Keto-ish? Does a “lazy keto” diet even work?
Tempted by keto but not sure you can exist on 20-25g of carbs every day? Like the principles of low-carb but not yet swayed by a high-fat way of eating?
We get it. Starting keto can feel like a huge leap – it’s a major lifestyle switch that can feel overwhelming. It’s what holds so many people back from even starting.
So, it’s only natural that “keto curious” types would trial a keto-ish way of eating. Or what the industry calls “lazy keto”. We’re not fans of this term as there’s nothing “lazy” about this thoughtful way of eating – which still requires effort and understanding.
What does a keto-ish plan look like?
If you’re keto-ish, you’re following the general principles of the traditional keto diet – low carb high fat – and adapting them to work for you and your lifestyle. It’s essentially a less restrictive variation. Mainly, we see people opting for low carb, while not adopting the high fat elements, and more flexibility around protein portions.
A traditional keto diet would look like the following breakdown of macronutrients:
- 55–60% fat
- 30–35% protein
- 5–10% carbohydrate
If you’re keto-ish, you’re realistically limiting your carb intake to 25g to 50g carbs, without tracking your fat and protein intake.
You can be keto-ish and meet your health goals – you can still lose weight as well as reduce body fat. There’s some evidence that points to improved gut health as well.
You know there’s a but coming…😉
The reality is you simply won’t see the rapid weight loss results of a traditional keto eating plan. Keto is designed to get your body into ketosis – that super-charged metabolic state where your body uses fat for fuel.
Yes, restricting carbs is the way into ketosis, but it’s the balance of other macros – your protein and fat – that also drive this. Playing with the ratios – with too much protein for example - can prevent you from getting into that turbo-charged state to begin with.
That said, a low-carb diet will reduce your calorie intake so can support weight loss, improve diabetes and manage your cardiovascular health, leaving you feeling better - which might be enough for where you are now.
Make your carbs work for you!
Carbs can still an important part of a healthy keto diet, especially if you are exercising regularly as our muscles love a carb refeed once in a while. If you are having a few extra carbs make sure you are opting for the above ground veggies and some fruit is ok (berries are lower in sugar than most fruits).
The keto-ish way of eating can be a great gateway to a full keto plan. Or it can simply be a more mindful approach to limiting the amount of carbohydrates in your diet. While you won’t experience the full, rapid weight loss of keto, if you’re looking to cut some calories, focus on nutrient-rich food and improve your overall wellbeing, this is a great place to start.