Common Keto Diet Approaches: Strict, Dirty, Lazy and More




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There are many approaches to diet online, we have all seen them year after year. What many don’t seem to understand is that their are so many approaches on a ketogenic diet depending on the group you find.

Not all of these approaches will yield fast or quality results in your path. I break each down below to let you know beforehand if you should listen or follow a specific approach to a ketogenic diet.

I prefer to follow a more Ketogains (Nutritional Ketosis Style) approach as I enjoy a higher protein intake than many ketogenic dieters and I am not scared that it will turn into cake.

I need to lower my fat intake as I still have plenty on my body that needs to go away, expecting to be close to my goal range of 190-200 by the end of the year!

That’s a joke btw, though there are a lot of people in the ketogenic world who think if you overeat protein you just turn it into sugar. While this is going to occur it is demand driven, most protein is kept as protein for healing and use in the body.

Strict Keto

The strict keto approach centers around whole foods, using a list or understanding of the paleo lifestyle where specific foods “are” or “aren’t” ketogenic in nature.

This approach is more limiting to the food choices that are available based more around a whole foods approach that doesn’t have tremendous processing.

Strict ketogenic dieters also track foods consistently, making sure that they get every ounce of food documented to help assist them in moving the needle.

While this approach can help you change or challenge your previous eating and diet it can cause people to burn out and cheat more often to “cut loose”.

The other part where this approach can give you issues is that nutritional labels are allowed be be off by 10-15% on the values displayed. Not only that but on the decimals (example 2.7g) they have their choice whether to round that down or up in the label creation.

So basing everything of the labels can lead to gaining weight even though you are “eating at a deficit” according to your food tracking logs.

Lazy Keto

This type of dieter is looking for the easiest way to start and not impact them in their day to day life. Using this approach is helpful for people who have a better relationship with food and aren’t someone who eats when stressed out.

Lazy keto dieting focuses on not tracking your overall food intake. Instead you start mentally keeping math on the amount of carbohydrates you are eating.

This can help convert people who are needing an approach where the diet is easier to do daily the better time they have and the better adherence you see from them.

I wouldn’t prefer this method overall as I feel you don’t learn as much about yourself and your foods, but I can see why people would like this approach as you will see weight loss if the non-tracked portion doesn’t have a high volume of calories.

Dirty Keto

This style of a ketogenic diet is focused on a more IIFYM (If it fits your macros) approach to a ketogenic lifestyle. These people don’t care about any sugar or other things in the processed food they eat. They just ensure that they stay under the daily carbohydrate macro.

They will frequently be a mix of people who track religiously or they will track more like the lazy keto above. This is where this style or method is more a mix of the previous two types.

The dirty keto dieter will focus again on the carbohydrate intake but are far more open to foods than the strict followers.

These are the people on Facebook who get the most grief as they are “rogues” going against the grain having low carb marketed foods like tortillas, protein bars and other processed foods.

High Fat Intake (AKA: Butter Chugger)

These people believe that they burn fat by eating more fat, they are the ones primarily who fall into the “calories don’t matter” group. Their approach is that the more fat you consume the more your body aims to burn off increasing your metabolism enough to take a little more with it than what you consumed.

What’s interesting is that your body will uptick the miscellaneous movements to burn extra energy which makes this plausible to most people who think about it. The truth is grey and there is no studies or data showing that anything like what is described will or frequently does occur.

The truth is there are a lot of people who want people to follow this method of ketogenic eating, typically because they sell goods which are benefited from this approach without people in mind.

The other reason is that they sell services to help “fix your personal issues” where they “consult” to help you modify your diet to lose weight and then use you for “social proof” to get the next set of consults to make money.

Nutritional Ketosis (AKA: Ketogains Approach)

This approach will get you results, hands down. The term “nutritional ketosis” is centered around an intake in quality food products with a specific goal in mind before starting.

It was coined by Dr. Phinney and requires planning and preparation as you need to get your food choices down for their macronutrients, micronutrients, and more.

While this approach yields results, many people look at the nutrient profile and can only see the higher percentage of protein intake. This goes against some wizards “70-75%” fat intake and for some causes them irritation at the slightest mention.

The other thing needed is to track and follow your caloric intake. This is again where the general populace freaks out as there has been this widening gap of people who think calories don’t matter.

While in part this is not a crazy thought, you can manage the calculation through knowing your intake, over time managing your intake you will start to make those choices without charting everything.

Nutritional Ketosis followers have shown though that time and time again they get results in good time without a crazy amount of working out. If you put in the time and the effort you will get amazing body transformational results, but the work is due ever damn day.

If you do choose to work out you get even more dramatic results from your efforts. There was a guy who recently lost 202 lbs in one year through following this style of plan and he couldn’t hit the gym hard for a long part of the year.

Final Thoughts on What is Strict Keto vs Dirty Keto and More

While I see the benefits to each style in certain ways, I feel you should always take the path that gets you to your chosen style of life the most efficiently.

In almost every case this is nutritional ketosis and following a higher protein intake to ensure you don’t lose lean muscle mass while in a fat loss mode or to help gain muscle if in strength gaining mode.

I think many times we choose a diet based on incorrect statements or misheard conversations which sets us up for issues where we compare ourselves to others.

Your fat loss journey or muscle growth journey will not be the same as ANYONE else. You can only compare you to you, stop wasting your time comparing yourself to others, and learn how to compare yourself to last months you, 6 months ago you, etc.

I hope that this helps some with the slang used for methods of tracking, if it helped you please comment below and let me know and share with others you know are looking to become a ketogenic dieter to help them make the right choice up front.

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