So you've decided to take the plunge. Congratulations! The first thing you need to is to get an app so that you can closely count your carbs. There are a few to choose from. MyFitnessPal is certainly popular, and free, but there is also Cronometer, which is also popular, as well as some lesser known ones. Ultimately, the decision is personal preference.
The goal of a traditional keto diet is to speed up weight loss through fat burning. It's done by following a meal plan that's high in fat, very low in carbs, and moderate in terms of protein, says Vandana Sheth, R.D.N., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Those ratios mean your diet should break down to approximately 80 percent fat, less than 5 percent carbs, and 15 to 20 percent protein.
If you have a tendency to overeat at cocktail parties, "choose a non-caloric beverage when first arriving, and delay eating anything until you've had a chance to look over all the choices," suggests Lorraine Matthews-Antosiewicz, MS, RD, a food and nutrition expert in New Jersey. By scoping out what's available, you can determine which indulgent treats you want to splurge on and which lean, filler foods will help fill you up. Holding a low-calorie beverage in one hand and a bag in the other will prevent you from mindlessly grazing. "Select one or two hors d'oeuvres that you really want and then wait until the cocktail hour is almost over before putting them on your plate, especially if a meal is to follow," says Matthews-Antosiewicz. You will have to set down what you are holding to fill your plate, which will keep you mindful about what, and how much, you're eating.
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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.
Don't think we forgot about those eggs we skipped out on at breakfast! We are putting them to good use at lunch with an Asparagus and Jalapeno Frittata! Not only is this recipe high protein and deliciously simple, but it makes for an easy prep and clean up! All you have to do is combine the ingredients in an oven safe pan and bake. When did meal prep get so easy?! #ketosis
Using a flax seed egg is the perfect vegan substitution when a recipe calls for an egg. Simply combine 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed meal with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit at room temperature for a least 15 minutes. For every egg a recipe calls for, you will need to use this ratio, so if you need 3 eggs, use 3 tablespoons of flax meal and 9 tablespoons of water.
"At 25, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and prediabetes, but I figured that was the norm because my family has a history of heart disease. Then one day I was sitting on the couch watching my 2-year-old daughter play. I realized that if I continued down that path, she would follow in my footsteps. Right then and there I decided to create a healthy new family legacy."
"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."
Cheese dip - You could make this spinach artichoke dip, this spicy sausage cheese dip (provided that you use a vegetarian sausage alternative, which are very good), a mexican 7-layer dip, or a personal pan pizza dip and then you can use keto breadsticks, keto tortilla chips celery, raw bell peppers, kale chips, Quest chips or cheese crisps to dip. Yum!!
If you’re a vegetarian who eats eggs or egg whites (ovo-vegetarian), incorporating a carton of eggs or egg whites into your diet is a perfect way to make sure you have enough protein in your diet. Eggs are also loaded with fat-soluble vitamins, iron, b-vitamins, and high-quality fat. They’re also inexpensive and versatile, so they should be a staple in any keto diet plan, especially a vegetarian diet.
Fasting may sound crazy, but it has its benefits. Intermittent fasting makes it easier to restrict your calories by limiting the amount of time you have to eat. This also makes it tough to over-eat at meals since you have less meals to get to your macros, which will greatly aid you in your weight loss journey. Fasting can help you enter ketosis sooner, especially if your fasting window is large.
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:
Starchy veggies, such as potatoes and corn, are carb-heavy, which is a no-no on the keto diet. Still, as a vegetarian, you’re likely going to consume veggies for every meal. Aim for variety. Include leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, mushrooms, onions, asparagus, etc. “Sea vegetables are also great additions to your diet since they provide iodine and other key minerals,” says Dr. Axe. “For help with digestion and gut health, also try to include fermented veggies in your diet every day, such as kimchi, sauerkraut, etc.”
One word. Avocado. Just kidding! Well, your snack in this meal prep is an avocado, but there is so much more to say. The best part about this snack is that it can easily top your frittata at lunch or be thrown into your salad at dinner! It also lacks any preparation, except for the dreaded task of finding 5 perfect avocados that will be ripe enough to eat, but not over ripe. It's a fine line to walk, we know.
“A completely vegan or plant-based keto diet would require the elimination of all animal-derived foods (including all meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and other animal fats and products, like bone broth or butter), plus nearly all sources of carbohydrates,” explains Josh Axe, D.N.M., D.C., C.N.S., doctor of natural medicine, chiropractor, clinical nutritionist, and author. “This results in a limited diet that’s going to be hard to follow and [will be] repetitive.”
Taking cues from your body on what to eat on a daily basis can help you eat less, says Jasia Steinmetz, a registered dietitian and author of Eat Local: Simple Steps to Enjoy Real, Healthy & Affordable Food. Next time you’re hungry, pay attention to what foods seem appealing to you—and why. Craving sweets, for example, may be a cue that you need energy. If you really want a Snickers, for instance, enjoy a bite-size. Don’t limit yourself—if nothing is off limits, you may find yourself craving nutritional food as well. “The vitamins and minerals that are so essential to the various functions of your body will come from a wide variety of foods, and choosing which foods appeal to you each day will help you tune into your body. Paying attention before, during and after you eat will help you respond to the positive feeling you get from eating healthfully and lovingly.”
Cutting out grains, rice, bread, and pasta will reduce your carb intake substantially, but you’ll also have to cut way back on nearly all fruits (exceptions are in the food list above, though even those should be eaten sparingly). Starchy vegetables like potatoes and yams are out, too. And the sugary dressings and sauces you may be so accustomed to that you don’t even question them anymore… well, start questioning them.
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!
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.
Weight loss doesn’t always mean cutting down on things. In fact, adding in more fruits and vegetables helps you stay fuller, longer, with less calories and more nutrition. To lose weight without feeling hungry, eat at least one serving of fruit or vegetables with every snack and two with meals, recommends Rachel Begun, a registered dietitian and food industry consultant in Rye Brook, N.Y.
Confused about a lot of the popular vegetarian options like tofu (which I love despite not -yet- being a vegetarian) and tempeh or seitan all of which are highly processed foods. One of the arguments in this article recommends staying away from highly processed foods. How do these processed foods make the cut then? Not trying to be snarky. Actually want to know.
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.
While grains and legumes are not allowed on keto, low-carb vegetables definitely are. You need to eat at least 3 servings of vegetables a day to meet your daily needs for vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Vegetables are also rich in health-benefiting phytochemicals that research shows reduce your risk of heart attack, cancer, and cognitive decline . Examples of low-carb vegetables are:
I ate five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, cut out fried foods, and switched from eating refined carbohydrates like white bread to complex carbs like whole-wheat bread. I promised myself that after one year of living healthfully, I'd treat myself to fast-food fries (an old favorite), but I couldn't finish them. Now my cholesterol is in a healthy range, and I still walk 30 to 60 minutes four or five days a week.
Add a few drops of oil to your hands and spread the dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment paper on top and use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into a large rectangle. When the dough is about 80% spread, sprinkle the everything bagel seasoning on top and continue to roll out the dough until it takes up the entire width of parchment paper, the thinner the better.
When you’re restricting certain food groups from your diet, it’s even more important to take a multivitamin to fill in any nutritional gaps. “If symptoms like fatigue, aches, weakness, moodiness, and trouble sleeping persist for more than two weeks, consider ending the diet and consuming a larger variety of foods,” says Dr. Axe. “It’s usually recommended that the keto diet is followed short-term, for about three months at a time (up to six months). Although, it’s important to always listen to your body and make changes if you’re reacting negatively.”
Red Palm Oil. Being an incredible source of Vitamins A and E, red palm oil doubles as a vitamin supplement. It has a mild carrot-like flavor and a rich, buttery texture. You’ll find that cooking with it can enhance the flavor of your vegan meat, nuts, and seeds. Caution: When buying palm oil, however, you must be extremely careful because many of these products are made in a way that devastates the wildlife and their environment. If you do want to add red palm oil to your keto diet, make sure you only buy RSPO-certified or Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) products.
And it could be especially startling for vegetarians. Fort Lauderdale, Florida–based Jaime Mass, RDN, founder of Jaime Mass Nutritionals, LLC, says vegetarians commonly become “pasta-tarians.” Instead of replacing meat with healthy plant-based foods and whole grains, many load up on pasta, crackers, and other carb-heavy items. Transitioning to keto could be difficult for these pasta-tarians, but it could also be beneficial in helping them cut back on processed carbs.
“My biggest hurdle was the shame I felt from being a fat man running. In the beginning, I only ran on a treadmill because I was too ashamed to run outside. I thought I looked like an oaf or an ogre. As I got to know the regular patrons of the gym, they complimented me on my consistency in training and the changes in my appearance. That’s when I realized that the only person who felt any shame about my appearance was me.”
Okay, I kid, but seriously. I have been skipping breakfast for as long as I can remember. I really only eat it on special occasions, if ever. It makes my calorie goals much easier to attain, and my body is totally cool with it. I don’t often wake up hungry. If you think you could handle waiting until noon to eat for the first time, give intermittent fasting a try. Even harder is to only do one meal a day, OMAD. This isn’t for everyone, especially if you get really hangry really quickly, but it is a great way to cut costs.
If you want to add a little variety of breakfast so it’s not always about eggs and you’re in the mood for some texture, this low-carb cinnamon cereal is the ideal keto breakfast to dig into. There’s something about plunging that round spoon into a cold, creamy bowl of milk and picking up crisp little squares that’ll transport you straight back to childhood. Make a big batch and store it in an air-tight jar so that the rest of the week’s breakfasts are a breeze. It’ll stay crunchy for about as long as a regular breakfast cereal.