The strategy can be a successful one: According to research published in the journal Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, the keto diet may burn 10 times as much fat as other diets. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best option for everyone—including vegetarians. (Look at how the keto diet transformed Jen Widerstrom's body.)
Vegans consume no animal products. Like vegetarians, they don’t eat meat, poultry, or fish, but they also avoid dairy, eggs, and other foods that contain even trace amounts of animal ingredients. Most vegans won’t eat gelatin (made from bones), casein (a milk protein), and fish oil supplements, or refined sugar (some brands of which use cow bones as a whitening agent).
Those who are doing the vegetarian keto diet will have to pay extra attention to what they are putting in their mouths, says Davis. “It can be harder to manage your diet because you might have to spend more time calculating your carbohydrate intake and spend a lot of time planning meals and considering the foods you are eating. Many plant foods contain carbs, so it could be challenging to stay balanced, satisfied, and achieve ketosis,” she says.
“It’s been a real confidence builder to realize that I can set goals and accomplish them. I was never athletic as a kid, and now as a person eligible for Social Security, I’m signed up for two 10 mile races and a half marathon in 2017—and I know I’ll finish them. As a matter of fact, running has improved my mental health as much or more as my physical health. Running is the one thing that I do just for me, which is needed in a life full of stress.”
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.
By this point you’ve probably been hearing that buzzword around your neighborhood, family, social media or workplace – “keto”. The word is simply short for the ketogenic diet, growing incredibly in the last few years for its powerful ability to help one increase their brain clarity, increase their energy and all the while, decrease their body fat (read more about it here). Many are drawn to its high-fat low-carb ways that allow bacon and eggs to be a part of their regular intake. However, that makes it a challenging diet to adhere to when you’re part of a vegan or plant-based lifestyle. Good news is, it’s a misconception that this is a meat-based diet. The keto diet, while focused on taking in a low amount of carbs and high amount of fats, it’s also dependent on a steady flow of good proteins, as well. Vegans have been thriving for decades with protein alternatives to meat, and fat alternatives to dairy, therefore, the keto diet is no exception. Regardless, many feel lost when trying to even wrap their heads around doing a vegan keto diet, so we are taking a look today at some key foods that are both vegan, and keto diet approved!
“If you look at people who lose a lot of weight through diet alone and compare them to those who do it through diet and exercise, the latter group has better gains,” Sharp says. “That’s because exercise increases lean tissue mass, preserves your metabolism, increases energy, reduces stress and decreases cortisol, which we know is key to weight loss.”
When you are following a vegetarian keto meal plan, though, Palmer recommends focusing mostly on whole foods. Not only will those help you hit your nutrient checkboxes, but they're also rich in slow-digesting carbs and help maintain energy levels longer. And as with any healthy diet, you should avoid processed foods and refined carbs and sugars, which are stripped of important nutrients that prevent sugar from being absorbed into the bloodstream too quickly. (Not sure which drinks are keto-approved? Check out this list.)
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.)
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The Wisconsin native also struggled with health issues. In her early teens she was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and sleep apnea. “It is extremely difficult to lose weight and maintain weight loss with PCOS,” says Stolfi, who hit her highest weight of 286 lbs. at age 18. “And the lack of good sleep caused me to be lethargic, which meant I didn’t have the energy to work out.”
For the protein aspect you'll be using the protein powder of your choosing to mix into the keto oatmeal. We live by Isopure Cookies and Cream, but feel free to use whatever protein powder you have at home! Something to be aware of is that the flavor of the protein powder will dictate the flavor of your keto oatmeal, as well as any change in nutrition. We love and live by Isopure because it's 0 carb!
I wasn't athletic at all, but I knew I was able to walk, so I thought I'd try that for two weeks to see if I liked it. I went walking for three miles around my office building with friends on my lunch break and enjoyed it, so I kept at it. My legs got stronger and over time, I could keep up with the group. All of my blood work is now normal, and I have more energy for my 12-year-old daughter. The personality that I had inside has finally come out. I used to feel invisible, but now, when I put on my suit and heels, I think, I can command this room.
"I started working with a weight-loss coach at Healthy Fit for Women in Woburn, MA. The key was slowly making changes in the way I ate, which eventually led to permanent habits. I used to think I was eating 'healthy' foods, but my portions were way too large, not to mention packed with sugar. I started eating breakfast, then tried to eat five small meals a day, every three hours, instead of larger ones later in the day."
Cheese dip - You could make this spinach artichoke dip, this spicy sausage cheese dip (provided that you use a vegetarian sausage alternative, which are very good), a mexican 7-layer dip, or a personal pan pizza dip and then you can use keto breadsticks, keto tortilla chips celery, raw bell peppers, kale chips, Quest chips or cheese crisps to dip. Yum!!
By eating the foods on the “Do Eat” list, you will be able to follow a vegan ketogenic diet and cover most of your nutritional bases. At first, however, it may be difficult to adapt to this new lifestyle with all of the low-carb and keto recipes that contain animal products. Luckily, there are some simple substitutions you can make that will allow you to “veganize” almost every keto recipe. #keto pancakes