Many people vouch for the benefits of the Keto diet, but experts argue that it is not for everyone considering the strict monitoring of protein, carbohydrates, and fats it calls for. To ease out the counting of calories or other micronutrients, there is a new fad diet — the lazy keto diet — which solely focuses on monitoring carbohydrate intake.
What is ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic phenomenon that is characterised by elevated levels of ketone bodies in the blood or urine. Physiologic ketosis is a normal response to low glucose availability, such as low-carbohydrate diets or fasting, that provides an additional energy source for the brain in the form of ketones, instead of glucose. This means that when the body does not have enough carbohydrates to burn, fats start burning, according to WebMD.
What is lazy keto?
As a more straightforward version of the keto diet, lazy keto does not include a high proportion of fats in the diet. It only requires one to limit their carbohydrates to 10 per cent or less of their daily calorie intake. This approach means that a person does not need to track their fat and protein intake, as per Medical News Today.
It focuses on just consuming 20 grams of carbohydrates in a day as compared to a regular keto diet which focuses on consuming 20-40 gm carbohydrates per day, a moderate protein intake of 20 per cent of daily calories and a high fat intake of at least 70 per cent of daily calories, all coming from nutrient-dense whole foods, explained nutritionist Aakriti Arora.
Agreed Neha Pathania, chief dietitian, Paras Hospital Gurugram, and said, “On the keto diet, a person drastically reduces their carbohydrate intake and eats a high amount of fats and a moderate amount of protein to allow them to enter a state of ketosis. But lazy keto diet’s idea is just to limit carbs to induce a metabolic state or ketosis, in which your body mainly burns fat for fuel.”
However, people on lazy keto tend to lean towards highly processed easily available packaged foods, which are loaded with sodium, mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) and trans fat, making it a mindless approach towards the regular keto diet, warned Arora.
For example, a person on a lazy keto diet is allowed to order an easily available fast food meaty burger with processed cheese without the buns for a meal, on the other hand, a person on the regular keto diet will make itself a meal of grilled meat with healthy cheese sauce along with some super-nutritious greens.
“Lazy keto completely ignores other scientific aspects of the keto diet and just focuses on the consumption of carbohydrates, Yes, carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the body and without their presence, your body will look for other sources of energy,” explained Arora.
So, what should be done?
Experts point out that since health and nutrition are subjective, every dietary plan has to be followed under the guidance of a qualified nutritionist.
According to chef Ritesh Tulsian, consultant chef and partner at HCS Global Corporation, Mumbai, consuming more carbs than the recommended percentage results in a lack of energy and the person feels hungry throughout the day. “Metabolism also slows down and desired results won’t be achieved in stipulated time. I want to specify that fad diets cannot be a lifestyle, so better to stick to a balanced meal to get all vital nutrients for the proper functioning of the body,” he said.
“If one isn’t watchful of the other macronutrients, protein can become that source of glucose. This could be the death of the lazy keto diet because the body will take itself out of ketosis. Side effects of this may include constant hunger, inflammation and poor metabolism,” said Arora.
So, what should a person on the diet be aware of?
If one is willing to stick to the lazy keto diet, they should focus on the quality and quantity of foods they are consuming to get their body into ketosis, suggested Arora. “These diets should be done under the care of a nutritionist, in a therapeutic setting, as they are highly scientific in nature and come with many guidelines that need to be followed in order for it to be safe and effective,” she said.