for lazy keto success is to know your low-carb foods.

We’d recommend basing your lazy keto diet on minimally processed whole foods, whilst limiting processed foods. While you could stick to your carb limit whilst consuming unhealthy processed foods, doing so would put you at risk of fibre and micronutrient deficiencies.

A whole foods-based low-carb/lazy keto diet can help you lose weight and boost your overall health and wellbeing – so keep it real! Fill your shopping trolley with nutritious, minimally processed, real foods like the ones we’ve listed below. 

Keto friendly Tuna nicoise salad.

Eat lots of these

  • High-quality meat: Beef, pork, poultry, lamb, steak, mince, bacon, sausages
  • Eggs
  • Fish & seafood: Salmon, tuna, cod/haddock fillets, mackerel
  • Nuts: Almonds, brazils, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts
  • Seeds: Chia, flax, hemp, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin
  • Full-fat dairy: Butter, greek yoghurt, heavy creams, milk, hard cheese
  • Healthy oils: Olive, avocado, flaxseed and coconut oil
  • Low-carb veggies: Leafy greens and anything grown above ground
  • Low-carb fruits: Avocado, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, watermelon
  • Store cupboard: Vinegar, tomato puree, mayo, olives, almond flour, coconut flour
  • Unsweetened drinks: Tea, coffee, sparkling water
  • Purition

For more information, read our beginner's low-carb shopping list.

Purition on a lazy keto diet

You’ve chosen lazy keto for a reason – because it’s easier, more flexible and less tedious to follow – and that’s why we know you’ll love Purition. Purition is a blend of seeds, nuts and premium protein that you can enjoy as a lazy keto breakfast or lunch.

Purition served up different ways; smoothie bowl, keto shake, snack balls, layered creamy keto mousse.

It takes just 30 seconds to make one of our 14 all-natural shake flavours. Each serving contains just 2–5g net carbs, leaving you with more carbs to play with for your evening meal. By choosing Purition for breakfast or lunch (or both!), you’ll benefit from less food stress, less time spent in the kitchen and less tracking to keep on top of.

Providing over 16g protein, 12g healthy fats and 6g fibre, Purition provides the natural nutrition you need to feel your best. It’s packed with real food ingredients that keep you full for 4–5 hours, with absolutely nothing artificial!

  • Shake: Blend 40g Purition with 200–250ml of your favourite milk and any added extras
  • Yoghurt bowl: Mix 40g Purition into a serving of yoghurt and top with nuts and seeds
  • Instant low-carb porridge: Add a splash of hot water or milk to 40g Purition and mix well

Find out more about using Purition on a low-carb or keto diet.

I was looking for a product that would be kind to my stomach, keep me full and work within keto. Enter Purition! The fact that it’s real food really sold me! It’s very filling and creamy. Usually lasts me 4hrs comfortably (5-6 at a push) before needing to eat again. All in all 10/10; quick and tasty meal.

Kwells, Verified Purition Customer

 am loving these shakes! I have one every morning for breakfast and they keep me full till well into the afternoon! Using Purition and following the Keto Diet, I have lost 7lbs in 5 days! Unbelievable, as I lose weight extremely slowly! I will be a regular customer now! Thanks Purition!!

Heather, Verified Purition Customer

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