Whether you’re trying to reduce your risk of heart disease or just want to save animals from the horrors of factory farming, there are many benefits to going meatless. But is weight loss one of those benefits? Keep reading for answers.
The Vegetarian Diet and Weight Loss
Plant-based foods are typically higher in fiber. When it comes to losing weight, it is crucial to fill up on high fibre content foods. Fiber is more than just a nutrient that helps normalize bowel movements. In fact, it is the anti-carb when it comes to consuming healthy foods that stimulate weight loss. People who have diabetes, when put on a strict low-carb diet, are encouraged to consume foods rich in fiber. This is because the fiber to carb ratio is more vital than just carbs.
The high-fiber content of plant-based foods allows your body to retain healthy nutrients while keeping insulin response and blood sugar low. This could mean that your body is less likely to store the extra energy as fat.
More than anything, the high-fiber content of plant-based foods stimulates feelings of satiety. When you’re on a vegetarian diet, the fiber keeps you full until your next meal, helping with cravings that lead to weight gain. So, can a vegetarian diet be considered a weight loss diet? The answer is a resounding, yes!
Benefits of Cutting Back on Processed Meat
Why shift to a vegetarian diet? There are tons of reasons to make the switch:
Lose more weight. Cutting back on processed meat and going vegetarian can help you lose more weight. However, be mindful of how you prepare the vegetables and what you eat them with. More often than not, people don’t consume vegetables on their own, which adds to the kilojoules. Examples of these are the dressings on salads, butter for mashings, and more that equate to hidden calories. So, if you are cutting back on processed meat to lose more weight, pay attention to what you add to your cooked vegetables or salad.
Those who eat meat are three times more likely to be obese than those who eat vegetables, so it seems that, overall, eating more vegetables in place of processed meat is the best way to go when trying to lose weight.
You can reap other benefits aside from losing weight after going vegetarian, including:
Lower your cholesterol levels. It is no secret that eating animal fat comes with no health benefit. Vegetarian diets, on the other hand, can lower your cholesterol levels. While some may argue that cholesterol from animal foods is a vital component for each human cell, the body can make all the necessary cholesterol from plant-based foods. So, if you switch from processed meat to plant-based foods, don’t worry about not getting enough cholesterol.
Save your heart. Following a vegetarian diet can lower your risk of heart disease. According to Harvard Medical School, vegetarians tend to consume more fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This is why they have lower blood cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and body max indexes.
Keep your skin healthy. If you want to keep your skin healthy, you should consume the right vitamins and minerals. Fruits and vegetables improve your skin health because they are very rich in vitamins and minerals. They also contain sufficient antioxidants that help fight premature aging and keep your skin fresh and flawless. Besides, these antioxidants help you stay disease-free.
Ease symptoms of menopause. As mentioned, a high-fiber vegetarian diet can help you lose weight. Since menopause is linked to weight gain, it is only right that you go veg. If you are near the menopausal stage, you need to consume foods that are rich in phytoestrogens. These plant-based chemical compounds help you get through the menopausal stage comfortably. Yams, squash, raspberries, plums, olives, garlic, dates, cherries, beets, and apples are some of the foods rich in phytoestrogens.
Spare animals. Many vegetarians give up meat to spare animals. On average, 10 billion animals are raised in sub-par conditions and slaughtered each year for human consumption. Most of these animals are factory farmed and given a diet composed of antibiotics and pesticides. These animals spend their entire lives in cages, where they can barely move. By reducing the demand for meat, a vegetarian causes fewer animals to be more into such harsh environments.
Keep in Mind: Going Vegetarian to Lose Weight Requires Discipline
Vegetarian diets may not end up in weight loss if the dieter lacks discipline and attention to detail. If you are going vegetarian to lose weight, you need to avoid eating at restaurants. If you eat out regularly at these places, it becomes a challenge to control your calorie intake.
Aside from that, you need to keep track of your portion sizes at each meal. Just because a high-fiber vegetarian diet stimulates feelings of fullness doesn’t mean it’s okay to get larger portions than you actually need. Always count your calories and pay attention to portion sizes so that you’re not sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
Another key to achieving your weight loss goals is to plan your meals carefully. Plan out your meals a week before, weigh out portions, and keep a bottle of water close as water can help suppress your appetite. It might also help to keep healthy snacks at bay to satisfy your cravings.
When Going Vegetarian to Lose Weight, Don’t Forget the Exercise
A crucial part of losing weight is to get up and move. In addition to eating a vegetarian diet, exercise will help you lose the stubborn pounds faster. There’s no need to become a gym rat when trying to lose weight because a simple routine that combines strength and cardio can offer maximum results. As going vegetarian isn’t enough on its own to achieve your desired weight, make sure to indulge in some kind of regular exercise.