People choose to become a vegetarian for a number of reasons. I always tell people at Team Worx Fitness in Alexandria, VA, that the best way to lose weight is to eat healthy and don’t make any specific recommendations on diet. However, when asked if you can lose weight on a vegetarian diet, the answer is simple. Absolutely! That is as long as you aren’t supplementing that diet with vegetarian options of junk food and food with added sugar. It’s a bit harder to balance a vegetarian diet, but if you do, and stick with healthy principals, it might even be easier.
Is a vegetarian diet the same as a vegan diet?
Those words are often mixed, and they don’t mean the same things. Vegans don’t consume ANY animal products, including eggs or dairy. Many don’t even use products containing anything from animals, like wearing leather shoes. A vegetarian diet is a lot easier to stick with and balance, since it has both plant and animal protein. Eggs are a great source of protein. Vegetarians simply refrain from eating the flesh of animals, not all animal products.
It’s all about making healthier choices when you select food.
If you’re eating a vegetarian diet and it includes pastries and candy that’s not healthy. Sure, it doesn’t have animal meat, but it has added sugar, which comes from a plant. Too often, I’ve seen meat substitutes that are far less healthy than the original. Take Impossible Burgers for instance. They’re higher in sodium than the real thing, and they still come on a bun, with condiments galore. Choose wisely and don’t be fooled by imitation products that substitute for meat. They might not be as healthy as you think and far more fattening.
It may be easier to lose weight as a vegetarian.
Red meat has lots of calories compared to a boiled egg. Filling up on salad can actually reduce your calorie intake. Be aware that it’s not about the label you choose to call yourself, it’s about the food you eat and the calorie and health benefits or hazards it contains. Sugar comes from plants but is toxic to the system and can cause you to gain weight. Studies show vegetarians and vegans actually tend to be leaner, but it’s a generalization that depends on the food you eat within that category.
- Nuts are a source of protein often consumed by vegetarians. However, if you opt for nuts with a thick coating of sugar, they cease being healthy and definitely won’t help you lose weight.
- One way that vegetarianism can help with weight loss is that it increases fiber in your diet, as long as you opt for unprocessed vegetables and fruit. They help you feel full longer, so you eat less.
- Some vegetarian options, like avocados and nuts that contain healthy fat or protein options like beans, also keep you feeling full longer. They also contain fiber that slows the release of glucose in your blood stream to aid in preventing insulin resistance.
- No matter what your choice of diet, including vegan and vegetarian, losing weight is all about making the smartest possible choices and eating healthy.
For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness