Keto protein bars - Normally I wouldn’t recommend these, since many protein bars are really not as low carb as they need to be for an intensive vegetarian low carb diet. However, Quest bars and ONE bars are both pretty good for this, with Quest bars generally hovering below 5g net carbs and ONE bars being below 10g net carbs. These add up very quickly though, so use sparingly!
You don't ignore the calories in a giant muffin, but that specialty coffee may not always get the same consideration. Solid foods aren't the only hiding place for weight-gain culprits—liquids are diet derailers too. "A 20-ounce nonfat latte contains 200 calories, but the same size coffee with a splash of nonfat milk or soy milk has 25," Beller says. If you're still skeptical that drinks are wreaking havoc on your daily calorie allowance, journal them and you might be surprised.
Many dieters get so bored with bland “diet” foods they end up eating more of them to feel fulfilled. Instead of eating for quantity, focus on the quality of your food. “You may notice that the first few tastes of the food are the most satisfying—your taste buds are on high alert,” says Steinmetz. “Buying small quantities of high quality food and concentrating on taste will help you savor small bites. Stop after the first four bites so that your taste is not ‘saturated’, and then try a different food.”
For an overall view of what a successful vegetarian keto diet meal plan looks like, you have to consider your three main macronutrients first: Healthy fats, carbs, and protein. Because you're not eating meat, you'll have to turn to other sources for fat. Plus, "since some of the vegan meats on the market will contribute some carbs, you'll have to be extra careful about limiting portion sizes," says Sharp. "This means that the majority of your fat calories will need to be coming from foods like nuts, seeds, eggs, and oils."
Use all of these to meal plan some vegetarian keto recipes! Be creative with your meal plans. As far as recipes go, try to re-imagine the foods you used to eat with a low carb perspective. This can go a long way. Instead of nachos, make a taco salad with some meat substitute grounds. Make a pizza using cauliflower crust. Make a grilled cheese using a keto bread recipe. The possibilities are endless once you get on board.
“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.