Vegans have long known that they can’t get all the amino acids they need from one source of plant protein, so they make an effort to eat a diverse selection of them and often combine foods in the same meal to get a complimentary assortment of aminos. You don’t need to do this at every meal—your body can hold on to the aminos from one food a few hours until you eat another food with aminos that complement them and form a complete protein. But don’t get in the habit of basing your meals around only tofu or only hemp. Eat as broad a menu as you can to ensure the richest nutritional intake you can. (See more reasons to limit tofu under the vegan substitutes list below.)
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. 
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.
Even though MacDowell has stuck with it for so long, she admits this way of eating can be tough in social situations. “It’s not only the reaction of your family members who will tell you eating that much fat will kill you, but going out for appetizers and drinks with friends is challenging,” she says. “You learn to work around it, but there’s a learning curve for sure.”
It only took a year and a half for my weight to climb up 30 pounds and my body to become unrecognizable. This happened from a stressful job, late night eating and chocolate had become my best friend. I realize now I ate a LOT of chocolate!! That added up to a sugar addiction, mood swings and weight gain. Yuck! I looked and felt dumpy. I looked and felt OLD and UGLY and my clothes kept getting tighter and tighter. Every time I looked into the mirror I hated what I had become. I loathed myself and how I looked. I had no clue how to get out of this "ever expanding woman" syndrome and I felt a bit more hopeless - not good. I'd seen Samantha's ads and the photos always caught my attention. I knew I needed help to get myself back. I knew I needed to be educated about what, when and how to eat. Also I like the concept of accountability. I like having a well defined plan and having someone mentor me through that plan. I must experience success or I will lose interest and give up. Samantha's ads and testimony on her web site gave me the belief that I would experience success with her.I set very high standards for myself and Samantha set them higher. When I turned 56 in August a week later I called Samantha for an interview. I did not like being asked how I was going to change my life so that I could succeed at her program but I knew I would do whatever I needed to do to get myself back. And I knew that Samantha had the knowledge, skills, talent to assist me on that journey. Her program was absolutely what I needed. Samantha is the most determined person I have ever met. I made my commitment not only to her but to myself as well. I can honestly say it was NOT difficult but it took determination, patience and consistent dedication. I did NOT feel deprived; I felt empowered and that is VERY important to me! I understood the mistakes I made in portion sizes and the timing of my meals. Being free of my cravings for chocolate within 1 week was amazing! And I lost 26" in the first 4 weeks. Wahoo!

The ketogenic diet forces your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Don’t let that scare you. Ketosis is a natural metabolic state. Ketones are produced when you eat minimal amounts of carbohydrates and moderate amounts of protein. When your body doesn’t have carbohydrates to burn for energy, it burns fat. Simply put, on a keto diet, you are changing your body into a fat burning machine!

Despite the vegetarian diet's links to weight loss, it is possible for vegetarians to be overweight. That's because vegetarian diets, with their focus on fruits and vegetables, tend to be more carb-heavy and fat-deficient than other diets. Science has shown that overloading on carbs and sugars can lead to weight gain, and considering protein's positive effects on satiety and metabolism, skimping on the nutrient can also cause pounds to pile on.
This was mentioned just recently, but deserves some more spotlight. Nut milks are great for vegetarian keto. Dairy milk is more carb-heavy than many drinks, and should not be your first choice if you’re going for milk due to the lactose. Nut milks are especially good if you’re trying to accomplish vegan keto. Just make sure to avoid the sweetened versions - they contain sugar!
"I was 251 pounds at the time, so walking laps around my neighborhood was all I could muster at first. I knew I had a lot to lose, but I was starting at square one. To stay motivated, I celebrated each 10-pound loss with a new clothing item. As I slimmed down, I noticed shopping was fun again. At one point, I tried on a pair of size 16 jeans and I wasn't sure if they would fit. (I started out a size 22.) When I was able to zip and button them, I stared at the mirror with my mouth open—I couldn't believe it! I was so excited that I ran out of

So what’s the difference between a vegan and vegetarian keto diet? Unlike vegetarians, vegans are more restricted in their use of animal products. While both diets eliminate meat entirely from the diet, vegetarians can include non-meat animal foods like eggs, grass-fed butter and ghee to help meet their protein and fat needs while vegans rely solely on plant products such as nuts, seeds and veggies.
Fresh vegetables. Veggies are full of fiber and nutrients, so if you enjoy them, your keto journey will be much easier. Some vegetables have tons of versatility, like cauliflower, which can be blended into a rice alternative, cut up and baked as fake wings, mashed to make “mashed potatoes,” etc. Other great veggies for keto are mushrooms, romaine lettuce, spaghetti squash, and broccoli. Paired with the seasonings and ingredients above, you can make some awesome meals.

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.
Despite the fact that MacDowell has stayed with it for so long, she concedes along these lines of eating can be extreme in social circumstances. “It’s not just the response of your relatives who will reveal to you eating that much fat will execute you, yet going out for hors-d’oeuvres and drinks with companions is testing,” she says. “You figure out how to function around it, yet there’s an expectation to absorb information without a doubt.”
***Whether you go full or Mod Keto, supplementing with MCT oil can help support ketosis by providing a quick-burning fat for fuel, says D’Agostino. Other helpful strategies for making a keto diet more user-friendly, he says, include “eating in a time-restricted window [such as 16 hours of fasting followed by an eight-hour period in which you get all your food in], and breaking the fast with a ketone supplement. You can have a whole-food vegan keto meal a few hours later.”
There are some subtle differences between the ketogenic and paleo diets and many keto cookie recipes aren't inherently paleo-friendly. While cream cheese and peanut butter are the two main ingredients that make most keto cookies not paleo, none of these keto cookie recipes need those ingredients. I've made a point of pulling together recipes that are both keto and paleo so if, like me, you avoid cheese and peanuts you can still indulge in these delicious keto cookies.
Studies have shown that people who weigh themselves regularly are most successful at losing weight and keeping it off. When is the best time to weigh in? I advise my clients to step on the scale on Fridays and Mondays. People tend to stick to their healthy habits during the week and loosen the reins slightly on the weekend. Weighing in on Friday will reveal the results of your hard work during the week and encourage you to carry the habits into the weekend. If you’ve indulged over the weekend, your Monday weigh-in may reveal a few extra pounds and motivate you to get right back on track. Try keeping a chart to record patterns in weight fluctuation throughout the week, which will help you make smarter diet and exercise choices to meet your goals.

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.
Fasting may sound crazy, but it has its benefits. Intermittent fasting makes it easier to restrict your calories by limiting the amount of time you have to eat. This also makes it tough to over-eat at meals since you have less meals to get to your macros, which will greatly aid you in your weight loss journey. Fasting can help you enter ketosis sooner, especially if your fasting window is large.
Some do, and some don't. Similarly to sugar alcohols, different sweeteners have different glycemic indexes. Powdered versions of artificial sweeteners like splenda and even natural ones like stevia have added carbs that come from maltodextrin and other fillers, so stay away from those. Here are the best sweeteners to use while on vegetarian keto (all of them have a glycemic index of zero):
“You will likely lose weight on this diet, and if that’s your only goal, then great,” says Bailey. “However, this diet is extremely hard to achieve and maintain. It eliminates a lot of really beneficial foods, such as whole grains and starchy vegetables. Based on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet, one would need to consume 165 grams of fat, 25 grams of carbs, and 100 grams of protein. This is unrealistic and also very unhealthy for our bodies,” she says.
If you follow our 5-step plan, eating good-quality vegetarian protein sources and plenty of very-low-carb vegetables, you should manage your micronutrient intake well on a keto vegetarian diet. If you want to be extra sure, eating a range of the following nutrient-dense foods on a daily basis will ensure that you provide your body with the range of micronutrients that keto vegetarians are most at risk of being deficient in.
Important disclaimer: Throughout this article, I have linked to various products and ingredients that I have tried or used. Purchases made through some of these links provide me a small kickback which is used to produce more awesome articles like this one….and to fuel my stevia & meat substitute addictions. That said, all endorsements are truly my own and are what I personally recommend. Thanks for your support!
That depends. Mass says if going keto motivates an unhealthy vegetarian to clean up his or her carb game, it could be beneficial and lead to better blood sugar control. Plus, transitioning from a pasta-heavy diet to one that’s rich in veggies and healthy fats should help someone drop unwanted pounds, she says. But for vegetarians who eat relatively clean already and rely on healthy carbs like quinoa and oats — which are limited on the keto diet — to help them feel full, adopting low-carb keto might be overly restrictive.

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.
"Are you next? You will get phenomenal results when you work with me! Are you ready for it? You are the only one who can make the decision to take action and make a change. Don't wait another day, week, month, year - then oops, 5-10 years have gone by and you ask yourself how did my body and my health get this way?! Invest in your present and your future self, call me for your consultation."

If you've upped your salt intake and you're still feeling groggy, order some magnesium or potassium supplements to help out. The unfortunate thing about potassium tablets in particular is that they usually have a really low dosage - NoSalt might be a better way to get the amount that you need. You usually have to go to specialty stores to find this stuff, which can be a bit intimidating, or you can order online. Keep in mind that keto flu is temporary and should pass after just a few days.
There was one person who I watched on youtube who was on a raw vegan keto diet who showed what she ate in a day. That might be the way to go if you want to avoid processed and cooked foods. For all I know it might be a good way to avoid the side effects of leg cramps because you are eating whole plant based foods and getting high quality nutrients.

Now this recipe looks like exactly the type of meal you’ll be craving when following a plant-based keto diet, but appearances aside, it’s actually not only vegan and keto-friendly, but paleo-proof too! Those noodles aren’t, in fact, your usual wheat or rice variety. They’re the miraculously carb-free, fat-free, sugar-free shirataki noodles! Top with an almond butter sauce and your favorite veggies and you’ve got one of the yummiest quick and easy keto recipes.


“The day I met Samantha, it changed my life. Before I met her, I felt invisible because of the continuing frustrations I had with my weight. Now I don’t feel invisible anymore! ** I WAS BUSTING OUT OF A 14, BUT NOW I CAN EASILY FIT INTO A SIZE 6! ** I was consumed by negative feelings about myself. I would fight myself all day long between eating, starving and binging; caught in a circle of guilt. Thoughts of food were obsessive, food was my consolation. My very first visit with Samantha changed my life. She had so much energy and this amazing belief in her own ability to help me be successful. She made me believe that I too could realize my personal goal, with a lot of hard work. I have lost 30 pounds and 50” in 12 weeks! It’s not just about reaching a number on the scale. I have changed inside; the way I think about food and myself. I’m a different, more confident person now with tons of energy. I have never felt healthier in my life. I have never been more motivated. Nothing tempts me. The old me always gave into temptation. The new me is excited to be alive and feeling good. My clothes are too big! I had to go shopping! And . . .the best part is I don’t feel invisible anymore!” - Laura 52
Top Tip: Move more to stress less. "I've learned to exercise instead of eating when I'm stressed," Sarah says. "I've started walking two to three miles outside two to three times a week. The fresh air instantly puts me in a good mood, and I think of it as time to unplug. Now I put exercise on my to-do list just like any task—it's about committing to myself. My mom bought a Fitbit and aims for 10,000 steps per day."

Some people who lose significant weight may still feel as if they're carrying the same amount of fat, despite wearing smaller sizes and reading lower numbers on the scale. They continue to feel larger for years after they've lost dozens of pounds. The weight loss provides health improvements and a new appearance, but they don't feel smaller. In serious cases, people who have this distorted body image may need counseling to shift their mindset.
If you’re flexible enough to allow fish or seafood in your diet, we have some amazing seafood recipes for you. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids and protein, a little bit of seafood can go a long way. Check out our recipes for Pan-Seared Salmon with Lemon Dill Sauce and Parmesan-Encrusted Halibut – they will delight and deliver all of the benefits of keto diet foods.
Making gluten free crackers is easy: substitute the wheat flour with almond flour and sunflower seed flower. You can buy almond flour almost everywhere now, but you will need to grind roasted and unsalted sunflower seeds in a coffee or spice grinder or use a food processor. The combination of the two gluten free nut flours gives the crackers a great consistency and the nutty roasted flavor of the sunflower seeds is so darn tasty.
Dominic D’Agostino, Ph.D., one of the world’s foremost ketogenic diet researchers and founder of ketonutrition.org, agrees. “I generally avoid soy isolate and soy milk,” he says. “But I don’t think this is a major concern unless you are consuming large amounts of soy.” Note that fermented soy products—such as soy sauce and tempeh—don’t pose the same risk, and can, therefore, be eaten more liberally.

I know others of you are probably like, “Finally! A keto vegan/vegetarian post is just what I’ve been waiting for!” If that’s you, I am so excited to be able to help you out. I know limited food options can lead to a bit of a monotonous and dreary existence, and can eventually result in a horrendous bout of binge eating and crushing guilt later on. My mission is to help you avoid that vicious cycle and discover the wonderful opportunities that are out there in the small, but vivacious, world of vegan and vegetarian ketogenic living!

During the five months we’ve worked with Samantha I’ve - Lost over 40 pounds and 10 inches from my waistline - Gained a solid foundation in the mental and physical aspect of working out with weights - Learned how to push my body to new limits while becoming so much more in tune with my body’s needs - Learned how to manage my food to keep not only keep the weight off but also to keep my body functioning at peak athletic performance - Increased my average cycling speed by over 4 MPH


I am brand new to this concept! I just downloaded the app and transferred the vegetarian 2-week plan into my app settings. (Great app btw!). I noticed that the net carbs are really low. For example, day one is 10.3 for the day. I set a goal of ~20 based on what I am learning from app. Should I be concerned? I meet the calories for the day by not the protein or net carb goal.  Hope I am making sense!
Cheese dip - You could make this spinach artichoke dip, this spicy sausage cheese dip (provided that you use a vegetarian sausage alternative, which are very good), a mexican 7-layer dip, or a personal pan pizza dip and then you can use keto breadsticks, keto tortilla chips celery, raw bell peppers, kale chips, Quest chips or cheese crisps to dip. Yum!!
In the first week you lose a lot of water weight.  That is why you lose so much so fast.  I went off the diet and gained 7lbs over night...all water weight.  They say a good rule of thumb is to take what your weight lose is the first 5 days and add that to your weight...this will be your weight if you go off of the diet.  I lost 25lbs in a month.  
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?!
So sweet and full of flavor — each cupcake is rich enough in vanilla that anyone would be able to taste it. This is a recipe you really have to try for yourself. The cake of the cupcake is paired with a vanilla cream cheese frosting, which complements it really nicely. Even a plain cream cheese frosting would work beautifully with these cupcakes too.

One thing you can rejoice about are hot drinks like coffee and tea. Both coffee and tea do not inherently have any sugar if made from scratch. Even coffee and tea K-cups tend not to have any sugar in them (and are, in fact, calorie free), but the other flavors of K-cups do. You can even order a black coffee at Starbucks or an Americano, which has only 3 carbs. Take a look at Starbucks’ menu organized by nutritional information too.

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.


“Instead of the hours each day I would spend reading news feeds, journal articles, and book chapters for work and pleasure, I switched to listening to audio books, podcasts, and spoken news while briskly walking the paved trails in the large park behind my house. I relied heavily on a great smartphone app called Umano that professionally narrated long form news stories that I would have read at my desk anyway. (Sadly, it was recently acquired and shut down.) Using a Fitbit and the MapMyWalk app, I pushed myself to walk farther and more often. By August 2014, I was walking 10,000 to 12,000 steps a day.”

“Understand that it is a marathon, not a sprint. Some days may not be great but don’t beat yourself up. Also understand what works for you—maybe only for you. Tracking my food and running have been my unlock, but everyone must figure out what’s best for them. It could be meal prep, cutting out certain foods, doing more cross training... Whatever it is, do what you can practically manage, and also enjoy.”

Some do, and some don't. Similarly to sugar alcohols, different sweeteners have different glycemic indexes. Powdered versions of artificial sweeteners like splenda and even natural ones like stevia have added carbs that come from maltodextrin and other fillers, so stay away from those. Here are the best sweeteners to use while on vegetarian keto (all of them have a glycemic index of zero):
Soy contains goitrogens, which are plant compounds that can impair thyroid function. If you experience fatigue, cold sensitivity, constipation, dry skin, or unexplained weight gain as a result of upping your intake of soy-based products, then you should limit the amount of soy you consume (more on this and other vegan health concerns later in the article).
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.

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.

Dr. Axe recommends getting no more than 20 percent of your daily calories from plant-based sources of proteins, since eating too much protein will interfere with ketosis. “Most beans and legumes will contribute too many carbs to your diet and too little protein,” he says. “The best sources of low-carb protein are plant-based protein powders (like hemp, brown rice, or pea protein) and fermented soy products like tempeh.” Other plant-based sources of protein in your diet can include nutritional yeast, nuts and seeds, and even vegetables.

“The weight starting coming off,” she says. “I remember I lost 9 lbs. my first week. After I had lost 100 lbs., I started trying more adventurous exercise. I became fascinated by fitness and seeing what new things I could accomplish with my body. I do things that I never dreamed were possible like running races, lifting heavy weights, and completing a sprint triathlon.”

“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.


Since the intake of meat and other animal by-products which constitutes the percentage of protein intake is a no go, you have to focus more on fat intake. You should, however, be mindful of the vegetables you take in. In order to source for proteins, vegetarians consume foods like legumes, grain sprouted bread, apples, bananas, oranges etc. which are high in carbs, and so extra caution is advised.

“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.”
You don't have to join an expensive health club or spend hours in the gym to get in shape. Simply adding some strength-training exercises, like biceps curls and pushups, to your routine can have a big impact on how you look and feel. "A few weeks in, even before you start seeing results, you're going to feel stronger," says Caroline Kaufman, MS, RDN, a nutrition consultant in Los Angeles. "It will be easier to carry groceries, or you'll finally be able to throw that heavy suitcase into the overhead bin like a pro." These exercises are easy to perform, can be done in the comfort of your own home, and can be squeezed into your schedule whenever you have a few extra minutes. As you build muscle, become more toned, and lose inches, these physical changes will keep you motivated.
Meat is a cornerstone of the ketogenic diet, but that doesn’t mean the diet is off-limits for the vegetarian population. As the high-fat, low-carb approach has grown in popularity, many vegetarians have wanted in on the hype and have found a way to make it work for them, tweaking the typical keto diet menu and food list to fit within their meat-free lifestyles.
First things first: When you hear that the keto diet emphasizes consuming fats over carbs, that doesn't mean fats from drive-through fries or something of that sort (as sad as that may seem). It means consuming fats from things like avocado, eggs, nuts, seeds, ghee, and coconut oil. These healthy fats fuel your body's energy in replacement of carbohydrates, contributing to the aforementioned possible benefits of the diet. That's why these foods are a good place to start when talking about all things vegetarian and keto and can be considered as the building blocks of many healthy vegetarian/keto recipes.
Cheese dip - You could make this spinach artichoke dip, this spicy sausage cheese dip (provided that you use a vegetarian sausage alternative, which are very good), a mexican 7-layer dip, or a personal pan pizza dip and then you can use keto breadsticks, keto tortilla chips celery, raw bell peppers, kale chips, Quest chips or cheese crisps to dip. Yum!!
I tipped the scale as a 238-pound diabetic in 2009, thanks to bouts of emotional eating. My doctor warned me that if I didn't lose weight, I'd need to take insulin injections, so I joined a nearby gym. I dropped the first 30 pounds by walking on the treadmill, but when my weight started to plateau, I knew I needed to up the intensity. I signed up for Zumba, Spinning and weight-training group classes and was immediately hooked. The sessions felt more like a social get-together than exercise. Best of all, the added activity helped me reach my goal weight in 2012.
Eggs and dairy — two of the main animal products you can eat on the vegetarian ketogenic diet — are nutrient dense, and their production has much less of an impact on the environment than lamb, beef, farmed salmon, poultry, turkey, and pork. You can even take the positive effects one step further by sourcing your eggs and dairy from local, pasture-raised chickens and cows. By supporting these healthy and sustainable animal rearing practices, you will be investing in the most humane and healthy animal products (more on this later).
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