When it comes to vegetarian weight loss, many of us probably assume that simply being a vegetarian means that you’ll never be overweight and so weight loss isn’t something that can present a problem. Well, unfortunately that’s not true. In fact, vegetarians can be just as overweight as anybody else if their diet isn’t balanced and they don’t lead a healthy lifestyle. However, if you’re a vegetarian who wants to lose weight, we’re here to help!
Firstly let’s think about the type of vegetarian you are. Broadly speaking, there are three different types of vegetarians. ‘Vegans’ choose to eat no animal products at all. This means that a vegan diet will consist mainly of fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, seeds, and nuts. ‘Lacto-vegetarians’ are another type and tend to add dairy products to their diets such as milk and cheese. Finally ‘lacto-ovo’ vegetarians include both dairy products and eggs. You should consider the following facts if vegetarian weight loss is your goal.
A typical vegetarian consumes 500 less calories a day than their meat-eating peers, while consuming more food. This is because the bulk of vegetarian food has a lower calorific vaue, which is why vegetarians tend to be slimmer with less medical problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Medical studies have found evidence that indicates that a vegetarian diet causes calories to burn long after meals, which means that foods from plants are being used as fuel instead of being stored as fat!
Interestingly, only 6% of the vegetarian population is considered “obese” compared to 45% of the meat-eating population. Before you decide you want to experience vegetarian weight loss and throw out all the meat in your house, understand that becoming a vegetarian doesn’t automatically mean that you will lose weight!
Just think for a second about the incredible calories packed into cheese, nuts, peanut butter, oils, creamy salad dressings, and sweets that can cause havoc when you jump on the scale. Some vegetarian meals can be way too high in both fat and sugar. It’s all about ensuring that you eat healthy.
So where to begin with vegetarian weight loss?
As with all diets, you must be diligent about reading nutrition fact labels and knowing exactly what you’re eating. Fundamentally, knowing what you’re eating is key! You are what you eat is 100% true! Generally, each day vegetarians (or those trying a vegetarian weight loss diet) should have 5-8 servings of grains, 3-5 servings of vegetables, 2-4 servings of fruits, 2-3 servings of dairy products, and 5-7 oz of beans, nuts and eggs.
- Drink plenty of water - this is essential for sustained weight loss so don’t forget!
- Eliminate or reduce recreational eating by not filling up on empty calories. Eat with intention as making careless choices can cause your metabolism to slow down.
- Beware of and avoid vegetarian ‘convenience food’ by planning your meals and snacks.
- Reduce your consumption of high-fat products such as mayonnaise, butter, and creamy salad dressings. Instead use vinegar or low calorie oils for your food.
- Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes each day. Obviously the more you do, the better!
Top tips to get your weight loss started today..
- Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Choose lower-fat dairy products that are fortified with calcium and vitamins to stay balanced.
- Take a multivitamin daily to support the changes your body will be going through.
- Eat nutrient-dense foods that will provide the vitamins and minerals that you need daily.
- Broil, steam, roast, or sauté your foods and avoid fried foods!