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.
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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.
Keto protein bars - Normally I wouldn’t recommend these, since many protein bars are really not as low carb as they need to be for an intensive vegetarian low carb diet. However, Quest bars and ONE bars are both pretty good for this, with Quest bars generally hovering below 5g net carbs and ONE bars being below 10g net carbs. These add up very quickly though, so use sparingly!
Of course, one of the big complaints about a keto diet is that—like a vegan approach—it’s very restrictive and can be hard to stick to. That’s why we like to make people aware of a slightly less rigid approach we call Mod Keto that offers much of the same benefits as a strict keto diet but is much easier to follow long-term. With Mod Keto, carbs are raised to about 20% of your total caloric intake, protein to 20–40%, and fat is reduced to 40–60%. While not technically ketogenic (your body will probably not produce appreciable ketones at these levels), the higher protein and carb allowance supports workouts and activity better while still stabilizing blood sugar and promoting fat burning.
As far as calories are concerned, you will come to find that many of the high-carb foods you are cutting out were the same foods that contributed so many calories to your diet. A restriction in food groups naturally leads to a reduction in calories. Ketosis also suppresses appetite, however, so you really need to make sure you're bringing in enough calories to keep your body happy and healthy.
Here's a keto, dairy-free and egg-free recipe for shortbread cookies. Yes, you read that right. Keeping this keto cookie recipe dairy-free means that it's one of the rare keto shortbreads that skips on butter! Cristina points out that chocolate and hazelnut are a match made in heaven and I couldn't agree more. This recipe is delicious, easy, and comes together in approximately 30 minutes. Perfect if you're whipping up a last-minute batch for an upcoming cookie exchange!
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For those already following a vegan diet, it can be especially hard to adapt to a low carb, high-fat diet. But once you know a few good substitutions, and have some amazing new vegan keto recipes under your belt, it doesn’t have to be difficult to eat well on a vegan keto diet. I’ve compiled 20 of my favorite plant-based keto recipes below to give you a head start!
If you have an understanding of the keto diet and how it works, you will realize that the whole essence of the diet does not tally with what an average vegetarian consumes. Keto diet is all for high-fat, moderate protein and low carbs, vegetarian diet, on the other hand, is packed with carbohydrates and the struggle of balancing protein intake. Therefore, it is not surprising that a number of vegetarians find it difficult reconciling both diets.
To prove to yourself that you are making progress—even when your weight stays the same—Dulan recommends doing a jeans test. Find a pair you’re aiming to squeeze into, and see how your body feels in them. As you clean up your diet and clock more sweat sessions, you’ll likely notice a gap between your belly and jeans because your body is becoming leaner—even if that isn’t immediately obvious when you step on the scale.
The biggest thing to watch out for (aside from keto flu, which you should read about just above this section) when it comes to vegetarian keto is vitamin and other nutritional deficiencies. This is something that vegetarians and vegans are all too familiar with. Before getting any kind of vitamin supplement, make sure you consult with a doctor and have them check the vitamin levels in your bloodstream.
Ketogenic diets originated in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy, but they’ve since been credited for promoting a number of health benefits ranging from improved insulin sensitivity to everyday mental clarity, in addition to fast weight loss. Strict ketogenic—or “keto”—dieters limit carbohydrate intake to about 5% of their daily calories while keeping protein intake at around 20%. Fats, then, make up close to 75% of their calories. (For more details on setting up various ketogenic diets, see our guide HERE.)
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.
“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.”
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, a survey revealed that 94 percent of residents would be willing to buy more fresh produce if it were stocked at local corner stores. In response to this, the city launched the Minneapolis Healthy Corner Store Program that requires convenience stores to stock fresh produce. This trend might be spreading to other areas in the coming years
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Besides getting plenty of healthy fats, watching your carbs is one of the most important factors here—and a lot of the go-to meals and especially snacks common for vegetarians and vegans are pretty carb-heavy. But excessive carbohydrates (even from veggies) aren’t part of a keto diet. Of course, refined carbs like sugar, flour, bread, cereal, chips, etc. are immediately off the table.