Although many people avoid eating meat due to concerns about animal welfare or the environment, others choose vegetarianism because they believe it is healthier. However, vegetarian diets are typically high in grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables, which aren’t appropriate for individuals with diabetes, who want to control their blood sugar without medication. Additionally, many people find that they are constantly hungry when following a low-fat, high-carb vegetarian way of eating.
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:
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.
I ate five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, cut out fried foods, and switched from eating refined carbohydrates like white bread to complex carbs like whole-wheat bread. I promised myself that after one year of living healthfully, I'd treat myself to fast-food fries (an old favorite), but I couldn't finish them. Now my cholesterol is in a healthy range, and I still walk 30 to 60 minutes four or five days a week.
As I'm sure you've heard time and time again, a keto diet is a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet. On a vegetarian keto diet, hitting your macros, especially protein, can be more of a challenge than for those who eat meat. Maybe you're not a fan of protein powders or the vegetarian meat substitutes you like are high in carbs. So, what options do you have?
To get an idea of what that entails, consider that an average-sized person who eats about 2,000 calories a day will need 100–200g protein daily (on the lower end for strict keto dieters, and on the higher side for those going the Mod Keto route). A three-quarter cup serving of sunflower seeds nets you 25–30g protein, but also costs you 10g of carbs. Almonds have a similar protein-to-carb ratio at 30g to 15g per cup. The key is to accumulate enough protein from vegan sources without letting your carbs creep up too high.
You tell yourself you're not going to order dessert, but the minute you see the fudgy chocolate cake delivered to the table next to you, all your good intentions go out the door. To help you ward off temptations, Abbey Sharp, RD, a nutrition consultant in Toronto, recommends having a treat waiting at home. "Before you go out to eat, put aside a portion-controlled sweet for yourself at home, like a small cookie or a square of melted dark chocolate with fresh berries," says Sharp. Or try whipping up a dessert for the entire family, like a light angel food cake with fresh berries, that will give everyone something to look forward to.
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.”
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.
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 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.”
My Weight-Loss Secret: "I had a treadmill in my garage that I'd been ignoring for years. I started walking on it for 30 minutes five days a week. Four months later, I'd dropped 20 pounds and added 1-minute jogging intervals. When my weight loss stalled, I started lifting weights three days a week as well. About two years later, I'd lost 90 more pounds. Now, I warm up with 5 minutes of walking and end with another 15 to 20 minutes."
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.
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.
“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.
Vitamin D - Vitamin D is another essential vitamin for the body, which uses it for many tasks. Vitamin D is required to move your muscles, fire your neurons, and fight off foreign pathogens. It also helps the body absorb calcium, aiding in the strengthening of bones. Vitamin D might also help combat depression. Unfortunately, it is also nearly exclusively derived from animal products.
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.