Vegetarians following the keto diet could also run the risk of becoming deficient in certain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Three big ones: B12, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. "B12 is largely found in animal products; heme-iron, which is most readily absorbed, is only obtained in animal products; and fish is a great source of omega-3s," explains Sharp. Unfortunately, those aren't the only elements at risk of being deficient. Zinc, an important antioxidant, most often comes from meat and poultry; calcium and vitamin D—two nutrients that are crucial for bone health—are mostly found in dairy products; and magnesium, another important nutrient for bone health (and energy) is typically ingested via grains, which are on the no-no list for vegetarian keto followers.
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.
Unfortunately, carbs are secretly in everything. Once you start consistently reading the nutritional labels of your foods, you'll realize that food manufacturers are constantly trying to put sugar in the weirdest foods. Chili, peanut butter, fake meat, etc. sometimes have significant grams of sugar in them that could add up over the course of a day.
The Wisconsin native also struggled with health issues. In her early teens she was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and sleep apnea. “It is extremely difficult to lose weight and maintain weight loss with PCOS,” says Stolfi, who hit her highest weight of 286 lbs. at age 18. “And the lack of good sleep caused me to be lethargic, which meant I didn’t have the energy to work out.”
Fat will constitute the most part of your diet, so it's important to choose the healthiest and highest-quality fats available. You also need a variety of fats to ensure you are giving your body everything it needs. Some fats are essential, while others are not. Some fats are also health-promoting, while others put you at risk of diseases. Here's more on what fat you need to eat on a vegetarian keto diet and where to get it:
But that doesn't mean it's going to be easy. Because, at their core, a typical vegetarian diet and a traditional keto diet contradict one another. "The essence of a vegetarian diet is healthful carbohydrates, and keto diets are very low in carbs," says Sharon Palmer, R.D.N. And depending how strict a vegetarian diet you follow, you most likely avoid all meats, poultry, and fish—the main sources of protein recommended in a typical ketogenic diet, adds Sheth. Not to mention that many plant-based protein sources, such as beans and lentils, are high in carbs—so they'd be a no-go on a vegetarian keto diet plan.
Walnuts are a great addition to this chili from Abbey’s Kitchen, added texture and as a great source of monounsaturated fats. Black beans are a great source of fibre, which can often be lacking on a keto diet and help to bulk this out into a hearty, filling meal. Adding dark chocolate to the source gives additional richness, and paired with some avocado or guac on the side this is a great, flavorful high fat meal without the need for any meat.
Sugar cookies are perfect for Christmas cookie exchanges and this healthy twist on the classic holiday favorite does not disappoint. Despite their name, they are indeed sugar-free (not to mention they're also gluten-free and paleo)! And the low carb glaze is optional, but really adds to the festive look of this recipe and would be a nice touch if you've decided to gift them.
Don't think we forgot about those eggs we skipped out on at breakfast! We are putting them to good use at lunch with an Asparagus and Jalapeno Frittata! Not only is this recipe high protein and deliciously simple, but it makes for an easy prep and clean up! All you have to do is combine the ingredients in an oven safe pan and bake. When did meal prep get so easy?! #ketosis
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.
First, even nonvegetarian keto eaters shouldn’t focus too much on meat: “The misconception that keto diets require huge amounts of meat or meat products may scare off vegetarians, those concerned about the environment, or people that want to eat healthier,” says Bobbie Henry-Barron, a dietitian at the Adult Epilepsy Diet Center at Johns Hopkins University. “A vegetarian version of the ketogenic diet may be appealing for its weight loss and other health benefits.” Check out 12 things that happen to your body on the keto diet.
If you’re already a keto eater used to animal products, the list below will give you ideas on how to switch to zero-cruelty food options while keeping carbs low. (Likewise, it will help vegans find lower-carb alternatives to their starchy or sugary favorites.) As always, be extra sure you’re staying faithful to the diet by checking labels for the presence of added sugar, carbs, and hydrogenated oils (harmful, processed fats that have no place in any healthy diet).
“The original keto diet is extremely high in fatty meats, which is not good for our cardiovascular system,” says Melissa Bailey, RD, creator of the Nourished Fork. “The vegetarian version eliminates these meats and allows for more plant-based options, such as avocado and nuts and seeds. In general, the population is going towards a more plant-based, whole-foods diet, which is why the ketotarian diet is emerging.”
To get an idea of what that entails, consider that an average-sized person who eats about 2,000 calories a day will need 100–200g protein daily (on the lower end for strict keto dieters, and on the higher side for those going the Mod Keto route). A three-quarter cup serving of sunflower seeds nets you 25–30g protein, but also costs you 10g of carbs. Almonds have a similar protein-to-carb ratio at 30g to 15g per cup. The key is to accumulate enough protein from vegan sources without letting your carbs creep up too high.
As with any healthy diet plan, and especially a vegetarian one, be sure you're consuming a diversity of plant-based whole foods like fruits and vegetables. Popular vegetables to eat as a part of the keto diet are green peppers, spinach, lettuce, green beans, and cabbage, among others. Try to avoid starchy and carb-heavy vegetables like potatoes. As for fruit, some people recommend avoiding too many berries or citrus fruits, which contain natural sugars (aka carbohydrates). However, this doesn't mean you should avoid them completely. As always, eating a colorful and varied diet, no matter the plan you're following, is key to maintaining good health and wellness. If you need some inspiration when dreaming up new vegetarian/keto recipes, invest in a cookbook (the one above includes a 30-day meal plan).
According to a 2010 Cornell University study, you’ll eat about 20 percent less if you keep your serving dishes in the kitchen instead of on the dinner table. Researchers tested how eating habits would change if food was served from the kitchen, not the table. Participants ate less when the food was out of reach, and were more likely to choose fruits and vegetables when kept in plain sight.
Vegetarian diets are touted as one of the healthiest on the planet. However, the exclusion of meat is not the only thing that makes these diets healthy. It's also the inclusion of real food and wholesome ingredients. Besides, a vegetarian binging on donuts, fries, and cheese is doing their health and environment a disservice as much as any other food junkie.
Even though I added those into my diet, I may not have been getting enough, hence the leg cramps. I also may have had a few to many low carb cocktails that might have depleted said minerals. I have read other posts from vegans who went on the diet who had no problems. I don’t know if they were on it as long as I was, but it is something to watch out for.
Blue Diamond nut varieties - Blue Diamond nuts are notoriously low in carbs. Their typical salted almonds only have 2g net carbs per 24 nuts! Even their dark chocolate almonds only have 6g net carbs per serving. They have tons of other flavors as well, which makes for awesome variety in your snacking (a big problem for keto-goers) - you won’t get bored of this stuff.
So you've decided to take the plunge. Congratulations! The first thing you need to is to get an app so that you can closely count your carbs. There are a few to choose from. MyFitnessPal is certainly popular, and free, but there is also Cronometer, which is also popular, as well as some lesser known ones. Ultimately, the decision is personal preference.
"I started working with a weight-loss coach at Healthy Fit for Women in Woburn, MA. The key was slowly making changes in the way I ate, which eventually led to permanent habits. I used to think I was eating 'healthy' foods, but my portions were way too large, not to mention packed with sugar. I started eating breakfast, then tried to eat five small meals a day, every three hours, instead of larger ones later in the day."
“My biggest hurdle was the shame I felt from being a fat man running. In the beginning, I only ran on a treadmill because I was too ashamed to run outside. I thought I looked like an oaf or an ogre. As I got to know the regular patrons of the gym, they complimented me on my consistency in training and the changes in my appearance. That’s when I realized that the only person who felt any shame about my appearance was me.”