“It’s been a real confidence builder to realize that I can set goals and accomplish them. I was never athletic as a kid, and now as a person eligible for Social Security, I’m signed up for two 10 mile races and a half marathon in 2017—and I know I’ll finish them. As a matter of fact, running has improved my mental health as much or more as my physical health. Running is the one thing that I do just for me, which is needed in a life full of stress.”
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.
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.
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.
Hello, I’m Abbey! I'm a Registered Dietitian (RD), an avid food and recipe writer, a TV nutrition expert and spokesperson, a YouTube host and the founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc. Abbey's Kitchen is a multi- faceted food and nutrition media brand developed with the goal of celebrating the pleasurable eating experience. For more information about me, check out my bio here.
According to a 2010 Cornell University study, you’ll eat about 20 percent less if you keep your serving dishes in the kitchen instead of on the dinner table. Researchers tested how eating habits would change if food was served from the kitchen, not the table. Participants ate less when the food was out of reach, and were more likely to choose fruits and vegetables when kept in plain sight.
My weight loss has definitely slowed like it normally does after the first 2 weeks, but I also think I was getting a little too comfortable with my cheat days.  I let them happen more frequently than I should have.  So now, going into the month of February, I’ll be more diligent about not cheating unless it’s the right day, rather than just deciding on a whim to have a cheat day, just because I wanted what everyone else was having.  I’m going to be traveling to Breckenridge, Colorado for a ski trip this month, so I’m sure that the trip will be difficult on me.  At least, I’ll probably burn a lot of it while I’m skiing.
The research on vegetarian keto diets is limited, but anecdotally speaking, MacDowell says she noticed a handful of positive changes once she started following the diet. “I found that not only did I lose weight very quickly [though in a healthy amount of time], I also noticed things like joint pain was disappearing, my digestion was normalizing, little things that I didn’t at all expect,” MacDowell says.

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."
Several studies, for example, have shown that both vegetarians and vegans are prone to deficiencies in B12, calcium, iron, zinc, the long-chain fatty acids EPA & DHA, and fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, & K2. Vegans and vegetarians may also suffer from hormonal issues if their bodies aren’t producing enough cholesterol and if plant compounds called goitrogens are impairing their thyroid function.
If you’ve read through this entire guide, bravo. It’s huge, much bigger than I ever intended, actually. I’m really passionate about both vegetarianism and the ketogenic diet, so I honestly had a lot of fun producing all this information for you. I hope it was helpful, that you learned something, and that you feel better equipped to take on this mash-up diet.
The vegetarian keto diet menu will include leafy greens and aboveground vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, and green beans, as well as high-fat dairy, nuts, seeds, avocados, berries, sweeteners, oils, and fats. According to Vizthum, ketotarians should ensure that they fit plenty of nuts, seeds (including flax and chia), tofu, seitan, tempeh, eggs, cheese, cream, vegetables, avocados, olives, olive oil, canola oil, and butter into their diets for optimal results. You can make “treats” to help cravings, like chocolate avocado ice cream, from compliant ingredients.
"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."
Several years ago, I decided that I wanted to begin bicycling again. I was out of shape and had fond memories of my “fit” days in high school when I used to ride my bike everywhere (even after I bought my first car). Back then, my bicycle was not only a means of transportation, it was something fun to do to stay healthy. I went out to the local bike shop and purchased a new road bike, intent on restoring my body to the slim and fit self I remembered so well. Unfortunately, after several years of riding I had actually managed to gain weight and my cycling hadn’t really improved at all (still as slow as when I first started again).
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“It’s been a real confidence builder to realize that I can set goals and accomplish them. I was never athletic as a kid, and now as a person eligible for Social Security, I’m signed up for two 10 mile races and a half marathon in 2017—and I know I’ll finish them. As a matter of fact, running has improved my mental health as much or more as my physical health. Running is the one thing that I do just for me, which is needed in a life full of stress.”

Vegetarians following the keto diet could also run the risk of becoming deficient in certain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Three big ones: B12, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. "B12 is largely found in animal products; heme-iron, which is most readily absorbed, is only obtained in animal products; and fish is a great source of omega-3s," explains Sharp. Unfortunately, those aren't the only elements at risk of being deficient. Zinc, an important antioxidant, most often comes from meat and poultry; calcium and vitamin D—two nutrients that are crucial for bone health—are mostly found in dairy products; and magnesium, another important nutrient for bone health (and energy) is typically ingested via grains, which are on the no-no list for vegetarian keto followers.
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.

Your best bet for low-carb vegan protein may be hemp seeds, which provides 30g protein and 8g fiber (NOT counted as carbs) in a mere half cup. Seitan, which is made from wheat, is another good choice and offers about 18g protein and 2g carbs every three ounces. Tofu and tempeh rank high as well (tofu has an 8:1 ratio of protein to carbs; tempeh is about 6:1).


“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 looking to lose weight, fiber really is your secret weapon. High-fiber foods like legumes, nuts, and whole-grain products help to keep you full after a meal. They also stabilize your blood sugar, protecting you from the temptation to crash-snack. Erika Kaufman, R.D, a registered dietitian at the Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa in Houston, advises eating 25 to 35 grams of fiber daily, aiming for 3 grams in each bread serving and at least 5 grams of fiber in your cereal.
I want to be totally honest about what I experienced on a vegan keto diet so that you know what you are getting into. My intention is not to turn anyone away from the diet, just be transparent about my experience with it. I would do a lot of research before starting it so that you know what you are getting into and how to maintain it without any symptoms. Now, there's nothing wrong with training in a fed state. Any exercise burns energy, which supports your weight-loss efforts. What many people don't know, however, is that training in a fasted state offers several unique fat loss benefits.
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