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Everything you need to know about Keto diet for vegetarians (+ sample meal plan)

Vegetarians can follow the ketogenic diet if they keep in mind these useful tips.

No weight loss diet is easy to follow. Whether it is Ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, Atkins diet, GM diet, raw vegan diet or any other diet, each requires immense dedication and discipline if you want to see worthwhile results. Going on a diet does not mean starving or sacrificing on nutrients. The basic premise of these diets to make you healthier with select ingredients. The problem arises when you are a vegetarian, non-meat eater or non-egg eater.

This is why Keto diet for vegetarians is difficult to imagine. Ketogenic diet is all about massively cutting down on your carb intake and loading up on protein and fat. Most non-vegetarians rely on meat, fish, and eggs for their protein dose. But vegetarians have limited choices. We asked Rachit Dua, advanced certified personal trainer, about keto diet for vegetarians and this what he had to say.

"The concern that vegetarians have is the limited lean protein options. As most of the vegetarian proteins are high in carbohydrates, they can simply kick you out of ketosis state. Paneer can get very monotonous. So my suggestion is, if you can afford a supplement, then whey protein is a great saviour," Rachit says.

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The biggest misconception is that vegetarians cannot follow keto and this is far from the truth. "For any diet, you need to have a strong mindset and although there are limited keto food options for vegetarians, by using different recipes they can still sustain and follow the keto diet," Rachit says. Here is some vegetarian Keto diet meal inspiration from Indian Instagramers.

What should vegetarians who want to follow Keto eat more of?

"Each person's meal plan will be different based on person's BMR, activity level, goal and so on. But a vegetarian Keto diet plan usually revolves around paneer, whey protein, mushrooms, cheese, lettuce, cream, coconut oil, cauliflower, bottle gourd, butter and so on. In case of ova-lacto vegetarians (people who consume eggs and dairy), eggs could be considered. Those who eat eggs find it easier to sustain the keto diet. Some of my most favourite recipes are creamy mushroom paneer or cheesy spinach omelette," Rachit explains.

Vegetarian meal plan for Keto diet

"My meal plans change according to my weight loss or fitness goals. I am currently on a fat loss regimen. So my meal plan looks like this:

Morning: I start my day with a breakfast of an omelette of 2 whole eggs with 100 gm spinach and cheese. lunch 3 boiled whole eggs, protein shake with coconut oil, evening, grilled

Mid-morning: Whey protein shake (sometimes with coconut oil)

Afternoon: My lunch comprises 3 boiled whole eggs

Evening: Grilled paneer with chaat masala and black coffee or green tea. You can also have black tea without sugar. I have noticed that black coffee suppresses my untimely hunger pangs. Those who have just started on their keto diet and feel too lethargic should sip on black coffee. It helps in keeping one alert and fresh.

Post workout: Whey protein shake

Night: My dinner is usually 2 whole egg omelette with cheese and spinach. Or scrambled eggs, or a creamy paneer or egg bhurji.

In between meal nibbles: A handful (30 gms) of walnuts or other nuts like almonds.

Must dos for vegetarians on keto diet

Many who follow keto diet can suffer from constipation because of the high protein, low carb intake. So it is vital that they load up on fibre in teh form of green leafy vegetables like spinach and salads. It is also very important to have plenty of water. Water helps you remain fresh and hydrated and also eases bowel movements.

When you're on a ketogenic diet and restricting carb intake, your body starts eliminating excess sodium and water. So you may experience electrolyte loss. If that happens, you must make sure you have lemon water with salt and a little bit of some healthy sugar substitute.

These are 8 foods you need to give up when you are on a keto diet.

Rachit Dua is an advanced certified personal trainer for general and special population (people with medical issues). He is also a certified sports nutritionist and an online fitness consultant with Team_Aminder. You can reach him on Facebook and Instagram.

Image source: Shutterstock

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