Many people assume that living a vegetarian lifestyle automatically means you are thin and in good health. However, it’s just as easy to overeat or choose unhealthy foods on a vegetarian diet as it is a conventional diet. Choosing to go on a vegetarian weight loss diet can result in better health if you do it right, but there are special considerations with a diet of this type.
Eliminating meat from your diet doesn’t guarantee weight loss. Many foods are vegetarian, but can still sabotage your diet. Potato chips, candy bars, and buttered rolls are all vegetarian foods, but these foods can lead to weight gain if they are eaten to excess. Vegetarian meat substitutes, such as soy hot dogs, can be highly processed and often contain too much fat for a healthy diet.
It’s possible to lose weight by counting calories, carbs, or simply by limiting portion sizes. Any of these are possible with a vegetarian weight loss diet. Most popular diet plans can be followed while choosing vegetarian or vegan foods. Even the Atkins plan, which is known for high meat and fat consumption, offers a vegetarian alternative known as Eco-Atkins.
It’s important to consume enough protein, no matter what type of diet plan you follow. Vegetarians can get enough protein from a wide range of foods without eating meat. Most vegetarians eat eggs and dairy products that contain protein and other nutrients. Plant foods also contain protein, allowing dieters to meet their daily requirements for this nutrient without difficulty.
Vegans do not eat eggs or dairy products, so they must get their protein from plant foods such as beans and tofu. Most plants contain some protein, and they also contain many other beneficial nutrients. For example, a cup of cooked brown lentils contains 18 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber, along with many antioxidants. They offer a large nutritional punch for the calories, making them a good choice for many dieters.
Vegans often choose dairy substitutes such as vegan cheddar cheese. These products are usually highly processed and contain large amounts of fat, and don’t offer many nutrients. They may not always be the best choice for people on weight loss diets. However, it’s important to read the labels because some products are acceptable and helpful on a diet.
Most vegetarians are willing to eat almost any vegetable, ensuring they get all of the vitamins and minerals they need to live a healthy life. Selecting foods from every color of the rainbow is important to meet your nutritional needs. Vegetables and fruits are also very satisfying, so it’s easy to fill up on low calorie foods while you lose weight.
A vegetarian diet can be very nutritious and lead to successful weight loss. However, it’s important to avoid the same pitfalls that plague other dietary lifestyles. Eliminate junk food from your diet, and be sure to eat a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and healthy sources of protein. You can lose weight and become much healthier on a vegetarian weight loss diet.