Research shows that low carbohydrate diets are very effective for short term weight loss – a diet of grilled fish or meat together with lots of leafy vegetables can very quickly ‘melt’ away surplus kilos.  What happens, though, if you are a vegetarian?  Is it still possible to follow a low carb diet plan for vegetarian while respecting the principles of a vegetarian diet? The answer is yes!  While vegetarian proteins (beans, lentils, nuts and seeds) do have a higher carbohydrate content than the animal proteins, with a few dietary tweaks and careful portion control, it is completely possible to follow a lower  ‘carb’ approach.

The goal for a low carb diet is to limit total carbs to 30-40g per day

This means, limiting grains and starches to no more than 1 small serving a day if at all.  Most animal proteins contain little or no carbohydrate. In contrast, an average serving of 100g cooked lentils contains 20g of carbohydrate and if you add in a serving of rice, you can easily consume 50g of carbohydrate during one meal! Low carbohydrate sources of protein  include cheese, eggs, tofu and nuts.   The good news is that this approach allows you to fill up on lots of non- starchy vegetables and healthy (omega 3) fats!

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spinach for a low carb diet plan for vegetarian

Protein shakes are an obvious choice for breakfast  and delicious protein rich smoothies can be made by blending protein powder, milk, frozen fruit and nut butters.   Lunch and supper can be based around vegetables supplemented with a variety of vegetable proteins, while aiming to keep the carbohydrate content as low as possible.  The aim is to use vegetables to replace most of the cereals and starches and to focus on strict portion control for the’ higher carbohydrate’ source’s of vegetable protein like lentils and beans.  While cheese is ‘low carb’ it can also be high in saturated fat, so limit the portion size to about 30g per serving.

A sample 7-day low carb diet plan for a vegetarian could look like this:

A healthy low carbohydrate vegetarian diet plan

A healthy low carbohydrate vegetarian diet plan

Low carb?  Yes!  Vegetarian?  Yes!  Healthy and delicious?  Yes!  This low carbohydrate vegetarian diet plan will help you to lose kilos and keep you looking and feeling great!

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