A Step-By-Step Guide to Your Vegan Keto Diet Journey
Step 1: Understand What the Keto Diet Is
The first step to doing a vegan keto diet is to deeply understand what it is. What is the ketogenic diet, and how does it differ from other meal plans?
What Is the Ketogenic Diet?
Also known as keto, the ketogenic diet has three important elements: high fat, low carb, and moderate protein. All these can encourage the body to get into a state of ketosis.
During ketosis, the body uses up glucose for energy and taps into stored fats cells for fuel. In turn, it creates a by-product called ketones.
Some people tend to confuse the vegan ketogenic diet from a low-carb diet or even the Atkins diet. A low-carb diet is simply a meal plan with a moderate restriction of carbs.
A vegan keto diet is more likely to resemble the Atkins diet but with specific differences. The Atkins diet comprises of different phases, and it encourages a high consumption of protein.
What Is the Keto Vegan Diet?
The vegan keto diet is a meal plan that follows the rules or principles of the ketogenic diet. The biggest difference is the type of foods you can eat.
Plant-based keto restricts you from eating animals and animal-based products, such as dairy and eggs, which is what separates the keto vegan diet from the traditional keto diet.
Step 2: Get Clearance from Your Doctor
Now that you understand more about the diet, ask your doctor about it.
Both veganism and the ketogenic diet have their pros and cons. A 2018 study showed that following a plant-based or vegan diet can help people with type 2 diabetes.
Keto, meanwhile, shows promise in regulating the same disease. Research published in Expert Review of Endocrinology & Metabolism revealed it may reduce dependency on medications for those with type 2 diabetes.
Further, both options can be ideal for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Women with this condition tend to have insulin resistance
What is polycystic ovarian syndrome? Also known as PCOS, it is a hormone-related condition affecting women of childbearing age. Women with PCOS may experience difficulty in getting pregnant and skipped menstrual periods due to the above-average amounts of male hormones in their bodies.
Meanwhile, insulin resistance is a medical issue where the cells don’t respond well to insulin, the hormone that delivers glucose or blood sugar. It is often the precursor to type 2 diabetes.
The vegan keto diet, however, is not for everyone. For example, it may disrupt or alter the thyroid hormone levels.
It may be especially harmful to those with hypothyroidism, a condition characterized by an underactive thyroid gland. These individuals may want to consider a moderate-carb diet instead.
Your doctor is the best person to advise whether a vegan keto diet is ideal for you. The recommendation depends on factors such as your age, weight, medical history, and risk factors.
Step 3: Know Your Macros
Should the doctor say you’re fit enough to follow the vegan keto diet or that you can benefit from it, the next step is to know your macros.
There are three essential macronutrients to keep in mind when you’re on this program: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
The most popular ratios are as follows:
- 75% fat
- 20% protein
- 5% carbohydrates
The actual percentages can vary due to many attributing factors. These can include your body mass index (BMI), height, age, weight, and gender.
You should also consider your lifestyle, whether you’re active or sedentary. Another factor is calorie intake, although some proponents discourage calorie counting.
You can use keto macro calculators to help you figure out the numbers. They will then serve as your guide when looking for vegan keto recipes.
Step 4: Decide What Kind of Keto Diet You Like
There are different kinds of ketogenic diets, which may also apply to vegans (or those planning to become one):
- Standard keto, which follows the macro ratios above
- Cyclical keto, which includes carb refeeds
- High-protein keto, which consumes higher amounts of protein
- Targeted keto, which allows you to eat carbs during workouts
- Lazy keto, which disregards calorie counting and focuses on keeping carbs at 20% or below
- Dirty keto, which follows the ideal macronutrients but ignores the quality of the food sources
- Clean keto, which is standard keto that is mostly plant-based
Of the many types, clean keto seems to be the best, but it’s also the most difficult to follow. That’s why you should not skip the next step.
Step 5: Plan Your Meals
When it comes to a vegan keto diet, consistency is key because of two things:
- It takes about two days before you can enter into vegan ketosis, a state where the body uses fat as fuel.
- Having cheat days is not ideal for the body. It may increase the risk of damaged blood vessels.
To help you become consistent, it’s always best to prep your meals.
What to Include in the Vegan Keto Meal Plan
For your keto vegan meal plan, focus on the following:
- Nuts, seeds, sprouts, and oils (such as avocado and olive oil)
- Full-fat coconut milk
- Almond milk
- Low-carb vegetables such as zucchini and cauliflower and super greens
- Low-carb fruits such as strawberries and lemons
- Cashew cheese, almond butter, and vegan butter
- Protein sources such as vegan protein powder, tofu, and tempeh
- Almond flour, coconut flour, and dark chocolate (85% cocoa)
- Hummus, tamari, or coco aminos
- Dairy-free yogurt
- Fermented foods such as sauerkraut
To succeed further, take note of these tips:
- Invest in different containers and prep your meals.This way, you’re less likely to grab food you shouldn’t eat when you’re hungry.
- If you have gluten intolerance or celiac disease, you should also look for high-fat vegan diet plans that contain gluten-free ingredients.
- Use apps and websites designed for a keto diet for vegans. These can provide more information about vegan keto and its recipes as well as support groups.
Learn more about plant-based keto dieting in this video from Thomas DeLauer:
As long as you eat clean and choose foods that will truly nourish your body, the challenges will be worth it. You will reap the rewards of this diet, no doubt about it!
Would you like to try the vegan keto diet? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!