Is using a vegetarian diet to lose weight a good option? This is what we are going to find out in this detailed article. If you have been thinking about switching to a vegetarian diet, this will help you realize the benefits and whether you can use it to effectively lose weight.
The answer to your question is yes, a vegetarian diet can help you lose weight. However, it is not supposed to be a “weight loss” diet but a lifestyle choice. A vegetarian diet promotes true fat loss (not water loss) and provides your body with all the key nutrients necessary for the excellent health of your body.
But if you eat too many high-calorie foods (such as desserts, fried items, snack foods and sweetened beverages) or your portion sizes are huge, you can gain weight. In fact, there are numerous food items marketed as ‘vegetarian’ but are too high in calories and fat, such as soy cheese, hot dogs, snack-bars and refined-canned beans.
Tips on using a Vegetarian diet
If you want to follow a vegetarian diet to lose weight, there are some things you must keep in mind. Here is what you can do:
Snack on fiber-rich foods
When you are hungry, reach out for the bowl of fruits. Pears and apples are known to have belly-filling fibers and will keep you full for a longer period. You can also try nuts such as almonds, cashews, walnuts and peanuts as snacks. They are rich in healthy oils, good fats and protein. When preparing a sandwich at home, always use whole-grain breads.
You do not have to be a professional runner to experience the benefits of moving. Don’t commit the mistake of thinking that you can go on a vegetarian diet to lose weight and skip the hard work of exercising! If you dread the gym, try something you enjoy such as swimming, Yoga, dancing, or just brisk walking every day around the block for 30 minutes.
Know your locality
Whenever we have to go for grocery shopping we head towards the nearest grocery store, however, the local/farmers’ market is where the real food is. Remember, you want to fill your shopping cart with REAL foods such as fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and healthy whole grains. So, it is okay if you have to travel a few extra miles for your good health and that of your family.
Don’t be a junk-food vegetarian
Just because the label says “non-dairy cheese” it does not mean that it is a healthy vegan option. Avoid eating fast foods, processed-packaged vegetarian or vegan treats, and stick to the food that CAN rot. Occasional treats are fine but don’t get used to of the “vegetarian junk” if you really want to lose weight and you really understand the meaning of being a true vegetarian.
Allow oats to be your best friend
There are times when you want to eat something sweet, but artificial sugars are no better than the meat-treats. Ditch those sugary cereals and try some healthy oatmeal. You can jazz-up your oatmeal with nuts (such as dates for that natural sweet flavor) and seeds, bananas, the choices are endless.
Many people think of organic foods as foods that are ‘pesticide-free’ but organic also means that the food has come from nutrient dense soil which means – More Nutrition! And when you will taste your organic food you will realize that it is more flavor-rich, and flavor keeps you satisfied. Therefore, you will be less likely to indulge in overeating.
Eat raw foods
Don’t forget that raw foods have the most amount of nutrition when it comes to vegetables and fruits. Except for a few, almost all vegetarian raw foods are best eaten raw, as they provide you with maximum amount of nutrition and satiety. Also, don’t rely on cheese for your daily protein requirement as it is full of fats and will make you grow fat faster than any other food.
Even though it may appear as a tough task, losing weight with a vegetarian diet is not very difficult. However, the basics of achieving and maintaining a healthy body are the same for vegetarians as well as the non-vegetarians: a nutritious diet and sufficient amount of exercise. Using a vegetarian diet to lose weight can be very effective, just keep the right balance in the foods that you eat.