While plant-based or vegetarian diet is low on fat and sugar, this does not guarantee that going vegetarian will make you lose weight. Even vegetarians are tempted to eat junk foods, processed foods and practice other unhealthy eating habits. If you want to lose weight while going on a vegetarian diet, you must follow some natural weight loss methods. For this, you might be required to take advice from a health care provider or a nutritionist.
Vegetarianism includes ovo-lacto vegetarians, who eat eggs and dairy products to those that completely avoid all products made from animals. People, who are vegetarians are generally slimmer and leaner than meat eaters as vegetarian diet usually has low fat content. This diet primarily is about eating fruits, whole grains and vegetables that definitely have less calories. Vegetarians have got nothing to do with animal products like eggs and meats. This gives an opportunity to people, who are vegetarians, to easily lose weight. But, it must be kept in mind that the demands of every person’s body are unique and distinct. If you are turning to vegetarianism for weight loss, set realistic and achievable goals. If you want faster results, you can think of becoming a vegan – people, who don not use or consume animal products, including dairy.
However, vegetarian diets are not always low in calories, so they may not always lead to weight loss. Again, if you are turning vegetarian for losing weight, it requires a lot of practice, discipline and some kind of sacrifice. Do not eat outside on a regular basis. If you are a regular eater at restaurants, it will be very difficult to restrict the intake of calories. Keeping a track of calories and portion sizes with each meal will really help you in losing considerable weight. Firstly, you would need to plan! Planning is an essential component of weight loss regimen; whether you are a vegetarian or meat eater. Snack up only on healthy foods. You must avoid fry food. Focus should be more on baking, steaming, grilling or boiling.
One of the very important aspect to lose weight is physical activity. You must exercise each day. Cardio and weight training will enhance the functioning of the body and even help avoid illnesses. If you are only becoming vegetarian with the idea of losing weight but are not doing anything else like exercises, then you may not be able to get the desired results. Train in a gym and coordinate with a personal trainer. You can also lose weight by exercising at home.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 65% of Americans above the age of 20 lie in the category of being overweight or obese. However, incidence of obesity in vegetarians and vegans is less than 10%. Thus, we can safely say that on an average, body weight of vegetarians, whether male or female, is lower than those, who are nonvegetarians by about 3 to 20%. Research has established that switching over to a vegetarian or vegan diet helps in weight loss, provided adequate exercise is performed and portion sizes are limited, including carbs and fats. Studies have found that there is an increase in burning of calories after one switches to a vegetarian diet. That means, plant-based foods may be used more efficiently as a body fuel.
For you to lose weight and optimize health, vegetarian diet should comprise vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lentils, seeds and other plant-based products like avocados. Some people don’t eat the recommended foods and their intake of junk and processed food is much higher. So, it is just not about taking the animal foods out of your diet plan, but incorporating whole foods that are rich in nutrients. If you are keeping dairy in your diet, set a limitation to one cheesy meal a day and that too, in moderation.
Protein is essentially important in controlling weight. It helps preserve muscles and boosts the metabolism. If you are going vegetarian, take special care of your protein intake. Quinoa gives 8 gm of protein per cup, lentils give 17 gm per cup cooked. Sometimes, you may go for drinks made from green vegetables and fruits, but the one from fruits can give you a lot of calories. Remember that, such drinks may not fill you up as eating whole produce may. You could eat raw broccoli, carrots, apple, strawberries and kale.
Thus, we have seen that vegetarian lifestyle has its own perks. A study was conducted in 2010 on men and women over a period of 8 years in 10 European countries. The result of the study indicated that eating meat was associated with weight gain. In general, vegetarians have lesser weight than omnivores. A vegetarian diet may help you lose weight, but only if you are following it the right way. Even a partial vegetarian diet or flexitarian diet can help maintain healthy weight. It has been shown that vegans have a considerably lower chance of overweight and obesity.