What’s the difference between dirty, lazy, and clean KETO (and FaceBook/Social Media KETO)?

This is a very popular topic of conversation around here! There's so many pros and cons for each one, just when you set them side-by-side and try to objectively analyze which might be best for you. And even after you read this whole article, in the end know that it is going to boil down to what you can do that's right for you and that you can do for a lifetime to keep you happy, healthy, fit, energetic and most of all not worrying about dieting over and over and over. So starting with my  journey, at the beginning,  I did a lot of evaluation looking at the different options and trying to figure out which ones would please me (yes, for once I actually cared about what would make ME happy), which ones I could sustain without feeling deprived or hungry, and also looking at the health benefits or in some cases health risks of each one. Most of all looking at the ones that seemed practical to my life and household schedule was important. Also  in my case I wasn't considering making a choice that would have to impact small children at home,  all of my household partners are adults and so I wasn't concerned now as I was once at the impact of my choices on growing children. If you are in the position where your life and food choices are going to impact other people especially children then you need to take that factor into account. Not every form of KETO is right for people of every age and for that matter depending on who they are and what their health is like, what their food preferences are, what they might be allergic to, or may  have difficulty digesting as in the case of gluten. All of these things are factors in decisions when you are changing your lifestyle for the better and most importantly for good!

So here is a comparison from my perspective, as a person who has lost over half of my body weight, knows quite a bit about science and health and nourishment from my own analysis over the years and supported by several advanced academic degrees (I have a Master's and a Ph.D) oh, and I am also a KETO certified coach.  But again not as a nutritionist or medical professional just based on my knowledge, my research and my experience here is a summary of my findings. You still need to do your own comparison and your own self evaluation to make the choice right for you.

So first let's just look at the obvious KETO options. And then I'll give you a few more flavors, if you will, that might be something to consider like intermittent fasting and OMAD (one meal a day).

I always look at KETO as having four options, although others think that there are only three. So the three biggest are Dirty KETO, Lazy KETO, and Clean KETO. I'd also like to add the one that I call Facebook or Social Media KETO. Let's take the last one first. More than half of what I read on social media especially KETO Facebook groups is wrong, just plain wrong, or at least incomplete or without crucial details and some is even dangerous.   Frighteningly, I see posts wherein a person who wants to start fasting asks others in a group - “does it mean to fast that you don’t eat or drink anything?” and multiple responses were to the effect that even water should not be drunk on a fast.  That has ZERO truth.   It is a perfect example of advice that could kill someone under the right conditions.  And there are so many more.  Oh, surely it comes from a good intention I am sure, people on KETO and members of such groups are simply sharing things they have done and worked for them, but they communicate it as if it is right for everyone and they seem to be recommending it.  So beware of such things.  First, the posters may not be qualified to advise others on medical and health issues - (take it with a grain of salt as they say), do we forget that when you read posts? Second,  Facebook and no other social media platform were ever intended to be validated medical databases from which you draw good safe advice or to replace doctors, nurses or nutritionists - so remember what they are for and you will stay safer.  FaceBook is intended for communication, social interaction, fun, entertainment, and even support - but really - do you get your most important life advice at a cocktail party? Or on a golf course? If you do - you need to rethink it (lol!) and Facebook sites and other social media sites are no more or less than a party or a golf game when it comes to validity - I always advise anyone I am helping on the journey just to be careful,and as they used to say “consider the source” before you take advice at all about anything especially your body.  ALSO, beware the agendas of those you may notice are selling something related to KETO that they will tell you is the end all and be all for your QUICK  success and you MUST have that product.  I am happy to say I have never touched a urine test strip or taken a KETONE in any form, bought any of the special KETO products that are being massively marketed  and lost 119 lbs FOREVER - so clearly these are options, maybe great ones for some, but not a must - just a choice. I guess that is my point here - what you choose in the type of KETO and everything else is YOURS and yours alone.  We are confident you will make the right one for you - we are here to help with that!


When you see posts on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or even Twitter let's not exclude YouTube videos that make claims that seem impossible they probably are. And when you hear people boasting about how they lost 50 lb in a month, that sounds really good but losing 50 lb in a month could actually kill you without proper hydration, nutritional support, and many other factors. We here at Keto Superheroes are not about big fast violent acts against our bodies just to be able to fit into a dress for a prom or wedding because we've all learned that. Short-term thinking only leads to more weight being regained and even  poorer self-image (the worst effect of all), slower metabolism and we all know more self-hate and never will get you to a long-term fitness,  happiness and health level that you really want. So we're really not about quick and dirty or quick and fast or crash dieting. If that's what you're looking for, of course we still care about you and want you to do well, but we will not guide you into a risky situation that is only temporary.  There's plenty of other people out there that are happy to do that and frankly we feel people that are pursuing short-term crash dieting will eventually be looking just as we did, for a long-term solution answer will be here for you when you're ready.  

So how do  Clean, Dirty, and Lazy KETO compare?

The best KETO strategy when it comes to reliable and consistent weight loss is one in which you can keep your carbs most days under 20 carbs. I say most days because life happens and sometimes you want foods that are really good for you but happen to have a few extra carbs - so on those days even the strictest Keto enthusiasts  may go to 25 or even 30 carbs and still remain in low carb KETO boundaries.  Some people say that when they are planning their foods they use a rough thumbnail estimate of 15 to 20% carbs, the same or a little higher in proteins, and the rest fat...maybe 15/15/70 or 10/20/70 or 10/15/75 and so on.  These percentages or numbers of grams of each food type are what people refer to as MACROS (macronutrients).  You get it - we are talking low carb, medium/moderate protein, and high fat.  (I know! I know! it is still hard for me to wrap my head around that - but high fat is the path that helped me lose 119 pounds of it - so go figure!) Depending on your size, you will need to adjust how much protein you need to stay healthy and give your body what it needs. Your free Keto Superheroes coach can help customize your plan -so you do not need to guess.  By doing this,(plus enough hydration, sleep, activity, and de-stressing) you will create the ideal physical and nutritional environment that will allow you to enter the wonderful world of KETOsis, and go from being a carb burner to a fat burner! 

There are many different ways to go about this (some healthier than others and some not): 

  1. Clean KETO -Is focused on eating whole, nutrient dense foods but staying within the macros discussed above. People who follow this food plan reduce their carb intake to 20% of their overall foods or less, generally have a moderate level of protein of 15-20% of their daily calories and a high fat intake depending could be 70% or more. It consists of whole fresh foods from quality sources, for example, free range eggs, wild caught seafood, non starchy vegetables and low carb fruit. In this lifestyle, Clean Keto does not include traditional grains, rice, potatoes, or typical wheat flour based pastries, bread, or pasta. However, anything one used to eat before can be made Keto style - we have proven that here at Keto SuperHeroes, so no one really has to give up their favorites. The KETO foodies of the world and many people who have successfully lost weight on KETO have created literally thousands of recipes (Please see 60 days KetoSuperheroes NO NONSENSE NO BOREDOM FUN food plan and top pix recipes for inspiration).  The internet and cookbooks are teeming with amazing delicious foods that incorporate every nutrient needed for health and abide by the MACRO guidelines for Clean Keto.  BUT without self love and self care a willingness to invest a few minutes (we mean like 15) to prepare food for oneself, with no interest in planning and the like, Clean KETO will not work.  Of them all, this type of KETO forces us to focus on ourselves at least a little, A person on  clean KETO especially when varying his or her foods, and trying new things, getting enough green leafy vegetables and some fruit will  need to track his or her  macros every day (this which includes their daily carbs, protein and fat). Again some on the journey do not want to take the moment everyday to do this, even with the help of a handy app like MyFitnessPal.com or CarbManager.com which would risk failure. Based on our experience and stats so far, Clean Keto has two additional clear advantages over the others. First, in a mixed household with children and others on Keto and not, Clean Keto is the most flexible and desirable because it easily can feed a mixed crowd.  The KETO sweets, snacks and desserts are highly popular with most humans regardless of if they have adopted KETO or not.  Second, Clean KETO is sustainable - there is an army of people out there that have lost weight on Clean KETO and adopted it as a forever lifestyle because at home, at work, at play, on vacation, business trips and in any other situation they can continue to do what's right for themselves without falling back into old habits.  
  2. Dirty KETO -  This is designed for those who want to achieve KETOsis without having to spend lots of time cooking, yet still adhering to the macros of KETO and losing weight super fast.  For example, someone who is following Dirty KETO might have a grilled double beef bacon burger with cheese or butter without a bun for dinner instead of a grilled chicken and may even opt to eat a small wedge of lettuce with high fat dressing or just olives. The nutritional value of foods like this is not optimal based on what healthy bodies need. Many Dirty KETO meals are very high in sodium based on options within the range of ready to eat, frozen, or store bought foods. High sodium foods have been found to be linked with high blood pressure and potential heart disease so reliance on them is a risk factor to be considered (especially as one gets older). Also the nutritional value, the minerals, vitamins and such that come from more balanced diets based on fresh foods are often missing in the diet of those on Dirty Keto. To find out more, see this link: Dirty vs. Clean KETO: All You Need to Know (healthline.com). Some foods are often a part of Dirty Keto because they are convenient and require no prep, also contain more or hidden carbs. But perhaps the great irony of it all, is the sugars and carbohydrates found in some processed foods utilized by people on Dirty KETO. actually get in the way of reaching and maintaining KETOsis.Based on this evidence, it is no surprise that  people who follow “Dirty KETO” often go on and off of it - it can be boring and some suffer digestion issues because the combo of hidden or known carbs and high fat is challenging sometimes. People who adhere to Dirty KETO still would need to check their carbohydrate, fat and protein intake every day, and would need to track their macros, but it is not as great a focus as on Clean Keto.  Without planning and monitoring your intake of food, it's hard to stay on course on any KETO.  Again, taking a moment for yourself every day is essential no matter what to lose weight and keep it off, and the truth is, you are worth it. 
  3. Lazy KETO - This methodology is considered the least restrictive version of all the KETO food meal plans. Lazy KETO, like Clean KETO, encourages one to restrict one’s carb intake to 5-10% of daily calories around 20-50 grams per day. Unlike the other two KETO types, though  there are no guidelines regarding the tracking of one’s fat or protein. So while this may sound great (for those who want to continue to eat large portions of protein) and may work for some individuals, the reality is that Lazy KETO can be quite dangerous to a person’s overall health and sadly also ineffective in one’s hope of weight loss: The first problem is that Lazy KETO makes it very hard to enter and stay in KETOsis (the process whereby you become a fat burner rather than a carb burner).  The reason why is that it’s simply not enough to reduce your carbs. You need to limit  the amount of your protein intake  and increase your fats to become an efficient fat burner over the long term.  This involves tracking all of your macros, not just carbs- it is way too easy to overdo protein!. Your body, if offered too much protein will be happy to convert protein into glucose through gluconeogenesis, thus converting it into more carbs - not the goal here!  The second is that calories although not the focus of KETO like carbs DO matter. ! Lazy KETO, actually poses a significant risk for one to have nutrient rich foods found in fresh fruits, veggies, and can deprive one of needed vitamins, minerals and fiber...all needed for healthy bodies.
  4. IF or Intermittent Fasting is the plan for timeboxing eating specifically and allowing your body to enjoy a period when it has no or little work to do to support digestion. Why? First, it often gets your body out of a slump or plateau if you are experiencing one, Secondly because it triggers autophagy (when your body conducts a kind of internal housekeeping that reduces the number of unneeded, old, corrupted and unnecessary cells by digesting and absorbing them). Old fat cells, for example,  that have been emptied of their contents and no longer needed because you have not refilled them by overeating are absorbed in this way, which is great on multiple counts.  Since cancers are simply overproduction of unneeded cells, there are theories that regular autophagy can be a hedge against unwanted cells that can contribute to cancerous growths as well.  If there is even a chance that this is true - I am in! Also IF,  to many, just feels great - for many it is a cleansing and energizing experience they enjoy,as a new facet of a new healthy life. There are several ways to do it: Some follow the 5:2 rule, wherein five days of the week, a person will eat “normal” meals and the other two  will eat extremely small ones of around 500 calories. Others may choose not to eat for twenty four hours. We do not under any circumstances recommend this unless ordered by a physician for some reason. Remember KETO = Self Love, not self harm! Others may practice time-restrictive eating such as eating for eight hours and fasting for six. Others do “switch off”days”, where they fast in the morning (drinking bullet coffee for breakfast) and then start eating at lunch or snack after they finish exercising for four days a week...three days a week, where they eat “normal” meals. Intermittent fasting choices should depend on a person’s health, level of activity and his or her comfort level. Some simply fast for 16 hours daily and eat only during an 8 hour window. FYI, there are some individuals who should not do intermittent fasting without consulting a doctor, people who are diabetic, hyperglycemic, etc. So if you feel this is something you want to try, please have a conversation with your doctor before attempting to do any version of intermittent fasting. If you can do it and want to, it could be something to incorporate into your life that will support your weight loss and your sustainment of that ideal weight and level of fitness, that makes you happy and healthy forever. Your Keto Superheroes Coach can discuss options with you in more detail and get you started.
  5. OMAD- One Meal A Day is a different type of intermittent, but more restrictive fasting. An OMAD individual might fast for twenty three hours a day, and then for one hour eat all necessary daily calories for the day. Now before you say, “That is crazy!” Please remember that people who follow this methodology would still need to consume their daily required amount of water or other liquids to be fully hydrated, and could enjoy KETO coffee (some do Bullet Coffee every morning fasting or not). They would just consume their daily calories at one meal. Depending on the person’s health, level of activity, preferences, work schedule and comfort levels some can and some should not attempt this fasting methodology. Examples of this would be the elderly with certain conditions, children,  and others with certain health challenges who should probably consider another KETO type. To understand more about OMAD, the positive and negative aspects of it from a research basis, and general rules about OMAD, please click on this link: What You Need to Know About OMAD — Diet Doctor. All the Keto SuperHero Coaches here are intermittent fasters and can share their experience with you and help you make your choice if you like. 

Top Choice 

The clear choice for people that are making a decision to care for themselves, to change their minds about their previous self images, to invest the time and energy in themselves for a holistic change, get to the version of themselves they can really love and admire - Clean KETO is the clear choice.  Clean KETO can result in consistent, fairly rapid weight loss (2 lbs per week) PERMANENTLY, because you can do it forever.  It is built around what your body needs but formulated to support body weight loss and maintenance of your life as a fit healthy person. Coupled with decisions and commitment to yourself in moving your body around, nourishing and supporting its needs,getting proper sleep, addressing your stress, building in your guilty pleasures, learning how to deal with the cynics and haters, and in general transitioning to a stronger healthier self actualized person - Clean KETO is really hard to beat.  AND if you have a mixed household and/or children to feed - it allows the flexibility and diversity of endless options for every day including special holidays.


KETO TYPE      (assuming proper hydration, MACROs, activity, sleep, de-stressing)

Balanced Nutrition 

Flexible in mixed household

Sustainable long term



Best with intermittent fasting, daily activity, OMAD for faster safe weight loss up to 2 lbs per week safely 


Possibly with thought and planning, and augmenting the diet with enough vegetables and fruit for the non-KETO members of the household

Good for short term plans, not nutritionally sound enough for long term, and with high recidivism


Possibly with thought and planning

Possibly with thought and planning

Possibly with thought and planning

If the “lazy” choices are made with health and balance in mind, it's possible to lose weight and keep it off, but there is more risk because there are less food options and the lazy philosophy is to not spend time on oneself which can limit self care, a requirement for sustainability.

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