Vegetarian weight loss diet

Vegetarians on average eat less calories than those who eat meat. Researchers have found that on average vegetarians consume somewhere around 500 less calories on a daily basis while actually consuming more food! The percentage rates of vegans and vegetarians who are overweight is much less than those of their meat eating consumers. This leads one to believe that it would be easy to lose weight following a vegetarian weight loss plan.

However just following a vegetarian or vegan plan of eating does not guarantee a person that they are going to lose weight. There are pitfalls that someone can fall into on a vegetarian diet just like any other. Those will be discussed below. For now we will discuss what makes a vegetarian diet more conducive to weight loss if it is followed correctly.

The vegetarian diet consists mostly of highly complex carbohydrates. These are high in fiber and starch, however they are also low in fat. These types of foods would include your vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains. Eating a diet on a daily basis that is high in these types of foods and low in fat promotes weight loss. It also promotes better digestion and other health processes such as cardiovascular health. As stated above, a diet rich in these foods typically runs on average 500 calories less per day than one that contains meat. At that rate, a person could lose 1 pound a week just from the loss of meats alone!

So what should be consumed on a vegetarian diet to consider it balanced and help to promote weight loss? According to the USDA, a 1500 calorie per day diet that is vegetarian should include 6 servings of grains, 3 servings of vegetables, 3 servings of fruits, 2-3 servings of dairy products, 6 ounces of beans, nuts or other meat substitutes, and have no more than 40-45 grams of fat included in it per day. If a person adheres to this type of diet they should be able to lose weight and have a balanced diet that is healthy for them.

Now we will discuss some of the pitfalls that a person can fall into on a vegetarian diet. Just because someone goes vegan or vegetarian does not mean they are going to lose weight automatically. They must cut the fat out of their diet in order to lose weight. This means not replacing meat and meat products with cheese and other products that are high in fat. If you must eat cheese or other dairy products then choose those that are low in fat to stay within the USDA guidelines above. There are many low fat products available that can be purchased that will fit into your diet and keep you within your calorie counts and fat guidelines.

Vegetables and fruits that are cooked should be either boiled or steamed on average. Frying vegetables adds greatly to the fat content of the diet and should be avoided or they should be eaten in very limited quantities. Read the labels on those products that are purchased at the market that are ready to eat. A lot of these products are full of fat or calories. Just because they are vegetarian or vegan does not automatically mean low calorie! Be a good consumer and read before you buy!

Do not fill up your diet with processed foods or junk foods just because you are giving up meats and some dairy products. This will lead you to weight gain not weight loss! Use good common sense when trying to lose weight on any diet. Potato chips and other junk foods may be acceptable on a vegetarian diet however they are not going to help you in the weight loss department! You will be much better off using foods that will fill you up and keep you feeling full. These foods include whole wheat breads, grains such as cereals, oats and rice products. Watch out for those things such as salad dressing and mayonnaise that are full of calories and fat but add little to your diet! They taste good but they give little nutritional value. Eat these things in moderation in order to keep your weight loss results optimum.

Last updated on Nov 10th, 2010 and filed under Weight Loss. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses for “Vegetarian weight loss diet”

  1. Lizzie says:

    I totally agree with what you’re saying. I am not a vegetarian by I follow the Mediterranean diet which includes lots of fruits, veggies and fish. I only started this a few months ago, but I am already seeing great health results. And my daughter decided to become a vegetarian over the summer – but she doesn’t eat vegetables! So she’s eating way too many carbs – which is making her gain weight!
    - Lizzie

  2. We definitely try to make *most* of our diet whole foods and avoid the processed stuff. We don’t do it for weight loss though – but because we know it is healthy. We also take our Vidazorb probiotic to help us stay healthy and boost our immunities and I have also read that probiotics can help with maintaining a healthy weight. I think it’s about all the small choices we make!

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