In the fitness industry, the term clean has a profound meaning. On the contrary, dirty means something bad, like unhealthy fats, junk food, or something else. Clean refers to healthy and clean food and products and is generally accepted as a blueprint for a healthier life and slimming down. While dirty means…well, something that should be avoided, it’s not like that at all when it comes to the keto diet. There are several different approaches to it including the lazy and dirty keto diet. While the terms are viewed as a negative, that kind of approach to the keto diet is not bad at all.
Read our guide to the dirty keto diet and learn why it’s not dirty at all.
What’s a Dirty Keto Diet?
In the world of keto dieting, the term dirty is not a negative. As a matter of fact, it’s a specific approach to the keto diet that allows you to focus on getting the important macronutrients, but not paying a lot of attention to the quality of the food.
In short, the dirty keto diet allows you to add some bacon, sliced cheese, or pork rinds into the diet as long as you’re clear on the macronutrients. Your calories should still come in the same way – 60-75% from fat, 15-30% from protein, and 5-10% from carbs. With the dirty approach, it doesn’t matter if you’re getting these macronutrients from olive oil or pork rinds as long as the ratio is maintained.
In our keto diet book, the dirty and lazy keto approaches offer much more freedom than any other diet. While similar, are they the same?
Dirty vs. Lazy Keto – Are They the Same?
Let’s talk about the lazy keto diet first. It’s a unique approach that can do away without so much focus on all the macronutrients. With this approach, you should only worry about your carb intake, not the protein or fat intake. This allows you to sneak in a few ‘forbidden fruits’ as long as your carb goals are fulfilled.
The lazy keto diet starts with you defining a daily carb limit – it can be anywhere from 20 to 50 gr. per day. Stick to it, and everything else doesn’t matter. The dirty keto diet takes that approach and expands it further, allowing you to eat anything you want to if the macronutrients are covered.
As long as you stick to the original 60-35-5% keto diet ratio (or anything similar to these numbers), you can eat a burger if it fits. That’s why it’s called ‘dirty’ – it allows you to eat cheat meals if you keep the ratio right.
As you can see, there are differences between the dirty and lazy keto approaches. They are not one and the same. Both enable you to stick to a custom keto plan compared to the original diet that doesn’t allow much room in terms of foods.
What are the Disadvantages?
While the dirty keto diet can be beneficial, eating a lot of junk food can cause a variety of health problems. There’s bloating and other digestive problems along with a big chance that you’ll gain the weight you’ve lost during ketosis.
There are plenty of disadvantages to this type of approach, so instead of following it to the dot, make it an occasional thing. A custom keto plan with the dirty approach will allow you to eat a delicious burger every once in a while. Just don’t do it every day. You’ll mess up your keto diet and load up on nutrients you don’t really need.
If you’re going out and you can’t resist a meal, have it. Just keep in mind to go back to your regular keto diet plan when you’ve satisfied your cravings. If you keep it occasional, you will be able to stay in ketosis and lose weight while eating the “forbidden fruits”.
Dirty Keto Diet FAQ
Can I eat anything on the dirty keto diet?
While you can eat a broader range of foods than you can with the regular keto diet, a dirty keto diet plan doesn’t mean you can just eat anything you like. Instead, it allows a few ‘cheat’ meals as long as they cover the macronutrients.
Can I have burgers?
Yes, but occasionally. Eating burgers often is not great for you even if you’re not on the keto diet. If you’re out and there is a low-carb version of a burger, you’re allowed to have it.
What about alcohol?
The keto diet itself including the dirty plan allows you to have an occasional drink. Make sure to keep to the lighter alcohol variants – no regular beer is allowed. A glass od dry white wine or light beer is fine. You can read more about drinking alcohol on keto here.
Do I need a dirty keto app to keep track of the macronutrients?
If you have a good dirty keto plan, a keto app won’t be necessary. Some people still like to use these apps as they allow them to keep track of the macronutrients easily. Try both approaches and see what works best for you.
Should I go for the dirty keto diet?
Our recommendation would be to make it an occasional thing rather than blindly following a dirty keto diet plan. Processed food is not good for you – it won’t help you lose weight and may harm your health as well.