Vegetarianism is becoming more and more popular, and you can’t blame anyone for wanting to follow this route. This diet has been proven to help in weight loss journey and even reduce your risk of developing chronic health diseases.
But, you can be on a vegetarian diet and still find it hard to lose weight, most especially if you are filling up your stomach with too many processed food.
Let’s dive into how you can lose weight on a vegetarian diet. But first, have a clear understanding of what a vegetarian diet is and the different types.
When on a vegetarian diet, it means you would steer clear from eating any form of fish, meat, and poultry.
Some people follow this diet plan because of religion, some do because of its health benefits, and others see it as a means to lose extra fats.
There are four major types of vegetarian diets; they include:
- Vegan: This means you would avoid all animal products, including eggs, dairy, and honey.
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarian: This means you can eat eggs and dairy, but you aren’t allowed to eat poultry, fish, and meat.
- Lacto-vegetarian: Your food option allows for just dairy; you cannot eat eggs, poultry, fish, and meat.
- Ovo-vegetarian: Your food option includes just eggs and excludes poultry, meat, fish, and dairy.
Vegetarian diets focus majorly on vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds. All of these foods are very high in fiber and are lower in calories and fats than animal foods.
Studies have shown that strict adherence to a vegetarian diet would help you lose weight. Still, the effectiveness and benefits of vegetarianism depend majorly on the foods you eat and your eating pattern.
To get the maximum results out of a vegetarian diet, there are several things you need to know.
Barriers to Losing Weight While On a Vegetarian Diet Plan
Although being on a vegetarian diet looks like the perfect way to get rid of those stubborn fats, certain factors can stop you from losing any weight.
Eating Too Many Refined Carbs
It is much easier to eat foods like bread and pizza when you are on a vegetarian diet. It is widely available, and on some days, they might be the only available vegetarian option in the restaurant.
Foods that are high in refined carbs do not contain enough fiber to keep you from getting full quickly. And because of this, you would eat more calories than required.
Certain studies have suggested that eating too many refined carbs can stimulate the release of insulin – the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar, and this can cause you to add weight rather than losing it.
Eating Highly-Processed Vegetarian Foods
If you are consuming too many highly processed vegetarian foods, then you may find it a bit difficult to shed off those extra kilos. There are so many products that are labeled “vegetarian products,” but they contain too many unhealthy ingredients and additives. Examples include freezer meals, vegan cheese, and baked goods.
Not only are these foods packed with chemical preservatives and sodium, but it also contains extra calories and refined sugar.
Eating In Large Quantities With Little Protein
You should not eat because you want to; you should eat because you are hungry. When you eat more than your body needs, it would definitely result in weight gain.
Regardless of whether you are eating healthy vegetarian foods, always cut down on what you eat, so you don’t eat more than necessary. Eating protein would help make you feel fuller, and this would reduce your calorie intake and improve weight loss.
But, if you don’t eat enough protein, you may need to eat extra calories to be full, thereby ruining your weight loss goals.
Tips for Losing Weight While On a Vegetarian Diet
- Limit Highly Processed Food
Try to avoid eating frozen meals and other ultra-processed foods because they contain added sugar and unhealthy additives that can hinder your weight loss goals.
- Add Protein To Every Meal
When you incorporate protein into all your meals and snacks, you are bound to see noticeable results in your weight loss journey, and also your overall health. Foods rich in protein include seeds, eggs, beans, and nuts.
- Eat Mostly Whole Foods
Unprocessed foods do not contain unnecessary ingredients, and this makes it a great option. Examples include whole fruits and vegetables.
- Fill Up Half Of Your Plate With Non-starchy Vegetables
Eating high-fiber vegetables would keep you fuller for a longer time and would reduce your calorie intake. High-fiber veggies include leafy greens, mushrooms, and broccoli.