Vegetarianism is increasingly becoming popular. A growing population is now opting for animal-free diets. Becoming a vegetarian can help you lose excess weight and reduce your risk of chronic diseases.
What Is A Vegetarian Diet?
A vegetarian diet excludes fish, poultry, and meat. Some people follow this diet for religious and ethical reasons. A growing population is now adopting the vegan diet for its possible health benefits.
Types Of Vegetarian Diets,
There Are Four Main Types Of Vegetarian Diets:
- Vegan diet for weight loss – It excludes all animal products including dairy, honey, and eggs.
- Ovo-vegetarian diet for weight loss – It allows eggs but excludes poultry, fish, meat, honey, and dairy.
- Lacto-vegetarian diet for weight loss – It allows milk but excludes eggs, fish, meat, and honey.
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet for weight loss – It allows milk and eggs but excludes poultry, fish and meat.
Other vegetarian diets include pescatarian that allows fish but no other animal products.
Foods To Eat On A Vegetarian Diet.
All vegetarian diets focus on vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. All these foods are rich in micronutrients, fiber, and beneficial plant compounds, but tend to be low in macronutrients than animal foods.
The benefits of vegetarianism depend on the food you are eating. Eating ultra-processed foods such as potato chips, cookies, and white bread will provide your body with fewer health benefits and increase the risk of obesity and heart diseases. Eating whole foods such as seeds and nuts, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes will provide your body with multiple health benefits, reduce your risk of chronic diseases, and help you lose excess weight.
Barriers Of Weight Loss On A Vegan Diet.
Vegetarianism is an effective way to shed excess body weight. Here are some of the factors that make it difficult to lose weight on a vegetarian diet:
1. Not Eating Enough Protein.
Proteins decrease the level of ghrelin (a hormone that regulates hunger), making you feel full for longer after eating. By making you feel full for long, you end up eating a few calories in a day. Low-calorie intake boosts weight loss.
Failure to eat enough proteins, you will end up feeling hungry two to three hours after eating. The increased hunger and appetite will make you overeat, providing your body with excess calories that will cause weight gain instead of weight loss.
2. Eating Refined Carbs.
Bread, pasta, and pizza contain highly processed carbs. They don’t have fiber that is present in whole foods. Because they lack fiber, they are easily digested and don’t curb hunger.
Refined carbs increase the risk of overeating, making you eat more calories than your body needs. They also trigger the secretion of excess insulin (sugar-regulating hormone) to regulate the spiking blood sugar levels. Overproduction of insulin contributes to weight gain, which then contributes to insulin resistance. They increase the risk of obesity, heart diseases, and type 2 diabetes.
How To Lose Weight On A Vegetarian Diet.
There are several things you can do to promote weight loss on a vegetarian diet. Here are some of the strategies that will help promote weight loss on a vegan diet:
1. Incorporate Proteins In Your Meals.
Some of the high protein vegetarian foods are seeds, nuts, beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, and edamame.
2. Fill Half Your Plate With High-Fiber Veggies.
High-fiber veggies such as broccoli, mushroom, leafy greens, zucchini, and cauliflower will make you feel full for long.
3. Eat Whole Foods.
Whole foods such as unprocessed fruits and vegetables are fullness boosting and don’t have harmful ingredients.
A vegetarian diet focuses on eating nutritious plant foods. For you to lose weight and achieve maximum health benefits from a vegan diet, make sure you are eating enough proteins in all your meals and lower the number of refined carbs, calorie-rich foods, and ultra-processed items. Incorporating a vegan diet with regular exercise will help you lose more pounds in a short period. It will also help prevent muscle loss as you lose excess body fat. Drinking enough water to keep your body hydrated also promotes rapid weight loss.