I saw the term “Lazy Keto” on social media recently and thought that quite nicely describes what we are currently doing. We don’t measure out food on a gram scale unless we batch cook a favorite recipe, we don’t count carbs, we don’t check ketones very often and we cook meals that are below the 3:1 ratio he was originally prescribed. We are still very strict about what our keto kid eats, and if I had to guess we are still probably in the 2:1 ratio range.
We aren’t quite doing MAD (Modified Atkins Diet, 1:1 ratio) in which you focus on keeping your carb count to under 20 grams per day (for reference a medium size banana has about 27 grams of carbs and 8 oz of apple juice has about 26 grams of carbs). The 20 gram carb limit varies depending on your dietitians calculations of age, height, weight, BMI and individual nutrient requirements. But we have instead evolved a more give-and-take approach.
If Drake eats a strawberry he has to eat it with whipped heavy cream, if he eats keto pizza he has to drink a keto smoothie, if he eats a keto hamburger (no bun) he has to also eat mayo with every bite, if he eats Halo Top Ice Cream he has to eat a frozen coconut butter bunny . I guess I should call this Balanced Keto instead of Lazy Keto. So simply put, if Drake eats carbs or protein, we balance it out with fat, which interestingly for us, means relying more heavily on heavy cream (see heavy cream article).
So…What exactly is Lazy Keto?
First off, I must admit, I’m not necessarily encouraging Lazy Keto, especially for those who are just starting out, or do not have symptoms under control, but to us Lazy Keto means we eyeball portion sizes, we don’t limit protein, especially bacon or sausage which is also a good source of fat, and we keep carbs very low, but loosely tracked. Drake only eats foods “on diet”, absolutely no cheating (see article about foods by ratio) and we still maintain focus on having lots of fat with every meal.
Honestly, I feel like my keto kid eats a healthier and more balanced diet than my non keto kid. In part because we don’t subscribe to the “If It Fits Your Macro” (IIFYM) trend in which you can eat anything you want as long as it fits within your carb count. This could include sugar, grains, rice and processed foods. Eating unhealthy foods, even in small amounts isn’t the way to deal with a metabolic disorder in our opinion. In theory one can eat a tiny snack of M&Ms or Doritos as long as it can fits within your macro profile (Fat = Carb + Protein – Fiber). But that is a slippery slope that could easily lead to secret binging and over consuming carbs if not tightly controlled and micro-managed by the parent. We are hoping to stave off Drake cheating on his diet by eating junk food until he at least hits puberty.
We are not the health food police. He still eats lots of Lily’s dark chocolate and Halo-Top ice cream which are both artificially sweetened by sugar alcohols (see article Keeping Keto Sweet). This isn’t a weight loss diet or a “mental shift to a more healthy relationship with food” diet. This is about staying in ketosis, eating yummy food, and having his ataxia and dyskinesia controlled.
I have heard that sometimes the body can adapt too much to the added carbs of the lower ratio and symptoms can come back over time. Meaning that the lower ratio can work for awhile, but maybe not over a long period. We will see. As always, Drake is balancing on the knife edge of ketosis — too high of ketones didn’t seem to add any benefit for him and caused a zinc mineral deficiency due to the strong acidic environment of ketones in the blood. Now we will see how the low ketone approach goes. And we will keep you posted on this Lazy Keto idea.