Low Carb Lifestyle for Vegetarians and Vegans
Dieting for weight loss is not new. Few hours on the internet can give you great ideas on losing weight, the most common one being that of a low carb diet. When the body is provided with less calories than you normally consume, then the fat stored is burnt to produce energy, giving you the results you have always dreamt about. Since low carb diets involve consuming fewer calories, concentrating on how much nutrients you feed your body is crucial. A balanced diet with sufficient minerals, fibres and nutrients are essential. A typical low carb diet includes high protein, moderate good fat and low carb content.
When we say high protein non vegetarians get images of eggs and chicken while vegetarians keep wondering with questions like, “oh dear! How much dal can I consume per day? Does it really make up to the high protein content? What about other essential nutrients? How much protein does my food really have after I pressure cook it? Does it not get denatured?” And finally, “Should I really go low carb?” Relatable? Read on.
This article is mainly dedicated to vegetarians who are at a loss to understand what they can include in their low carb vegetarian diet menu and how to include that in their short eating window. When dieting involves fewer hours of food consumption, we ought to supply the body with essential nutrients in that prescribed time to stay in shape and be healthy. Low carb diet for weight loss is very successful for many and they continue their low carb lifestyle with a healthy menu. On the other hand, many vegetarians and vegans are clueless on what to eat in a low carb diet and how to maintain the shape achieved through this. Here we give you a list of delicious vegetarian food which can be included in your low carb diet menu to stay healthy.
What to Eat in Low Carb Diet
The following foods can be included in a low carb diet for vegetarians for weight loss.
When it comes to vegetables for a low carb diet meal plan, remember to choose veggies that are green and leafy and high in water content. Cabbage, capsicum, cauliflower, broccoli, bitter gourd, snake gourd, pumpkin, bottle gourd, Zucchini, spinach, lettuce and other greens can give the essential nutrients while still maintaining a low carb count in the diet.
Dairy for Vegetarians and Vegans:
Vegetarians can enjoy lot of cheese, plain yogurt (flavoured ones contain carbs) butter and ghee while following low carb diet, while vegans can delight in almond milk, soy milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, oat milk, flax milk, hazelnut milk, and pea milk. These can be easily made at home too. But if you choose to buy it from the store, remember to buy the unsweetened and unflavoured ones. Protein sources also include tofu paneer or Indian cheese for vegans.
Nuts and Seeds:
Nuts and seeds are a healthy way to keep your hunger pacified in a low carb diet for everyone. The happy news for vegans and vegetarians is that they are the best source of plant based proteins. Nuts and seeds take care of the essential nutrient supply needed for the body by providing good fat, low carbs and protein. They help in preventing inflammation and reduce risk factors of heart diseases. These include almonds, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, watermelon seeds, chia seeds, basil seeds and more. Studies have shown that having a handful of nuts a day can give your body sufficient protein and reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Herbs and Spices:
There is no match to spicy vegetarian foods when flavoured with garlic, ginger, cardamom, coriander, paprika, turmeric, black pepper, fenugreek, basil, oregano and more. Add these to your healthy vegetarian dish or use them as toppings to healthy salads and soups and enjoy your low carb meal with all essential nutrients in its natural richness, completely unaltered.
Since it is a low carb diet, white rice and wheat stands out of question. Instead you can eat oatmeal, buckwheat, wild rice, quinoa, barley, brown rice and millets. These whole grains contain carbs ranging from 20 grams to 40 grams. So when you are on a low carb diet check the quantity you consume. Add more veggies to the whole grains and make it more nutritious. This also keeps you satiated for long hours and the best companion for a weight loss journey.
Over to legumes! There are a variety of dishes that you can make using mung beans, pulses, lentils and peas. You can make your favourite dish from these legumes by counting the amount of carbs you intake for the day. Be aware of the calorie count when you consume it along with whole grains to make sure the carb content doesn’t make up to the usual amount of carb intake. Remember it is a low carb. The best low carb legumes are the peas which contain 25 grams of carbs, 9 of which are fibre. Also green beans and black soya beans are low carb friendly and can constitute the best low carb diet meal plan.
Good fats are the essentials of a low carb diet and vegans can derive them from avocado, coconut oil, coconut milk, mustard oil, and olive oil. Vegetarians can add ghee, cheese, butter and paneer additionally to the other good fats mentioned here.
Keep in mind that going low carb and following a diet works well only if you supply the body with nutrients. Starving and depraving the body from essential minerals and nutrient supply can make you look dull and perform dull. Whenever you have meals or snacks you should be aware that you have to supply the body what it needs and not nibble on fried items and chats as an award for sacrificing your usual high carb meal. Add as much as non-starchy vegetables which also have high fibre content into your meal to keep it low carb and help in your weight loss.
Now that you know what you can eat for a healthy low carb diet, when you are a vegetarian or vegan, you can try different combinations of appetizing meal plans. You can see now that dieting is not boring or gruelling. It is interesting and easy to follow when you know what to eat and when your body is happy that it is supplied with what it wants for proper functioning. Still confused about the right vegan or vegetarian diet for a low carb diet meal plan? Take heart! Try these following recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner for one week and experience how light you’d feel. Here you go!!
Low carb Breakfast Menus for vegetarians /vegans
Breakfast menu for Vegans (hyperlink for those in bold letters from our own blog)
1. Almond Butter toast
2. Chickpea pancakes with mixed low carb vegetables
3. Brown Rice idli and dal / sambar
4. Apple cinnamon porridge topped with sliced almonds
5. High Protein Dosa
6. Mixed Sprouts Fruits and Veggie Salad Recipe
7. Moong Dal Sprouts Bhel
Lunch Menu for Vegans
1. Low carb chapati
2. Low Carb Cabbage Rolls
3. Apple and Lettuce Salad with Melon Dressing
4. Jowar Roti
5. Plain Ragi Roti
6. Onion Paratha
7. Chickpea curry with brown rice
Dinner Menu for Vegans
1. Broccoli Broth
2. Mint Watermelon Salad
3. Vegetable Barley Soup
4. Tofu curry with mixed vegetables and a fresh spinach salad
5. Sprout Salad
6. Lentil pancakes with Tofu Tikka.
7. Oats Dosa
While consuming a low carb diet, people often forget to stay hydrated. Not supplying the body with enough water makes it tired and increases hunger pangs. So keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. You will be surprised to know that you don’t feel hungry often when you keep consuming enough water for the day.
You can also consume black tea, green tea or black coffee without white sugar. This can help you in staying hydrated without adding extra calories to your body. You can also make the water interesting to drink by adding mint leaves or coriander leaves to it. Adding lemon or any citrus fruit like orange or amla can detox your body and flush out all the unwanted toxins. Cucumber is great for your skin and you can also seep cucumber in drinking water and enjoy it.
Alternatively. you can also add chia seeds or basil seeds to water and drink, which can provide your body hydration and good fibre content as well. When on a low carb diet make sure you consume enough non starchy vegetables and healthy fats. Being aware of what you eat and following a diet that is rich in protein and good fat and low in carbs can reduce the chances of you overeating.
Munching in a Low Carb Diet – Healthy Snack Options
Beginners of weight loss journey often find it difficult to give up eating snacks, since mid morning snacks have become a routine for many. While a good healthy breakfast which contains high protein, moderate good fat and low carb can keep you full well beyond lunch time, there wouldn’t be any need for mid morning snacks. However if you still feel like nibbling at your regular snack time, here is a list of healthy snacks which you can consume. They can add more nutrients to the body and also aid in weight loss.
Keep in mind that though we have healthy snacks options it is not mandatory to have it when you are on a low carb diet. Have these healthy snack options purely when hunger strikes! If you still go ahead with the day without munching then it is great, while if you want them it is absolutely fine. Here it is!!
Healthy snacks for Vegans in a low carb diet
1. Unsalted nuts (one small handful)
2. Sliced fruits with assorted nuts
3. Vegetable chaat
4. Roasted Pumpkin seeds
5. Roasted groundnuts
6. Bean salad
7. Roasted chickpeas.
8. Sprouts salad
9. Roasted Sunflower seeds
10. Multigrain porridge
11. Vegetable soups
12. Dry coconut and Dark chocolate
Black tea, green tea, or any herbal tea and black coffee can always accompany your dry fruits and nuts healthy snacks. It is mandatory to avoid white sugar completely in your tea or coffee. Sweetened beverages and juices will add excess calories to your body, making our low carb diet a complete waste. It makes it harder for you to lose weight, especially around the waist line. You don’t want that to happen, right? Steer clear from aerated, bottled, sugar sweetened beverages.
For a healthy low carb lifestyle, it is essential that you completely avoid the following items in your regular food intake.
• All types of sodas, sports drinks
• Ice creams
• Cookies (even in little quantity)
• High calorie foods like French fries, Chips and Bhujia
• Sugar sweetened beverages
• Refined Grains
• Trans Fat like Vanaspati
• Fast foods
• Highly processed foods
• Digestive biscuits
• Cakes, Sweets, Pastries
• Refined Oil
Additional Smart ways to Lose Weight along with Low Carb Diet
A good lifestyle can help a lot in reducing weight. What’s more, adopting the following healthy habits can help you maintain a healthy weight over your lifetime. Try to exercise every day. This can help you burn your calories in a day. you can do any activity that you enjoy doing like running, jogging, walking, swimming or even a good workout at the gym. Again keep in mind that you can consume more calories because you did a great workout at the gym.
The whole purpose of the workout is to make the body fit and lose calories and not to add more. This is where staying hydrated helps. You can drink a lot of water which will compensate for your water loss from the body during workout and also keeps you full. Do not worry much about working out. You can start slowly and then build your stamina. You can pretty well lose weight in a low carb diet. But a little exercise can make your body more firm and healthy. Even if you are not able to exercise, try to walk more steps in a day which can help in burning more calories.
Dieting for weight loss is possible in forms of eating habits, as long as you are aware of what you eat and how much of what you eat. When the body is given the correct proportion of what it needs it works out the magic for you to stay in good shape.