The vegetarian diet is one of the best out there for weight loss; research has even found that it's twice as effective at reducing body weight than traditional low-carb diets. But as trendy diets pop up, vegetarians may want to expand their horizons. That's how the vegetarian keto diet, a variation of the super-popular ketogenic diet, started drawing attention.
Is your fridge yawn-inducing? Meals are bound to get boring if we fall into the routine of eating the same fruits and vegetables. Amanda Carlson-Phillips, R.D., a Phoenix-based dietitian with Core Performance, recommends adding fruits and veggies of three different colors to every plate—you'll be chowing down on a mix of nutrient-dense, low-calorie, high-fiber foods to help keep you slim. Also, a heart-healthy salad will feel like much more like a satisfying indulgence when it's a visual feast and taste-bud party.
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.
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.
For the vegetarian daily meal plans, can you swap?  For example, can any breakfast option be combined with any lunch option and any dinner option?  Or do you have to eat the breakfast, lunch and dinner as they are laid out daily.  I would like to mix and match since I don't like some of the options but I am not sure what that does to the daily totals.
"I am amazed at how much I was able to accomplish in such a short amount of time when I had the right tools with Samantha's program and I got really focused. I was really motivated in this private studio of all women and I was inspired to do my absolute best. I FEEL AMAZING! And at 54, I am in the BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE! Thank you for this great program, Samantha!" Ann
Janes, 28, can’t remember a time when she was ever small. “Not even in a baby picture,” she tells PEOPLE for the 2018 Half Their Size issue. “I was always overweight, and it continued through adulthood.” By then, Janes couldn’t fit on a normal scale. “I went to my friend’s family business where they weigh huge industrial tubs,” she recalls. “That’s how I found out I was 450 lbs.”
I have achieved all my goals and more…I have lost 35 pounds and have gone from a size 12/13 to a size 5/6. My waist size has changed dramatically – when I began seeing Samantha, I was squeezing myself into a size 32 waist in jeans. Now, I can easily fit into a size 27 which feels fantastic! I tell Samantha and Chris that they are the best thing that ever happened to me and I mean that from the bottom of my heart! I feel like a totally different person now than I did 6 months ago. I am actually excited for beach season this year and I cannot wait to go bathing suit shopping. I can’t remember another time in my life in which I had more confidence in my appearance. I have changed my lifestyle and my entire view on health and fitness. I love the food I eat and I am never hungry! I enjoy exercising now and have all the energy I need to get through the day and more. I feel that I am living to my true potential; I have a healthy body, mind and spirit. Samantha gave me the tools and guidance I needed to change my life and I embraced them whole-heartedly. I can say that, without a doubt, I feel 100% better than I did before I started with her. I start each day by looking at myself in the mirror and actually being HAPPY with the person I see looking back at me. Now, I look the way I have always wanted to look and my husband can’t believe the results either! I can honestly say that my results have surpassed even my expectations. Don’t spend another day feeling bad about yourself or your appearance. You have the power to change your life for the better and to maintain an active lifestyle. I will never allow myself to go back to my old habits. I am a new person thanks to Samantha and Chris at Pure Health & Fitness Studios!" --- Sara
While cashews are lower on the list of “great” keto foods, they are still a high-fat nut that is usable in the vegan keto diet. Since cheese is a much-loved addition to the ketogenic diet in the classic sense, there’s no reason why those wanting to have the same indulgence on a plant-based diet can’t participate. By counting your carbs, this is a fine addition to the menu.

“I have met the most amazing and supportive runners over the past year from all over the world who have become life long friends of mine. They helped me out and answered all the questions I had when I first started running. The highlight and most rewarding part of running for me is getting to run with my daughter Amanda. I have always supported her in her running over the years, but I never thought we would ever get to run together. Now, we run occasionally in the mornings, and do long runs together on weekends. The biggest highlight was running the Hershey Half together in October in 2:29 the day before my 56th birthday.”
Give this comforting keto bowl a try — it’ll not only satisfy cravings for something hearty but also has a lovely added pop of flavor from the charred veggies. Pre-coat the goat’s cheese and store it in the fridge for even quicker meal prep. You can also apply some of our handy tips here to other keto meals you make. Incorporating grilled veggies to salads is an easy way to upgrade what could otherwise be a rather sober meal.
I am a 59-year-old wife and mother of two grown children.  I love your idea of fixing a lot of meals ahead of time and then pulling one out, put it in the crockpot, and you have dinner when you get home.  I hate feeling rushed when I cook so Monday - Friday I use those crockpot meals and make enough that we have lunch the next day.  I take Sunday afternoon, fix up what I need for the week (I don't have a lot of freezer space so I do a week's worth at a time) and I'm done with it!  Saturdays I like to try new recipes from some of my cookbooks which I am finding I can freeze as well!  So you have shown me a whole new way to organize my time and still put a healthy meal on the table.  Thanks so much and I look forward to future blogs.
"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.)
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.
​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.
Another food you'll find to be a good source of protein on your vegetarian keto diet is cheese, which I'm sure you could have guessed. Cheese comes in a variety of of textures, tastes and colors, but don't let this delicious ingredient fool you -it'll help you hit your protein goals! One thing to note, however, is the varying carb count in different cheeses. It ranges from a low .10 net carbs per 1 oz serving of Gruyere cheese to a higher 1.5 net carbs per 1 oz serving of Swiss cheese. 
A 2017 study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, found meal timing had an impact on BMI. Researchers noted those with the lowest BMIs tended to fast for more than 18 hours between supper and breakfast, eat breakfast and plan for their largest meal first thing in the morning. (In comparison, those with shorter fasting periods between supper and breakfast, breakfast skippers and those who ate their largest meals at supper had higher BMIs).
Speaking of skiing…  I also need to begin exercising more frequently.  That will be my big push this month.  I’m already in a 5k preparation group at our church, but that’s only once a week and I’m not running.  I’m walking.  I’m supposed to walk 2 more days a week, but sometimes I let that slip.  I’m also planning to start the 15 minute T-tapp workout.  When I do this workout regularly, I drop inches like crazy.  In fact, I was just reading testimonials from last year’s T-Tapp 60 Day Challenge and saw where one lady lost over 50 inches from just doing that 15 minute video and some basic walking.  Craziness!  I’ll be starting the 60 Day Challenge again on the 20th of February.  Feel free to join me.. after all, you can get away with just 15 minutes a day… and some consistency!
In addition to a plant-based keto diet being limited in nature, Dr. Axe explains that there’s also a high probability that someone on this diet would struggle to consume enough calories and essential fat-soluble vitamins. This could potentially lead to certain nutrient deficiencies and side effects, like fatigue, as a result. “If you’re at all open to the idea, I would highly recommend that you consider a vegetarian keto diet instead of a vegan keto diet. Include at least some animal products in your diet, such as pastured eggs or fermented cheeses or, even better, wild-caught fish like salmon,” he says. “These goods are great sources of protein, fat, choline and fat-soluble vitamins (like vitamins A and K) that are very difficult to get from plant foods alone.”
Horrible guidance if you’re trying to actually follow a ketogenic diet – many of the recommended foods will quickly push most people out of ketosis. Ketogenic as a Vegan is nearly impossible (if not actually so), and vegetarian is a challenge just because it’ll limit your available protein sources (animal proteins are almost always associated with fat sources as well, and quality choices there lead to “healthy” fats also). You’ll likely still want to be lacto-ovo-vegetarian or you’ll run into a lot of difficulty getting enough protein, even keeping it moderate. But switching out to eggs, upping the EVOO, coconut oil, and avocados, and including whatever dairy you can actually process, should all take care of your protein and fat needs. Just remember to focus on Fat and Fiber, keep overall protein moderate, and avoid all other carbs like the plague and you should be “in ketosis” without having to actually measure anything ritually.
Despite the vegetarian diet's links to weight loss, it is possible for vegetarians to be overweight. That's because vegetarian diets, with their focus on fruits and vegetables, tend to be more carb-heavy and fat-deficient than other diets. Science has shown that overloading on carbs and sugars can lead to weight gain, and considering protein's positive effects on satiety and metabolism, skimping on the nutrient can also cause pounds to pile on.

You thought since you were dieting that you were already doing this, but nope. Far too often I have seen people make all their dinners and foods assuming that they need a plate full of sides of vegetables and colors and things like that. I don’t really think this is a great use of your calories or nutrients. While it is important to have a varied diet, you can survive without having asparagus as a side for your meal, only using pink Himalayan sea salt, or without squeezing fresh lime juice onto your fajitas. These small things add a pretty large amount to your shopping bill over the long term. Would it be ideal to have a highly diverse diet? Of course! If you have the means, go for it, but just be aware of your shopping expenses and how they might be adding up.
As she worked to get back into a postpartum fitness routine, Cloutier discovered Zumba, and fell in love with group fitness classes. Three weeks after her first class, she became a certified trainer, and started teaching classes. By 2013, the demand had gotten so large that she opened her own fitness studio, and now runs it along with her full-time job. 
“I love to run. I like to say, after years of battling addiction and depression, I’m a better dog when I’m walked. So I just try to get out there as much as possible and run by feel. On days I feel great, I’ll go longer or do a tempo run. On days I feel like I need a break, I’ll back off and take it easy. On weekends I run long, usually at least 20 miles. I also try to strength train at least once a week.”
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If you’re interested in finding out what nutrients you actually might be needing more of based on your age, body, activity levels, etc., check out this calculator from the US Department of Agriculture. However, vegetarians have been known to lack nutrients including but not limited to iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin D (read more about deficiencies below). While supplements for these deficiencies are fairly easy to get, you should check with a doctor to make sure you need them before purchasing.

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.
The middle section of the venn diagram shows foods that are suitable for a vegetarian keto diet. The first 3, however, are dairy and eggs, which are not allowed on a vegan diet. This is what makes vegan keto so difficult -- you are severely limited in the types of food you can consume, especially when considering that not all soy protein or "fake meat" is made vegan. It’s possible, it’s just really hard to do. If you’re feeling ambitious, here’s a short vegan keto guide that overviews some of the challenges and benchmarks for successfully doing vegan keto.
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.
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.
A challenge that you may face is keeping your carbohydrates below 30 grams per day because by nature, these plant-based protein products contain 2-10 grams of carb per serving. But these products are also higher in dietary fiber (aka low-digestible carbs) which has a reduced effect on blood glucose levels (Grabitske, 2008). This may give you a little more flexibility with the number of carbs you can eat while still maintaining ketosis (e.g. up to 50 grams per day), but this will require tracking to be sure.
You can usually be a little bit more loose on the dinners, since you have more time, although this will change based on your personal schedule. Meal planning should also help you to avoid going out to eat, although there’s almost zero way to do that on vegetarian keto anyhow. It’s not fun, but it gets the job done. In the vein of not being fun but getting the job done…
Barley got its hunger-fighting reputation after Swedish researchers found that eating barley or rye kernels for breakfast kept blood sugar on an even keel. That's because the carbs in barley and rye kernels are "low glycemic index," meaning they raise blood sugar more slowly than some other carbohydrate foods. This helps you avoid a spike, and then a drop, in blood sugar, which can leave you feeling famished.
Rickard Lindroth is a developer, mountain bike enthusiast, climber and one of the most joyful characters in the Diet Doctor office. He prefers easy-to-prepare vegetarian dishes and his absolute favorite ingredients are halloumi, eggs and broccoli. It’s not a surprise that this is what you’ll be eating this week. According to Rickard, everything is better with garlic and you should devour the whole broccoli — even the stalk! Oh, and did we mention garlic…?
Dr. Axe recommends getting no more than 20 percent of your daily calories from plant-based sources of proteins, since eating too much protein will interfere with ketosis. “Most beans and legumes will contribute too many carbs to your diet and too little protein,” he says. “The best sources of low-carb protein are plant-based protein powders (like hemp, brown rice, or pea protein) and fermented soy products like tempeh.” Other plant-based sources of protein in your diet can include nutritional yeast, nuts and seeds, and even vegetables.

I wasn't athletic at all, but I knew I was able to walk, so I thought I'd try that for two weeks to see if I liked it. I went walking for three miles around my office building with friends on my lunch break and enjoyed it, so I kept at it. My legs got stronger and over time, I could keep up with the group. All of my blood work is now normal, and I have more energy for my 12-year-old daughter. The personality that I had inside has finally come out. I used to feel invisible, but now, when I put on my suit and heels, I think, I can command this room.
If eating at restaurants feels like engaging in an atomic battle with your willpower, understanding menu terms will make picking the healthiest dish worlds easier. Next time you're choosing a meal, avoid anything described as batter-fried, pan-fried, buttered, creamed, crispy, sauteed, or breaded. Instead, skip straight to dishes that are baked, braised, broiled, grilled, poached, roasted, or steamed. Start being more conscious of what you're ordering when you eat out and enjoy the bikini body that follows.
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In one study, eating a high-fiber, higher protein dinner (30% of total calories from fiber and 17% of total calories from protein) and less saturated fat helped adults fall asleep faster than those who ate meals that were lower in fiber and higher in saturated fat and sugar. The researchers found eating a high-fiber, higher protein meal was also associated with more time in slow wave, deep sleep, which is essential for memory consolidation and immune function. Eating more saturated fat, in contrast, led to less restful sleep and more nighttime arousals.
Here, we’ve broken down our protein grocery list into animal and plant sourced — so depending on where on the plant-based eating spectrum you find yourself, you have ample choices available. If you go for soy products, try to stick to non-GMO and organic options, and pick ones that are fermented as they are even more abundant in nutrients (think organic tempeh).
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