"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.)
You guys have been asking for more low carb snack recipes, so Dessi came up with a homemade cracker that could be the best keto snack yet! These crackers take no time at all to make, are gluten free and vegan, and they are so much cheaper than buying specialty crackers at the store. I got so tried of buying Simple Mills crackers at the store, a 4-ounce bag was $5! This recipe costs a fraction of that and the crackers are gluten free. Make sure to check out some of Dessi’s other snack recipes like her keto biscotti and low carb gluten free bagels.
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.
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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.
My Weight-Loss Secret: "I committed to walking two laps around a beautiful nearby park every night for roughly one month. Eventually I felt comfortable enough to go to the gym, where I started using the elliptical machine as well. I lost 75 pounds over the course of a year and a half. Now I strength-train three days a week and do five-mile walk-run workouts one or two days a week. I'll pick a post, jog to it, then walk to the next landmark."
Fat is important on the keto diet, but especially so if you are vegan or vegetarian. “Aim to get 75 percent or more of your calories from plant-based fats like coconut oil, coconut cream/butter, MCT oil, olive oil, avocado, and—in lesser amounts—nuts and seeds,” says Dr. Axe. “Keep nut and seed consumption to about 1/4 cup per day (or two tablespoons of nut butter), since these do provide some carbs and can also be hard to digest in large amounts.” To help with absorption of minerals, he recommends soaking or sprouting nuts first.
Vegans have long known that they can’t get all the amino acids they need from one source of plant protein, so they make an effort to eat a diverse selection of them and often combine foods in the same meal to get a complimentary assortment of aminos. You don’t need to do this at every meal—your body can hold on to the aminos from one food a few hours until you eat another food with aminos that complement them and form a complete protein. But don’t get in the habit of basing your meals around only tofu or only hemp. Eat as broad a menu as you can to ensure the richest nutritional intake you can. (See more reasons to limit tofu under the vegan substitutes list below.)
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!
Some diets are set up to include an initial phase where you lose more weight. Atkins, South Beach and many other popular programs include a jump start for a week or two when food restriction is more intense and you lose more weight. You can lose five pounds or more per week during this initial phase. As a result, the weight loss will be noticeable sooner.
MCT Oil. This oil is commonly derived from coconut oil and palm oil. It contains medium chain triglycerides, which are saturated fatty acids that skip normal fat digestion and go right to the liver where they are converted into ketones for fuel. Add it to your salad dressings, sauces, smoothies, fat bombs, and hot drinks like coffee or tea for a potent energy boost.
I’ve also heard some of my vegan friends say that they’re going to give a keto lifestyle a try to help them lose weight. Personally, Travis and I don’t follow a vegan keto diet, we just live a very simple and easy vegan lifestyle and eat whatever we want (within reason). However, I wanted to put together a list of vegan keto recipes to help anyone thinking about trying a keto diet this year.
We know we ought to snack on carrot sticks, but when the potato chips looks so good every time you open the cupboard, sometimes a girl's willpower just isn't enough. Do yourself a favor and hide the sweets, or at least make them so unreachable that they're a huge annoyance to retrieve. Debi Silber, M.S., a registered dietitian in Long Island, N.Y., suggests: "It's all about out of sight, out of mind. Try giving your tempting treats to guests when they leave or asking your friends to hide them."
When adopting a healthy-eating plan, salads are a nutritional no-brainer. But while loading up on non-starchy veggies is a smart choice for weight loss, it can also leave you feeling deprived, leading to binge-eating later on. To keep salads satisfying, add a crunchy, creamy, or sweet element, like nuts and seeds, avocado, or dried fruit. And be sure to top salad with a filling protein like grilled chicken or fish.
How it works: Intermittent fasting requires you to eat within a certain window of time and fast during the rest. There are several different methods for intermittent fasting, some of which are more restrictive than others. The 16:8 method, for example, requires you to eat within an 8-hour window and fast for 16 hours. You would only eat two meals a day, for example, your first meal starting at noon and your last around 8 p.m.
The strategy can be a successful one: According to research published in the journal Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, the keto diet may burn 10 times as much fat as other diets. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best option for everyone—including vegetarians. (Look at how the keto diet transformed Jen Widerstrom's body.)
“Before I started running and eating well, I was 205 pounds. While I was in grad school, my friends and I went out every night drinking, stayed out until the bars closed, and then went to Taco Bell before going home. I rarely cooked at home and often ate out. Looking back at what I ate then makes me realize just how unhealthy I was. I would cook a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese and eat the entire box or eat an entire frozen pizza and wash it all down with Dr. Pepper, and then go to Cookout or Taco Bell later—gross. I joined Weight Watchers in July of 2013 and now I weigh 133.5 pounds and I’ve been able to keep it off by exercising and maintaining my healthy eating.”
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).
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.
As with any healthy diet plan, and especially a vegetarian one, be sure you're consuming a diversity of plant-based whole foods like fruits and vegetables. Popular vegetables to eat as a part of the keto diet are green peppers, spinach, lettuce, green beans, and cabbage, among others. Try to avoid starchy and carb-heavy vegetables like potatoes. As for fruit, some people recommend avoiding too many berries or citrus fruits, which contain natural sugars (aka carbohydrates). However, this doesn't mean you should avoid them completely. As always, eating a colorful and varied diet, no matter the plan you're following, is key to maintaining good health and wellness. If you need some inspiration when dreaming up new vegetarian/keto recipes, invest in a cookbook (the one above includes a 30-day meal plan).
One of the more popular diets trending nowadays is the ketogenic diet. The diet requires you to reduce your carbohydrate intake and in turn, increase your fat intake. The aim of the diet is to get your body to use fat instead of glucose as energy and fueling your body until the next meal. Apart from weight loss, the ketogenic diet has been found to be helpful in managing blood sugar levels, reduces the risk of obesity, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, polycystic ovary syndrome and even some types of cancer. Some healthy foods to consume on a keto diet are starchy vegetables, coconut oil, cheese, sour cream, avocado, meat and poultry and high-fat dairy products. Reduce sugar and salt intake. Replace white sugar with palm sugar, jaggery or honey and salt with pink salt or black salt in cooking.