Lazy vs Strict vs Dirty Keto


What is Lazy Keto?

Lazy Keto is where you focus on staying under 20g of net carbs a day (What I personally follow). While doing lazy keto, most likely you won’t be attempting to follow macros or count calories. You spend your time focusing on ditching the sugars and junk food in your diet. You up your fat intake, stay away from fruits, and high carb vegetables like potatoes. You’re probably not spending every meal calculating things into an app or if you do you only bother with the Carbs. Lazy keto tends to involve keeping your ingredients mostly whole and clean. People doing lazy keto might not be as concerned about grass fed beef vs. “regular” beef.

Lazy keto is great for people who are easily overwhelmed and frustrated by the number game that is strict keto.

For most people, Lazy Keto works well for initial weight loss. It makes sense – cutting out the junk food is bound to have a positive influence on your body.  However, some people stall out as they get closer to their weight loss goals and for others, their weight problems might be related to food like dairy or sweeteners which requires a slightly stricter way of eating.


Here’s what a typical day of eating Lazy Keto style might include.

Breakfast        Bacon and Scrambled Eggs or Bulletproof coffee

Lunch             Chicken salad (with MCT oil) Romaine Boats

Dinner            Ground beef with butter over cauliflower rice

Snack             Pepperoni / Cheese

What is Strict Keto?

Strict keto is the classic form of keto, which is also the most popular one (How I started, and personally think everyone should start for optimal weight loss). Strict Keto is sticking to under 20g net carbs (50 total carbs) per day while also watching your calories. Strict keto eaters pay attention to the ingredients in their foods: We are talking about local, organic, grass fed beef. Organic veggies. Cage-free, soy free, free range $6 dollar a dozen eggs. Strict Keto eaters also often avoid dairy as it can be inflammatory for many people.

Strict Keto dieters follow macros that are carefully calibrated using apps (Google Keto Macro Calculator). The apps tell them how much fat/protein, carbs, and calories they should be eating in order to reach their weight loss goals.

Strict Keto is a great option for people who typically have a hard time losing weight or perform better when they have a specific goal to reach. Lots of people take great personal pride in hitting that perfect macro day – and they should! If you need that sort of motivation and daily accountability to stay on track then a stricter version of keto might be for you.

For people who have been stalled for a long time, are not able to exercise or are just not seeing the results they desire then strict keto is sometimes the answer.


A typical diet for Strict Keto might look something like this. This is obviously just a simple example to give you an idea.

Breakfast        Fasting, OR free range, nitrate free bacon and scrambled eggs

Lunch             Chicken and salad, dressing of cold pressed olive oil & lemon juice

Dinner            Salmon, broccoli and asparagus cooked in olive oil or coconut oil

Snacks           Generally avoided

What is Dirty Keto?

Dirty Keto refers is where you continuing to use processed foods and you generally don’t care where your ingredients come from. It can also be used to refer to following an ‘if it fits under 20g a day go for it!’ type of mantra.

Clean eating is a wonderful standard for those blessed enough to be able to enjoy it. But not everyone can. Some people don’t have access to a good variety of nonproccessed foods and other’s just straight up can’t afford it. The advantage of dirty keto is that nothing is off limits, so for people who don’t like excluding certain foods completely, it might allow them to have the flexibility they need in order to stick to their diet.

The real issue here is not the approach by itself; it’s the food choices you decide to make. If doing “dirty keto” for you means eating mostly whole, natural foods, while enjoying the occasional processed treat every once in a while, and if this allows you to stick to your diet without feeling frustrated & limited in your food choices, that’s fine.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with fitting a less-than-optimal food to your macros every once in a while, for example on a special occasion.

There’s also no need to demonize certain foods, or certain food groups. The issue is with the foods you ultimately choose to eat.

Dirty Keto is still Keto. You are still doing a great job! You’re still taking steps to better your life.


Here’s what a typical day of eating Dirty Keto style might include. You’ll notice plenty of packaged foods and take away.

Breakfast        Quest Protein Bar and Bulletproof Coffee

Lunch              Fast Food Burger with no bun, Coke Zero

Dinner             Italian sub roll ups wrapped in lettuce

Snacks            Keto Chips with Cheez Whiz

There is still an important consideration to keep in mind, though – you’d need to make sure that the weight is not creeping back up, and for this it’s a good idea to step on a scale weekly or at least monthly, or to take measurements, or to have another system in place that helps you make sure that you’re not slowly undoing your progress.



Credit where credit is due, I cherry picked certain info from these sources in writing this:

  1. The 3 Biggest Mistakes People Make On The Ketogenic Diet (And How To Fix Them)
  2. The Differences Between the Strict, Lazy, & Dirty Keto
  3. Lazy Vs Strict Vs Dirty Keto Vs If It Fits Your Macros