Has the thought of being a vegetarian come across your mind in order to lose weight? Some healthy eaters turn to vegetarian diets due to ethical reasons, environmental concerns or improvements to health. Regardless of your reasons, vegetarian diets, also known as plant-based diet are one of the most healthy diets compared to meat etc and may be able to help in your weight loss goals. However, the key to weight loss is through the calories you consume instead of the source of calories and it can be achieved on both a meat-based or vegetarian diet. In a nutshell, you will gain weight if you consume more calories than necessary regardless of whether you are on meat or vegetarian diet. One of the potential benefits of going vegetarian is that you may be consuming fewer calories. In fact, a typical vegetarian diet is around 500 calories lesser than meat-based diets.
For all individuals that aspire to have a slim waistline, they will have to eat more food with fewer calories and it can be achieved with a vegetarian diet as it contains mainly complex carbohydrates. As a matter of fact, complex carbohydrates are rich in fibre, starchy and are naturally low in calories and fat. Some examples of complex carbohydrates include legumes, vegetables, whole grains etc. Due to hectic modern day lifestyle that causes stress on the body, lack of sleep, exercise etc, it can lead to belly fat. In light of this, most individuals will turn to quick instant weight loss treatments either being “spot treating” it or strict diets etc. However, an individual will not be able to keep weight off entirely in the long run as successfully losing belly fat for good requires both a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Are you struggling with weight loss and looking for a solution to your weight loss efforts? Consider reading our article further to get an idea of how a vegetarian diet can help in your weight loss efforts, the benefits, and some tips to achieve that ideal waistline!
A Vegetarian Diet
A vegetarian diet involves abstaining from having meat, poultry or fish in your diet. Some examples of a vegetarian diet include lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, lactovegetarian, ovo-vegetarian, pescetarian diet, vegan diet or flexitarian diet. These vegetarian diets are typically free from any meat, fish or poultry but occasionally allows eggs, dairy in your diet except for flexitarian diet. Due to their diet, long-term vegetarians have less body fat and lower cholesterol compared to meat-eater (or individuals following an omnivorous diet). For individuals who have been successful in maintaining healthy body weight, you can achieve it by eating whole foods such as legumes, beans, vegetables, etc.
Adopting a vegetarian diet should also include a wide range of other foods such as fruits, healthy fat, and proteins. As a vegetarian diet does not consist of any meat, you can replace the protein with a variety of protein-rich foods such as nuts, seeds, tofu etc. If you are on a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, consider adding eggs, dairy to boost your protein intake. For a supply of a range of essential vitamins and minerals to fill up nutrition that is missing from your diet, consider eating nutrient-dense whole foods such as fruits, whole grains etc.
Benefits Of A Vegetarian Diet
1. Health Benefits
Vegetarian diets are considered to have a range of health benefits due to improved diet quality compared to meat-eaters as the intake of essential nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, magnesium, fibre is higher. Therefore, a vegetarian diet prevents the likelihood of developing diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes etc. Besides this, there is a range of other health benefits associated with a vegetarian diet such as youthful looking skin, weight loss, longer lifespan, lower cholesterol levels etc.
2. Weight Loss
Due to its low carb, the benefits of vegetables can never be underestimated. Some examples of low carb vegetables include broccoli, spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, kale etc and you can eat massive amounts of it without having to worry about going over 20 – 50 carbs each day. In a nutshell, successful weight loss on any diet involves consuming fewer calories than you burn and a deficit of 3,500 calories is equivalent to 1 pound loss. You can also achieve this deficit by reducing the number of calories, regular exercising or a combination of both.
3. Living Longer
By following a vegetarian diet, it can help to improve your mortality rate thus extending your lifespan and lower the risk of death. As a vegetarian diet helps you in your weight loss efforts, it can also reduce the likelihood of chronic diseases etc as vegetables are low in sodium, but rich in potassium leading to lower blood pressure compared to a meat-based diet. Other benefits also include lower cholesterol due to a reduction in intake of saturated fats and increased consumption of plant-based foods that have naturally rich components ranging from fibre, soy protein etc.