By Abigail Carroll. Vegetarian Weight Loss. At Tuesday, April 30th 2019, 06:31:35 AM.
Even if your new vegetarian diet feels effortless, you may still encounter some roadblocks — including weight gain or the dreaded weight-loss plateau. Here is the most common reason why you’re not losing weight on a vegetarian diet: You are relying too heavily on carbohydrates and dairy. Yes, cheese pizza is vegetarian, but even vegetarians shouldn’t eat it all the time.(We know it doesn’t help matters when most vegetarian options at restaurants are some combo of carbohydrates and cheese. During my early vegetarian years, I ate a lot of fettuccine Alfredo and grilled cheese sandwiches.) Dairy is rarely considered a protein in most meal plans, but new vegetarians make the mistake of loading up on cheese to replace meat as a protein source. When choosing carbohydrates, follow the same strategies you would for a non-vegetarian diet, focusing on complex carbohydrates from whole food sources like starchy vegetables and whole grains (rather than refined flour).A vegetarian diet, versus a vegan diet, opens up “more options for higher-protein foods like eggs and Greek yogurt,” says Haynes. “There is research showing that higher-protein, lower-carbohydrates diets can be beneficial for weight management. Rather than leaning on carbohydrates and dairy (especially when eating out), lean toward vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, with some dairy for added flavor.”
Do eat lots of green leafy veggies. Foods like kale, collard/mustard/turnip greens, broccoli, bok choy -- these types of foods provide vital nutrients including calcium which is needed to lose weight. If you are lacking in calcium, your vegan weight loss efforts could be hampered; do drink a boatload of water. All those amazing fiber-rich foods you should eat need water to aid them in the job they need to do. Two-three glasses a day is not going to cut it for you. The range of your water intake should be 6-12 (8 ounce) glasses per day. Shoot for the lower range if you eat lots of water-rich fruits and veggies and smoothies, and the higher range if you don't.
Once you know exactly how many calories you need to prompt weight loss, and how you want to structure your veggie diet, make those calories consist of whole, unprocessed foods. Skip the refined sugar and grain options that may fit the definition of vegetarian, but add excess calories and limited nutrients.Poached eggs or egg whites with veggies, scrambled soft tofu with salsa or a fruit smoothie made with yogurt or vegetarian protein powder make nutrient-dense breakfasts that have protein to help keep you full.