What is Lazy Keto and can you lose weight on a Lazy Keto diet?

We've asked the experts
  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • The Lazy Keto diet is linked to the popular Keto diet loved by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Halle Berry.

    Those familiar with Keto will know it’s a low-carb, high-fat diet that involves eating protein-rich foods and sees the body burn fat with the aim of seeing the pounds drop off.

    Focusing on the same food groups as the Atkins diet, Keto is known for being quite a restrictive diet that is especially difficult to stick to if you want to go out for dinner or drinks. So could the Lazy Keto diet be more relaxed and easier to stick to?

    What is Lazy Keto?

    The ‘Lazy Keto’ diet is a relaxed version of the ketogenic diet. It allows you to be more lenient about what you eat and you don’t have to track every single meal. This is because the Lazy Keto diet focuses on carbohydrate intake only instead of how much protein you’re eating.

    On the Lazy Keto diet you have to track how many carbohydrates you eat per day but that’s it. You don’t count calories or track any other macronutrients, protein and fat.

    This makes Lazy Keto “simpler” than the standard Keto diet, according to dietitian Jasmine Carbon, founder of Carbon Nutrition:

    “Keto dieters follow a strict, very-low carb, moderate protein and high fat diet. Specifically, the daily calorie intake should be split 5-10% carbs, 30-35% protein and 55-70% fat.

    “In contrast, the Lazy Keto diet focuses solely on carb allowances for the day and does not advise you to calculate or count calories, or monitor your protein or fat intake.”

    A grilled chicken breast on a salad containing lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber on a plate sat on a dark grey surface.

    Credit: Getty

    Nutritionist Jenna Hope agrees that Lazy Keto is essentially “a very low carbohydrate diet.”

    “Unlike the original ketogenic diet which requires a carefully calculated approach, the Lazy Keto diet promotes eating low carbohydrate foods but allows for variations in protein and fat intakes,” she says.

    What is the daily carbohydrate limit on a Lazy Keto plan?

    “A typical Lazy Keto diet sees participants consume an average of 20-30 grams of carbs a day,” says Claire Murphy, a registered dietitian at Last Verdict.

    This differs from the original Keto diet which allows just 20 grams of carbs.

    “It is a good option for those that want to ease themselves off the original Keto diet or who are looking for a diet that is less restrictive,” Claire adds.

    Can you lose weight on a Lazy Keto diet?

    According to nutritionist Jenna, an initial weight loss is to be expected on the Lazy Keto diet. Though this is predominantly water weight.

    “Individuals can lose weight on a Lazy Keto diet although it’s important to remember that the initial weight loss is often water weight,” she says. “1g of carbohydrates require 4g of water for storage and therefore naturally when you reduce your carbohydrate intake you’re eliminating the extra water.”

    Weight loss will follow this water loss though, as Lazy Keto’s restriction on carbohydrates will put your body into a metabolic state called Ketosis. Instead of turning carbohydrates into energy, your body will start burning fat for energy. This in turn will lead to weight loss.

    A women sat at a work top surrounded by peppers, salad leaves and a chopped courgette on a chopping board. She is reading her digital tablet.

    Credit: Getty

    However, Jenna believes Lazy Keto is not a sustainable long-term diet as it is too restrictive. Because of this “individuals are often more likely to gain the weight lost and in some cases more” as they’ll want a break from counting carbohydrates.

    Lazy Keto’s relaxed approach to fats and proteins could also unknowingly lead to weight gain, says Clarissa Lenherr, a Nutritionist for biohacking platform bioniq.

    “By only measuring carbohydrate intake, you miss out an important measure of energy intake – calories,” she tells us. “If your calorie intake is higher than your output, regardless of the source, this could impact your weight loss goals.”

    Dietitian Jasmine agrees that eating excessive amounts of protein won’t lead to ketosis and subsequent weight loss.

    “The dieter is only in a state of ketosis when all glucose stores have been used and the body starts turning to fat stores for energy,” she says. “If too much protein is eaten, the body will start to make glucose from protein in a process called gluconeogenesis and so the dieter may not see any desired weight loss.”

    Lazy Keto food list

    • Red meat
    • Chicken and other poultry
    • Fish
    • Eggs
    • High fat dairy like cheese, milk and butter
    • Low-carb vegetables like broccoli and leafy greens
    • Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries
    • Olive oil
    • Nuts and Seeds
    A photo showing lazy keto approved foods like butter, salmon, nuts, strawberries, blueberries and avocado.

    Credit: Getty

    “Lazy Keto advises eating a wide range of high fat, high protein foods such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts and seeds,” says nutritionist Jenna Hope. “It limits fruits and vegetables since they provide a source of carbohydrates.”

    Fellow nutritionist Clarissa suggests high fat and protein-rich foods too. She also recommends seeking out certain fruit and vegetables on a Lazy Keto plan for nutritional purposes.

    “Consider low carbohydrate vegetable options such as leafy greens and broccoli and small amounts of fruit such as berries,” she tells Good to Know.

    These give you the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs from fruit and vegetables. Plus they won’t jeopardise your carbohydrate intake whilst following Lazy Keto.

    What snacks can you have on the Lazy Keto diet?

    Having healthy snacks to hand when having a bout of the munchies is important when dieting. You want to make sure you don’t counteract the good meals you’ve prepared with bad snack choices.

    When following the Lazy Keto plan, dietitian Jasmine encourages you to select low-carb snacks that incorporate other food groups.

    “Try to make sure that you are eating foods from other food groups to increase your intake of essential vitamins and minerals,” she says. “Enjoy a portion of plain full fat Greek yogurt or cheese dip with vegetable crudites. Unsalted nuts and seeds or eggs in any form such as a crustless quiche or a mini omelette.”

    Elizabeth Stewart is a nutritionist at Vitl who recommends Chia Pudding as a go-to Lazy Keto snack.

    “A brilliant snack to support you through a 3pm energy slump, chia seeds are nutrient rich and keto-compliant with a 20% protein content and 34-40g (100% daily recommendation) of dietary fibre per 100g. Chia pudding can be prepared in large batches and frozen or stored in the fridge.”

    Other expert-approved Lazy Keto snacks include:

    • Boiled eggs and spinach
    • Almond butter and celery sticks
    • Olives
    • Jerky
    • A bowl of berries
    • Walnut and Pecan bars

    Is the Lazy Keto diet bad for you?

    Like any diet, there are pros and cons to the Lazy Keto method.

    “Although we are aware that a keto diet is not for everyone, the various benefits – which include weight loss, energy increase and mental clarity – can be quickly recognised and maintained sustainably, explaining its popularity,” notes nutritionist Elizabeth.

    However, as dietitian Claire Murphy explains “the Lazy Keto is new and as a result, there is not much research available with regards to its long-term effects”.

    “If you are a type 2 diabetic, speak to your doctor before adopting the diet as its low carb nature could drop your sugar levels to dangerous levels,” she advises.

    A fried fillet of steak in a pan with a knob of butter

    Credit: Getty

    Nutritionist Jenna Hope also tells us that a Lazy Keto diet could be bad for gut and heart health.

    “Due to the low carbohydrate element it poses risk of a low fibre intake which may impact gut microbiome,” she tells us. “Additionally, there’s a risk of over consuming saturated fat. High intakes of saturated fat are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.”

    Dietitian Jasmine Carbon is also concerned that avoiding fruit and vegetables because of their carbohydrate count could lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

    “We also have the risk of the dieter feeling hungry because of the poor nutritional quality of the foods they are eating. Hunger can lead to poor concentration, poor sleep and can ultimately lead the dieter to reach for energy dense foods to fill the gap.”

    Lazy Keto diet plan and meal ideas

    Below are some low-carb recipes and meal ideas recommended by the experts – to help you follow a Lazy Keto plan.

    As carbohydrates are restricted, think about low-carb food swaps like squash or celeriac instead of potatoes. Or replace rice with quinoa, cauliflower or couscous.

    Like any change in diet, be sure to talk it through with your GP first.

    Breakfast

    Three fillet of salmon with herbs and garlic in a pan

    Credit: Getty

    Lunch

    Dinner