This past week, I started doing something new! I decided to track macros. I was getting really discouraged by an 18 day stall and decided I needed a change. So I switched from Lazy Keto to tracking Macro’s. But before I get too far into my experience, lets talk about the pro’s and con’s of Lazy Keto and what exactly it is!
Lazy keto, is a way of eating a ketogenic diet that does not require tracking calories or macro’s. Lazy keto removes the complication of counting fat and protein, and simply requires you to track your net carbs. This is so much easier for people who aren’t used to tracking anything, let alone exactly how much fat, protein, and carbs they’re taking in everyday. Add the complication of completely turning their world upside down by saying carbs are bad, but fat is good!? It can be totally overwhelming. Hence, Lazy Keto!
When people ask me how to start a ketogenic diet, this is the way I immediately recommend. Implementing a ketogenic diet is a daunting task — you’re removing a ton of foods that you were used to eating with every meal for so long. While you’re learning exactly what foods you can and cannot have, I personally believe that adding an extra layer of complication (AKA: Macro’s) can totally deter someone from a ketogenic diet.
Not surprisingly, this is why when I restarted my ketogenic journey, I started with Lazy Keto.
In my opinion, there are a number of benefits to lazy keto. Those include:
- Simplified tracking: this is particularly true for people who have never tracked before, or for people like myself who find it tedious and exhausting to track everything everyday.
- No Ratios/Macros to worry about: Again, this kind of goes with the above, but having to worry about fat/protein/carb ratios or macro nutrients can be overwhelming. Removing that complexity makes adapting to this diet a little easier.
- Simplified food choices: For me, using lazy keto was a way to identify carby foods, and ultimately narrow my choices. Towards the end, I was sticking to as few carbs as possible, as it was easier to track!
There are also a number of Con’s to Lazy Keto
- Carb Creep: This is the biggest issue with Lazy Keto. Carb Creep, by my definition, is the slow and gradual increase in carbs, simply from assuming that you’re still under your carb limit. Its the mindset of “oh, well three more carbs in this dressing won’t hurt” *as you add 2-3 servings*. Carb creep can halt your weight loss.
- Serving size: Without tracking macro’s, Lazy Keto’ers can often get in the midset of “oh i’ll just add some cheese to this!” or “that looks like a cup… maybe?” Its so easy for serving sizes to get so blown out of proportion. Increased Serving size = increase calories.
- Under/Over inake of calories: As you’re not tracking calories, you don’t really know how much food your eating. If you’re only eating when you’re hungry, you could be under eating. On the flip side, you could be blowing portion sizing out of the water and overeating a ton of calories.
While I was making great progress using lazy keto to help me lose weight, I began to stall. A nearly 20 day stretch of time where I was just bouncing between 3 pounds. After reviewing my goals, I decided it was time to track everything I ate for a few days to discover any carb creep.
I tracked everything down to the splenda I was using in my tea(hint: Liquid =0 carbs, poweder = 1 carb per packet) Sure enough, there it was. I was consuming a lot of water throughout the day with tea. But in that tea, I was adding 2 powdered splenda, and 1-3 True lemon flavoring packets. Mind you these packets say “less than 1 carb”, so many would think its 0 carb, but not when you’re having multiple a day!
In addition to that, my portions were way off. I was eat one big meal a day, which typically consisted of 1 normal sized meal. Some meals were WAY too few calories, and other were far too many calories! While I’m still eating one meal a day, it consists of more protein and less carbs, than prior. Additionally, my portions were way off. What I had estimated to be 1/2 a cup of cheese, was actually a cup or more! This was resulting in way more calories than I thought I was.
- Calories: 1440
- Carbs: 18 grams
- Fat: 104 grams
- Protein: 108 grams
I’m happy to report, in the first week of eating macro’s (7 days, unfortunately not in line weight my weekly weigh-in) I lost 6 pounds!! To say I was surprised when I logged my weight the first few days is an understatement. I was shocked. I was eating way more food, specifically protein than I was used to, yet I was still able to lose weight!? Heck yes!!
Adding more protein to my diet was a struggle for me. I don’t know for sure, but I’m thinking I was only getting about 50 or 60 grams of protein a day before I started tracking. Since I eat everything in one big meal(intermittent fasting), taking in so much protein at one time can be overwhelming. I was eating larger meals with different foods like cod and shrimp, two foods we don’t regularly have. Additionally, I found I had to still supplement that with a protein shake as I was still unable to physically eat that much protein in one meal.
As far as tracking, I found that its easier to log your day when you have similar foods daily. It gives you a rough idea of where to start and what quantities you need to eat. For this week, I tended to lean towards the same handful of foods because I knew they’d help me meet my macros. I found it was easier if i logged everything the day before, or at least before any food was consumed. It’s a lot easier to plan out your macro’s and know exactly what you can eat versus eating half the day then needing to figure out what you can squeeze into your macros.
- Correct Portion Sizes: Measuring and tracking everything ensures that the macros you tracked are actually the ones you ate.
- Understanding of portion sizes: Measuring food helps to bring awareness of the correct portions you should be consuming everyday.
- Better able to plan your day: By logging my macros, I found it was easier to plan my day. Typically I log all my macros during the day or even the night before, which has helped better plan for meals out.
- Consistency: If you like to eat the same thing everyday tracking macro’s can be super simple for you.
- Time: Tracking everything takes a lot of time. I spend a good 20-30 minutes trying to understand what I can eat to make my macro’s work. It entails a lot of changing portion sizes, adding and removing items, and basically trial and error.
- Lots of Dirty dishes: Maybe its just me, but I found when I was measuring everything out, I had ton more dishes than I normally do. Between measuring cups, mixing bowls, and plates I was running the dishwasher way more!
So my plan for next week is to up my fat intake and lower my protein intake. I’m doing this for a few reasons: 1. I’m struggling to meet that protein goal. 2. That goal is in the middle of my range, which means I can comfortably decrease the protein lower without losing muscle, and 3. I want to increase the fat to decrease the hunger.
- Calories: 1427
- Carbs: 18 grams
- Fat: 111 grams
- Protein: 89 grams
If you’re looking to start tracking your Macros, I encourage you use This Keto Calculator or stay tuned for a future post!