By now, you may have heard about the great success people have with the vegetarian weight loss diet. You’re also wondering if it works for long-term sustainable weight loss. Rumour has it that celebrities like singer Adele and actor Anthony Anderson lost weight following a vegetarian diet.
There are some insider secrets you need to know too, not only lose weight through a vegetarian diet but also to maintain it for a prolonged period. To help you slim down and optimize your health, vegetarian meals should contain plenty of vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and healthy plant-based fats like avocado.
First of all, it is important to note that a vegetarian diet isn’t an automatic low-calorie diet. You can gain weight on a vegetarian diet if your portion sizes are too big or if you eat too many high-calorie foods, such as sweetened beverages, fried items, snacks, and desserts. Weight loss on any type of diet occurs when you eat fewer calories than you burn. A deficit of 3,500 calories leads to 1-pound loss. You create this deficit by cutting calories, exercising more or a combination of the two.
Various studies show that adults and children who follow a vegetarian diet are generally leaner than those who follow a non-vegetarian diet. This may be because a vegetarian diet emphasizes more fruits and vegetables. It also includes whole grains and plant-based proteins like foods that are more filling, less calorie dense and lower in fat.
Another reason why the vegetarian diet is so successful is that it cuts out potentially high-calorie foods. Foods such as fatty meats, poultry with the skin and processed meat are completely removed from your diet. A vegetarian diet includes no animal flesh and sometimes no animal products.
An ovo-lacto vegetarian chooses to eat dairy and eggs along with plant foods. A lacto-vegetarian eats dairy and no eggs. A vegan consumes only plant foods.
Yet, ovo-lacto vegetarians need to be extra careful to avoid full-fat dairy and baked treats made with butter and eggs while dieting.
Also, the immediate weight loss on a vegetarian diet is as a result of the consumption of fibre-rich foods. When you eat fibre rich foods, it thoroughly cleans out your gut and pushes out all the waste from the intestines. Giving your body a constant supply of fibre means you are always cleaning yourself out.
Do not throw the baby out with the bathwater! It is important to keep your protein levels up. Protein is a key factor in weight control because it boosts satiety, preserves muscle and revs up metabolism. Lentils provide 17 grams per cup cooked, one serving of extra firm organic tofu contains 9 to 11 grams, and almonds provide 6 grams per ounce.
Vegetarian diets do not always lead to weight loss. If you are becoming a vegetarian to lose weight, it will take discipline, some sacrifice, and attention to detail just like every other diet. Counting calories and keeping track of portion sizes at each meal will enhance your chances of achieving weight loss goals. Careful planning of your meals each day will also help you reach weight goals.