Despite what it may seem at face value, a vegetarian diet is anything but a guaranteed way to lose weight Switching to a vegetarian diet won’t produce immediate results, and it may surprise you, but you could still easily find someone much heavier than full-time ominous.
If you’re determined to be a long-term vegetarian, though, you will definitely notice a significant reduction due to your new weight loss vegetarian diet, since, according to a study published by Nutrition Research and Practice in 2012, vegetarians tend to have less body fat and lower cholesterol than people who eat meat.
However, even so, not all vegetarians manage to maintain a low body mass index. Those who do is likely as a result of increased focus on eating whole foods such as soy protein, fresh vegetables, beans and perhaps eggs and milk if you opt for an ovo-lacto diet. To lose weight to a noticeable extent, whether you’re a vegetarian or not, you’ll need to check on your calorie intake and exercise as regularly as you can.
Vegetarian Diet Weight Loss Fundamentals
Before you begin your diet, you need to understand how diet regulation leads to weight loss. Regardless of what your diet consists, weight loss essentially occurs when you eat fewer calories than you burn. For instance, a 3,500 calorie deficit will lead to leads to 1 pound loss. This deficit is created by cutting calories, exercising in order to burn them or, even better, a combination of the two.
If summer is approaching fast and you’re looking for ways to get that body in shape, fast, the bad news is that it may not really be feasible. The CDCP (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) published a report recommending not losing weight at a maximum of 2 pounds a week, that’s 8 pounds a month. This isn’t exactly most people’s definition of ‘fast,’ but it’s the fastest you can (and should) go to be safe.
Sitting down to crunch the numbers should reveal that to maintain a 2-pound-per-week consistent over a long period, you need to maintain a deficit of about 1,000 calories a day while making sure you don’t go below the minimum-required 1,200 calories a day or you’ll g nutritionally deficient.
Otherwise, use a combination of exercise and a regulated diet to burn as much as, perhaps more than, you eat.
Types of Vegetarian Diets
The main benefit of a vegetarian diet is that you’re cutting off potential high-calorie foods such as poultry and fatty meats, which are the main culprits when it comes to suspiciously gaining weight despite a seemingly normal diet.
A strict vegetarian diet should not contain any animal flesh or otherwise animal product, except for lacto-ovo vegetarian diets. These contain dairy and/or eggs; lacto-vegetarians eat only dairy but no eggs, and an ovo-vegetarian can eat eggs but no dairy. A vegan consumes only plant foods.
All the above can be helpful when it comes to weight loss, but if you choose to go for an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet, you’ll need to be a little more careful by avoiding fatty dairy products and baked treats that include eggs and butter in their ingredients…
A Vegetarian Weight-Loss Plan
Once you’ve nailed down your daily calorie deficit, all that’s left is to structure your weight loss vegetarian diet, for optimal performance. Whatever you choose to include in your daily intake should include whole, unprocessed foods and as little of sugar and grain options as possible.
Egg whites or poached eggs eaten with vegetables of your choice, soft scrambled tofu with salsa or a fruit smoothie consisting primarily of yogurt or vegetarian powder are some ideas for a nutrient-dense breakfast to help keep you protein bar full throughout the day.
A large salad together with chicken peas, vegetable soup with kidney or black beans and brown rice are some of the best vegetarian providers of fibers. The beans are great for fiber and protein, one which helps your stomach digest food more efficiently, while the other helps with bodily functions, leaving you satisfied.
A great idea for a vegetarian dinner would be stir-fried tempeh or tofu with minimal oil served with a mound of roasted vegetables. Alternatively, steam the veggies and spritz them with lemon juice.
On the side, a small serving of whole grains such as wild rice, or starchy vegetables will help round out your meal. Ultimately, though, the size of your servings will depend on how many calories you need daily to achieve your goal.
Vegetarian Snack Pitfalls
In order to lose a lot of weight quickly, some sacrifices must be made, which implies that you’re going to have to limit yourself to only snacks that are healthy. However, some of these can lead you to sudden spasms of lack of self-control and lead to overeating and should be avoided,
Case in point, a handful of nuts or two spoons of hummus will fit rather well into your vegetarian weight loss plan, but if they suddenly turn into a half- or full-cup serving, then you’re better off resisting them altogether. Instead, opt for a snack of plain, low-fat yogurt with berries, cut-up vegetables or a piece of fresh fruit.
Another important point to remember is to stay as far away as you can from fried vegetarian foods, such as tempura vegetables and french fries. This isn’t to say you should deprive yourself of all fatty options altogether, though. It simply means you should be wise and opt for healthier options. For instance, you could go for unsaturated versions of vegetarian diets by roasting your vegetables in olive oil.
Lastly, and most importantly, just because it comes from plants doesn’t mean it contains little calories. Vegetarian and vegan cookies, pizza and cupcakes usually contain a really large number of calories and could drastically undermine your routine. Salads are, for the most part, excellent meal options, as long as you remember to limit the number of high-calorie toppings you add. These include creamy dressings, croutons, dried fruit, cheese crumbles and candied nuts.