Plate sizes have certainly changed over the years, increasing in diameter just like our waistlines. Our great grandmother's dinner plates looked like today's salad plates. “We're all visual, and it's so much easier to eat the right portion and feel satisfied when we eat on smaller plates,” says Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD, holistic nutrition coach in Virginia. If you’re eating in a restaurant that's using plates the size of manhole covers, try ordering your own salad or appetizer and sharing a main dish. When dining out alone, ask the server to wrap half your dish in a doggy bag before it's served, and enjoy the rest on a smaller appetizer plate — you'll never know what you're missing!
Protein is also a big concern. “Since the keto diet is relying on protein and fat for your calorie intake, you are cutting out many of the complete proteins you would be attaining — say from legumes and grains — on a regular vegetarian diet,” Mass says. “On a keto diet, this source of complete proteins is now essentially eliminated.” Protein is important to help the body build bones, muscles, and skin, according to Medline Plus.
Because different plant foods contain different types of amino acids, in excluding all animal products, vegans come to rely on a combination of grains, legumes, and seeds to get all of the essential amino acids their bodies need. Many of these foods are too high in carbs to be included on a keto diet, which is usually restricted to 20 grams of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) per day. However, those who want to avoid all animal products can follow a lower-carb, non-keto vegan diet, such as the “Eco-Atkins” diet.
Often a vegetarian diet is perceived as one packed with carbohydrates and twinned with the struggle of eating enough protein, so it’s normal that some vegetarians may feel trepidation when encountering the ketogenic approach to nutrition. Is it possible to enter a state of ketosis and get the same results on a vegetarian keto diet as someone on an omnivorous diet? The answer is yes — especially if you’re still consuming some animal-sourced products as a lacto-ovo vegetarian.
That said, a recurring mistake among vegetarians who go keto is incorporating too many vegetable-based carbohydrates, without even realizing. You’ve got to be quite vigilant of all your carb and protein sources following a vegetarian keto diet meal plan, as most vegetarians tend to source their protein from foods like legumes and grains, which aren’t supported on the vegetarian keto diet. If you’re following a diet that’s strictly plant-based, then you’ll have to be even more mindful.
What’s more, it could be particularly startling for vegans. Fortification Lauderdale, Florida– based Jaime Mass, RDN, author of Jaime Mass Nutritionals, LLC, says vegans usually moved toward becoming “pasta-tarians.” Instead of supplanting meat with sound plant-based nourishments and entire grains, many loads up on pasta, saltines, and other carb-overwhelming things. Changing to keto could be troublesome for these pasta-tarians, yet it could likewise be useful in helping them cut back on handled carbs.
If you’re longing for carbs so badly that you feel your resolve to stay on the diet is breaking, it’s possible to trick your brain that you’re eating them by making approved foods look more like your starchy favorites. Cauliflower can be grated into “rice,” or boiled and mashed like potatoes. You can slice zucchini into noodles to (sort of) replicate pasta. See “Vegan Substitutions for the Keto Diet” below.
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.
“I felt ashamed of how I had changed from a veteran Army soldier into someone who I wasn’t proud to be,” Root, 35, tells PEOPLE for the 2018 Half Their Size issue. “When I transitioned out of the military, I was pregnant with my son, and that loss of structure meant I was eating what I wanted to with no regard, and being pregnant I just found myself eating a lot more than usual.”
Vitamin B12 - B12 is a vitamin required for red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis, so it is pretty important. Unfortunately, it is almost exclusively comes from animal products, so vegetarians might not get as much of it as they need. Vegans definitely will not. Interestingly, vitamin B12 is actually made by animals’ gut bacteria, so you can find vegan-friendly sources. Also interestingly, your body can store B12 for as long as 3 to 5 years before you become deficient, so it may take a while before symptoms show up.
This was mentioned just recently, but deserves some more spotlight. Nut milks are great for vegetarian keto. Dairy milk is more carb-heavy than many drinks, and should not be your first choice if you’re going for milk due to the lactose. Nut milks are especially good if you’re trying to accomplish vegan keto. Just make sure to avoid the sweetened versions - they contain sugar!
With all that in mind, one thing is clear: A vegetarian keto diet has the potential to get confusing, fast. So if you're considering it, Sheth recommends meeting with a registered dietitian nutritionist to ensure that you are adequately meeting your nutritional needs. (You could also share this beginner keto-friendly meal plan with non-vegetarians.)
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.
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Unfortunately, carbs are secretly in everything. Once you start consistently reading the nutritional labels of your foods, you'll realize that food manufacturers are constantly trying to put sugar in the weirdest foods. Chili, peanut butter, fake meat, etc. sometimes have significant grams of sugar in them that could add up over the course of a day.
Vegetable-sourced iron, known as non-heme iron, is harder to absorb than heme iron, which is found in animal products. This is why iron levels can plummet even when a plant-based dieter eats iron-rich foods like Swiss chard, nuts, and seeds. It’s wise, then, for vegan keto eaters to add a vegan-based iron supplement to their diets. This goes double for women, who lose some iron every month through menstruation. For women 19–50, 18mg of iron per day is recommended.
Preliminary studies have also linked the keto diet to certain diseases, including diabetes. A study published in September 2016 in the Journal of Obesity and Eating Disorders, for instance, found the presence of ketones in the blood can lower HbA1c levels, potentially by way of ketone bodies decreasing glucose metabolism, and benefit people with type 2 diabetes.
While there are nutritional benefits associated with eating red meats and poultry in moderation, you can certainly still live a ketogenic lifestyle without them. In fact, looking at the bigger picture, the keto diet and vegetarian diet are more sustainable ways of dieting because they rely less on eating massive quantities of meat. Here are a few keto diet recipes you can try today:
Sarah’s Freezer to Slow Cooker ebooks have been a fantastic addition to my meal plans. They make meal planning easy and my family happy. I love the way each recipe is laid out, with a shopping list and ingredient prep list, along with cooking instructions. Sarah’s done all the hard work for me! The recipes have used have all been delicious and easily adaptable to my family’s taste and the number of people I’m serving.
So this winter has been a real doozy. I’m sure if you’re reading this from your balcony in LA you’re probably like “WTF is this chick talking about?” but for the rest of us east coasters or Canadians, the struggle has been REAL. Honestly, sometimes the only thing that gets me through the cold nights is a warm meal (sorry salad, you’re out). This is where this Vegan Keto Walnut Chili totally comes into play.
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.
Give this comforting keto bowl a try — it’ll not only satisfy cravings for something hearty but also has a lovely added pop of flavor from the charred veggies. Pre-coat the goat’s cheese and store it in the fridge for even quicker meal prep. You can also apply some of our handy tips here to other keto meals you make. Incorporating grilled veggies to salads is an easy way to upgrade what could otherwise be a rather sober meal.
"When I contacted Pure Health & Fitness Studios in late June, I was desperate. I felt terrible about myself – I didn’t like my body, the way I felt and the way I looked in my clothes. I had been a chronic stress-eater and was never one to pay attention to portion sizes. I was suffering from a serious sugar addiction and would snack on cookies and chips late at night. I was completely frustrated – I would try to work out but by the end of the day, I had absolutely no energy. I would make attempts to eat healthier but the sad fact was, I didn’t even understand what "healthy" meant. I decided that I HAD to make a change when I saw a picture of myself from a recent vacation and I couldn’t believe how big I let myself get. I didn’t even recognize myself anymore!
For anyone following any vegan diet, and athletes especially, the question always comes up: “How do you get enough protein?” Nelson recommends about 0.7g of protein per pound of your goal body weight as a baseline daily intake for active people—and most nutritionists recommend up to one gram per pound if you’re weight training. (Goal body weight means the amount you want to weigh—not the number that currently comes up on the scale. So, if you weigh 205 pounds but remember looking and feeling your best when you weighed 175, eat 0.7g of protein x 175, or about 120 grams daily.)
Hi Sarah, depending on your goals it may be useful to utilize our macro calculator which you can find here: https://perfectketo.com/keto-macro-calculator/. You’ll enter all of your info, set a goal, and it will give you a good starting point of how much protein, fat, and carbs you should be aiming for in a day. I would definitely start off with this and than adjust as you go. Hope this helps!