Clean Keto, Dirty Keto and Lazy Keto

Clean Keto, Dirty Keto, Lazy Keto

Today we will look at types of Keto from a different perspective, essentially the 3 different types are: Clean, Dirty and Lazy Keto. The Ketogenic diet is a way of eating to lose weight that limits carbohydrates and includes plenty of healthy fats. People following Keto are strict with their food intake. They eat whole, unprocessed foods and monitor their macros (their fat, protein and carbohydrate intake ratios). Their aim is to force or keep their body in a state of Ketosis.

If you follow the Keto diet, your body burns fat instead of glucose for its energy needs. Those who strictly follow the diet attest to losing weight fast in just a few days of drastically reducing their carbohydrates.

However, as with any diet there are some rules that some follow and other people follow different rules. Even the Keto diet has followers that do the ‘Clean Keto’ version, while others do the ‘Dirty Keto’ version, and some swear by the ‘Lazy Keto’ version.

Clean Keto

The Clean Keto diet follows the principle of eating foods with low carbohydrate content, but those that keep you feeling fuller longer due to their high fiber content, such as green leafy vegetables.

The clean Keto diet is often referred to as the ‘strict’ Keto diet. You only eat healthy, whole foods. You do not eat any processed foods at all. Although the Keto diet allows nuts and dairy, there are some advocates who avoid these foods as well as they believe they will not help them with fast weight loss.

If you are on the clean Keto diet, then drinking alcohol is a definite no-no. It all boils down to eating a clean diet, focusing on whole foods, without eating anything processed or even drinking an occasional glass of wine.

Dirty Keto

If you decide you want to go Keto, but don’t particularly want to follow the restrictions religiously, then your diet will no doubt be branded as being the ‘dirty Keto’ diet.

Following this diet means you can eat anything as long as your carb intake remains low and it’s still high in fat. This way of eating does not focus as stringently on where you source your food and nutrients, just as long as you follow the Keto principle. In other words, this diet puts a premium on convenience, so you can eat whatever is available or on hand, provided you keep the carbo-fat percentage intact.

Lazy Keto

The one rule to Lazy Keto focuses only keeping the carbohydrate intake to no more than 20 grams per day. Unlike clean Keto, you don’t have to track your calories, nor do you have to count the other macronutrients (fat and protein).

This method is appealing to people who find tracking to be a chore. And who want quick results without much work. Just focusing on counting the carbohydrates is way simpler. But simple does not always mean easy. While it is a fact that you will lose weight doing a Lazy Keto diet (at the end of it, it is a low-carb eating plan, and we know those work), the chances of hitting a weight-loss plateau (likely fairly soon) are very high.

Clean, Dirty and Lazy Keto – A Summary

Clean Keto, Dirty Keto, Lazy Keto

The Golden Rule of a regular Keto diet (also called ‘strict’ or ‘clean’ Keto) is to focus on the Fats and keep your daily Carb intake to less than 20-30 grams per day. With the dirty version, the macronutrient ratio remains the same, but the quality of the foods you eat matters a whole lot less.
With Lazy Keto, neither are you tracking calories, nor are you counting the other macronutrients (fat and protein).

It is easy to understand why some people prefer to go for the Dirty Keto or Lazy Keto diet if they lead a busy lifestyle and can’t organize their meals in advance. It’s a lot easier to throw a ready-made frozen meal in the microwave than it is to plan your meals, chop and peel vegetables and find healthy cuts of meat.

If you enjoy being in the kitchen, then you won’t find cooking Keto meals a chore at all. Weighing your foods, watching the portions, counting the ratios etc., may all be fun for one person, but not for someone else. Usually the one it’s not fun for is the dirty Keto or lazy Keto dieter, who may find the convenience of other foods better for them. They will look for foods that are as low in carb as possible, but the meat may be processed, and the vegetables may not be organically grown.

Let’s take a look at an example. A fast food chain may be selling a chicken burger, complete with salad. The clean dieter won’t eat it all, however, the dirty dieter will eat most of it, processed meat and all, but throw away the bun. At the end of the day their macros may not look too bad, however, the clean Keto dieter’s nutrients and overall long term health will look a whole lot better!

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Types of Ketogenic Diets

Types of Ketogenic Diets

By now pretty much every health and fitness enthusiast and yo-yo dieter has heard about the Ketogenic diet. But did you know there are actually different types of Ketogenic diets? Originally researched, developed and used under medical supervision in children with epilepsy and other neurological disorders, the Ketogenic diet has taken the world by storm (and not without much confusion and controversy).

The human body has a hierarchy for preferred sources of energy, Carbohydrates being at the top of the list. Next in line is Fats, and then finally Proteins. Together, these three are called Macronutrients (or Macros). The current health status and reason for employing a Ketogenic diet usually dictate how much of each macronutrient is consumed; carbs, fats and protein.

The first and most important concept in the Ketogenic diet is consuming a limited number of carbs daily, usually 30 grams or less, to force the body into a state called “Ketosis”.

Understanding Ketosis

Before we go any further, let’s dig a little deeper into Ketosis and its benefits. By limiting carbohydrates, which is the body’s fuel of choice, the body responds by using fat as the next available energy source. Fatty acids also get released from the cells and transferred to the liver.

The liver turns the fatty acids into Ketones. Ketones are spectacular molecules that cross the blood-brain barrier to provide a power source to the brain in the absence of glucose.

Types of Ketogenic Diets

A carb-loaded diet is a disaster waiting to happen. Carbohydrates turn into blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is a fantastic fuel on a cellular level when it’s at normal levels. Too much glucose causes the production of insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.

Over time too much insulin production can lead to insulin resistance and problems with diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Recap: 1) Ketosis forces the body to burn fat for fuel, 2) Ketosis aids in glucose regulation. These are key components to how each of the Ketogenic diets function and why someone would choose one over another.

Types of Ketogenic Diets

The word “diet” carries some misconception. It can either mean the kinds of foods a person habitually eats or a special course of foods/food restrictions either for weight loss or medical reasons. In the Keto-world, the word means both.

The Ketogenic diet can be either a permanent way of eating or a temporary weight loss program. The individual needs and goals of the person using the Ketogenic diet should be considered through the entire process.

Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD)

In this version, the ratio is typically 5% carbs, 75% fat and 20% protein. The numbers for fat and protein may shift a little, but for the most part, fat is a huge part of the diet and caloric intake. This extremely popular version utilizes a super simple concept; stay at or below carb limit to remain in ketosis.

High-Protein Ketogenic Diet

Ketosis is achieved the same as in the standard ketogenic diet however in this model there is a bit more protein. A normal macronutrient ratio might look like 55-60% fat, 35-40% protein and still 5% carbs. As with the SKD, one must remain at or below the carb limit for ketosis to work its magic.

Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD)

Ever heard of carb-loading before a workout? This is the main idea with the targeted ketogenic diet. About 30-60 minutes prior to exercise the participant should consume anywhere from 25-50g of easily digestible carbs (the actual number depends on the individual’s needs and type of workout).

Glucose-based foods are used more efficiently than fructose-based and are usually burned completely without throwing the body out of ketosis. Post-workout meals should include plenty of protein and be less fatty. Normally fat is encouraged, however for muscle recovery and nutrient absorption, protein is a better choice here.

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD)

This one sounds a bit strange considering what we’ve just learned. CKD is geared toward bodybuilders and athletes who wish to build lean muscle mass and still maximize fat loss.

In this regimen the SKD is followed for five days before cycling into the two-day phase of carb-loading. On the first day one might have a limit of 50g of carbs. On the second day the carb count could be anywhere from 400-600g. The premise is to load up on carbs so the body is properly fueled for the next five days of grueling workouts.

The CKD should not be used as a “cheat day” for those using the standard ketogenic diet protocol. This approach is suitable only for extremely active individuals.

Restricted Ketogenic Diet

On this last version, both carbs and calories are limited and is typically supervised by medical professionals. Based on studies, cancer cells can’t use Ketones for energy and quite literally can starve to death.

As with any diet regimen or lifestyle change, one should always seek the advice of their primary care provider or health professional before beginning any of the above types of Ketogenic diets. Medical history and current state of health should be considered, as well as the person’s individual needs and goals need to be kept in mind.


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