Have you seen Adele’s recent weight loss? There are rumors according to which she managed to slim down by following a vegetarian diet. These rumors have not been confirmed, but I have had a lot of people ask me if going vegetarian would help them lose weight. The answer is yes, but you need to do it right.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 65% of Americans over the age of 20 are either overweight or obese. However, obesity affects less than 10% of vegetarians.
Compared to omnivores, make and female vegetarians have a body weight that is smaller by 3 to 20%. Some researchers have also found that adopting a healthy vegan diet helps with weight loss even if people do not start exercising more or do not change the size of the portions they eat, the amount of carbs in their diet and the number of calories they eat. Vegan meals have been proven to help burn more calories since pant-based foods is a more efficient fuel for the body. However, it has been my experience that going vegetarian can cause you to gain weight if you don’t do it right. Here is how you can adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet without gaining weight.
Choose Quality Foods
You will get better results if you eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, lentils, whole grains, seeds, beans and nuts. Your diet also needs to include healthy sources of fat like avocados. Some vegetarians and vegans turn to junk food and do not eat the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Processed foods such as veggie hot dogs, candy, ice cream or faux pepperoni pizza are not healthy choices. Adopting a vegetarian diet is not only about avoiding animal ingredients. You need to eat more nutrient-rich whole foods for a healthy diet.
Don’t Overdo It With Cheese
Compared to skinless chicken breast, cheddar cheese has four times more calories and nine times more fat. Replacing your usual turkey sandwich with a grilled cheese sandwich can cause you to gain weight rapidly. Pizza and mac and cheese should not become staples of your diet. If you still want to eat dairy products, try to limit the amount of cheese you eat in a day to an ounce or organic cheese. You can complement your diet with some 0 percent organic milk, some yogurt, beans and tofu.
Don’t Eliminate Proteins
Proteins are important because they preserve your muscles, provide your metabolism with the fuel it needs and give you the sensation of being full after eating. If you decide to adopt a vegan diet, it is important to watch your protein intake closely. You can get proteins from quinoa (which contains eight grams of protein per cup once it is cooked), lentils (17 grams per cup), extra firm organic tofu (between 9 and 11 grams for a serving) and almonds (6 grams for an ounce).
Do not turn to juicing or to smoothies to get your daily servings of fruits and vegetables. These drinks can contain more calories than you think and you will not feel full after drinking a smoothie. There can be as many as 250 calories in a 16 ounce glass of your favorite smoothie or juice. Keep in mind that 250 calories are the equivalent of eating:
– 1 cup of whole strawberries (50 calories)
– 1 medium apple (80 calories)
– 1 cup of raw broccoli (20 calories)
– 1 cup of raw kale (35 calories)
– 1 cup of raw carrots (50 calories)
Juicing and fresh drinks can be a good option if you are a professional athlete and find it difficult to eat the fruits and veggies you need to recover after a workout. If you are exercising for an hour a day and want to lose weight, you should replace juicing and smoothies with eating whole fruits and vegetables.