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Lazy Keto Diet: Pros, Cons and What You Can Eat

Lazy and dieting aren’t two words you typically associate with one another. Diets typically involve tracking, measuring and counting what you eat. This is true until you consider the lazy keto diet. 

If you've heard about the popular keto diet but find it too restrictive or time-consuming, the lazy keto diet might be the perfect solution for you. 

With the help of Beril Hezer, a registered dietitian with Banner Health, we’ll delve into what the lazy keto diet is, how it differs from the traditional keto diet and other diets, its benefits and drawbacks and what you can/cannot eat on the diet plan.

What is the lazy keto diet? 

The lazy keto diet is a more relaxed and flexible version of the traditional ketogenic diet.

Unlike the strict macronutrient ratios of the standard keto diet, the lazy keto diet focuses primarily on restricting carbohydrate intake while placing less emphasis on tracking fat and protein consumption. 

“With lazy keto, you limit carbohydrate intake to 10% or less,” Hezer said. “To put that into numbers, for 2,000 calories diet, 10% would equal 50 grams of total carbs, not net carbs.”

The goal is to transition the body into a state called ketosis, where your body relies on fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. However, it is essential to note that the lazy keto diet may achieve a different level of ketosis than the standard keto diet due to fat and protein consumption variations.

How does it differ from the keto diet and other similar diets?

Because lazy keto dieters only need to focus on limiting their carbohydrate intake, this makes it an attractive option for individuals who prefer a less rigid eating plan but still want to experience the benefits of ketosis. 

“The classic keto diet has a macronutrient ratio of 4:1, four grams of fat to one gram of protein and carbohydrates,” Hezer said. “Carbohydrates count toward 4% of total energy intake.”

The modified Atkins diet is similar. It is a mix between the classic keto diet and the Atkins diet. This diet limits carbs to about 20 grams of net carbohydrates per day or 5% of total calories.

“The modified Atkins diet also allows much more protein than the classic ketogenic diet,” Hezer said. “Carbohydrates are to be accompanied by fat when consumed. Fat, protein, fluids and calories are not limited.”

What are the benefits and drawbacks of the lazy keto diet?

Like many diets, following a lazy keto diet can have benefits and disadvantages.

The benefits
  • Weight loss: Low-carb diets like lazy keto can help promote weight loss. It helps reduce sugar levels and insulin levels – a hormone that encourages fat storage – leading to decreased cravings and hunger.
  • Simplicity: The lazy keto diet is less restrictive and easier to follow than the traditional keto diet, making it more sustainable for many people.
  • Medically beneficial: “The keto diet was initially developed as part of medical nutrition therapy for epilepsy,” Hezer said. “More research shows that the keto diet can also be used for other medical conditions, including some brain tumors.”
  • Improved energy levels: Many people report increased energy and mental clarity when in ketosis.
The drawbacks
  • Varying results: The flexibility of the lazy keto diet means that you may achieve a different level of ketosis than the standard keto diet, resulting in slower weight loss or fewer health benefits.
  • Nutritional deficiencies: By not strictly tracking macronutrients, there is a risk of inadequate intake of essential nutrients. Focusing on a varied and balanced diet is important to minimize this risk.
  • Individual differences: Every person's body reacts differently to different diets, so what works for one person may not work as effectively for another. It's essential to listen to your body and adjust accordingly.

“It’s important to note that choice of carbohydrate and fat can affect its effectiveness,” Hezer said. “Essentially, if you’re choosing whole grains over refined carbohydrates and choosing plant-based over animal fats, you will be improving your overall health regardless of the type of diet you follow.”

What can you eat on the lazy keto diet?

The lazy keto diet encourages a low carbohydrate intake while allowing for more flexibility in food choices. The primary focus is reducing or eliminating refined sugars, grains, starchy vegetables and processed foods. 

Instead, the emphasis is on consuming whole foods such as:

  • Healthy fats: Avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and seeds
  • Protein sources: Eggs, lean meats, poultry, fatty fish and tofu
  • Low-carb vegetables: Leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and bell peppers
  • Low-sugar fruits: Avocado, berries, lemons and limes
  • High-fat dairy: Cheese, full-fat yogurt and heavy cream (in moderation)

What should you avoid on the lazy keto diet?

While the lazy keto diet offers more flexibility, there are still certain foods you should avoid or consume in moderation. 

These include:

  • High-carb foods: Bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and sugary snacks
  • Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, yams, corn and peas
  • High-sugar fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, peaches and melons
  • Processed foods: Pre-packaged snacks, fast food and sugary desserts

Discuss with a health care professional

Before starting any new diet plan, including the lazy keto diet, it is crucial to consult with a health care professional or a registered dietitian. 

They can assess your health needs, provide personalized recommendations, and ensure the diet aligns with your goals and overall well-being. They can also help monitor your progress and address any concerns or potential risks associated with the lazy keto diet.

“This diet is not appropriate for everyone,” Hezer said. “For example, if you have diabetes and are using diabetic medication to lower your blood sugars, being on lazy keto will also lower your blood sugars, so your medications may need to be adjusted.”

People already at risk for elevated ketones, such as those with kidney disease, heart or bone ailments and other medical conditions, should also talk to their health care provider before starting this diet.


The lazy keto diet offers a more flexible and simplified approach to the popular ketogenic diet. It can be an attractive option if you want a sustainable and less rigid eating plan that still promotes weight loss and other potential health benefits. However, it is important to remember that results may vary. 

Consult with your health care provider or a registered dietitian before embarking on any new diet or lifestyle change. Doing so can ensure that you are making informed decisions about your health and well-being.

Remember, the key to successful and sustainable weight loss lies in finding a balanced and personalized approach that works best for you.

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