Several years ago, I decided that I wanted to begin bicycling again. I was out of shape and had fond memories of my “fit” days in high school when I used to ride my bike everywhere (even after I bought my first car). Back then, my bicycle was not only a means of transportation, it was something fun to do to stay healthy. I went out to the local bike shop and purchased a new road bike, intent on restoring my body to the slim and fit self I remembered so well. Unfortunately, after several years of riding I had actually managed to gain weight and my cycling hadn’t really improved at all (still as slow as when I first started again).
“There is no secret. The only thing that I did differently was stay committed. I made a promise to myself not to give up and even when I wanted to quit, or when I messed up I just kept pushing. I took on a low-carb diet and started to run consistently. I also joined a weight loss clinic named Transform Institute, which gave me the tools and support that I needed.”
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.
According to dietitians, there are several types of people who should consider the keto diet. While many people look to the diet for weight loss, the keto plan has other potential health benefits. Those with epilepsy may see improvement on the diet; people with diabetes may also see drastic changes in their health. However, notes Diane Vizthum, a dietitian at the Adult Epilepsy Diet Center at Johns Hopkins, people with chronic health issues should be under the care of a doctor when starting these programs because of the need to monitor their medications. And, she added, anyone who is undertaking a new diet regimen should make his or her physician aware of it. Find out the 10 things doctors want you to know about the keto diet.
While it hasn’t been formally studied, “it is generally observed that, if you are keto-adapted,” says D’Agostino, “it is easy to fast for prolonged periods of time. This has practical benefits for occupations where stopping to eat would be an inconvenience—such as for military personnel—and jobs where you do not want to lose the flow of productivity.” If you do get hungry during a fast, D’Agostino recommends taking a supplement that provides ketones (known as exogenous ketones), which will help sustain ketosis and energy. “I typically take a ketone supplement late afternoon and follow up with a whole-food meal in the evening,” he says.
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:
One of the more popular diets trending nowadays is the ketogenic diet. The diet requires you to reduce your carbohydrate intake and in turn, increase your fat intake. The aim of the diet is to get your body to use fat instead of glucose as energy and fueling your body until the next meal. Apart from weight loss, the ketogenic diet has been found to be helpful in managing blood sugar levels, reduces the risk of obesity, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, polycystic ovary syndrome and even some types of cancer. Some healthy foods to consume on a keto diet are starchy vegetables, coconut oil, cheese, sour cream, avocado, meat and poultry and high-fat dairy products.
There are plenty of plant-based fat sources but in order to meet your protein needs you will need to incorporate high protein, vegan friendly foods such as nuts and seeds, tempeh, tofu, and vegan protein powder. Food companies such as Beyond Meat are now providing alternative meat products that are a great source of protein while still relatively low in carb. Unlike meat, some of these vegetable based proteins do not contain complete proteins but if you are good about eating a variety of plant-based foods you can meet all of your essential amino acids needs.
I ate five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, cut out fried foods, and switched from eating refined carbohydrates like white bread to complex carbs like whole-wheat bread. I promised myself that after one year of living healthfully, I'd treat myself to fast-food fries (an old favorite), but I couldn't finish them. Now my cholesterol is in a healthy range, and I still walk 30 to 60 minutes four or five days a week.
To prove to yourself that you are making progress—even when your weight stays the same—Dulan recommends doing a jeans test. Find a pair you’re aiming to squeeze into, and see how your body feels in them. As you clean up your diet and clock more sweat sessions, you’ll likely notice a gap between your belly and jeans because your body is becoming leaner—even if that isn’t immediately obvious when you step on the scale.
Living a keto lifestyle doesn't mean you need to skip out on yummy treats. These 15 delicious keto cookies are proof! Whether you're looking for a keto twist on the classic chocolate chip recipe or the best keto cookie recipe for your Christmas cookie exchange, you're sure to find a recipe that perfectly fits your sweet tooth and low carb requirements.
The health benefits of vegan and vegetarian diets are well-documented; in fact, cutting meat out of your diet has been linked to many health benefits, including a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. (5) Plus, just like regular keto, vegan keto results in some pretty impressive benefits as well, ranging from increased weight loss to improved heart health. (6)
You can usually be a little bit more loose on the dinners, since you have more time, although this will change based on your personal schedule. Meal planning should also help you to avoid going out to eat, although there’s almost zero way to do that on vegetarian keto anyhow. It’s not fun, but it gets the job done. In the vein of not being fun but getting the job done…
Speaking of skiing… I also need to begin exercising more frequently. That will be my big push this month. I’m already in a 5k preparation group at our church, but that’s only once a week and I’m not running. I’m walking. I’m supposed to walk 2 more days a week, but sometimes I let that slip. I’m also planning to start the 15 minute T-tapp workout. When I do this workout regularly, I drop inches like crazy. In fact, I was just reading testimonials from last year’s T-Tapp 60 Day Challenge and saw where one lady lost over 50 inches from just doing that 15 minute video and some basic walking. Craziness! I’ll be starting the 60 Day Challenge again on the 20th of February. Feel free to join me.. after all, you can get away with just 15 minutes a day… and some consistency!
The best option is to, of course, read your nutrition labels thoroughly and track your nutrients using one of the apps mentioned here. For vegetables or foods that you pick up at the farmer's market or other food that lacks nutritional information, this spreadsheet covers the carb count for a huge number of foods and drinks. This spreadsheet will save you so much time.
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“The most rewarding part of running for me is the feeling of accomplishment that comes with it, and pushing myself beyond what l ever thought was possible. It has been rewarding to see a transformation in my body, and to feel a transformation mentally and emotionally. My husband sporadically runs and he used to tell me that I should run, too. At the time, I was more than 100 pounds overweight, and that seemed like a ridiculous thing to say. I recall telling my husband back then that, ‘I will never run.’ I laugh now because he rarely runs, and I run all the time.”
I hope I’ve shown you that you can have a lot of fun exploring the ins and outs of vegetarian keto. There are tons of good foods and recipes out there just waiting to be tried. Shop local if you can, supporting local farmers is great for the environment. Don’t be afraid of meat substitutes. Go crazy with the cheese. Listen to your body. Most people, upon switching off from keto, say they feel sick after eating carbs, even once they reach their goal weight. Don’t get down if you mess up, just get back on the horse.
Besides getting plenty of healthy fats, watching your carbs is one of the most important factors here—and a lot of the go-to meals and especially snacks common for vegetarians and vegans are pretty carb-heavy. But excessive carbohydrates (even from veggies) aren’t part of a keto diet. Of course, refined carbs like sugar, flour, bread, cereal, chips, etc. are immediately off the table.
If you’ve kept abreast of the latest trends in health and nutrition for the last few years, then you’ll have inevitably stumbled upon the ketogenic diet. This high-fat, adequate-protein and low-carb diet is most times rife in animal protein, so how can the average plant-based eater be able to adapt this diet to meet their lifestyle needs? Well, if you’re vegetarian and looking to give a vegetarian keto diet a go, then you’re in luck because we at 8fit have you covered.