As a generalization, vegetarians are slimmer than their meat eating counterparts – but not always. Eating vegetarian doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to slip into a size six pair of jeans. In fact, some people gain weight on a vegetarian diet because they make the wrong food choices. Don’t let that happen to you. Here’s how to lose weight eating vegetarian.
Don’t eat more because you’re eating vegetarian.
Some people believe that they can eat all they want when eating vegetarian. After all, vegetarian food has fewer calories, right? This isn’t always the case. Some vegetarian foods can be high carbs and calories. When you first start out as a new vegetarian who’s trying to lose weight, keep a food diet with calorie counts so you can make sure you’re not eating too much. Eating vegetarian diet isn’t a license to overindulge.
Get the right carbohydrates.
Some people start eating vegetarian by substituting pasta, rice, potatoes, and bread for the meat they previously would have eaten. These are all high glycemic carbs that can lead to weight gain if eaten too often. Try eating whole grain starches such as quinoa, brown rice, and barley instead and add more fruits and vegetables that are lower in calories instead. These foods are higher in fiber and a good source of antioxidants.
Watch the high fat dairy.
This is another area where new vegetarians get into trouble. When they give up meat, they start eating more cheese and other dairy products. Most solid cheeses are calorically dense and if you throw in butter and full fat milk, you could end up taking in too many calories. Substitute feta cheese for cheddar and you won’t need as much since its so flavor intense. Look for light butter – which has half the calories – and choose more skim milk products.
Watch the meatless junk food.
Some vegetarians who don’t have time to cook, make meat-free pizza and French fries their meal of choice. With this kind of diet, the calories and weight gain can add up pretty fast. Learn how to make a few simple vegetarian soups and quick meals at home using a slow cooker instead of eating at fast food restaurants. Eating vegetarian can be as healthy as you care to make it.
The Bottom Line
A vegetarian diet isn’t a sure path to weight loss success unless you make the right food choices. Choose them well.