Seasonings. One of the biggest complaints for people on vegetarian keto is the lack of variety. If you’re having eggs for breakfast every day, this is pretty understandable. If you pick up and experiment with different seasonings, you can create a lot of variety for yourself with the same foods. By way of example, the other day I made an egg scramble, but I added chili powder, cumin, and garlic to give it a southwestern feel.
“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.”
But that doesn't mean it's going to be easy. Because, at their core, a typical vegetarian diet and a traditional keto diet contradict one another. "The essence of a vegetarian diet is healthful carbohydrates, and keto diets are very low in carbs," says Sharon Palmer, R.D.N. And depending how strict a vegetarian diet you follow, you most likely avoid all meats, poultry, and fish—the main sources of protein recommended in a typical ketogenic diet, adds Sheth. Not to mention that many plant-based protein sources, such as beans and lentils, are high in carbs—so they'd be a no-go on a vegetarian keto diet plan.
The ketogenic diet is legit. It’s not a fad or a trend despite what Instagram hashtags may lead you to believe. And you know what? It’s not a vanity thing either. Yes, you’ll shed massive amounts of weight so you can fit into those jeans you can’t even look at right now, but the keto diet also improves your health. Studies have proven that the ketogenic diet reduces factors for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and epilepsy. Which makes perfect sense since it was developed for children with epilepsy in 1921. I’m passionate about the keto lifestyle because I lost over 90 pounds on the keto diet.
Ketogenic diets originated in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy, but they’ve since been credited for promoting a number of health benefits ranging from improved insulin sensitivity to everyday mental clarity, in addition to fast weight loss. Strict ketogenic—or “keto”—dieters limit carbohydrate intake to about 5% of their daily calories while keeping protein intake at around 20%. Fats, then, make up close to 75% of their calories. (For more details on setting up various ketogenic diets, see our guide HERE.)

Another trick to encourage mindful eating is to focus on the taste of food instead of the activity you're doing while eating (like staring at a TV screen or reading emails). "Cultivate [your] taste buds by focusing on the first three to six bites of food," says Chere Bork, MS, RD, a speaker and wellness coach in Minneapolis. "Taste buds are chemical sensors that get tired very quickly, so unless you're very hungry, the first few bites of a food will taste better than the next few bites. After a larger amount, you may actually have very little taste experience left." By savoring the early bites, especially when it comes to rich foods like chocolate and cheese, you will satisfy hunger and cravings without eating large portions.

"I always told myself that once things slowed down at work, I’d try to lose weight. The only problem was that work never slowed down. After being overweight for several years, I finally decided to take action, but had no idea how to begin. I thought it would be a long and difficult process to slim down. Luckily, I was wrong. It turned out to be much easier than I expected and I have now lost over 40 pounds!
Next, you're likely to see changes in your clothing. Your actual size won't change right away, but you'll notice that your clothes start to fit more comfortably and hang a little bit looser. You're most likely to notice this change sooner if you typically wear more fitted (tighter) clothing. Eventually, if you stick to your weight loss program, the weight loss from your total body will result in a reduction in your clothing size.
Depending on who you are, having fun can mean dancing naked while you cook or it can mean swapping out the ingredients you don't like for those you do. As always, making any substitutions will change the nutrition from the calorie guide we've provided you, but eating shouldn't be a chore, it should be fun! If adding a dash of cinnamon and sugar free maple syrup to your keto oatmeal or using a blue cheese dressing for your curry tofu nugget salad makes you enjoy your meals more, then run with it! 
Traditionally you may know them as the “ch-ch-ch-chia” plants that made it look like hair growing from a terracotta head as a child. In your diet, chia seeds are used before they sprout, and they truly are an odd little seed. You’ll know that if you’ve ever had one stuck in your teeth, only to discover it’s turned into a gelatinous mass. You see, chia seeds have the ability to absorb liquid and multiply in size.
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Yes, you read that right. A vegetarian keto diet means you can load up on the cheese. Freshly sliced mozzarella is packed with protein and fat, making it a perfect accessory for a vegetarian keto diet. Simply top vegetables like portobello mushrooms, eggplant rounds, or zucchini noodles with mozzarella and/or grated Parmesan for an instant protein boost. If you want a cheesy snack that is anything but cheesy, a buffalo chicken dip – sans the chicken – is a delightful keto diet food that pairs perfectly with celery or carrots and fits nicely with a vegetarian lifestyle. This eggplant lasagna loaded with creamy ricotta cheese is perfect for any Italian lover. Just remove the sausage.
The bottom line? This way of eating is tough to stick with because it combines two restrictive diets. Mass believes the risks outweigh the benefits. But if you decide to try it, Mass cautions to approach the diet carefully, ideally under the guidance of a qualified registered dietitian who can help you pick your foods strategically and ensure you are supplementing the diet where needed. Mass also suggests reducing your carb intake gradually rather than going full-blown vegetarian keto overnight so you don’t completely shock your system.
“Physiologically speaking, to lose weight, you have to burn more than you eat. It requires a 3,500-calorie deficit to lose a pound,” says Meg Sharp, director of personal training for the Cambridge Group of Clubs. “This can be done through either diet or exercise alone, but the human body is complicated. It’s a bit of an oversimplification that you can choose to either burn your calories or reduce their intake.”

If you follow these steps but don’t feel your best, you may benefit from paying attention to which nutrients you could be deficient in. Click on the button below to see the appendix on specific nutrients that can be an issue for keto vegetarians. But remember that if you feel good and are eating a range of nutrient-dense foods, you probably don’t need to worry about specific micronutrients. Simple does the trick!

“I have had people I’ve known for years but haven’t seen in awhile not recognize me. I love that. I love the way I feel, the way clothes fit, and being able to shop in regular clothing stores. Mostly I stay motivated for the years, days, hours and minutes I’m hopefully putting on the end of my life. I’ve got two adult daughters and amazing wife, and I want to be here with them for as long as possible.” #keto

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