If you’ve kept abreast of the latest trends in health and nutrition for the last few years, then you’ll have inevitably stumbled upon the ketogenic diet. This high-fat, adequate-protein and low-carb diet is most times rife in animal protein, so how can the average plant-based eater be able to adapt this diet to meet their lifestyle needs? Well, if you’re vegetarian and looking to give a vegetarian keto diet a go, then you’re in luck because we at 8fit have you covered.
“Like many—and I know this dates me—Oprah was my original inspiration. However, the sense of accomplishment running gives me is my fuel. It is far more to me than a calorie burner, a meditation, or even a chance for alone time. It is now necessary to be my best--energized, focused, connected to my city, my dogs, and myself. (Here’s why you should try meditating while running, and how to do it.)”
Eating keto foods while still enjoying your favorite dishes can be a big challenge especially if you're just starting a keto, low carb, or paleo lifestyle. Fear not! Committing to healthier eating doesn't mean that you need to miss out on an occasional chocolate chip cookie or your favorite holiday shortbread. It simply means that you need to find a new recipe!
So she began a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb keto diet and tracked her goals, eating habits and exercise in an app called “Lose It!” Wallis also opted to bike to work instead of drive, and do an additional 30 minutes of exercise each day. Now, at 146 lbs., Wallis is able to bike 29 miles and ran her first half marathon. “I feel empowered,” she says. “I could have given up, but I persevered.”
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.
One big reason people go keto is sustained energy. When you don’t eat copious amounts of carbs, levels of insulin—the hormone that controls blood sugar—remain much steadier than they do on the carbohydrate-based diet most people are used to. When your blood sugar is stable, you don’t have afternoon energy crashes that make you want to fall asleep at your desk. A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that a ketogenic diet controlled blood sugar more effectively than a more standard, low-calorie diet that was high in carbs.
**Even though they’re not derived from animals and are high in fat, oils such as canola, corn, rapeseed, and margarine are highly processed and have a poor ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. They promote inflammation in the body. Because they have low smoke points, these oils are also terrible choices for cooking. High heat will turn the fats in the oil rancid, and make it even more unhealthy, causing damage to your heart, neurological problems, and other health woes. Always cook with saturated fats, such as those found in coconut and red palm oil.
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.
This makes my life so much easier. I'm a busy work at home/stay at home mom, wife, business woman and I feel like dinner is always the thing I just never get time to do. We have done like 15 of the crockpot recipes from Sarah and they are all very yummy. They get a thumbs up from my husband and kids every time. And there is always enough for my husband to take the left overs at least 2x per recipe. I have a family of 5, 2 adults, 21, 13, 16. So it makes plenty. Thank you Sarah.
“The weight starting coming off,” she says. “I remember I lost 9 lbs. my first week. After I had lost 100 lbs., I started trying more adventurous exercise. I became fascinated by fitness and seeing what new things I could accomplish with my body. I do things that I never dreamed were possible like running races, lifting heavy weights, and completing a sprint triathlon.”
"I always told myself that once things slowed down at work, I’d try to lose weight. The only problem was that work never slowed down. After being overweight for several years, I finally decided to take action, but had no idea how to begin. I thought it would be a long and difficult process to slim down. Luckily, I was wrong. It turned out to be much easier than I expected and I have now lost over 40 pounds!
“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.”
Dominic D’Agostino, Ph.D., one of the world’s foremost ketogenic diet researchers and founder of ketonutrition.org, agrees. “I generally avoid soy isolate and soy milk,” he says. “But I don’t think this is a major concern unless you are consuming large amounts of soy.” Note that fermented soy products—such as soy sauce and tempeh—don’t pose the same risk, and can, therefore, be eaten more liberally.
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. Now, there's nothing wrong with training in a fed state. Any exercise burns energy, which supports your weight-loss efforts. What many people don't know, however, is that training in a fasted state offers several unique fat loss benefits.