MacDowell has been following the vegetarian keto diet for six years. She’d been a vegetarian for a long time before that but decided to try keto with weight loss in mind. Some research suggests the keto diet may be beneficial for that reason: A study published in May 2013 in the British Journal of Nutrition found the keto diet led to greater weight loss than a low-fat diet and could be useful in fighting obesity.
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.
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).
Savoring each bite of food, and paying attention to the taste, texture, and temperature, helps you eat less because you’ll be more in tune with your hunger and satiety levels. "Simply putting down your utensil between bites of food could prevent you from mindlessly 'shoveling in' more than you need," says Sara Haas, RD, and chef. Haas suggests that you take a bite and then let your fork relax next to your plate while you chew. Mindful eating gives the body time to signal that you're full and aids in digestion.
“I was 18 years old and 230 pounds. I was unhappy and realized after my freshman year of college that I needed to change my lifestyle. I come from a family of marathoners, but in 2012 when I told everyone I wanted to run my first marathon, I was told I couldn’t and wouldn’t do it—by family, friends, and even professors in front of my whole class. I took that adversity and have run the Marine Corps Marathon five years in a row, competed in six half marathons, and lost 83 pounds along the way.”
Listen, I love Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods as much as the next guy. The simple fact is that all of their food is much higher priced than your average Walmart or Aldi. Aldi in particular is a great place to get all your staples since there are not many extras you can spend your money on. Their produce is spotty at times, but good at other times. Learn how to make good judgments about the freshness of produce and take the plunge. I have seen avocados at Aldi in the midwest for $1 per avocado. These prices really just can’t be beat. Also, Aldi has recently started carrying more meat substitutes like soy protein burgers, soy “meatballs,” veggie burgers, and more. Each store likely has different stocks. There are also rumors that this is a temporary thing, so your mileage may vary.
These keto cookie recipes are all designed to use coconut or almond flour (some are even flourless!) so you don't have to worry about converting recipes. And these recipes use keto-friendly low carb sweeteners like stevia and monk fruit—or baking blends like these substitutes for white sugar, brown sugar, and powdered sugar. And of course, the chocolate chip cookies use no sugar added chocolate chips.
“I reached my target weight just over a year after joining, and just before Christmas [my boyfriend] Luke asked me to marry him at Harry Potter Studios in London (I love Harry Potter)!” she told PEOPLE. “It was such an incredible feeling to be able to say ‘Yes!’ without even a second thought about my weight, and I can’t wait to go dress shopping.”
According to nutritionist Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, the ketogenic diet "is basically low-carb, high-fat, and moderate protein." Generally, it consists of 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbohydrates. The goal of this diet is to put the body in a state of ketosis, which means you're body burns fat as its main energy source—not carbs or protein. People say it could aid in healthy weight loss, decrease inflammation, and more. But what many people don't know is if it can pair with a vegetarian lifestyle since it so strictly emphasizes fat and protein over carbohydrate consumption. It's no secret that many followers of the keto diet load up on meat and fish, which makes the diet seem rather murky and unapproachable for vegetarians.
There are plenty of plant-based fat sources but in order to meet your protein needs you will need to incorporate high protein, vegan friendly foods such as nuts and seeds, tempeh, tofu, and vegan protein powder. Food companies such as Beyond Meat are now providing alternative meat products that are a great source of protein while still relatively low in carb. Unlike meat, some of these vegetable based proteins do not contain complete proteins but if you are good about eating a variety of plant-based foods you can meet all of your essential amino acids needs.
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“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.”
“I’ve been going to ‘get in shape’ for years now. Would start to, but never really saw any results. Samantha took this junk food junkie and showed me how eat healthy and so I would enjoy it! ** IN ONLY 16 WEEKS I'VE ALREADY LOST OVER 30" AND 30 lbs. OF FAT! ** I really can’t believe how easy the transformation has been. I only wish I had called Samantha sooner!” - Karen
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.
In the vein of not being afraid to ask: connect with someone (a friend, neighbor, family member, coworker, etc.) that has a vehicle and ask to tag along on their grocery trips. They get to have a friend with you while you shop and you get a ride to the store, so it’s a win-win all around. People are eager and willing to help out, they just need to know how first!
“The original keto diet is extremely high in fatty meats, which is not good for our cardiovascular system,” says Melissa Bailey, RD, creator of the Nourished Fork. “The vegetarian version eliminates these meats and allows for more plant-based options, such as avocado and nuts and seeds. In general, the population is going towards a more plant-based, whole-foods diet, which is why the ketotarian diet is emerging.” Luckily, you'll find that many of the best foods for weight loss are inexpensive, convenient, and easy to find in your local grocery store. When you learn how to plan and prepare meals in advance and fill your refrigerator with diet-friendly foods, you can even save time and money while you slim down.