There is a way to do a lazy ketogenic diet for Vegans which incorporates the dietary restrictions of not only the ketogenic diet but also the dietary requirements of Vegans. Some food options in the lazy keto diet for Vegans include; seitan, sea moss, avocado, raspberries, mushrooms, and more.
The lazy ketogenic diet (also referred to as lazy keto or relaxed keto) is a variant of the traditional ketogenic diet (referred to as normal or strict keto). There is also a third variant called the dirty ketogenic diet. Although, this is not really relevant if you are combining the ketogenic diet with the Vegan diet.
Below we will discuss the variations. For now, just make a mental note that a ketogenic diet for Vegans is possible.
What is the Ketogenic diet?
The Ketogenic diet is where you cut your carbohydrate intake to a small daily amount. While cutting carbohydrates, you raise your healthy fat intake as a replacement. You make this change while also making sure that you maintain a healthy protein intake.
The aim is to have your body run out of carbohydrates to use as fuel. This, in turn, will result in the body turning stored and or consumed fats into ketogens using the liver. When you are using ketogens as a fuel source, you are deemed to be in ketosis.
And what is the Vegan diet?
The Vegan diet is where your diet does not consist of any animal products, or animal by-products. As a result, the Vegan diet is predominately plant-based. You rely on a number of foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, etc. to maintain a healthy nutrient and mineral intake.
I hear hype about “dirty keto”
The dirty keto is yet another variant of the ketogenic diet. It holds little relevance however if you plan to do a ketogenic diet with a Vegan diet. Dirty keto is where you still ensure your carbohydrate count low, but you are not strict on your intake of other foods. The main appeal of dirty keto is that you can eat anything you want, including processed and unhealthy foods.
The only thing you are required to do is keep your carbohydrates down. If you are following a Vegan diet and removing most of the carbohydrates, there aren’t too many unhealthy or processed foods left available for consumption anyway.
So what is there to the Lazy Ketogenic diet for Vegans?
The principles are simple. Eat foods that are congruent with the ketogenic diet but that are also Vegan-friendly. While your food choices are limited compared to doing the diets separately, there are plenty of options still available. Items such as berries, non-starchy vegetables, nuts and seeds, tofu or even Seitan are all great examples of both ketogenic and Vegan-friendly foods.
The main benefit of following a ketogenic diet for Vegans is that you are restricted to eating foods which are healthy and high in quality nutrients. Any foods that fit both the Vegan and ketogenic diet tend to be quality foods such as nuts, vegetables, and seeds!
What’s the difference between “normal keto” and “lazy keto”?
The difference between the two is that a traditional ketogenic diet is quite strict in how many carbohydrates, fats, and proteins you should be intaking every day. The calculations for your recommended daily intake is generally around:
- 5% Carbohydrates
- 15-25% Protein
- 70-80% Fats
A truly strict and proper ketogenic diet will also include visiting your doctor or purchasing urine sample kits which are used to determine if you are in ketosis or not.
Under a lazy ketogenic diet, the main factor you would be focused on is ensuring that your carbohydrate intake is at around 5%. For the average person, this means somewhere near 20 grams of carbohydrates daily.
The rest of your intake (fats and proteins) is at a variable percentage amount. There is also no restriction on how many calories you consume per day.
With this said, whether a regular or lazy ketogenic diet, you should always be aiming to eat quality, healthy foods. When using a lazy ketogenic diet for Vegans or non-Vegans, this is even more important.
As your protein and fat intake percentages will vary, it is vital you ensure the quality of foods is high. Eating poor quality foods will increase your chances of not being in ketosis. To top this off, it could also lead to other health problems in the future.
There are some drawbacks of lazy keto however
While having flexibility in your fat and protein intake may seem to make the ketogenic diet simpler, it does have some drawbacks:
- Excess protein can kick you out of ketosis
The whole concept of ketosis is restricting the body’s ability to produce glycogen as a fuel source.
Usually, your body will break down carbohydrates and sugars and turn them into glycogen. By swapping out carbohydrates for fats, your body is forced to switch to using ketones, an alternative fuel source.
Excess protein can lead to a process called gluconeogenesis. This is where your body turns the excess protein into sugars, resulting in your body returning to glucose as its primary fuel source.
- Lack of fats can leave you hungry
Healthy fats help you to feel fuller for longer. By reducing the fats consumed and eating more protein, you may experience increased hunger cravings.
While this isn’t too much of an issue regarding calorie count, it could become an issue if you begin to over-consume protein. As above, this could lead to gluconeogenesis and take the body out of the ketogenic state.
- Excess fat intake can leave you in a major calorie deficit
As fats leave you feeling fuller for longer, eating excess fats may lead to not feeling hungry for long periods of time.
While weight loss may be your goal, this is not a healthy way to complete a ketogenic diet as you could be potentially starving yourself. Having a major calorie deficit can lead to a number of health issues and result in unhealthy and unsustainable weight loss.
- You can miss vital nutrients in your diet
As a lazy ketogenic diet is much less restricted than a normal ketogenic diet, it is possible to miss vital nutrients.
A normal ketogenic diet will generally be planned out to contain a wide variety of required nutrients and minerals. A lazy ketogenic diet may lead to some of these being missed.
While in the short term some may not be an issue, it could have negative health effects over a longer period of time.
Summing it all up
Overall, lazy keto can still be a viable diet, but in my opinion it seems to lack long term diet potential. Your body can adapt to the change, but can face the various issues described above if there isn’t some form of stricter keto in the long term.
I have had success in weight loss and increased mental clarity using the lazy ketogenic diet in the short term. The periods I did this were no longer than a month before reverting back to a non-keto diet.
The shorter period allowed me to achieve my goals while not stressing my body out to an unhealthy level. When I combined it with intermittent fasting, I also found I felt lighter and had more energy when it came to mental tasks.
Have you tried a ketogenic diet for Vegans? What success did you achieve? Or did you face some challenges? Leave a comment and let us know!