Do you want the Types of Keto explained? Strict, Targeted, Cyclical, Dirty, Lazy, OH MY! It is not as complicated as it seems. Find out which one is right for you!
Strict Keto, Lazy Keto, Dirty Keto, Oh My!
Let’s talk about what strict keto, dirty keto, and lazy keto really are. But first, let’s recap (at a higher level) the main classifications of keto.
There are really four main types of Keto in the first classification.
Standard/Strict Keto Diet
This is the most common form of keto. It is where approximately 5% of your diet comes from carbs, 20% comes from protein, and 75% comes from fat. You basically eat within your macros daily and don’t deviate.
It is the strictest form of keto and does require a lot of discipline. I started with strict keto and stayed that way for about six months and then moved into cyclical keto which we’ll talk about next
Strict keto is often best for beginners, anyone wanting to lose weight, and those with insulin resistance like I had.
This style of ketogenic eating consists of following strict keto and then having “carb up” days where carbs are higher, then returning to strict keto. Personally, I don’t think the carb up days should be more than one day at a time.
RELATED – Benefits of Carb Up Days
This style of keto has pros and cons. The con is that if one goes crazy with the carb up days it could sabotage fat loss and progress. Especially if it is used as a cheat day.
What allowing your body to go in and out of ketosis weekly does is keep your metabolism revved up. It also helps your body become more efficient at both types of fuel burning. If done right, it really can be very beneficial to many people because it does allow flexibility.
One complaint of keto is a small amount of muscle mass loss. Cyclical keto helps battle this as once a week it replenishes the glycogen stores in the muscles.
RELATED – Working Out on Keto
My experience has been very positive with this approach. I found that I can have more carbs on my “carb up” day than I originally thought and still stay in ketosis.
When I eat healthy carbs, such as sweet potatoes, then I will very quickly get back into ketosis without the keto flu or any side effects. It was not what I was expecting. I thought I’d have the keto flu every week and that just sounded horrible. But that is not how it works for me.
RELATED– Healthy Carb Up Recipe
Technically, cyclical keto is for advanced athletes, but it is also for the beginner. Interesting, right? It is good for each in totally different ways! It is not for someone who wants to use it to have cheat days. You need an understanding of your body and self-control.
The next two I’m not going to talk about in much detail because they are geared more towards the serious athlete or bodybuilder.
This is mostly used by athletes who are less concerned with fat loss and more concerned with fat and protein varies and they may not even pay attention to it.
High Protein Keto
This option is often utilized by weightlifters looking to gain lean muscle mass. It generally consists of 5% carbs, 35% protein, and 60% fat.
Strict Keto, Lazy Keto and Dirty Keto Broken Down
Ok, so now, let’s talk about the other way to break keto down. That is between strict, dirty and lazy.
We’ve already talked about strict keto, but we are going to break it down a bit further though and talk about ingredients! Are you thinking “WHAT? I have to think about ingredients too?” Well, yes, you should.
So, let’s take everything we just talked about regarding strict keto and add to it. One thing we didn’t talk about with strict keto is ingredients. Strict keto is not only strict regarding macros, but it is also strict regarding ingredients too.
A few examples of bad ingredients are things like maltodextrin, carrageenan, MSG, and nitrates. Generally, when one is strict keto they will not only pay attention to macros but also the ingredients list and not eat anything that includes the naughty ingredients.
Lazy Keto is a subset of strict keto and I would be in this category currently. I was strict keto for many months until I was fat adapted and had the process figured out.
I stopped recording my food each day and did not plan each meal down to the last carbohydrate. That doesn’t mean I’m lazy in my food choices, but that I’m lazy about recording it.
When you know your food, you know your body and you know how many carbs are in food then there does come a point where you don’t need to keep track of everything anymore.
If I am going to eat a questionable meal, then I absolutely enter it in my carb tracker so that I know what I’m eating. I do this especially when I am making a keto dessert.
I stay in ketosis and I don’t kick myself out due to laziness. If that were to happen, then it is no longer keto it is just cheating on keto. Lazy keto is about knowing food and your body and not needing to analyze everything.
This one just sounds so bad, doesn’t it? Dirty Keto can be partially strict, partially lazy or neither.
The dirty piece refers specifically to ingredients. So, you can still be strict in that you stay within your macros and record everything, but you allow certain naughty ingredients or additives.
You can also be both lazy keto and dirty keto. While you can stay in ketosis eating dirty keto, this option is a slightly less desirable option because the ingredients you put in your body are working against you.
Keto is often used to restore our bodies to a beautiful state of health.
That can only be done, however, if you are putting good, clean ingredients into it. I am fine with strict keto and lazy keto. I’m not a huge fan of dirty keto, but I will say this: Dirty keto is still better than the Standard American Diet (SAD). So, if it comes down to a choice between SAD and dirt keto – choose dirty keto any day!
Which One is Right For You?
Well, that is for you to decide! Just remember, you can experiment until you find something that feels good for your body!
Trina Krug is a Holistic Nutritionist, Integrative Health Coach and host of the Carbless Conversations Podcast. With a Master’s Degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, her single mission in life is to facilitate self-healing in herself and those around her through awareness, lifestyle shifts and low-carb eating. As a current Doctor of Science student, she continues her studies in functional nutrition.