Low Carb for Vegetarians

The Complete Vegetarian's Guide to Low Carb Dieting

Vegetarian One Week Low Carb Meal Plan
Vegetarians are not excluded from a low carbohydrate approach to eating.   Low-carbohydrate doesn’t have to mean high protein.  There are plenty of vegetarian options that provide protein and fit into cutting carbs.  There are many tips to consider to become a successful low-carb vegetarian.

It is essential to ensure you’re meeting your protein needs, but a shift in focus to the right type of protein will take some planning.  High-carb grains like quinoa won’t make an appearance in significant volumes anymore.  Protein options to include are eggs, tofu, soybeans, meal alternatives, dairy, moderate amounts of legumes, avocados, nuts and seeds.

Read labels carefully, many “healthy” vegetarian foods such alternative milk, yogurts, dressings, sauces, etc will have added sugar.  Dairy foods and meat substitutes can have added starches that you wouldn’t think are packed in there.  Again, search the labels with a careful eye.  Consider avoiding or limiting processed food all together.  Dive into a good cookbook on the weekend and prepare your meals for the week in advance and you end up with the same level of convenience throughout the week.

Finding balance between all three macronutrients requires some experimenting.  It can be an adjustment process to identify where your level of carbohydrate sensitivity lies.  Make sure your protein and fat is in place, you’re feeling full and satisfied, then ensure the carbohydrates are at a level that is eliciting the weight loss response desired.

  1. First clean out the pantry.  Remove the temptations, the refined and processed foods.  Then stock up on the basics so you’re ready to go.
  2. Start off by keeping a food journal.  Count your carbs in the beginning to identify the appropriate adjustments you need to make for your success.
  3. Preplan your meals and have your snacks prepared and ready to go for the day.
  4. Get rid of the caffeine and alcohol, especially in the beginning.  When you’re well established in the low-carb plan then add back in moderation if desired.
  5. Balance out your dietary efforts with an exercise routine that you enjoy.

Ready to get started? Check out the vegetarian low-carb meal plan below:

Meal Calories Net Carbs
Breakfast Chile Relleno Casserole 364 3
Lunch 3oz seitan, 1 cup mushrooms and 1 cup broccoli 190 9
Dinner 1 meatless chicken cutlet + 1 cup mixed veggies + Cheese Chips 385 22.5
Snack 1 1 cup cucumber + 1/4 cup hummus 60 6
Snack 2 1cup celery + 2Tbsp cream chz + Quest Bar 250 10
TOTAL 1249 calories 50.5g net carbs
Meal Calories Net Carbs
Breakfast Broccoli Quiche 380 3
Lunch 3oz tofu,1 cup stir fry veggies with 1T olive oil 277 5.6
Dinner Marinated Tofu with Crunch Thai Salad 223 6.6
Snack 1 Flax Crackers (10) + Wholly Guacamole 350 2.5
Snack 2 Plain Greek Yogurt 280 24
TOTAL 1510 calories 41.7g net carbs
Meal Calories Net Carbs
Breakfast 2 scrambled eggs, 1/4 cup diced mushrooms, 1/2 cup chard, 4 slices meatless bacon, 10 cherry tomatoes 362 20.5
Lunch 8oz Amy’s split pea soup + 1 oz chz 180 14
Dinner Portabella Parmesean + Grilled Tempeh 400 11
Snack 1 2oz Soy breakfast sausages x 3 + hard boiled egg 200 2.5
Snack 2 Cucumber Feta Rolls (4) + Seaweed Snack + 4 slices meatless bacon 192 1.5
TOTAL 1334 calories 49.5g net carbs
Meal Calories Net Carbs
Breakfast Baked muffin cups (2 serv) 300 2.6
Lunch UnPotato Salad + Soy Chicken Apple Sausage + 1/2 c veggies 341 7
Dinner 3 cups kale salad, 3/4c beans, 1oz cheese, 2 Tbsp oil and vinegar 436 29
Snack 1 Think Thin Bar (1/2) 120 5
Snack 2 Low Carb Protein Shake made with 8 oz unsweetened almond milk 260 3
TOTAL 1457 calories 46.6g net carbs
Meal Calories Net Carbs
Breakfast Breakfast burrito; 1 low CHO tortilla, 1/4 cup beans, 2 eggs, 1 cup spinach 300 8
Lunch Taco salad; 4oz ground soy crumbles, 2 Tbsp salsa, 2T sour cream, 3 cup lettuce 294 5.4
Dinner Paneer and Lentil Curry 455 21
Snack 1 2T hummus + 1 cup sugar snap peas 266 8.2
Snack 2 Tofu Pudding (1/2 cup) 110 7
TOTAL 1425 calories 49.6g net carbs
Meal Calories Net Carbs
Breakfast Atkins Shake + 1 oz cheese 220 6
Lunch BLT Potato Salad (omit bacon) with tofu dog wrapped in lettuce or diced 342 9
Dinner Veggie Chili (1 cup) + 1/2 avocado 440 8
Snack 1 Black bean patty and sour cream 150 9.5
Snack 2 Low Carb Protein Shake w/ 8oz unsweetened almon milk w/ 1 Tb Peanut Butter 274 4
TOTAL 1426 calories 36.5g net carbs
Meal Calories Net Carbs
Breakfast Fritatta; 2 scr eggs, 1 cup chard, 1/4 cup feta, and 1/2 WW English muffin 392 7
Lunch Veggie Patty, 1/2 cup brussel sprouts,1 cup sauteed mushrooms and onions, 1 tbsp olive oil 333 10
Dinner Quorn Vegetarian Meatballs (1serv), 1 cup zuchinni ribbons, 1/2 c marinara, 2tsp parmesean 265 19
Snack 1 1/2 English Muffin and 1 Tbsp PB 154 9
Snack 2 1/2 Atkins Bar + 1oz Mixed Nuts 253 8
TOTAL 1397 calories 53g net carbs

Meet The Author

Nicole Barnick, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.

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