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.
First, even nonvegetarian keto eaters shouldn’t focus too much on meat: “The misconception that keto diets require huge amounts of meat or meat products may scare off vegetarians, those concerned about the environment, or people that want to eat healthier,” says Bobbie Henry-Barron, a dietitian at the Adult Epilepsy Diet Center at Johns Hopkins University. “A vegetarian version of the ketogenic diet may be appealing for its weight loss and other health benefits.” Check out 12 things that happen to your body on the keto diet.
One solid piece of advice is to, no matter how tempting it is, try to avoid telling anyone that you've started vegetarian keto. I know many people use this as a tactic to publicly commit themselves to a diet, but a niche diet like this comes under a lot of ridicule. Having people intruding on and questioning your personal choices so much can be discouraging and frankly, annoying. Share at your own risk.

For this reason, it is best to buy RSPO-certified or Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) products. The companies that produce these products are approved by the RSPO (the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) for using sustainable practices that meet strict environmental and social criteria. By opting for RSPO-certified or CSPO products, you will be casting a vote for sustainable oil producers that are dedicated to protecting the environment.
A better alternative is to eat before going out, bring your own meals to work, or suggest local restaurants that you know have options for you. In order to avoid being super awkward, don’t stuff yourself before you go out, just eat enough to feel fulfilled, then you can order some side dishes/vegetables/salad or a single veggie burger without the bun. Most places are starting to adapt to the veg crowd, so you should be able to find at least something to nibble on, but always have a list of good places ready that you can defer to if asked. Indian restaurants are great for veg keto, same for Middle Eastern restaurants.
The ketogenic diet forces your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. Don’t let that scare you. Ketosis is a natural metabolic state. Ketones are produced when you eat minimal amounts of carbohydrates and moderate amounts of protein. When your body doesn’t have carbohydrates to burn for energy, it burns fat. Simply put, on a keto diet, you are changing your body into a fat burning machine!
Some people, however, go into the diet in hopes of controlling a chronic illness or just to ensure that they are eating more whole foods and fewer processed ones in their everyday lives. “How someone monitors their diet will depend on their desired health outcomes. Although there is usually quite a bit of initial weight loss, losing one to two pounds per week is ideal. Any more, and you’re likely not eating enough and the diet won’t be sustainable,” says Henry-Barron. Check out 14 amazing before-and-after pictures of people who followed the keto diet.
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Other intermittent fasting diets take a different approach. The 5:2 method, for example, requires you to eat as you normally would for five days a week, but on two nonconsecutive days, you eat just one meal a day. Wright says she spent five months conditioning her body to the 16:8 method. At that point, she says, she switched to the 20:4 method. According to this method, you fast for 20 hours and have a 4-hour eating window.
“After having a baby, I just couldn’t get the weight off. I was eating out a lot and had developed some bad eating habits. My husband and I trained with Samantha and it’s been really fun. We’ve learned how to workout, how to eat healthy and enjoy it! I lost 5" on my waist, over 20 lbs. of fat and over 20" and my husband lost 5" on his waist and over 20 lbs.!
“Eat only in the food-appropriate areas of your home like at the kitchen or dining room table,” recommends Mary Miriani, an American College of Sports Medicine certified Health and Fitness Specialist in Naperville, Ill. Sitting down at the table to eat (instead of in the car, standing at the kitchen counter or sitting at your desk) means you are more likely to focus only on eating and pay more attention to the visual cues that help us decide when we are full. According to research, being able to see all that you have eaten (evidenced by the remnants of food on the table) could help you eat up to 27 percent less at meals.
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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!
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.
Leanne Vogel has experienced success in using her recipes and keto-based diet. It works with her lifestyle but there are no assurances or representations of any kind made by Leanne Vogel or Healthful Pursuit Inc. that you will attain any success in using the same recipes or adopting a keto-based diet. Healthful Pursuit provides information in respect to healthy living, recipes, nutrition, and diet and is intended for informational purposes only. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment nor is it to be construed as such. We cannot guarantee that the information provided by Healthful Pursuit reflects the most up-to-date medical research. Information is provided without any representations or warranties of any kind. Please consult a qualified physician for medical advice, and always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding your health and nutrition program.
Warning: It is a good idea, with both these, to see how your body reacts to them. If you start feeling more sensitive to the cold, battle with constipation or very dry skin, you should limit consumption and possibly consider taking an iodine supplement. Soy might impair the functioning of your thyroid. It is wise to look for an organic source for all your soy products.
“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.”
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. 
Fat will constitute the most part of your diet, so it's important to choose the healthiest and highest-quality fats available. You also need a variety of fats to ensure you are giving your body everything it needs. Some fats are essential, while others are not. Some fats are also health-promoting, while others put you at risk of diseases. Here's more on what fat you need to eat on a vegetarian keto diet and where to get it:

If you’re flexible enough to allow fish or seafood in your diet, we have some amazing seafood recipes for you. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids and protein, a little bit of seafood can go a long way. Check out our recipes for Pan-Seared Salmon with Lemon Dill Sauce and Parmesan-Encrusted Halibut – they will delight and deliver all of the benefits of keto diet foods.

There are other side effects as well when your body is first adjusting, like difficulty focusing, flu-like symptoms (keto flu), drowsiness, frequent urination, constipation, diarrhea, and reduced strength and physical performance. Most of these symptoms occur mainly in the first few days, while others can come and go depending upon how many electrolytes you are getting and your macronutrient intake.


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.
Anyone following a plant-based ketogenic diet will be well familiar with zoodles. These veggie noodles are supposed to take the place of pasta or wheat noodles in your favorite dishes – but they often leave you wanting. Well, no more my friends! This is a vegan zucchini recipe that’s well worth dusting off your spiralizer for! It’s fresh, flavorsome, and feisty. The secret is in the sauce…
Salad bowl again, this time a little more decked out! Spinach & arugula base (covered in mct oil, apple cider vinegar & @bragglivefoods nutritional yeast!) topped with 2 radishes, 1/4 cup of raw broccoli, 1/4 cup of red cabbage, 1/2 avocado, a @fieldroast field burger and 1oz of @treelinecheese cashew scallion cheese! I have never been so in love with a salad 😍- Meal Totals: 641.7 cals / 43g fat /42.2g protein /18 Net Carbs

That said, meat substitutes are easily the most expensive buys on vegetarian keto. Check your local superstore or health food market’s prices, compare to Amazon’s selections and prices, and make a decision that best fits your lifestyle. ALWAYS make sure to double check the carb count too - some of the substitutes have added sugars and carbs while others do not.


Too much stress could be thwarting your weight loss efforts. “Cortisol is the stress hormone in your body that glues itself onto fat and keeps it on your hips, abs and thighs,” says Jillian Moriarty, a certified yoga instructor and owner of Happily Ever Active in Wayzata, Minn. To decrease cortisol and decrease fat, try this quick time out every day (especially when stressed), recommends Moriarty. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and choose a mantra such as ‘relax’ or ‘let go’ and repeat it in your mind as you take slow, deep breaths for about 10 minutes.
Eating a bowl of this oatmeal will increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial since the keto diet demands high amounts of healthy fats. Even if you're not eating keto, you should probably be eating more of them anyway, as omega-3s can boost your heart health and have been linked to better brain and eye function. This recipe is loaded with ingredients that are excellent sources of the healthy fatty acids, such as hemp seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
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.

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.


“There is no secret. The only thing that I did differently was stay committed. I made a promise to myself not to give up and even when I wanted to quit, or when I messed up I just kept pushing. I took on a low-carb diet and started to run consistently. I also joined a weight loss clinic named Transform Institute, which gave me the tools and support that I needed.”

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.
This sugar-free macadamia shortbread cookie recipe is so lovely in its simplicity. Dipped in a sugar-free dark chocolate glaze and sprinkled with macadamia nuts, this keto twist on the classic holiday shortbread is a real beauty. This low carb shortbread is the perfect solution if you're feeling stuck between staying keto and craving your favorite holiday treats.

"I started working with a weight-loss coach at Healthy Fit for Women in Woburn, MA. The key was slowly making changes in the way I ate, which eventually led to permanent habits. I used to think I was eating 'healthy' foods, but my portions were way too large, not to mention packed with sugar. I started eating breakfast, then tried to eat five small meals a day, every three hours, instead of larger ones later in the day."
In our sandwich-with-a-side-of-bread culture, cutting carbs down to the wire trips many people up. “Exact numbers vary person to person, but in general, strict keto dieters need to consume less than 50 grams of carbs a day,” says exercise physiologist Michael T. Nelson, Ph.D. (miketnelson.com). “Some people need to go as low as 30 grams.” The Mod Keto approach allows two to three times as many, but it’s still very low-carb compared to the diet of the average American. (For reference, one banana, one apple, or a single slice of bread would put you over your daily carb allowance on a strict keto diet.)
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.
The keto diet works well for vegetarians. Sometimes a vegetarian diet ends up being high in carbohydrates if it’s lacking in protein. A lack of protein can cause you to crave carbs to feel full, resulting in weight gain and low energy. On the flip side, a low carb vegetarian diet can help you get back on track with your weight and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle overall. It can curb your cravings and help you get into the habit of eating healthy foods that will fill you up, without going overboard.
One thing you can rejoice about are hot drinks like coffee and tea. Both coffee and tea do not inherently have any sugar if made from scratch. Even coffee and tea K-cups tend not to have any sugar in them (and are, in fact, calorie free), but the other flavors of K-cups do. You can even order a black coffee at Starbucks or an Americano, which has only 3 carbs. Take a look at Starbucks’ menu organized by nutritional information too.
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. 
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.”
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.
The ketogenic diet puts the body into the fat-consuming condition of ketosis and expects devotees to source 80 to 90 percent of their day by day calories from fat, 5 to 15 percent from protein, and 5 to 10 percent from carbs. Most Americans get about a portion of their day by day calories from carbs, so this is a noteworthy move from the run of the mill American diet.
Ever wonder why McDonald’s color scheme is yellow and red? “We are naturally drawn to red, yellow and orange in our dining area or restaurants because psychologically it stimulates us to want to eat -- and eat a lot. Studies show if you put your food on blue plates it can cause you to eat less,” says Tamal Dodge, a certified yoga instructor in Santa Monica, Calif. and star of the “Element: Hatha & Flow Yoga for Beginners” DVD.
Nuts. Nuts are a fat-rich and healthy addition to any diet. I tend to favor macadamia nuts and cashews over any other nut because they have the highest amount of healthy monounsaturated fats and the lowest amount of inflammatory omega 6 fats. Make sure, however, that you know the carb content of these nuts. Consuming too many cashews, for example, can easily kick you out of ketosis.
In our sandwich-with-a-side-of-bread culture, cutting carbs down to the wire trips many people up. “Exact numbers vary person to person, but in general, strict keto dieters need to consume less than 50 grams of carbs a day,” says exercise physiologist Michael T. Nelson, Ph.D. (miketnelson.com). “Some people need to go as low as 30 grams.” The Mod Keto approach allows two to three times as many, but it’s still very low-carb compared to the diet of the average American. (For reference, one banana, one apple, or a single slice of bread would put you over your daily carb allowance on a strict keto diet.) #ketones
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