Since successfully losing 100lbs by changing her relationship with food and her body, Sarah has taken her passion for food and balanced it between cucumbers and cupcakes. When she's not bustling her way around a kitchen, you can find her working out or winding down at home with her 3 kids and pug. Follow Sarah's journey on Instagram @TheBirdsPapaya.
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As a general rule – pay special attention to your carb intake. Carbs are not your friend on keto because, as long as your body is getting enough of them, it will not enter ketosis. Fat, on the other hand, is the main fuel on this diet. Don't think that this higher fat intake is putting you at risk of weight gain because, on keto, your body burns fat.
Most people are already getting enough omega-6 fatty acids since these are fairly common. But omega-3 fats are harder to obtain. The best vegetarian source of omega-3s include walnuts, olive oil, flaxseed, and chia seeds. However, studies show that your body needs fairly large amounts of plant omega-3s to convert it into its usable for [8]. Keep that in mind when planning a vegan 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.
Reading ingredient labels is also important. You should know what’s in the food that you put into your body! Those following a vegan or vegetarian diet are used to checking ingredient labels to make sure that they’re not unknowingly consuming an animal product or byproduct. When on the keto diet, you have to look out for food that contains sugar and flours. They can interfere with ketosis. “Don’t consume any added sugar from desserts, juice or soft drinks, grains, beans or legumes. Instead of consuming sugar or even honey, try using stevia extract or monk fruit to sweeten meals,” says Dr. Axe. “Even starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and beets provide carbs that can interfere with ketosis. These should be avoided or [eaten] in very small amounts.”
The first few days of switching to a ketogenic diet sucks. You'll feel hunger pangs, cravings, grumpy and probably suffer flu-like symptoms. You may even feel light-headed, sometimes. There are a number of reasons for this, including changes in gut biota, as various colonies are "screaming at you" for food, but mainly as your body initially will be looking for a quick glucose energy source, before switching metabolic states and preferring ketones, instead. This takes some patience and discipline.
“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.

Still, Mass is hesitant to recommend this way of eating. “I don’t see many benefits to going keto vegetarian,” she says. The major concern is nutritional deficiencies. As Medline Plus notes, vegetarians already are at risk of being deficient in vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc, iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein. Keto then puts more restrictions in place, further increasing the likelihood of being deficient in some of these nutrients. For example, breakfast cereals, which are usually rich in vitamin B12, are not allowed on keto.
Because different plant foods contain different types of amino acids, in excluding all animal products, vegans come to rely on a combination of grains, legumes, and seeds to get all of the essential amino acids their bodies need. Many of these foods are too high in carbs to be included on a keto diet, which is usually restricted to 20 grams of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) per day. However, those who want to avoid all animal products can follow a lower-carb, non-keto vegan diet, such as the “Eco-Atkins” diet.
That said, a recurring mistake among vegetarians who go keto is incorporating too many vegetable-based carbohydrates, without even realizing. You’ve got to be quite vigilant of all your carb and protein sources following a vegetarian keto diet meal plan, as most vegetarians tend to source their protein from foods like legumes and grains, which aren’t supported on the vegetarian keto diet. If you’re following a diet that’s strictly plant-based, then you’ll have to be even more mindful.
Sarah’s Freezer to Slow Cooker ebooks have been a fantastic addition to my meal plans.  They make meal planning easy and my family happy. I love the way each recipe is laid out, with a shopping list and ingredient prep list, along with cooking instructions. Sarah’s done all the hard work for me!  The recipes have used have all been delicious and easily adaptable to my family’s taste and the number of people I’m serving.

Protein is also a big concern. “Since the keto diet is relying on protein and fat for your calorie intake, you are cutting out many of the complete proteins you would be attaining — say from legumes and grains — on a regular vegetarian diet,” Mass says. “On a keto diet, this source of complete proteins is now essentially eliminated.” Protein is important to help the body build bones, muscles, and skin, according to Medline Plus.
When you are following a vegetarian keto meal plan, though, Palmer recommends focusing mostly on whole foods. Not only will those help you hit your nutrient checkboxes, but they're also rich in slow-digesting carbs and help maintain energy levels longer. And as with any healthy diet, you should avoid processed foods and refined carbs and sugars, which are stripped of important nutrients that prevent sugar from being absorbed into the bloodstream too quickly. (Not sure which drinks are keto-approved? Check out this list.)
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.
“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.”
By being aware of the things you might be deficient in, you could (and should) load up on foods that are rich in those nutrients, such as cheese for vitamin B12, eggs for vitamin D, and leafy greens like kale for calcium. If you are interested in trying keto without eating meat, Mass also recommends easing up on how strict of a vegetarian you are and eating fish if you don’t already since it’s a great source of omega-3s and protein.
aThese results were from a 56-week trial of adults with excess weight (BMI ≥27) with at least 1 weight-related condition, or obesity (BMI ≥30), not including patients with type 2 diabetes. On average, 27% of people on Saxenda® and 34% on placebo did not complete the study. In the study, 62% of patients on Saxenda® lost ≥5% of their body weight (vs 34% placebo) and 34% lost ≥10% body weight (vs 15% placebo). Significant weight loss was only evaluated at 56 weeks, as per study design.
The right types of oils are great for a ketogenic diet because they’re entirely made of fat. MCT’s in particular are a type of fat that is metabolized quicker than most and broken down into useable energy. It also can easily cross the blood-brain barrier, which is why they are so beneficial to our mental clarity and performance. Perfect Keto made a convenient MCT Oil Powder just for this reason, and more can be found in our article Are MCT Supplements Worth Taking? Here are some more great options:
“I love to run. I like to say, after years of battling addiction and depression, I’m a better dog when I’m walked. So I just try to get out there as much as possible and run by feel. On days I feel great, I’ll go longer or do a tempo run. On days I feel like I need a break, I’ll back off and take it easy. On weekends I run long, usually at least 20 miles. I also try to strength train at least once a week.”
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.
“After four years of running, I feel great. I run two to three times during the week from three to six miles per day, unless I am specifically training for a longer distance race. On the weekends, I like to trail run on unpaved paths near my home and, up until 2017, I was racing at least once a month. This year, because of finances, it has been once every couple of months, if that. I do everything from 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, and obstacle course races. I am working toward completing a full marathon eventually.”
I get asked for meatless keto recipes for the low carb vegetarian all the time, and with the help of my assistant Stacey, I finally put together a collection of the 101 Best Keto Vegetarian Recipes we could find!  We will be adding more meatless low carb recipes to a Keto Vegetarian Recipes Pinterest Board in the coming months so be sure to follow IBIH on Pinterest if you aren’t already!
Another part of this is opting for frozen or canned foods over fresh. The frozen and canned options are going to last a lot longer than the fresh options, giving your more versatility if you accidentally make an impulse buy of something you don’t end up using before it goes bad. This goes against a lot of the popular culture right now, but it’s an underrated strategy of saving money
For the protein aspect you'll be using the protein powder of your choosing to mix into the keto oatmeal. We live by Isopure Cookies and Cream, but feel free to use whatever protein powder you have at home! Something to be aware of is that the flavor of the protein powder will dictate the flavor of your keto oatmeal, as well as any change in nutrition. We love and live by Isopure because it's 0 carb!

I get asked for meatless keto recipes for the low carb vegetarian all the time, and with the help of my assistant Stacey, I finally put together a collection of the 101 Best Keto Vegetarian Recipes we could find!  We will be adding more meatless low carb recipes to a Keto Vegetarian Recipes Pinterest Board in the coming months so be sure to follow IBIH on Pinterest if you aren’t already!
Anyone following a plant-based ketogenic diet will be well familiar with zoodles. These veggie noodles are supposed to take the place of pasta or wheat noodles in your favorite dishes – but they often leave you wanting. Well, no more my friends! This is a vegan zucchini recipe that’s well worth dusting off your spiralizer for! It’s fresh, flavorsome, and feisty. The secret is in the sauce…
Keto baking is particularly difficult because many of our favorite recipes rely on traditional flour, sugar, and dairy as the main ingredients. Unfortunately, converting traditional recipes with keto and paleo ingredient substitutions doesn't usually work. This is because while almond and coconut flour certainly make delicious baked goods, the texture and binding properties are very different from traditional flours.
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