This is how I Vegan Keto
I tried the keto diet for a couple of weeks, this is my experience. Prior to this I’ve never done a diet in my life. At the bottom you can find links to some of the resources and guides, vegan keto recipes, meal plans and vegan keto facebook groups I’ve found to help me find my way.
I’ve been been vegan for about 8 years. I’ve been physically active for 3. By active, I mean I’m doing a bootcamp or running 6 or 7 days a week. Prior to that I was a lump for about 20 years – I had a treadmill I used once or twice a year, a rowing machine I never used, and a barbell set I used one summer.
Despite being quite active now, and seeing changes in my body – muscles emerging and weight moving around – I’ve still got a belly. It’s shrunk a bit, and there are muscles in there (in the right light you can almost see them), but its still a belly.
One of the things I’ve been thinking about is perhaps trying something like Keto to see if I can give that belly reduction a bit of a boost. Thinking about means it’s an idea that has been bouncing around in my head for about 6 months.
A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked me if would like to try a vegan keto line she will be promoting. It includes a meal replacement shake, a protein powder, some pills I’m supposed to take in the morning, and those strips to pee on. I guess the time is now. It’s too soon to say yet – I’m losing about 1lb a day and my body fat percentage has dropped a bit, but its only a week, so who knows what the end result will be.
I’ll update this post with my results.
The supplements are great, but they only cover a small part of the daily requirements. Below are some of the resources/guides I’ve found to help me find my way.
To get started I did a bit of googling about vegan keto and found that there are quite a few resources out there (some of which I’ve included below).
To work out my macros and how much I would be able to eat I used the keto calculator at ruled.me. It ask you to put in your age, height, weight, activity level and goals, and then calculates your daily calorie and macro totals.
This is mine. I put down that I’m moderately active and want to lose weight, so specified a 20% calorie deficit.
To track daily I’m using myfitnesspal, both their app and the desktop version. The app is great and has a bar code scanner, so any food that has a barcode you can scan in and it figures everything out for you. This actually covers most foods, as even nuts and seeds often come in packages with barcodes. It also has a huge database of foods, so you can search for something if you it doesn’t have a barcode, or if you know the stats you can enter it yourself. All you have to do then is weigh them – a scale comes in handy – to know exactly what you’re eating.
One thing the app doesn’t do is work out the net carbs (total carbs – fibre), so you either have to do that in your head, or use the desktop version with this handy hack, which modifies the display to also show net carbs. There’s other food tracker apps – chronometer is one I’ve heard of – but I haven’t tried any of them.
I wear a Garmin Vivoactive watch that tracks my activity, heart rate, vO2, etc. which updates myfitnesspal with my daily activity. myfitnesspal then adjusts my macro values for the day based on the activity. So for example if go for a run and burn 300 calories, it will add the corresponding number of values to your totals for that day (I find I get about 1 extra net carb for every kilometre I run). I usually do a bootcamp and a run each day, and its been giving me an extra 6 or 7 carbs to play with.
In the past I’ve tracked food every now and then to see where I’m at. As I do this diet I’ll be tracking as much as possible. It’s a bit of a pain, but its short term (at least at this point), and I want to get as much value out of it as possible
End of Week One
- Weight: down 7.4lbs
- Body Fat: down .8%
- Pee strip: has moved from nothing to trace amounts, to small amounts (pictures on request!).
Week one wasn’t bad.
Initially I had my macros set as 20g Net Carbs, 136g Fat, and 174g Protein. I used https://www.ruled.me/keto-calculator to calculate these with a 20% defecit. I use MyFitnessPal for tracking and it adjusts those numbers based on the exercise I do in a given day. Generally I do a 1hr bootcamp and go for a short run each day which can give me 6 or 7 more carbs, and a corresponding amount of fat and protein.
I’ve mostly hit my carb limit each day, going over by at most 3 carbs, except for one day when I went out for diner. I tried to be mindful of what I was eating (and had zero beer!) but still went quite a bit over. On a positive note though I went for an 11k trail run that same morning, so it offset much of my overage.
I was having a hard time hitting my protein amounts each day – sometimes fat, but mostly protein, falling 100g short some days. Yesterday I upped my net carbs yesterday to 25 from 20, and that helped me get much closer to the protein goal. It also made me happy.
What am I eating?
I’ve got to admit, I’m a bit lazy when it comes to putting food together. I’ve found all kinds of great vegan keto meal plans and recipes, but most of what I’ve been eating has been pretty basic. If I was doing this for a longer period I’d get more adventurous, but at this point at least I’m just trying it for a couple of weeks.
I tracked everything I ate while doing this in myFitness Pal, below is a summary of most items I ate. Generally speaking I hit my carb targets, missing by one or two. I had a hard time hitting the protein targets some days, particularly if I’d done a lot physical activity – a 11K trail run for example had myFitness Pal adjusting my protein goal to 348g for the day (I didn’t come close).
I’ve been trying to keep my breakfasts under 5 net carbs and have for the most part been successful.
Mostly I’ve been having smoothies made with either the Vegan Keto Meal replacement I’ve been trial-ing, or the Pea Protein Isolate (which has no net carbs) that I get from Canadian Protein. Into the smoothie I usually put a cup of a milk (I’ve found some Almond milks that have no net carbs), a quarter cup of walnuts or pumpkin seeds, 3 tablespoons of hemp hearts and a tablespoon of Coconut oil. I might also add a pinch of potassium (the no-salt salt you get in the grocery store) and/or himalayan salt.
Lately I’ve also been experimenting with Chia pudding, which is tasty and can come in at about 1 net carb, though I haven’t quite got the consistency right yet.
My typical lunch consisted of some combination of the following, depending on how things were looking for the day and what I was in the mood for. My net carbs would typically range between about 5g and 10g with fat and protein between 20g & 30g each … unless I had a beyond burger, which has 20g of fat and protein (and 2g net carbs) and would boost those numbers into the 30s.
- 85g of Soyganic smoked tofu (love this stuff!)
- a medium avocado
- a mini cucumber
- 1 Beyond Meat burger
- 5 or 6 grape tomatoes
- 1 or 2 Lightlife Veggie Hot Dogs
- Tofurky Deli Slices
Dinners would typically involve some combination of the following, and i have to admit that I started to rely on the Beyond Meat burgers a bit heavily. They’re tasty and the macros are good, but I think a bit more variety might have been good. (I ended up getting constipated, which I think is the first time in the 8 years I’ve been vegan – not that it was necessarily from to much ‘meat’, but more variety I think would have been better).
- 2 beyond meat burgers or sausages
- portabella mushrooms as a main, or smaller mushrooms on the side
- frozen mixed vegetables (super easy to add the nutrution as its stamped on the bag, but fresh would probably be better)
- Tempeh Strips
- fresh veggies like: zucchini, red bell pepper, or spinach
- towards the end of the 2 weeks I realized that Shirataki noodles with Veggie Ground Round and a bit of veg have a pretty good macro profile
Depending on how my macros were looking after dinner I might have a smoothy, another chunk of the Soyganic Smoked Tofu (did I mention I love this stuff?), some nuts, or whatever might get me closer to my goals
- 5 brazil nuts is 1 net carb
- smoothies using the pea protein isolate and almond milk (no net carbs)
- pumpkin seeds
- Soyganic Smoked Tofu
- Peanut butter – 1 tablespoon usually. Really have to check the macros on the peanut butter you have as they can range from almost no carbs to tonnes!
- one day I had a pile of carbs left over, so I had some hummus and baby carrots. 30g of hummus and 115g of baby carrots was 16 net carbs, 33g pf fat and 5 g of protein
- Fat Bombs, using this recipe. I made them using an ice cube tray, which made them a bit big, but they were goood!
Vegan Keto Resources
Info and a sample menu
Gigantic post with tonnes of info from the Facebook Group Vegan Keto made Simple
How do those percentages get worked out?
I was wondering the same and finally looked it up. It comes from the grams of the macro multiplied by how many calories they are worth. 1 gram of carbs = 4 calories, 1 gram of fat = 9 calories, and 1 gram of protein = 4 calories
For me, the keto calculator told me to eat 25g of carbs, 136g of fat, and 174g of protein
(25 x 4 calories) + (136 x 9 calories) + (174 x 4 calories) = 2020 calories, which is my daily total
The Ultimate Vegan Keto Wiki (aka Vegan Keto for Dummies)
Hack for MyFitnessPal to track Net Carb.
You use the app like normal, but on the computer it adds a nice column for net carbs like:
21 Low Carb Vegetables:
Pea Protein Isolate from Canadian Protein. Each scoop contains 24.6g Protein, 1.8g Fat, and 0 Net Carbs.
Vegan Keto Recipes
- 10 Breakfasts: https://www.cleanketoblog.com/blog/vegan-keto-breakfast-recipe-round-up
- Overnight Chia Pudding: https://www.gnom-gnom.com/overnight-keto-chia-pudding/
- Low Carb Vegan: lowcarb-vegan.net
- Great sugar free section: foodiefiasco.com
- No bake fat bombs: https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2018/07/23/fat-bombs-recipe-keto/
- Noatmeal: https://www.healthysweeteats.com/my-favorite-noatmeal-aka-low-carb-oat-free-porridge-the-basic-recipe-and-6-variations/?cn-reloaded=1
This recipe didn’t site too well in my stomach, but there are so many others to try:
Got any tips? What do you think? Please share in the comments.