But what if a vegetarian decides to go keto? Do people risk developing deficiencies and side effects by following a vegetarian ketogenic diet? More importantly, is this type of diet even sustainable? The short answer is yes – a keto vegetarian diet can be nutritious, sustainable, and healthy when you plan it right. It can also be satisfying enough to make you stick for the long haul.
"My New Years resolution for 2010 was to get back into shape and to improve my health. I was turning 40 in May and I wanted to make a significant change in my life but knew that it would not be easy for I did not want to start a program or a diet and give up like I had done for the past 10 years. We have two beautiful boys and like most mothers, I have struggled with weight ever since I gave birth. My boys are eight years apart and I started to feel like I did not have the energy to keep up with my youngest son. I was afraid that I was not going to be able to play with him the way I did with my older son because I was so much older and out of shape.
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Processed soy-based meat substitutes (such as Boca Burgers) and protein powders are major go-to’s for people transitioning to vegan diets, but they come with a catch. A 2016 position paper published by Virginia State University explains that soy contains isoflavones, a kind of plant estrogen that can act like the female hormone in humans. While typical serving sizes (one to three of soy foods, or less than 25g of soy protein from non-concentrated sources like tofu) have not been shown to be problematic, amounts more than that (totaling around 100mg isoflavones or greater daily) could negatively impact testosterone. To our thinking, why take the risk? It may be best for a keto dieter to get the majority of his/her protein from nuts, seeds, vegetables, and supplements and less from soy products, apart from the occasional slice of tofu.

One solid piece of advice is to, no matter how tempting it is, try to avoid telling anyone that you've started vegetarian keto. I know many people use this as a tactic to publicly commit themselves to a diet, but a niche diet like this comes under a lot of ridicule. Having people intruding on and questioning your personal choices so much can be discouraging and frankly, annoying. Share at your own risk.


“I love to run. I like to say, after years of battling addiction and depression, I’m a better dog when I’m walked. So I just try to get out there as much as possible and run by feel. On days I feel great, I’ll go longer or do a tempo run. On days I feel like I need a break, I’ll back off and take it easy. On weekends I run long, usually at least 20 miles. I also try to strength train at least once a week.”
Hello, I’m Abbey! I'm a Registered Dietitian (RD), an avid food and recipe writer, a TV nutrition expert and spokesperson, a YouTube host and the founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc. Abbey's Kitchen is a multi- faceted food and nutrition media brand developed with the goal of celebrating the pleasurable eating experience. For more information about me, check out my bio here.
The benefits of a low-carb keto diet are also hard to pass up. It's one of, if not the strongest weight loss diet through ketosis. Keto may also improve acne, brain health, and seizure frequency, improve heart health, and combat type 2 diabetes, as well as assist with a host of other conditions. Others that adhere to the keto diet also self-report other benefits:
Ever wonder why McDonald’s color scheme is yellow and red? “We are naturally drawn to red, yellow and orange in our dining area or restaurants because psychologically it stimulates us to want to eat -- and eat a lot. Studies show if you put your food on blue plates it can cause you to eat less,” says Tamal Dodge, a certified yoga instructor in Santa Monica, Calif. and star of the “Element: Hatha & Flow Yoga for Beginners” DVD.
People say ACV can act as an appetite suppressant, so I tried to drink it before eating anything—but that was hard. Sometimes I finished my ACV drink while also throwing back coffee or nibbling on breakfast. Even if the ACV didn't directly slash my appetite, I hoped the extra hydration would make me a little less hungry. Unfortunately, though, I didn’t notice any difference in my hunger levels or how much food I was eating. Oh, well.

When it comes to buying keto-friendly vegan dairy products, make sure you are not getting any extra added sugar, hidden carbs, or unhealthy ingredients like hydrogenated oils. Some of these products may also have “gums” in them like agar agar or guar gum. These compounds are used to make the product creamier, and they are safe for most people. However, some people may get gastrointestinal discomfort from eating them, so look out for gums when switching to vegan dairy products.
And speaking of working out, if you’re a gym rat or avid runner, prepare for your workouts to suck for a while until your body fully adapts to the diet. If you’re cutting out carbs for the first time, your body will need two weeks or more (and sometimes months) to fully support the demands of exercise with ketones. And if you’ve been relying on animal products, you may find it difficult to recover without the full array of amino acids that every serving of animal protein provides. You’ve chosen a hard road to travel, nutritionally, but don’t lose heart. Time and persistence will force your body to accommodate just about any regimen you subject it to, and there are plenty of people whose performance has thrived on unconventional diets.
When enjoyed in smaller portions, there’s such a low amount of net carbs that it can be a safe way to satisfy your sweet tooth, without kicking yourself out of your body’s state of ketosis. Enjoying a few here and there throughout your day is not as harmful as one would lead you to believe. In fact, with the amazing antioxidants and nutritional benefits of raspberries, I’d encourage it!
Seasonings. One of the biggest complaints for people on vegetarian keto is the lack of variety. If you’re having eggs for breakfast every day, this is pretty understandable. If you pick up and experiment with different seasonings, you can create a lot of variety for yourself with the same foods. By way of example, the other day I made an egg scramble, but I added chili powder, cumin, and garlic to give it a southwestern feel.
This one's kind of sneaky and a little difficult too, depending on your current dietary preference. If you're vegetarian, it's likely that a large portion of your diet is attributed to grains and beans like quinoa, rice, and lentils. According to Smith, these foods contain too many carbohydrates and not enough protein to make them foundational foods for following a keto diet. So instead of eating a quinoa bowl or a stir-fry on a bed of white rice, try making a keto-friendly vegetarian lasagna (head to our sister site MyDomaine for the recipe).

Scott Leopold attempted his first diet at 19, when he weighed 438 lbs. He was in college and often drank alcohol and finished the night off with fatty foods such as chicken wings or sweets and chips. “I wouldn’t think twice about eating two whole pizzas,” he tells PEOPLE. After he lost his first 100 lbs., he and his friends “celebrated” at a buffet. 
According to Brian Wansink, Ph.D., a behavioral scientist and ‘mindless eating’ expert at the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, people who fill their plate with everything they plan to eat (including dessert) eat about 14 percent less than those who don’t fill it as much but return for second helpings. So to eat less, load up your plate—but only once. To reduce your intake even more, use a smaller plate. Wansink found that subjects who served themselves using smaller dishes ate up to 60 percent less.

As far as calories are concerned, you will come to find that many of the high-carb foods you are cutting out were the same foods that contributed so many calories to your diet. A restriction in food groups naturally leads to a reduction in calories. Ketosis also suppresses appetite, however, so you really need to make sure you're bringing in enough calories to keep your body happy and healthy.
If you’re interested in finding out what nutrients you actually might be needing more of based on your age, body, activity levels, etc., check out this calculator from the US Department of Agriculture. However, vegetarians have been known to lack nutrients including but not limited to iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin D (read more about deficiencies below). While supplements for these deficiencies are fairly easy to get, you should check with a doctor to make sure you need them before purchasing.
Reaching for a bottle of water before you sit down to eat may help you shed those pounds faster. Research in the August 2015 Obesity journal found that obese patients who drank 500 milliliters (a 16-ounce bottle) of water 30 minutes before eating lost almost 3 pounds more than those who did not. Even more promising is that those who pre-loaded with water before each of the three main meals lost an average of 10 pounds over a 12-week period (compared to a 2-pound weight loss for those who preloaded before just one meal, or not at all).
If you have bad memories of being yelled at for not finishing everything on your plate, forget them. "Stopping before you're full is better for your health," says Ericka Stachura, R.D., a registered dietitian in Boston. That's because it takes 20 minutes for our stomachs to tell our brains that we're full; leaving food on the plate allows your brain to play catch-up. Also, when dining out, consider sharing an entree with a friend—portion sizes are often way larger than the recommended size for one person. You'll still feel satisfied. Promise.
"I joined the Anytime Fitness gym near my house, but at first I could barely walk on the treadmill for 10 minutes. I didn't want to overdo it and get frustrated, so I decided to add just 1 minute of walking each day. After 20 days, I was up to 30 minutes of walking and the pounds were consistently coming off. If I couldn't make it to the gym, I'd stroll around town with my then-teenage daughters, Kayla and Kendra. Now, I feel like I am turning heads—in a good way. I hold my head up high with my shoulders back, I smile and make eye contact. I try to radiate positivity."

“I was 18 years old and 230 pounds. I was unhappy and realized after my freshman year of college that I needed to change my lifestyle. I come from a family of marathoners, but in 2012 when I told everyone I wanted to run my first marathon, I was told I couldn’t and wouldn’t do it—by family, friends, and even professors in front of my whole class. I took that adversity and have run the Marine Corps Marathon five years in a row, competed in six half marathons, and lost 83 pounds along the way.”


Ever wonder why McDonald’s color scheme is yellow and red? “We are naturally drawn to red, yellow and orange in our dining area or restaurants because psychologically it stimulates us to want to eat -- and eat a lot. Studies show if you put your food on blue plates it can cause you to eat less,” says Tamal Dodge, a certified yoga instructor in Santa Monica, Calif. and star of the “Element: Hatha & Flow Yoga for Beginners” DVD.
"I am amazed at how much I was able to accomplish in such a short amount of time when I had the right tools with Samantha's program and I got really focused. I was really motivated in this private studio of all women and I was inspired to do my absolute best. I FEEL AMAZING! And at 54, I am in the BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE! Thank you for this great program, Samantha!" Ann
The benefits of a low-carb keto diet are also hard to pass up. It's one of, if not the strongest weight loss diet through ketosis. Keto may also improve acne, brain health, and seizure frequency, improve heart health, and combat type 2 diabetes, as well as assist with a host of other conditions. Others that adhere to the keto diet also self-report other benefits:
Conveniently located to Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol in Gray, TN just off Interstate 26 at the Bobby Hicks Highway exit 13. We are right beside of Taco Bell. We always have a nurse practitioner or physician available in house when we are open. No special "clinic" hours here. If our clinic is open, we are ready to assist our clients with whatever needs they may have. 

By eating the foods on the “Do Eat” list, you will be able to follow a vegan ketogenic diet and cover most of your nutritional bases. At first, however, it may be difficult to adapt to this new lifestyle with all of the low-carb and keto recipes that contain animal products. Luckily, there are some simple substitutions you can make that will allow you to “veganize” almost every keto recipe.


Think twice before noshing on grab-and-go items like sugary cereals and calorie-laden muffins, and aim for a high-protein first meal. Sweet foods give you a quick energy spike, but the rapid drop in blood sugar that follows will make you want to curl up under your desk for a nap. Research shows eating 45 grams of protein at breakfast is optimal to trigger satiety. Yes, bacon is protein-packed but it also comes with a lot of fat. “The quality of calories counts,” warns Vicki Shanta Retelny, a dietician and author of “Total Body Diet for Dummies.”Aim for a mix of protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats to fuel your day.
“If you are considering starting any kind of ketogenic diet, you should discuss it first with your doctor. The diet may be harmful if you have existing kidney, liver, or heart disease. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure and are on medications, you should be in close contact with your physician to monitor changes and adjust medications as needed,” Vizthum says.
My Weight-Loss Secret: "I was too embarrassed to go to the gym, so I committed to walking three times a day for 10 minutes before breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes I'd just walk in place in front of the TV. After a year, I'd lost about 40 pounds through a combo of diet and exercise. Then I got pregnant with my son. I kept walking, and eight months after he was born, I'd lost 63 more pounds. I've kept off the weight for nine years, and today, I still walk about two miles, three days a week."
"I always told myself that once things slowed down at work, I’d try to lose weight. The only problem was that work never slowed down. After being overweight for several years, I finally decided to take action, but had no idea how to begin. I thought it would be a long and difficult process to slim down. Luckily, I was wrong. It turned out to be much easier than I expected and I have now lost over 40 pounds!
​One word. Avocado. Just kidding! Well, your snack in this meal prep is an avocado, but there is so much more to say. The best part about this snack is that it can easily top your frittata at lunch or be thrown into your salad at dinner! It also lacks any preparation, except for the dreaded task of finding 5 perfect avocados that will be ripe enough to eat, but not over ripe. It's a fine line to walk, we know.
I like to cook dinner pretty much every night. Cooking is something that I really enjoy, and as I’m always working on new vegan keto recipes, it kind of just makes sense to test them every chance I get. Of course, there are nights that I just don’t feel like cooking, so I like to have some options available that I can just heat up and dig into without much fuss. This recipe for vegan keto sloppy joes really fits the bill there. It makes six servings in one go, so you can have dinner ready to go every day without more than 1 hour of effort. 🙂 (more…)
McDowell has been following the vegetarian keto weight loss plan for six years. She’d been a vegetarian for a long time earlier than that however determined to attempt keto with weight loss in thoughts. Some research indicates the keto food regimen may be beneficial for that reason: A take a look at published in May 2013 inside the British Journal of Nutrition determined the keto diet caused greater weight reduction than a low-fat eating regimen and may be beneficial in combating weight problems. You lose weight from all over your body, not just from one place. If you want to lose abdominal fat, you're going to lose fat in other areas as well.
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