Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Vegetarian Diet to Lose Weight?

Are you thinking about going on a vegetarian diet to lose weight?

One of the myths about vegetarianism is that it automatically makes you healthier and slimmer but it’s not that easy; to stop eating meat and lose weight it is necessary to follow a vegetarian weight loss diet not just a vegetarian diet. This might seem strange if you are used to thinking of vegetarians as slim health fanatics but  you still have to watch your calories like any meat eater does. Vegetarian fast food can be as calorie heavy as a burger bar; and if you ever checked out the calories listed on the side of a packet of peanuts you’ll know that it’s not just meat which will make you fat.

Whenever I find it difficult persuading someone of the possibly high calorie content of a vegetarian menu I find one fact makes my point better than any other. Those huge Japanese Sumo wrestlers don’t put on weight eating burgers, ice cream and chocolate all day; they eat a traditional vegetable stew called Chanko-Nabe. Yes, it is possible to be huge and vegetarian so don’t think that dropping meat is the easy way to drop your pounds.

The sad truth is that if you want to try a vegetarian diet to lose weight you have to do the usual things that all sensible fat reduction food plans require: a planned, low calorie diet set out over a sensible time period with regular exercise thrown in. All diets do the same basic thing; they reduce your calorie intake and generally increase your dietary fibre while providing enough protein to keep your body from trying to make its own.

But the good news is that a vegetarians do have a head start, since a proper veggie meal plan will include lots of fibre, lots of protein and a lot less fat than a meat eater’s – if it’s done properly. Dropping meat from your diet doesn’t automatically mean dropping inches from your waistline, especially if you replace it with fatty veggie food; so it’s necessary to consider a properly laid out and planned vegetarian weight loss diet including lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and some good brisk walks.

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