Get all the details on our 2022 milestones and the world-changing plans we have for the future. Learn More
Introducing SEVEN New Organic SuperGreens Blends Shop Now
Get all the details on our 2022 milestones and the world-changing plans we have for the future. Learn More
Shop by Category
Get clinically proven results for your hair, skin, nails, joints and gut with collagen. Packed with powerful ingredients and offered in versatile powders, capsules or gummies.
Discover superfood protein powders with easy-to-digest ingredients, designed to help you support your metabolism, build lean muscle and be greater than your goals.
Shop Probiotics & Digestion
Put your gut health first. Our powerful probiotics, enzymes and supplements are designed to promote gut health and comfort, healthy digestive function and immune system support.
Shop Vitamins & Minerals
Designed to fill the gaps left by modern diets, our superfood formulas combine ancient techniques like fermentation with clinically proven ingredients for results you can really feel.
Explore targeted benefits like building a healthy immune defense, or overall benefits for a healthy life, from history’s most powerful superfood ingredients.
Shop Organic SuperGreens
From clean energy and detox and digestion support to gut health and whole-body balance – our Organic SuperGreens products give you the benefits of juicing without the hassle.
Save on intentionally paired supplements to help you achieve your goals. Whether you’re just getting started or well on your wellness journey, there’s a bundle for you.
Ancient Nutrition was founded by nutrition experts and made up of a team of passionate, dedicated individuals working towards a singular goal: to save the world with superfoods.
Home/Blog/Lazy Keto? Learn About the Benefits, Foods and Meal Plan
Lazy Keto? Learn About the Benefits, Foods and Meal Plan
By Jill Levy
September 17, 2020
Curious about whether the ketogenic diet could help you reach your goals, but dreading diligently counting macros and calories each day? Then a “lazy keto diet” might be a good option for you. Of course, you should always consult your healthcare professional prior to starting any diet or lifestyle program.
This approach focuses most on limiting carb intake, while allowing for more flexibility in terms of how much fat and protein you eat.
While this type of diet may not help you get into nutritional ketosis as easily as a stricter keto diet, many find it can still pay off in terms of supporting weight healthy management and leading to other benefits.
Just like a traditional ketogenic diet (TKD), the so-called lazy keto diet is a high-fat, very-low-carb diet. However, the major difference between the two is that lazy keto is less strict overall.
The goal of the lazy keto diet is still to consume about 20 grams of net carbohydrates per day or less, but there isn’t as much emphasis on eating a certain amount of protein or fat each day, compared to a TKD.
Because carefully counting macronutrients (your “keto macros”) every day while on the TKD can be difficult and tedious for some people, lazy keto is a good alternative if healthy weight management and other benefits are desired, but being very restrictive and detail-oriented isn’t realistic.
What’s the difference between dirty keto and lazy keto? A “dirty keto” diet describes a high-fat, low-carb diet that includes a decent amount of processed foods. For example, foods like processed meats such as salami and bacon, poor quality cheeses and butter, and refined oils may provide a lot of someone’s daily calories while on a dirty keto diet.
When someone is eating dirty, they are typically only focused on minimizing their carb intake, but are not purposefully including healthy, nutrient-dense foods in their diet, such as vegetables. The opposite of a dirty, low-carb diet is a “clean keto diet,” which emphasizes whole foods such as non-starchy veggies, herbs, wild-caught fish, grass-fed meats, etc.
Lazy keto, on the other hand, isn’t necessarily an unhealthy diet. It’s not “lazy” because the person following the diet is eating tons of convenient junk foods, but rather that they aren’t carefully tracking their intake of fat and protein.
Can you still manage your weight on dirty keto? It’s possible, since even a dirty, low-carb diet can get you into a ketosis, fat-burning state, plus reduce your appetite. Protein and fat tend to be very filling, so many people find that they eat less when cutting carbs and sugar from their diet.
Still, this doesn’t give you the green light to forget about the quality of the foods you eat altogether.
Assuming you aren’t eating a junk food keto eater and are getting most of your calories from keto fats, then healthy weight management is definitely still possible while doing lazy keto, even if you slack a bit when it comes to tracking your food intake.
Because any type of low-carb, high-fat diet tends to be filling and can help to support appetite control, this approach may make it easier to consume less calories overall.
That being said, keep in mind that using the keto diet for healthy weight management is most likely to occur if you follow a “clean,” nutrient-dense diet overall, so first and foremost be sure to focus on eating real, whole foods.
Starting a lazy keto diet can be less overwhelming and more flexible than a traditional keto diet, which means you may be more willing to give it a shot.
Because it requires a bit less mental energy and hard-core dedication, it might also seem easier to sustain, therefore leading to more beneficial outcomes long-term.
Because lazy keto is low in carbs, especially added sugar and refined grains, the diet can contribute to benefits in many health markers — such as by supporting healthy blood sugar levels, a healthy body weight and healthy metabolism, and so on.
Of course this really all depends on the quality of your diet; if you eat a clean keto diet that emphasizes plenty of low-carb, anti-inflammatory foods (like vegetables, quality proteins, and healthy fats like nuts, olive oil, and avocado), then you’re much more likely to experience benefits beyond just healthy weight management.
What can you eat on lazy keto? In a nutshell, the lazy keto diet is a very low-carb diet, which means foods like meat, fish, eggs, healthy oils and non-starchy vegetables should provide the bulk of your calories.
Here’s a more detailed list of low-carb keto foods to include:
Performance fats, including MCT oil, coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed butter, ghee, avocado, and fats found naturally in meat, eggs and fish.
Quality protein sources, such as pastured eggs and poultry, grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish and full-fat cheeses
Non-starchy, low-carb vegetables, such as leafy greens, cruciferous veggies like broccoli or cauliflower, mushrooms, asparagus, artichokes, bell peppers, herbs, etc.
Fresh or dried herbs and spices.
Unsweetened keto drinks, including water, seltzer, low-sugar green juices, coffee, tea or herbal tea.
Monk fruit or stevia extract instead of sugar to satisfy cravings for sweetness.
What can you NOT eat on the keto diet?
Grains and products made with wheat/grain flours
Most fruit (berries can be eaten in small amounts)
Added sugar of all kind
Sweetened dairy products
Soda, juices and other sweetened drinks
Most starchy vegetables like potatoes, beets and butternut squash.
Recall from above that a dirty keto diet doesn’t distinguish between healthy, unprocessed fats and those that are known to be inflammatory. To get the most benefits from the diet, avoid things like highly-refined vegetable oils, pork rinds, bacon, sausage and processed cheeses.
Now that you know which foods to include in lazy keto meals, let’s take a look at an example lazy keto diet meal plan:
Breakfast: Eggs cooked in oil or butter with sautéed veggies and sliced avocado. Another option is skipping breakfast all together and doing intermittent fasting on keto.
Lunch: Grass-fed burger with aged cheddar cheese, served over salad with dressing and pickled veggies.
Dinner: Wild-caught salmon, steak or chicken cooked in butter or oil, served with sautéed veggies cooked in more butter/oil.
Keto snacks (optional, if needed depending on hunger levels): Deviled eggs made with avocado, keto smoothies (made with ingredients like collagen powder or bone broth protein powder, cocoa and coconut milk), a handful of nuts, or “keto fat bombs” made with ingredients like nuts, seeds, cocoa powder and coconut flakes.
Although you won’t necessarily be tracking your food intake very carefully, here are some general tips to keep in mind to make sure you’re sticking to the correct keto macros:
Include at least 1-2 servings of healthy fats with every meal.
Aim to eat small amounts of healthy protein sources throughout the day.
Eat several servings of veggies per day, ideally including them with all meals.
Read ingredient labels carefully, this way you avoid added sugar and carbs, plus difficult-to-pronounce chemical ingredients.
Consider using a keto supplement, such as exogenous ketones in the form of Keto FIRE, to help support you in getting into ketosis. Exogenous ketones, MCTs (medium chain triglyceride fats) and adaptogens can all work together to boost your energy levels and athletic performance, support a healthy metabolism and aid in healthy weight management while on a keto diet.
While it’s not necessarily a “risk,” trying the lazy keto diet may make it harder to get into ketosis and to achieve all of the benefits of a traditional ketogenic diet.
For example, if you aren’t eating enough fat and/or are consuming too much protein, then your body may struggle to make ketones, which are responsible for many of the unique benefits of high-fat diets.
If you’re following lazy keto and find that you’re not managing a healthy weight, you’re feeling sluggish, and overall you aren’t seeing the results you expected, then you have two options:
Try a stricter, traditional keto diet instead. This can help you to actually get into ketosis and to burn fat for energy, plus experience many other benefits associated with ketone production.
Stop following a low-carb diet altogether, and instead focus on improving the quality of diet overall (i.e, eat more whole foods, cut out processed foods, watch portion sizes, etc.).
So what is lazy keto? It’s a high-fat, low-carb diet that’s a bit more flexible than a traditional keto diet. It focuses on limiting carbs, but otherwise not strictly counting macros.
A lazy keto diet food list includes foods like: olive oil, coconut oil, free-range eggs, grass-fed butter and meats, and wild-caught fish. Clean keto encourages you to eat lots of non-starchy vegetables everyday to obtain essential vitamins, minerals and fiber, plus to help keep hunger in check. High-antioxidant foods like sea vegetables, probiotic foods like fermented veggies, and bone broth are also recommended.
Examples of popular lazy keto diet recipes include: breakfast of coffee and heavy cream along with three eggs fried in butter with sautéed veggie; lunch of a grass-fed burger (no bun) with melted cheddar, greens and avocado; dinner that includes a protein like fish or chicken with buttered veggies and cauliflower “rice”.
Jill Levy has been with the Dr. Axe and Ancient Nutrition team for five years. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Fairfield University, followed by a certification as a Holistic Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Jill takes a “non-diet” approach to health and really enjoys teaching others about mindful eating, intuitive eating and the benefits of eating real foods.
January 12, 2023|
Dark Circles Under Your Eyes? Here’s What to Do
If you’ve been occasionally missing out on sleep lately, you’re probably not surprised that dark circles have developed under your eyes. But what types of circumstances can lead to occasional dark circles, including occasionally not getting enough sleep?
September 1, 2022|
Matcha Collagen Supplement, Bursting with Benefits
I’ve been a big fan of green tea for many years, considering it’s one of the best sources of antioxidants, as well as a well-researched herbal infusion for helping to promote overall healthy aging.
February 28, 2023|
How to Hydrate Skin
Even if you employ a daily skincare routine, many of us get frustrated with the results. It’s hard to be happy with the way your skin looks if it’s occasionally dry, dull or sensitive, which is why skin hydration is so important. With loads of serums, moisturizers and beauty routines (such as the new trend called skin cycling) available, it’s difficult to know what really hydrates skin versus what’s a waste of your money and time.
August 25, 2022|
Pumpkin Spice Waffles
When I think of fun, delicious waffles, I dream up buttermilk and pumpkin spice. However, because I seek to avoid too much dairy, I've decided to create a buttermilk-like mixture. As for the pumpkin spice, this recipe for Pumpkin Spice goes for it with the super popular Bone Broth Protein Pumpkin Spice as well as some complementing ingredients.