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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.
Andrew Heffernan, C.S.C.S., is an award-winning health and fitness journalist whose work appears regularly in Men’s Health and Experience Life. He is the co-author of two fitness books—The Exercise Cure and Your New Prime—and is a frequent top-five finisher as an age-group triathlete and competitive obstacle-course racer. Andrew lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. Visit him at andrewheffernan.com.
“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.”
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.
Eggs are going to play a huge role in your diet as a vegetarian. In fact, they are going to become your new best friend! Eggs are made up of 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat - they are almost the perfect food. Eggs can also be manipulated in enough ways that you'll never even have the chance to get bored of eating them! Fry them up, bake them into a frittata or add mayo to make an egg salad. You can't go wrong.
Sugars and processed carbs have an interesting effect on your hunger. The sharp rise in blood glucose causes your body to release tons of insulin, causing your blood sugar to then dramatically drop. This "sugar crash" leaves your body telling you that you need more energy, since your blood sugar is low. Carbs make you hungrier. This leads to a very dangerous cycle of overeating that can lead to prediabetes and insulin resistance.
It only took a year and a half for my weight to climb up 30 pounds and my body to become unrecognizable. This happened from a stressful job, late night eating and chocolate had become my best friend. I realize now I ate a LOT of chocolate!! That added up to a sugar addiction, mood swings and weight gain. Yuck! I looked and felt dumpy. I looked and felt OLD and UGLY and my clothes kept getting tighter and tighter. Every time I looked into the mirror I hated what I had become. I loathed myself and how I looked. I had no clue how to get out of this "ever expanding woman" syndrome and I felt a bit more hopeless - not good. I'd seen Samantha's ads and the photos always caught my attention. I knew I needed help to get myself back. I knew I needed to be educated about what, when and how to eat. Also I like the concept of accountability. I like having a well defined plan and having someone mentor me through that plan. I must experience success or I will lose interest and give up. Samantha's ads and testimony on her web site gave me the belief that I would experience success with her.I set very high standards for myself and Samantha set them higher. When I turned 56 in August a week later I called Samantha for an interview. I did not like being asked how I was going to change my life so that I could succeed at her program but I knew I would do whatever I needed to do to get myself back. And I knew that Samantha had the knowledge, skills, talent to assist me on that journey. Her program was absolutely what I needed. Samantha is the most determined person I have ever met. I made my commitment not only to her but to myself as well. I can honestly say it was NOT difficult but it took determination, patience and consistent dedication. I did NOT feel deprived; I felt empowered and that is VERY important to me! I understood the mistakes I made in portion sizes and the timing of my meals. Being free of my cravings for chocolate within 1 week was amazing! And I lost 26" in the first 4 weeks. Wahoo!
One big reason people go keto is sustained energy. When you don’t eat copious amounts of carbs, levels of insulin—the hormone that controls blood sugar—remain much steadier than they do on the carbohydrate-based diet most people are used to. When your blood sugar is stable, you don’t have afternoon energy crashes that make you want to fall asleep at your desk. A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that a ketogenic diet controlled blood sugar more effectively than a more standard, low-calorie diet that was high in carbs.
On a keto diet, saturated fats are not only good but a valuable tool for raising ketones. A special type of saturated fats called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are even scientifically proven to raise ketones [10]. They don't require digestive enzymes and are directly sent to the liver to be used for energy. Sources of MCTs on a vegetarian ketogenic diet are:
Zucchini noodes (zoodles!) are a bit of a staple on the keto diet, when I first started cutting out carbs pasta was one of the biggest thing’s I missed. Pre-keto I would love making pasta as a quick and easy weeknight dinner, but actually the zucchini version is so much better, with more flavour and quicker too. This dish can be put together in under 10 minutes!
Hey Jamie, great to hear that you’re going keto!! As far as lentils go, what are the different types you’re referring too? In terms of the protein shake, yes you can definitely have a protein shake as long as it’s low in carbs and you are adding enough fat to it – having a bunch of protein at once could hinder your ability to get and stay in ketosis so you always want to pair protein with fat to minimize the blood sugar response.
This was mentioned just recently, but deserves some more spotlight. Nut milks are great for vegetarian keto. Dairy milk is more carb-heavy than many drinks, and should not be your first choice if you’re going for milk due to the lactose. Nut milks are especially good if you’re trying to accomplish vegan keto. Just make sure to avoid the sweetened versions - they contain sugar!
“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.
Protein - It is well documented that vegetarians supposedly lack protein sources. It is also well documented that vegetarians and vegans usually aren't deficient in protein at all. It is true, however, that vegetarian keto restricts some of the usual sources of protein for vegetarians, like beans, for example (except for these 1g net carb black soybeans).
Sugar cookies are perfect for Christmas cookie exchanges and this healthy twist on the classic holiday favorite does not disappoint. Despite their name, they are indeed sugar-free (not to mention they're also gluten-free and paleo)! And the low carb glaze is optional, but really adds to the festive look of this recipe and would be a nice touch if you've decided to gift them.
If you follow our 5-step plan, eating good-quality vegetarian protein sources and plenty of very-low-carb vegetables, you should manage your micronutrient intake well on a keto vegetarian diet. If you want to be extra sure, eating a range of the following nutrient-dense foods on a daily basis will ensure that you provide your body with the range of micronutrients that keto vegetarians are most at risk of being deficient in.
“I lost most of my weight (200 lbs.) in about 18 months so I have had to stay busy to keep it off,” he says. “I am extremely competitive and have an amazing network of friends and the From Fat To Finish Line (FFTFL) community. I like to join training groups and training clubs because of the friendships and accountability it creates. It would be easy for me to blow off a 10-mile run at 5:30 on a Friday morning, but I know I have two friends meeting me, who I would never let down.”
This was mentioned just recently, but deserves some more spotlight. Nut milks are great for vegetarian keto. Dairy milk is more carb-heavy than many drinks, and should not be your first choice if you’re going for milk due to the lactose. Nut milks are especially good if you’re trying to accomplish vegan keto. Just make sure to avoid the sweetened versions - they contain sugar!
This keto cookie recipe is loaded with fat and protein but skips the baking process, for a recipe that's incredibly quick and easy. While the texture might be similar to your favorite oatmeal cookie recipe, there's not an oat in sight! With just 6 ingredients and 20 minutes of time, you can whip up these delicious healthy keto treat that also happens to be gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, paleo, and vegan!
“After giving birth, I was ready to start finding myself again. Two hours after surgery, I was up out of the hospital bed walking laps around the hospital. I was released a day early and on a mission to keep going. There is this local park in my hometown, and one lap around the circle is exactly one mile. So everyday I started out barely able to walk a full mile around the park. Everyday that mile got easier, and that mile turned into two miles, and those two turned into three. Then one day I decided to try to run instead of walk. Those runs got longer and easier, and eventually I was running those three miles instead of walking them.”
Now this recipe looks like exactly the type of meal you’ll be craving when following a plant-based keto diet, but appearances aside, it’s actually not only vegan and keto-friendly, but paleo-proof too! Those noodles aren’t, in fact, your usual wheat or rice variety. They’re the miraculously carb-free, fat-free, sugar-free shirataki noodles! Top with an almond butter sauce and your favorite veggies and you’ve got one of the yummiest quick and easy keto recipes.

Vegans consume no animal products. Like vegetarians, they don’t eat meat, poultry, or fish, but they also avoid dairy, eggs, and other foods that contain even trace amounts of animal ingredients. Most vegans won’t eat gelatin (made from bones), casein (a milk protein), and fish oil supplements, or refined sugar (some brands of which use cow bones as a whitening agent).
“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.”
Hey awesome and thanks for the offer to help! If you would like, I could remove all the adverts then you could reimburse me and my staff for our time, website hosting, email programme, design, video production, book production, hours it takes to run my support groups, give talks to community groups, make donations to those who need it…. YAY. My adverts always allowed my website to be completely free of charge to everyone, but with your kind offer, I don’t need them any more 😉

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.


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!
You conscientiously check food labels, but do you pay attention to serving sizes? (You don't have to answer that.) Rachel Beller, M.S., R.D., and nutritionist on NBC's The Biggest Loser, calls for a "reality check" when it comes to reading serving sizes on packaging. "Many cereals have a serving size of half a cup or two-thirds of a cup, but no one sticks to a measly half a cup of cereal." She suggests limiting yourself to single-cup servings that don't exceed 200 calories. Make measuring cups your new BFFs, and resist the temptation to let em overflow.
It only took a year and a half for my weight to climb up 30 pounds and my body to become unrecognizable. This happened from a stressful job, late night eating and chocolate had become my best friend. I realize now I ate a LOT of chocolate!! That added up to a sugar addiction, mood swings and weight gain. Yuck! I looked and felt dumpy. I looked and felt OLD and UGLY and my clothes kept getting tighter and tighter. Every time I looked into the mirror I hated what I had become. I loathed myself and how I looked. I had no clue how to get out of this "ever expanding woman" syndrome and I felt a bit more hopeless - not good. I'd seen Samantha's ads and the photos always caught my attention. I knew I needed help to get myself back. I knew I needed to be educated about what, when and how to eat. Also I like the concept of accountability. I like having a well defined plan and having someone mentor me through that plan. I must experience success or I will lose interest and give up. Samantha's ads and testimony on her web site gave me the belief that I would experience success with her.I set very high standards for myself and Samantha set them higher. When I turned 56 in August a week later I called Samantha for an interview. I did not like being asked how I was going to change my life so that I could succeed at her program but I knew I would do whatever I needed to do to get myself back. And I knew that Samantha had the knowledge, skills, talent to assist me on that journey. Her program was absolutely what I needed. Samantha is the most determined person I have ever met. I made my commitment not only to her but to myself as well. I can honestly say it was NOT difficult but it took determination, patience and consistent dedication. I did NOT feel deprived; I felt empowered and that is VERY important to me! I understood the mistakes I made in portion sizes and the timing of my meals. Being free of my cravings for chocolate within 1 week was amazing! And I lost 26" in the first 4 weeks. Wahoo!
As with any new diet, you should consult a professional before committing, as it might not necessarily apply to extenuating health circumstances. It's also helpful to hear an expert's opinion firsthand. As for Smith, she's not entirely sold on the keto diet in the first place. "Some principles of the keto diet can be helpful," she says, such as few refined carbs and sugars. "When done right (more plant-based that is) it can be a great way to get some healthy fats in, but I don't find, especially for women, that it contributes to significant weight loss if that's a goal." While we're on the topic, it's also possible that you might need supplementation to your diet to achieve utmost wellness. "this is case by case, but often, in general, vegans/vegetarians need iron, B complex, b12, extra protein, and potentially zinc and biotin as well," Smith tells us. This is just another reason consulting an expert can be so helpful.
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.
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