On the other hand, keto and veganism don’t work very well together. As humans, we need to consume complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids (an “essential” nutrient can’t be made by the body and must instead be obtained through diet). Although animal protein provides all the essential amino acids in the amounts we need, plants only contain some of them.
Vegetarian and vegan diets are gaining popularity. According to a report by research firm GlobalData, there’s been a 600 percent increase in people identifying as vegans in the U.S. in the last three years alone, so plant-based lifestyles are clearly catching on. Another diet that’s quickly climbing the popularity charts is the ketogenic, or “keto,” diet. This eating plan calls for the restriction of carbs by following the LCHF (low-carb, high-fat) principle. Essentially, by reducing carbs, the body’s forced to break down and use fat for fuel instead, a process called ketosis.
A fast includes any period of time in which you consume 0 calories. This includes drinks, snacks, and all of that. In addition to water, coffee and tea are extremely common drinks that you can rely on during a fast. The two drinks’ caffeine works as an appetite suppressant while allowing consumption of some type during the fast. The key with drinking during a fast is to not include any milk, cream, or sugar (unless it’s one of the keto-friendly sugar alternatives and is calorie-free).
“I was supposed to be a leader of soldiers, and I could barely pass the Army physical test,” Cines — who weighed 200 lbs. at her highest — told PEOPLE. “I was embarrassed. My soldiers looked up to me and I had to counsel them when they couldn’t meet the standards, and yet I myself couldn’t meet the standards. I just felt like a hypocrite and a fake.”
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.
Another food you'll find to be a good source of protein on your vegetarian keto diet is cheese, which I'm sure you could have guessed. Cheese comes in a variety of of textures, tastes and colors, but don't let this delicious ingredient fool you -it'll help you hit your protein goals! One thing to note, however, is the varying carb count in different cheeses. It ranges from a low .10 net carbs per 1 oz serving of Gruyere cheese to a higher 1.5 net carbs per 1 oz serving of Swiss cheese.
This is going to be tough, but always ask your server for help. Usually they’ll be more than happy to help you find what you need (especially since they’re expecting a tip). Look out for side/garnishing sauces or glazes, many of which will contain a lot of sugar. Most restaurants have their nutritional information online somewhere, so take a look at their options online before you go or on your phone while you’re there.
We know we ought to snack on carrot sticks, but when the potato chips looks so good every time you open the cupboard, sometimes a girl's willpower just isn't enough. Do yourself a favor and hide the sweets, or at least make them so unreachable that they're a huge annoyance to retrieve. Debi Silber, M.S., a registered dietitian in Long Island, N.Y., suggests: "It's all about out of sight, out of mind. Try giving your tempting treats to guests when they leave or asking your friends to hide them."
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.
Just like the regular version of the keto diet, the vegetarian keto diet relies on your food choices to put your body into ketosis. “If you are going to try this diet, I recommend healthy fats such as nuts and seeds as well as avocados. These are rich in unsaturated fats. Try to limit cheese and other saturated fats, as they are not good for our cardiovascular system,” Bailey explains.
According to a new Cornell University study, people who ate smaller, portion-controlled lunches consumed about 250 calories less per day (that’s about two pounds a month) than those who ate as much as they wanted. Portion control doesn’t mean you’ll go hungry. Reward yourself with a snack for sticking to smaller meals, which can help shave off pounds without major sacrifice.
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).
“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.” Luckily, you'll find that many of the best foods for weight loss are inexpensive, convenient, and easy to find in your local grocery store. When you learn how to plan and prepare meals in advance and fill your refrigerator with diet-friendly foods, you can even save time and money while you slim down.