If you’ve been trying to read up on the keto diet and you’re finding conflicting information on the internet, it’s most likely due to keto not being ONE set concrete plan to follow. Two of the most popular keto variations are either strict or "lazy", and we're here to tell you the difference, plus other ketogenic variations.
Strict Keto VS Lazy Keto VS....Dirty Keto?
The rules and recommendations can change based on the TYPE of keto diet that works for your body and what overall works for your tracking habits and lifestyle. Most people start with strict keto, but if you have a hard time struggling with the restrictions, why not give lazy keto a try or low carb? Take the time to figure out what works best for YOUR body!
The keto related diet terms that you’ll often hear about are strict keto, lazy keto, dirty keto, and low carb. Here’s a quick run-down of the types of keto options out there.
- 20 carbs per day max.
- The goal is to keep your body in ketosis.
- 70% calories from fat, 25% from protein, 5% from carbs.
- Only eats whole foods like meat, low carb vegetables, fats, and full-fat dairy.
- Sometimes strict keto doesn’t track net carbs, but total carbs of 20 grams or less per day.
- Tracks calories as well as macros.
- More flexible than strict keto, but typically keeps carbs under 20-30 net carbs per day.
- Doesn’t count macros or calories, but does track net carbs.
- Isn’t trying to maintain ketosis.
- Eat either whole foods and can include processed keto snacks or keto sweeteners.
- Easier to follow for people who struggle to keep track of macros or have difficulty reaching ketosis.
The main difference when comparing strict keto vs lazy keto is that strict keeps carbs under 20 net carbs per day and you only eat pure natural foods. Lazy keto allows some keto processed foods and lazy keto followers aren't as rigid on tracking macros - some just track the net carbs and calories.
- Dirty keto isn’t a type of diet, but it refers to people who eat packaged keto snacks, products like low carb tortillas, or keto sweeteners like monk fruit or erythrtitol.
- If you eat processed keto products, it’s best to eat them in moderation or as an occasional snack.
The main difference between dirty keto vs strict keto is that dirty keto followers will periodically eat packaged keto products like keto candy or store-bought keto snacks, whereas strict keto sticks to whole foods and does not include "dirty" foods.
The distinct difference between dirty keto vs lazy keto is that lazy keto is a type of keto diet that CAN include "dirty keto" foods like low carb wraps or monk fruit sweeteners like Lakanto in moderation. Dirty keto isn't its own type of keto diet but more refers to the packaged products some keto followers periodically eat.
- Eat up to 50-100 net carbs per day.
- Can follow the principles of strict, lazy, or dirty keto but eats more carbs during the day.
- Doesn’t track macros.
- Doesn’t try to reach a ketosis state.
- Typically eats whole foods, mixed in with periodic “dirty keto products" or small amounts of starches like bread, potatoes, or fruit as long as carbs are kept under 50-100 grams.
What Type of Keto is Best for YOU?
If you're wondering what type of ketogenic diet is right for you, and can't decide between the two most popular ketogenic diet types, why not start with a strict keto diet?
It'll help you understand macros, you'll learn about the reasons for aiming for a ketosis state, and eating natural whole foods is better for your body.
IF strict keto is too much for you, instead of giving up on the keto way of life, why not try lazy keto or even low carb?
My husband started with a strict keto diet, struggled to reach a ketosis state and felt extremely frustrated. Instead of completely giving up on the keto diet, he instead switched to a lazy keto diet and found much better success for HIS body and system. He even lost 30 pounds without being in ketosis or tracking his macros!
Just do what feels best for YOUR situation! As long as you find a method that's working for your body and lifestyle, you CAN do this!