Dirty Keto – What is it and how to succeed?
We’ve all heard about fad diets. There’s Paleo (but do we really know what people ate in the paleolithic period?), there’s Atkins, there’s Weight Watchers, there’s facing the moon on the seventh day of the seventh month and humming atonaly for fifteen minutes (maybe that one’s not real, but you get the point).
And there’s Keto.
We’ve heard it said in passing, around the water cooler.
“Hey Chuck, how did you lose all that weight?”
“Well, Mary. I’ve been doing Keto.”
So, what is keto? What is Clean Keto and Dirty Keto?
Does Keto even work? Chuck is a notorious liar, so did he actually lose weight eating bacon?
In this article, we are going to dive deep into the dirty (Keto) and figure out what it’s about, what diets there are and how to lose the pounds… while still eating bacon.
Quick Reference Guide
- What is Keto, anyway?
- How do you know you’re in Ketosis?
- Dirty Vs Clean – The Down and Dirty of Clean Keto Vs Dirty Keto.
- Dirty Keto Foods
- The Problems with Dirty Keto
- Why would you do Dirty Keto at all?
- So much information! Just tell me what to eat!
- Keto Cookbooks
- Dirty Keto And Alcohol
What is Keto, anyway?
Keto is a type of diet that relies on some natural body processes in order to lose weight.
What does that mean?
It means get your reading glasses on, because you’re in for an anatomy and physiology lesson.
Keto diets rely on forcing the body into Ketosis, a state that burns fat for energy instead of the usual carbohydrates.
Your brain needs energy. That’s why starvation doesn’t work as a diet. So, you basically change your body to use the fats retained (read: love handles) instead of the usual carbohydrates that it would normally use to keep going. It involves a complex process of breaking down fats in order to produce energy in the liver.
Your body enters a state of ketosis when you limit the amount of carbs you eat a day. It can take between one and four days to enter a state of ketosis and start burning that excess fat as energy.
How do you know you’re in Ketosis?
Once your body enters a state of ketosis, it can take a few days to get used to burning fats as energy. The various effects of ketosis can vary, and it really depends on your body on how you will feel. Some common side effects are:
- Bad Breath
- Appetite Suppression
- Keto Flu
- Increase focus and energy
- Excess Urination (peeing)
- Weight Loss
So, the big one on this list is the Keto Flu. What is it?
What is the Keto Flu?
The Keto Flu is a common list of side effects often experienced by people starting a keto diet. It can last for a few days or up to a week.
Common symptoms of a Keto Flu. Also common symptoms of a hangover. What’s the common denominator?
Keto diets cause excess urination. That excess urination can throw your electrolytes out of whack, causing a variety of symptoms above (so does drinking, which is why some of that sweet sweet sports drink is the best post night out).
But, once over the Keto Flu, most people say they feel way more energized and focused on a Keto Diet.
Dirty Vs Clean – The Down and Dirty of Clean Keto Vs Dirty Keto.
So, now you know a little about Keto. So what makes it dirty? What makes it clean?
Honestly, its really just about how pure your food is. Clean Keto is using whole foods and grass-fed animals in order to cut out carbohydrates in the diet. It can be expensive, as grass-fed beef is not cheap. Nor are avocados, whole foods, pure oils. It can actually get really expensive to be on a clean Keto diet.
A Dirty Keto diet allows processed foods, without the need for a hunting trip to get all your meat. That’s right, you’re allowed to have that juicy Baconator without the bun. That’s what dirty keto is… it’s the cheap and dirty way of getting your body into ketosis.
Dirty Keto Foods
So, we know what Keto is and why it works. Now it’s time for the fun stuff. What foods are you allowed to eat on dirty keto?
Buckle up. This is a ride through delicious with a stop at fat.
- Cream Cheese (full fat)
- Cottage Cheese
- Full Fat butter (for realsies)
- Cheese (all the cheese)
- Full Fat Mayonnaise (not a typo)
- Deli Meats
- Yogurt (gotta be plain, gotta be unsweetened. That other stuff is laden with the carbs)
- Diet Soda
- Full fat cream (for that elixir of life of coffee)
- Sugar Free Candies
There’s more. There’s a ton more, actually. But you get the picture. On a Dirty Keto diet, you get 20 g of carbs a day. Everything else is fair game.
Now, this sounds very very tempting. However, there are some problems with Dirty Keto that need to be addressed.
The Problems with Dirty Keto
Mom always said that when something is too good to be true, it probably is. Eating delicious, greasy, high-fat takeout every day is not healthy for you. At all. So, as tempting as it sounds to go and order every burger without a bun, it’s bad for you in the long run.
Processed foods are full of fillers, and those are often sugar or carb based. So, that ultra cheap and ultra delicious pepperoni at the deli counter? Can be full of carbs without you even knowing. That’s bad, because if you eat too many carbs on a keto diet, you won’t enter ketosis. Now you’re left with a high fat diet without ketosis (read: now you’re eating a ton more fat in your normal diet, making your love handles loooooove handles).
The problem with dirty keto is that it’s tough to find nutrients in heavily processed foods. So, your body doesn’t get enough nutrients that other organs need to survive. This is bad, and can make the Keto Flu last a lifetime. If you’re unable to regulate your nutrients, it can risk severe and long term-health problems.
Salt is great. We love salt. It makes everything taste better… Everything. Ever had black salt on eggs? You’re welcome. Try it, love it, send me the thoughts because it’s absolutely delicious.
Too much salt can lead to severe health problems, including:
- High blood pressure
- Fluid retention
- Heart Failure
- Kidney Failure
So, the big question is, why would you do Dirty Keto at all?
Everything is great – in moderation. So, a mostly clean Keto diet with the slips (we’re all human, you’re going to slip) being dirty keeps you in ketosis.
So that means that you stay in ketosis (burning fat for energy) while you eat that “cheat” meal. That’s a win/win. It also takes the pressure off. So, you’re strapped for a dinner idea, and you need something to eat, now, before someone dies?
Then go try that burger without a bun. You earned it, and you also don’t need to feel bad about it (guilt about food is BAD, anyway, and leads to eating your guilt… which is a toilet bowl of emotions and calories). If you’re on Clean Keto, then that burger is a no-no. You get your a** outside in -22 to grill that steak.
That sounds ridiculous and frigid, so dirty Keto seems like the winner in that scenario. You’re busy. And busy means that we all can’t cook everything from scratch all the time. Enter Dirty Keto to the rescue. You can bake your cake and eat it too (except on keto you can’t have cake).
Dirty Keto is also very freeing, especially when it comes to a busy life. You can figure out what you can and can’t eat relatively quickly, and there’s no need to bust the scale out at the office to weigh a portion. That’s one of the great reasons to do Keto, the freedom.
There’s no weighing, there’s no math. Does it have carbs (read: sugar)? Then don’t eat it. Pretty simple.
Here are the quick and easy NO foods on Keto:
- Baked goods
- Ice Cream
- Sweetened Yogurt (actually sweetened anything)
- Grains (Looking at Rice, wheat, cereal, pasta)
- Beer (unless it’s a no carb option)
So much information! Just tell me what to eat!
Patience, young grasshopper. It will all be revealed in due time.
Which, conveniently, is right now.
So, what to eat? What’s the easy rules to follow?
Mostly, the macros (read weight watcher numbers, or percentage of carbs to protein to fat in your diet). Carbs are 20 g max a day to enter ketosis.
For reference, a banana is 23 g of carbs. So, that’s a no go for breakfast on Keto.
Protein : Roughly 75% of your daily caloric intake.
Fat: 20-25% of your daily caloric intakes.
I know… That’s a lot of math. Here’s some quick and dirty suggestions just to get your journey into ketosis started.
But a great Keto breakfast is: Breakfast bowl with eggs, avocado and bacon. Which is (arguably) more delicious than a banana. And so very millennial of you.
Quick Keto Breakfasts: Eggs, bacon, salad (love it in the morning, try it), avocado “toast”, egg cups
EAT ALL THE EGGS!
Seriously. It takes three minutes to make an egg in the microwave. Pop your eggs in, go brush your teeth, come back and peel your eggs. You can also make some pretty cool muffin tin egg bites which are legitimately grab and go.
As far as quick and dirty breakfasts go, it requires you to wake up approximately 3 minutes earlier than now. So, with all that focus and energy you get from Keto, you can spare the 3 minutes.
Sorry, I got a little excited there. But yeah, those are definitely a go on Keto.
There’s lots of other things to eat for lunch. Chicken salad, tuna, deli meats (watch the sugar content) with a ton of low carb veggies. That’s lunch. It’s easy, it’s delicious.
Meat, cheese, cabbage, spinach, cauliflower….
You name it, you can make a keto friendly version of it. Need some ideas? Look around for some keto cookbooks.
Fine. Here’s a list of Keto Cookbooks.
- Keto Comfort Food: All Your Favorite Comfort Foods Made Keto by Elizabeth Jane
- Simply Keto: A Practical Approach to Health and Weight Loss by Suzanne Ryan
- The Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Cookbook by Maya Krampf
- The Essential Keto Diet for Beginners by Dr. Suzy Shaw
- Keto Diet for Dummies by Rami Abrams and Vicky Abrams
Dirty Keto And Alcohol
Ah, yes. The ultimate question for anyone on a diet…
Can I drink?
You bet you can! Dirty Keto is the answer. The delicious, wonderful answer.
Vodka has 0 grams of carbs. So, a vodka water with a twist of lime is definitely a drink that’s allowed on the Keto Diet.
In fact, these alcohols are all Keto:
All of these have 0 grams of carbs. Free reign on dirty keto. Mix with diet soda, and you’re off to the races. Most wines only have a few (2-5 g) of carbs. And there’s plenty of low carb beers out there if you’re stuck.
You can have a night out with friends on dirty keto, without having to feel guilty about your choices. Any bar has a burger with a side salad and no bun. Every bar has diet soda and pure alcohol. Dirty Keto allows for you to still be on a “diet” and trying to lose weight, without having to bust out the calculator at every turn. It’s a lot more freeing than other diets, and allows you to take control of your weight without your diet taking control of you.