Some people say that the nutritional ketogenic diet should be the easiest diet in the world (lazy keto), and some others want to measure and calorie count every part of the process.
Which approach works for you? and how can you use exogenous ketones to your advantage?
This article will tackle three major pain points each of you will come across on your journey to a fitter you:
Strict keto vs lazy keto vs exogenous ketones.
There are two major approaches to the keto diet: Strict and Lazy (BOTH WORK FOR DIFFERENT PEOPLE)
Let’s have a look at them and see what each side says.
One group of keto gurus insist on measuring every single meal, counting calories and promote the keto diet like a chemistry set, with emphasis on accuracy of measurement.
Their approach has good points and a bad ones too. Let’s name this half : “hard mode ketoers”
The lazy ketoers group consists of keto gurus who insist on a more holistic approach to the keto diet and emphasize on saying that there are many different factors which contribute to weight loss on the keto diet.
They reject obsessing with macros and micromanagement of the diet. They say, not only will that stress you out, it leads to anxiety which contributes to frustration-driven relapse and also stunts weight loss.
Their focus is more on the mindset and emphasis on making the ketogenic diet easy for everyone.
Their approach had good points too and bad ones as well. These are the lazy ketoers” group.
So let’s break down each approach and see which one suits you best, we’re just the mouthpiece, it’s your choice to follow through on what you want to do, based on your own personality.
The lazy ketoers say:
“You can eat as much saturated fat as you’ll like”, knowing that a person can only eat “so much” fat, and as long as they follow the basics of the ketogenic meal plans, the amount of food they need to eat to feel full will go down over time as long as they avoid the carbs and too much protein.
This happens naturally because high fat low carb food lets the hunger hormone insulin, lose all its power over your body and mind, to the satiety hormone leptin.
The lazy ketoers prefer this approach because they don’t believe in a calorie restrictive diet. At least not in the start, since the first goal is to make weight-loss on ketosis easy and not complicated.
The hard mode/ strict ketoers say:
“Too much fat immediately will add to your waist line, and do more harm than good, thus your meals should be planned and structured, you need to count your macros on every meal and you need to stick to the strick version of the keto diet”
The first line about fat adding to your waist line is true, if you aren’t on a carb restricted diet.
The rest of it would depend on personal preferences.
Hard mode ketoers believe that following a strict calorie restrictive diet will not only give you faster results, it will also leave less chances of relapse since you are forcing yourself to follow a stricter path. They count their macros regularly and actively track their progress through their food regime.
This approach is effective and when followed strictly, with dedication and discipline, it will bring you success.
Now which is better for you?:
You need to decide based on your lifestyle, free-time, social life, work life and family life.
The hard mode ketoer’s approach is faster in theory, and there are many success stories of such people pulling off amazing weight loss in record time.
Many people who have failed or plateaued in weight loss on the lazy keto diet, have found success when they shifted to a stricter approach.
The lazy keto approach takes 2x to 3x longer to achieve the same amount of weight loss, but they have a far easier journey which is less stressful and provides a smoother transition out of being overweight.
Many who have failed at the stricter version of the keto diet, find success in the lazy keto version.
Usually due to lack of stress and natural rhythm of this method.
In either scenario, the one thing you need to concentrate on the most is: Natural food.
This simply means you stick to food which isn’t excessively processed into “franken-food” and avoid all forms of sweet drinks and junk – health food, which contain sugar or artificial sweeteners.
The harsh truth:
Once they understand the basics of the ketogenic diet, or the low carb diet, most average or even slightly overweight people, who are responsibly fit, will self-regulate food intake over time.
However, health brands out there can’t say that frivolously to the public, and to those who are truly struggling with obesity in their lives.
This is because it’s possible that most people won’t take responsibility for their own portion sizes and health. Since they “expect” it to self-regulate.
Most people with no base in fitness and physical discipline don’t have a strong mind-body connection to tap into. They should opt for strict keto first.
Everyone’s body is different and they eventually figure out what works for them on their own when put through a structured strict plan for 2 months.
There is another reason self regulation, or the lazy keto approach can be looked down on…
Food culture in the west is very accepting of gluttony and over eating. Which in contrast is looked down upon in other cultures.
Once you start a carb restricted meal plan, your body learns to preserve proteins and slows down the rate at which muscles wear away (source) .
Eat a good portion of fat, with a normal amount of meat, avoid carbs, and if you’re still hungry, fill up with vegetables or salads.
My personal approach:
After personal experience…
I think that the stricter version of the keto diet isn’t mentally and emotionally sustainable…
Especially in a long term when you’re busy with work, family, friends and are actually trying to live a good life.
I would end up getting annoyed by the routine, rules, measurements etc and eventually, I end up relapsing.
Instead do the following:
For the first 2 months, be strict on the amount of fat and protein you need, and by the end of two months you’ll know how much your body needs and you can self regulate meals or skip them based on the control over hunger you will have after two months on a strict ketogenic diet.
Then after those first two months on the strict keto diet, you can switch to a the lazy version if you want to get a more relaxed approach.
PRO TIP: INTERMITTENT FASTING (AKA. SKIPPING A MEAL)
Increasing the gap between food consumption to 16 hours or more has amazing results on long term fat burning! ( sources 1, 2, 3 )
If you feel hunger pans in the first few days of trying this, have some coffee or tea with added -unsalted butter blended in, with a tablespoon of milk so it all binds together well. (I still have it everyday)
If you’re new to the idea of unsalted butter mixed into your morning beverage, I know it sounds freaking gross!! BUT IT TASTES MAGICAL!! and is a tradition in places like Nepal.
PROTIP 2: TIME YOUR CARBS!
If you must eat a few extra carbs, or if the cravings start piling on, time your carb intake to approximately 30 mins before your workout or a physical activity. This lowers the amount of it that would be stored as excess in the body
If you’re someone who would like to try the strict version through-out the weight-loss period and have the time to do so, by all means, I wish you luck! Because it does work well too!
Now where do exogenous ketones come into this messy picture?
Well, regardless of the method you choose..
Regardless if it’s the strict keto mode..
Or the lazy keto mode..
You’ll be facing the symptoms of low energy and low motivation.
This is the keto flu in the first 2 weeks and you’ll get:
- Groggy moods
- Lack of motivation
- Lack in clarity of thought
- Mineral loss, etc.
This is the reason most people avoid a Low carb high fat diet, they simply can’t afford to waste two weeks of productivity in such a tired state.
It gets too annoying to digest this much information and these many restrictions for the someone who’s already stressed out in their work life and family life.
Exogenous ketones however help get you through this state easily!
The simple explanation to how ketones can help you is:
Your body can run on ketones very well, in fact your brain loves them! It’s one of the reasons keto dieters often report a high level of mental clarity.
However, the body takes time to start producing enough ketones to meet your daily energy requirements.
From the day you cut off carbs and increase fats, the body takes around 2 weeks* to stabilize and produce the right amount of ketones.
(*this depends on how fit you are, an athlete may only need 2 days, someone who’s morbidly obese may need a month or so to stabilize in the keto diet.)
Having exogenous ketones helps fuel your body and mind during these days. (please read the instructions on the packaging!)
There are many different brands which make exogenous ketones. You can click here to open the amazon link and feel free to add it to your cart to checkout at a future date.
You get to maintain high levels of emotional energy and motivation all the while as you start the new diet, and you still get to live a balanced life outside the kitchen.
After your body is confidently in the state nutritional ketosis, you could choose to get off the exogenous ketones all together, you could also lower the amount you consume. (your choice, your personality)
Along with exogenous ketones, I prefer eating fresh food, which is tasty and nutritionally balanced for the ketogenic diet.
Re-read this post on what you can do right away to maintain your electrolyte balance during ketosis.
Such as bacon, butter, cheese, stakes, salads, vegetables, dark chocolate and more butter!😜
I’ll be working on reviews of the different exogenous ketone brands in the near future, please sign up to the free newsletter for possible freebies, discounts, giveaways and contests!
Though, If you’re someone that simply doesn’t want to be bothered with cooking, or with selectivity buying keto friendly food for all your meals, you can even switch out lunch, with these keto shakes and snacks you get on amazon.
I wrote this article because I often see someone swearing by one method over another, instead of trying to understand that other side of the argument.
My reaction is usually the following…
Do you usually intervene and try changing peoples minds on which approach to the keto diet is better? strict or lazy keto meals? If yes, consider sharing this article with them on facebook or twitter. If no, then maybe share this article with them either ways.
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