Vegetarian Weight Loss Program
7 Habits of Weight Loss

Is a Vegetarian Weight Loss Program More Effective?

If you are not already a vegetarian but you are considering a vegetarian weight loss program, the two primary questions that you probably have are whether a vegetarian weight loss program more effective than a diet that includes meat – and how do you balance a vegetarian diet to so as not to compromise good nutrition derived from animal meat and animal products?
 

Weight Loss on a Vegetarian Diet

Most dieters count calories, carbs or “points” (like the WeightWatcher’s points system) rather than specific food ingredients. So the easiest way to follow a vegetarian weight loss program is just to use the same system, but substitute vegetable proteins (whole grains, beans and pulses) in place of animal proteins.

The WeightWatcher’s points system is based on several factors, including the glycemic index of carbohydrates. Low glycemic index foods are associated with fewer points than foods high on the glycemic index. Similary, foods high in fat and cholesterol are worth more points than low fat foods.Vegetables therefore have low points values and you can consequently eat more of them for the same number of points.

If you are someone who likes to eat in “bulk,” as many of us are, then a diet rich in vegetables allows you to eat plenty of food without overdoing the calories.  Because vegetables are low in fat and calories, and lower in carbohydrates than other starchy foods, vegetarians are at a definite advantage on any type of diet.

But even though vegetables are healthy for us, it is certainly possible to overdo the vegetables and suffer dietary imbalances, and consequently health problems, due to lack of other nutrition in the diet.

If you are considering, or already following, a vegetarian weight loss program, or a vegetarian diet in general, make sure you study and understand the components of a balanced vegetarian diet.

A Balanced Diet

A vegetarian diet is essentially composed of whole grains, beans and legumes, vegetables and fruits. If you are following a vegetarian diet strictly for weight loss reasons rather than because you are inherently vegetarian, then consider including a small amount of fish and other lean animal protein in your diet to ensure that you get sufficient protein. It is also a good idea on any kind of diet to supplement with vitamin pills in order to offset any deficiencies in your diet.

Vegetarians can include eggs, cheese and other dairy products in their diet, whereas Vegans exclude all animal products.  If you have been following a vegetarian or vegan diet for some time and you are comfortable with the amount of protein in your diet, then be sure to watch fat intake, especially if you are in the habit of buying processed vegetarian foods, which can have high fat content despite being meat free.

If you are new to vegetarianism, be sure to include plenty of protein rich beans and pulses, (like lentils) and soy protein (like tofu)

If you are following a vegetarian weight loss program as opposed to a vegan weight loss program, you can also include skimmed milk, yogurt and small amounts of cheese and eggs. Don’t overdo the eggs and cheese though, which are both high in fat.

 
Philip Kustner

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Information found here should NOT be construed as definitive or binding medical advice and is NOT intended to diagnose, prescribe, nor endorse any brand of products or services. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new weight loss or exercise regimen or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.