Atkins Diet for Vegetarians

The Atkins diet is much harder for vegetarians as meat proteins are an integral part of the diet and the suggested meal plans. It is likely that vegetarians will have much less successful results than those who eat meat, and involve more planning and care, so you may wish to look into alternative diet plans. If you are positive that you wish to go on the Atkins diet you should consult with your doctor or nutritionist first. It is likely that your meal plans will feature eggs and cheese heavily in order for you to consume sufficient amounts of protein.

The Atkins Diet and Vegans

The advice for vegetarians as above is relevant here, however it is likely that vegans will have to look for an alternative diet as you obviously will not have the protein sources listed above as options. Vegan diets contain too much carbohydrate and it is extremely unlikely that you would be able to make a success of your Atkins diet in combination with this.

Ideas to Facilitate your Vegetarian Atkins Diet

The following tips should help you to get you started on your vegetarian version of the Atkins diet.

  • Research the traditional Atkins diet in detail. Make a note of any potential areas you will need to be aware of, for example keeping your protein levels up by increasing the quantity of cheese, tofu and egg you consume to make up for the fact you are not eating meat.
  • Ensure that you check the labels of what you eat to minimise the amount of carbohydrates you consume, particularly in the first weeks of your Atkins diet when carbohydrate consumption should be as low as possible. The carbohydrates you do eat should come from berries, seeds, fresh vegetables and small amounts of fruit and nuts. Processed foods, sugar and white flour should all be removed from your diet. Remember that, while you do need to keep your protein intake up, foods such as cheese and tofu do contain some carbohydrate so you should take this into consideration when calculating your carbohydrate consumption.
  • The fact that your sources of protein already up your carbohydrate intake means that you will have to be even more careful than meat eaters of the vegetables and fruits, etc. that you eat to ensure you are consuming those with the lowest carbohydrates in. This will allow you to try and even out and make up for the carbohydrates contained in your protein sources.
  • After you have restricted your carbohydrate intake as much as possible, during the later stages of the diet, you can then very slowly reintroduce foods which have a higher carbohydrate concentration such as oats, cous cous, barley and vegetables with over 10 per cent carbohydrates in, most root vegetables for example.
  • If you are comfortable including fish in your diet then this is a useful way of complementing your Atkins diet. This will add variety to your meals and also reduce the likelihood of you consuming carbohydrates instead which will hinder you sticking to the diet properly and, in doing so, also hinder your weight loss.

The stricter your vegetarian diet is, the harder it will be to stick to the Atkins diet. Protein is a very large part of the Atkins diet and so avoiding meat, and even fish, limits your options greatly.

Anyone should consult a health professional, nutritionist or medical practitioner before embarking upon any new nutrition plan or a drastic change in diet. If however you are a vegetarian this is even more applicable advice to ensure that you get the best out of your new diet plan whilst still getting the necessary nutrients.

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