Vegetarian Diet For Weight Loss: What Is A Vegetarian Diet, Vegetarian Foods To Eat And Avoid For Weight Loss, And Everything You Need To Know
But regardless of what you believe or not, sticking to a vegetarian diet can be difficult, especially when you’re trying to shed pounds. As healthy as it may be, it can be difficult to lose weight on a vegetarian diet, especially when you have no source of protein and eat too many refined carbohydrates.
What is a vegetarian diet?
Resorting to a vegetarian diet means refraining from consuming meat, fish and poultry. While some people follow it for ethical reasons, in some cultures it may have a religious association.
Having said that, a vegetarian diet can be of different types. Some of them are as follows.
Lacto-ovo-vegetarian excludes meat and fish but allows poultry products.
– Lacto-vegetarian includes only dairy products but prohibits the consumption of eggs, meat and fish.
– The ova-vegetarian accepts to eat eggs but excludes dairy products, meat, fish and poultry
– Veganism requires abstinence from all animal products, including honey, dairy products, eggs, meat or wearing fur.
Benefits of becoming a vegetarian
While a vegetarian diet is high in nutrients and contains some of the healthiest foods, it is associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Additionally, vegetarian diets mostly consist of green vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, whole grains, etc., they are very high in fiber and therefore work wonders for people looking to lose weight. It also has a positive impact on your digestive health.
How Can the Vegetarian Diet Limit Your Weight Loss Goals?
The vegetarian diet can definitely help you achieve your weight loss goals. However, there are many factors that can cause it to drop and instead of helping you lose weight, you might end up gaining more.
Since the vegetarian diet excludes meat, eggs, and fish, you may be missing out on the protein needed for the body to burn for energy.
Protein helps us stay fuller for longer. This is what helps us avoid high calorie foods and stimulates weight loss. But with a vegetarian diet, we can run out of protein and overeat.
Additionally, when following a vegetarian diet, you may be consuming too many refined carbohydrates such as bread, pizza, and pasta. These foods lack fiber, which again promotes overeating and hinders your weight loss efforts.
Apart from that, a vegetarian diet can cause you to overeat high calorie foods. Avocados, nuts, coconuts, and other foods that are an important part of the vegetarian diet and are very nutritious can add to the fat in your body.
That said, while sticking to a vegetarian diet can be healthy and nutritious, it does have its own drawbacks.
How to lose weight on a vegetarian diet?
If you are looking to shed a few pounds and want to do so on your vegetarian diet as well, here is how you can do it effectively.
Choose foods high in fiber like broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, leafy greens and mushrooms.
– Add vegetarian proteins to your diet such as nuts, seeds, lentils, etc.
– Switch to complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits and legumes
– Limit highly processed foods.
On top of that, don’t forget to practice mindfulness even when you are on a vegetarian diet.
Vegetarian foods to eat and avoid
If you are following a vegetarian diet, there are some things you should incorporate into your meals and some you should avoid, especially when looking to lose weight.
Foods to eat
High Fiber Vegetables – Cauliflower, Zucchini, Mushrooms, Broccoli, Arugula, Celery and Cucumber
Fruits – Apples, bananas, grapes, citrus fruits, kiwis and berries
Whole foods – Brown rice, farro, millet, quinoa and barley
Legumes – Lentils, pinto beans, black beans and kidney beans
Healthy fats – Avocado, olive oil, coconut, nuts, seeds
Protein – Beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, nut butters, milk and Greek yogurt
Foods to Avoid
Highly processed foods like burgers, fries, and frozen desserts should be avoided.
Stay away from refined carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, bagels, etc.
In addition to this, sodas, sugary drinks and shakes should be avoided at all times.
Vegetarian meal plans for weight loss
If you are a vegetarian and looking to lose weight, having a meal plan is of the utmost importance. With that said, here’s a rundown of the vegetarian meal plans for the day.
Breakfast: Your breakfast should be the biggest meal of the day. While meat and fish are off the charts, you can treat yourself to delicious whole-grain oatmeal with high-fiber fruit. Or you can incorporate different fruits and vegetables as well as seeds and nuts which will provide you with all the important nutrients to start the day.
Lunch: Your lunch can consist of brown rice with any type of legume. Apart from that, you can snack on fresh cut fruits like apples, berries or avocado.
Having dinner: Keep your dinner lighter than the previous two meals of the day. You can either indulge yourself with a zucchini noodle soup with a side salad. Greek yogurt can also be eaten as an alternative.
In case you start to want to eat again, save some dark chocolates or string cheese or almonds to snack on.
See also: Where do you lose weight first