It’s known that vegetarian and similar diets include less fat and sugar than meat-eating ones.
But the truth is — adopting a vegetarian meal plan is no guarantee of weight loss.
It is very common for people to lose weight when they decide to go vegetarian.
And the major reason for this is because vegetarian diets limit sugar consumption if to compare with meat-eaters’ menus.
While vegan diets support weight loss, they need to be complemented with plant-based foods with high fiber content.
Thus, you will be able to regulate blood sugar levels and feel full for a longer time. If you’re really serious about shedding fat on a vegetarian diet, then there are some things you should know.
Don’t Fall into the “Cheese Trap” When on a Vegan Diet
When choosing staples, new vegetarians usually go for options like pizza and cheese. And if you love sandwiches, then you will likely prefer a grilled cheese-covered turkey breast sandwich. #nomnom
The problem with dairy products like cheese and cream is that they often have high-fat content. So, regular consumption can easily make you gain weight. A single ounce of cheese or a heavy cream teaspoon can contain over 4g of saturated fat and 50 calories. In fact, some fat-laden cheeses contain as much as 120 calories per ounce with more saturated fat.
So, imagine how much calories and greasy food you’re consuming when take a whole cheesy meal or cream soup. This is the last thing you want in a vegetarian meal plan.
The gist is not to overdose on dairy products. Some determined vegetarians may completely rule them out of their vegetarian diet for weight loss. But in case you decide to keep them, make sure you limit your intake to one ounce of organic cheese per day in each vegetarian serving.
Mind the Fats in Your Vegetarian Diet
When on a vegetarian weight loss diet, it’s vital to know the type of fat you take as well as how much you eat. Even when taking healthy fat oils, it is best to limit your consumption to a moderate amount.
Plant-based fats like olive oil contain a lot of vitamin E, which is good for the skin. Another popular fat option that is also high in vitamin E is avocado. Both foods are largely made up of monounsaturated fats, which make them heart-healthy choices and thus great for vegetarians.
Oils from flaxseed and walnuts are also ideal for a vegetarian weight loss diet. Their inflammatory property makes them helpful in getting rid of toxins in the body. The lauric acid in coconut oil is also good for the guts, which makes it a great addition to vegetarian meals.
As earlier indicated, it is advisable to limit your healthy fat intake in order not to hike the calorie content in your meals. You don’t want to exceed 5 servings of a single teaspoon of plant oil per day in a vegetarian diet. If you can go lesser, it’s even better!
Choose Fruits as Dessert for Your Vegetarian Diet
If you really want to lose weight on a vegetarian diet, then you should consider substituting your usual dessert for fruits. There are so many delicious fruits to choose from. But bananas, apples, and berries are perfect not just because they satisfy your desire for sweets but also for their weight loss benefits.
Banana is commonly used in most vegetarian meal plans for sweetening. Apples are great for your guts. And there’s no denying that a healthy gut is essential for keeping your weight in check. Berries have inflammatory properties that can help rid the body of toxins and prevent cancer. They also help to ensure your skin remains tender and beautiful.
It is important to note that these fruits still contain a considerable amount of sugar, especially banana, so you should watch how much you eat. Ideally, you don’t want more than 60 calories in a single serving for a vegetarian weight loss diet.
Choose Your Soy Foods Wisely
While the dangers of excess soy to heart health and cancer is still not clear, it is recommended to take less of it to be on the safe side. More important is to choose your soy food wisely, especially when going vegetarian.
Experience has shown that adding healthy animal products to a vegetarian diet is actually a better choice than eating a lot of soy meat. This is because most soy-based meats usually contain a lot of sodium and preservatives.
Again, choose your soy foods wisely. Some of the best soy products for a vegetarian weight loss diet are soy milk, tofu, and tempeh. And it’s more useful to eat them unprocessed. So, you incorporate them into your vegetarian dishes in this form.
Legumes are also good sources of protein, which can be included in a vegetarian weight loss diet. They may help to control your cravings for processed food when hungry.
Go Crazy for Vegetables
It is practically impossible to imagine a vegetarian meal plan that is not filled with healthy veggies. They are the only food you should eat without fear when going vegetarian. They do not only supply nutrients to your system but also ensure you feel more satisfied.
It is recommended to go for greens like collard and kale, which are rich in iron. Other great vegetarian options are asparagus, carrots, cucumber, spinach, broccoli, and so on. Mixing your leafy vegetables with natural sources of Vitamin C, such as lemon juice, can also help your body to absorb iron faster.
Add Exercises to Your Vegetarian Diet
If you’re determined to shred fat on a vegetarian weight loss diet, then an exercise program should be in your plans. There are no two ways about it – you’ve got to MOVE.
Weight training and cardio exercises are great options. And you must be ready to keep to a regular exercise schedule. Without regular workout, it may be very difficult to get the kind of results you desire even if you have the most sophisticated vegetarian meal plan.
You can get a good personal trainer or you can get a treadmill if you want to exercise at home. Always go for the best running shoes for a treadmill to avoid injuries.
Regular training, combined with a healthy vegetarian meal plan, can accelerate your efforts.
To Wrap It Up – Take One Step at a Time
Vegetarian diets are not typically “low calories” and do not always result in weight loss. So, if you’re opting for a vegetarian diet for weight loss, then you will need to make extra sacrifices and be disciplined. Also, the process may take some time.
Hopefully, you can start making gradual changes by following the tips above. This is important, especially if you’re new to all this.