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!
**Even though they’re not derived from animals and are high in fat, oils such as canola, corn, rapeseed, and margarine are highly processed and have a poor ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. They promote inflammation in the body. Because they have low smoke points, these oils are also terrible choices for cooking. High heat will turn the fats in the oil rancid, and make it even more unhealthy, causing damage to your heart, neurological problems, and other health woes. Always cook with saturated fats, such as those found in coconut and red palm oil.
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.
“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.”
If you’re interested in receiving more coupons from the store you usually go to, make sure you sign up for their rewards program or at the very least you should use the same credit or debit card every time you pay. Kind of creepy, but they track your purchases based on your card number. I have started getting tons of meat substitute coupons since I pay with the same card and consistently buy them.
If you are looking for something hearty and warm that still gives you the crunch you crave from veggies, I highly recommend making this salad. The bite of a slightly charred bell pepper paired with the creamy yet tangy hunks of half melted goat cheese makes this taste like anything but a healthy keto salad. In fact, it’s so good that you won’t need dressing.
“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.
In contrast to the typical, animal based keto diet with it’s high fat levels, a typical vegan diet often consists of a significant portion of grains and high calorie carbohydrates, often with a high carbohydrate to fat ratio. If we’re going to adapt a vegan diet to be keto friendly we need to really up our intake of a selection of higher fat vegetables etc. and cut down on carb heavy ones. Avocados and nuts are great sources of healthy fats to include along with nut and olive oils, and coconut (For more avocado recipes try this round up for some great ideas).
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.
And speaking of working out, if you’re a gym rat or avid runner, prepare for your workouts to suck for a while until your body fully adapts to the diet. If you’re cutting out carbs for the first time, your body will need two weeks or more (and sometimes months) to fully support the demands of exercise with ketones. And if you’ve been relying on animal products, you may find it difficult to recover without the full array of amino acids that every serving of animal protein provides. You’ve chosen a hard road to travel, nutritionally, but don’t lose heart. Time and persistence will force your body to accommodate just about any regimen you subject it to, and there are plenty of people whose performance has thrived on unconventional diets.
Not only that, but increasing your intake of healthy fats and protein while reducing your intake of empty carbs can help ensure that you’re getting all of the essential nutrients that you need with none of the added ingredients and chemicals that you don’t. Studies have also shown that a higher intake of fat and protein can suppress your appetite and lower levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, more effectively than carbohydrates. (3, 4)
If you’re old enough wherever you are, you might be wondering if you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite alcoholic drinks on vegetarian keto. The first thing you have to remember is that alcohol is a diuretic, which means that the more alcohol you drink, the more dehydrated you will get. This is generally bad news for ketosis. Maintain switching drinks from water to alcohol as you drink, if you choose to.
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 joined the Anytime Fitness gym near my house, but at first I could barely walk on the treadmill for 10 minutes. I didn't want to overdo it and get frustrated, so I decided to add just 1 minute of walking each day. After 20 days, I was up to 30 minutes of walking and the pounds were consistently coming off. If I couldn't make it to the gym, I'd stroll around town with my then-teenage daughters, Kayla and Kendra. Now, I feel like I am turning heads—in a good way. I hold my head up high with my shoulders back, I smile and make eye contact. I try to radiate positivity."
Nuts. Nuts are a fat-rich and healthy addition to any diet. I tend to favor macadamia nuts and cashews over any other nut because they have the highest amount of healthy monounsaturated fats and the lowest amount of inflammatory omega 6 fats. Make sure, however, that you know the carb content of these nuts. Consuming too many cashews, for example, can easily kick you out of ketosis.
You can usually be a little bit more loose on the dinners, since you have more time, although this will change based on your personal schedule. Meal planning should also help you to avoid going out to eat, although there’s almost zero way to do that on vegetarian keto anyhow. It’s not fun, but it gets the job done. In the vein of not being fun but getting the job done…
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But, with tips from the internet, I learned that these noodles are best prepared by draining, rinsing, and then sauteeing until much of the liquid is cooked away from these spaghetti-like noodles. Once you’ve done that, you’ve got yourself a really great base for a vegan keto dinner. Now, with spaghetti comes sauce, and sauces are often laden with carbs from all their hidden sugars. Try making a tomato based sauce from scratch, or opting for a bruschetta mixture instead.
My Weight-Loss Secret: "I had a treadmill in my garage that I'd been ignoring for years. I started walking on it for 30 minutes five days a week. Four months later, I'd dropped 20 pounds and added 1-minute jogging intervals. When my weight loss stalled, I started lifting weights three days a week as well. About two years later, I'd lost 90 more pounds. Now, I warm up with 5 minutes of walking and end with another 15 to 20 minutes."
Reaching for a bottle of water before you sit down to eat may help you shed those pounds faster. Research in the August 2015 Obesity journal found that obese patients who drank 500 milliliters (a 16-ounce bottle) of water 30 minutes before eating lost almost 3 pounds more than those who did not. Even more promising is that those who pre-loaded with water before each of the three main meals lost an average of 10 pounds over a 12-week period (compared to a 2-pound weight loss for those who preloaded before just one meal, or not at all).
By being aware of the things you might be deficient in, you can (and need to) load up on foods which might be rich in those vitamins, consisting of cheese for diet B12, eggs for diet D, and leafy vegetables like kale for calcium. If you’re interested in attempting keto without ingesting meat, Mass also recommends easing up on how strict of a vegetarian you are and consuming fish if you don’t already because it’s a outstanding supply of omega-3s and protein.
My Weight-Loss Secret: "I realized my daughter's middle school was one mile away. So, I started walking her there instead of driving. At the beginning, I wasn't able to keep up. I'd wave Brenda on and go back home. Each day, I went a little farther and was eventually able to make the whole trip. After four months, I was down 40 pounds and could walk without huffing and puffing. Today, my health measures are in normal ranges and I've shaken the 'victim' mentality. In other words, I felt like life was running me instead of me running my life. I now believe that if I can work hard enough to change my health, then I can apply that discipline to other areas. It's been going well—I devote time each day to my novel and other writing aspirations!"
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.
Meat substitutes. Meat substitutes are often the punching bag of vegetarians and vegans, and I’m not really sure why. Some say that soy is a poison that gives you cancer and disrupts your hormones and things like that, but the science says otherwise. Meat substitutes are healthy, good for you, and a godsend for vegetarian keto. Gardein, MorningStar, Quorn, Boca, Beyond Meat, Lightlife, almost all of them are GREAT for low carb, high fat, high protein meals. I would not be able to do vegetarian keto without fake meat products.
The keto diet works well for vegetarians. Sometimes a vegetarian diet ends up being high in carbohydrates if it’s lacking in protein. A lack of protein can cause you to crave carbs to feel full, resulting in weight gain and low energy. On the flip side, a low carb vegetarian diet can help you get back on track with your weight and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle overall. It can curb your cravings and help you get into the habit of eating healthy foods that will fill you up, without going overboard.
Throughout this article, we will focus on how to implement a vegetarian ketogenic diet that includes eggs and dairy. (No meat, fish, or poultry products will be recommended at all.) On the other hand, if you want to eliminate all animal products for your ketogenic diet, then you will find much better suggestions — like a complete list of dairy and egg alternatives — in our comprehensive guide to the vegan ketogenic diet.
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.)
Being on a ketogenic diet doesn't necessarily mean you'll be eating eggs, bacon and avocado for all your meals. Although, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, some of us like to mix in vegetarians options once in a while, and some of us are just straight up vegetarians kicking some keto butt! Now, whether or not you're the former or latter, we've got a perfectly balanced Vegetarian Keto Meal Prep just for you!
“I’ve been going to ‘get in shape’ for years now. Would start to, but never really saw any results. Samantha took this junk food junkie and showed me how eat healthy and so I would enjoy it! ** IN ONLY 16 WEEKS I'VE ALREADY LOST OVER 30" AND 30 lbs. OF FAT! ** I really can’t believe how easy the transformation has been. I only wish I had called Samantha sooner!” - Karen
The biggest thing to watch out for (aside from keto flu, which you should read about just above this section) when it comes to vegetarian keto is vitamin and other nutritional deficiencies. This is something that vegetarians and vegans are all too familiar with. Before getting any kind of vitamin supplement, make sure you consult with a doctor and have them check the vitamin levels in your bloodstream.
Most ketogenic diet plans emphasize the consumption of animal-based products such as grass-fed butter and unprocessed meats, which can make it hard if you’re trying to cut back on your intake of these foods or follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Fortunately, however, there are also plenty of other high-fat, plant-based choices available for you to choose from as well.
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If you are a petite woman who is five feet tall, a ten-pound weight loss may mean that you've lost up to ten percent of your body weight. That amount of weight loss will be very noticeable and can change her clothing size up to two sizes. But if you are a very tall athletic woman, a ten-pound loss probably won't even be noticeable and may not change your clothing size at all.
Protein is likewise a large challenge. “Since the keto weight loss program is counting on protein and fats for your calorie consumption, you are slicing out many of the entire proteins you would be achieving — say from legumes and grains — on a normal vegetarian food plan,” Mass says. “On a keto weight-reduction plan, this supply of whole proteins is now basically eliminated.” Protein is critical to help the frame build bones, muscle tissues, and pores and skin, in line with Medline Plus.
One of the best ways to get cheap groceries is to get a lot of them at once. Keep in mind this only works for some foods, like things that are easily frozen or don’t spoil quickly. Usually there will be deals that look like 10 for $10 or something to that effect. For deals like this, you do not have to buy 10 items to get the discount. This is a marketing trick (an effective one at that) that is used to get you to buy more than you need.
That depends. Mass says if going keto rouses an undesirable veggie lover to tidy up his or her carb diversion, it could be advantageous and prompt better glucose control. In addition, changing from a pasta-substantial diet to one that is wealthy in veggies and solid fats should enable somebody to drop undesirable pounds, she says. In any case, for veggie lovers who eat generally clean as of now and depend on sound carbs like quinoa and oats — which are constrained on the ketogenic diet — to enable them to feel full, embracing low-carb keto may be excessively prohibitive.
Don't shy away from a handful of processed foods if they help you meet your macros. Normally, you'll hear that excluding processed food is the way to go on keto. And while that is a wise thing to do, it can cause trouble when you adopt a more restricted version of the ketogenic diet. Adding TVP, trans-free margarine, and canned goods can be a convenient way to get all the nutrients you need on your vegetarian ketogenic diet as long as it's low-carb and rich in healthy fats.
With Samantha’s personal training, I feel freer than I’ve ever felt before. I’ve learned so much and I’ve become so self-sufficient that I will never again be a slave to bad eating habits or laziness. What’s even better is that, as my health has improved, I’ve found that I enjoy cycling more now than at any other time in my life. Thank you Samantha for your help and your support, I truly couldn’t have accomplished so much in so little time without you!"
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.”
Stevia: Stevia has a glycemic index of zero, which makes it perfect for a keto diet. Additionally, it's not actually an artificial sweetener, it is a natural one. The liquid version is extremely strong which means that you don't have to use much to add the sweetness you need. Steer clear of any powdered version so as not to add extra carbs. The biggest issue with liquid stevia is that it can't be used in baking. That’s where allulose comes in!
You’ve heard that eating from smaller plates can help you eat less, but did you know that using a larger fork can do the same? A recent study by researchers at the University of Utah found that participants eating with a larger fork - one that held 20 percent more food—at an Italian restaurant ate about 10 percent less than those who used a regular fork. Researchers believe a smaller fork makes us feel we aren’t making as much of a dent on our plate so we’ll take more forkfuls to satisfy our hunger. (Note: This only worked with large portions. When diners were served smaller meals, fork size didn’t affect their consumption). So next time you’re order a super-sized entree, ask for a bigger fork to help you eat less. And while you’re at it, stop when you’re satisfied—not stuffed.
Ever wonder why McDonald’s color scheme is yellow and red? “We are naturally drawn to red, yellow and orange in our dining area or restaurants because psychologically it stimulates us to want to eat -- and eat a lot. Studies show if you put your food on blue plates it can cause you to eat less,” says Tamal Dodge, a certified yoga instructor in Santa Monica, Calif. and star of the “Element: Hatha & Flow Yoga for Beginners” DVD.
What’s more, it could be particularly startling for vegans. Fortification Lauderdale, Florida– based Jaime Mass, RDN, author of Jaime Mass Nutritionals, LLC, says vegans usually moved toward becoming “pasta-tarians.” Instead of supplanting meat with sound plant-based nourishments and entire grains, many loads up on pasta, saltines, and other carb-overwhelming things. Changing to keto could be troublesome for these pasta-tarians, yet it could likewise be useful in helping them cut back on handled carbs.
"We know that reducing your carbs to a very low percentage of your daily calories can stimulate ketosis, [which is] when your brain and body begins to run on ketones (aka fat) rather than carbs for fuel," says Abbey Sharp, R.D. And that stands true whether you eat animal products or not. "Ketosis has been shown to help promote weight loss because it helps suppress your hunger hormones and therefore your appetite, while also promoting substantial water loss to reduce bloating," she adds. (Check out the results of one woman's keto diet weight-loss program.)
I have achieved all my goals and more…I have lost 35 pounds and have gone from a size 12/13 to a size 5/6. My waist size has changed dramatically – when I began seeing Samantha, I was squeezing myself into a size 32 waist in jeans. Now, I can easily fit into a size 27 which feels fantastic! I tell Samantha and Chris that they are the best thing that ever happened to me and I mean that from the bottom of my heart! I feel like a totally different person now than I did 6 months ago. I am actually excited for beach season this year and I cannot wait to go bathing suit shopping. I can’t remember another time in my life in which I had more confidence in my appearance. I have changed my lifestyle and my entire view on health and fitness. I love the food I eat and I am never hungry! I enjoy exercising now and have all the energy I need to get through the day and more. I feel that I am living to my true potential; I have a healthy body, mind and spirit. Samantha gave me the tools and guidance I needed to change my life and I embraced them whole-heartedly. I can say that, without a doubt, I feel 100% better than I did before I started with her. I start each day by looking at myself in the mirror and actually being HAPPY with the person I see looking back at me. Now, I look the way I have always wanted to look and my husband can’t believe the results either! I can honestly say that my results have surpassed even my expectations. Don’t spend another day feeling bad about yourself or your appearance. You have the power to change your life for the better and to maintain an active lifestyle. I will never allow myself to go back to my old habits. I am a new person thanks to Samantha and Chris at Pure Health & Fitness Studios!" --- Sara
Besides getting plenty of healthy fats, watching your carbs is one of the most important factors here—and a lot of the go-to meals and especially snacks common for vegetarians and vegans are pretty carb-heavy. But excessive carbohydrates (even from veggies) aren’t part of a keto diet. Of course, refined carbs like sugar, flour, bread, cereal, chips, etc. are immediately off the table.
“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.”
All in all, soy looks like a safe food that most people will have no problems with. However, there may be a handful of individuals that may experience thyroid issues after increasing their soy consumption. This may happen because soy contains goitrogens — plant compounds that disrupt the production of thyroid hormones by interfering with iodine uptake in the thyroid gland.
Great tips! I really love the keto diet and I’ve made a lot of progress in changing my eating habits in the past year. One thing that really helped me get started was having access to a quality ketogenic diet cookbook. Recently I found one that offers 148 ketogenic recipes complete with meal planning tips. It also provides you with handy list of high-carb foods to avoid and advice on how to neutralize your cravings for those foods. The recipes are amazing and there’s enough recipes there to keep you from getting bored with your diet. I highly recommend it. Just click the link below to get instant access:
This is where it gets a little more complicated, and where a list can come in very handy. It’s important to add healthy low-carb veggies to your meals while on the keto diet, so you still receive enough healthy fiber to keep you feeling full. Fruit can also be incorporated into your meal plan, but you have to be selective as the fructose content in a lot of fruit can easily tip you over your daily carbohydrate ration and kick you out of ketosis. Make these veggies and fruits your friends: