Are you looking for greener ways to lose your weight?
Then we have a treat for you!
We all had that moment once in our life were our physique was the greatest concern out of all.
The aesthetic botheration is inculcated into humankind ever since the dawn of civilization, and it will keep growing.
Veganism or vegetarianism existed alongside us for a long time, but the health benefits of this practice were only recently explained by science.
The earliest known records regarding veganism date back to the 7th BCE, and it is widely practiced in Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism.
But the golden question is: Can you lose weight with a vegan diet?
The answer is plain and simple, “yes”.
In fact, research1 says shifting to a greener diet is more effective when it comes to fat trimming and weight management.
So, without adding more words, let us explore more about veganism and checkout a few vegetarian diet plans for weight loss.
Let’s get started!
Understand what is meant by a vegetarian diet
Veganism can be broadly classified into six subcategories, and it mostly depends on ethnicity and religious beliefs.
- Pure vegetarian/ vegan is a person who doesn’t use any animal products, which includes dairy products, eggs, or not even honey!
- Lacto-vegetarian is someone who uses dairy products but abstains from using other animal products like meat, egg, fish, and poultry.
- Ovo-vegetarians are people who use eggs but not meat, poultry, fish, or dairy products.
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarian is a person who abstains from using meat or poultry but uses dairy and egg.
- Flexitarian is a person who uses some animal products but mostly sticks with a vegan diet2.
- Pescatarians are a distant type of vegetarians who includes fish in their diet but no other animal products.
The classification can go on depending on personal preferences, location, religious belief, food availability, weather, etc.
In a general sense, a vegetarian is a person who depends on vegetables and fruits for all their nutritional requirements.
However, people eating animal products like egg, dairy, honey, etc. but avoids all other meat products are also considered to be vegans in some cultures.
Challenges with a vegetarian diet
If weight loss is your ultimate goal, then there is nothing that can beat a vegan diet.
But, before you can start planning a vegan life ahead, wait!
There is a catch.
If you look at the evolution of humans, meat has been an integral part of our life for tens of thousands of years.
It is mainly from meat and other animal products we acquire essential nutrients like proteins, fat, vitamins, etc.
There are 7 nutrients3 that we cannot acquire from plant products:
- Vitamin B12.
- Vitamin D3.
- Heme Iron.
But don’t get upset, today we have a ton of supplements that can compensate for this shortcoming.
Not just that, some people find it hard to digest too many veggies leading to digestion problems in the long run.
However, considering the benefits, it is always good to follow the vegan diet with slight adjustments to extract the maximum benefits out of it.
Tips for easy fat burning with a vegan diet
Eating vegetables and fruits is a great deal for weight loss.
But a vegetarian diet plan for weight loss alone isn’t enough to make things happen.
You need a more in-depth overview of fat loss and how veggies can contribute to the cause.
Let us see some tips that will make a vegan fat trimming machine.
Focus on proteins
If you think eating some random veggies is all it takes, then you are wrong.
Loading wrong calories can take things south.
Protein is something that you should focus on when following a diet plan, and more the proteins better will be your muscles.
Not just that, if you eat a protein-rich diet, it can make you feel full by decreasing the level of ghrelin4 (a hormone that causes hunger), thus reducing your appetite.
Edamame, lentils, chickpeas soy, mung beans, green peas, quinoa, and most legumes & beans are rich in protein.
Give preference to non-starchy veggies
Okay, now that you started having a vegan diet doesn’t mean you are out of calorie overloading.
Bread, rice, cereals, pasta, etc. are rich in starch, and they can significantly delay your weight loss quest.
So, choose vegetables with higher fiber content like broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, etc.
Whole food is the best deal
Just because the pizza has a green dot on the packet doesn’t mean you are doing your part by opting for a vegan diet.
Processed and junk veg foods carry the same risk as to its non-vegan counterpart in contributing towards obesity.
Go for cooked veggies, raw fruits, non-frozen foods, or homemade juices instead of a veg burger, veg pizza, canned fruits, etc.
High salt content is a big no-no even when you are not on a weight loss diet.
Don’t overdo calorie-rich food
There are high-fat vegan foods that can make you fat, and being a vegetarian doesn’t give you too much weight loss benefits.
Just imagine, you are having 2 tablespoons of peanut butter with couple slices of bread as a mid-day snack.
Congrats, you have added roughly 350 calories in your system.
Peanut butter has a whopping 200 calories of while 2 medium slices of bread can contribute 150 calories.
So, always keep track of whatever going into your stomach, even if it is a fruit or vegetable.
Veggies to consider for weight loss
Not all vegetables would benefit you in weight loss, but they won’t cause much trouble like meat or other animal products.
You need a specific vegetarian diet plan, which should include some of the veggies mentioned below.
- Non-starchy veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, carrots, celery.
- Fruits like bananas, oranges, citrus, kiwis, mango.
- Whole grains like barley, quinoa, brown rice, farro.
- Nuts like almonds, peanuts, cashews, pistachio, nut butters.
- Fat from olive oil, avocado oil nut butter, and cheese.
- Water from natural fruits, plain coffee, or tea.
Your diet doesn’t need to only be filled with these things.
For the sake of weight loss, it is better to include some of these selections in your diet.
The thumb rule is, go for those veggies/fruits that have fewer carbohydrates & fats but has lots of protein, vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients.
Vegetarian diet plan for weight loss
We have a vegetarian diet plan for weight loss.
You are free to make your modifications, but try to balance the carb: fat: protein ratio followed here.
Peanut butter, whole grain bread, steel-cut oats with some fruits, scrambled egg with broccoli and cheddar, berries, Greek yogurt with apple/pineapple, walnuts, a smoothie made from unsweetened almond milk, spinach, banana.
A salad of your choice with greens, tomatoes, burrito with brown rice, onion and avocado, pinto beans, lentil soup, guacamole, carrots, hummus, kale salad, edamame, goat cheese, dried cranberries.
Evening/ mid-day snacks
Almonds, string cheese, granola bars, dried fruits, yogurt with cherries, dark chocolate, orange, cut apples, any berries, pistachios.
Black-bean soup, whole-grain bread with a salad, zucchini noodles with marinara, white beans, eggplant parmesan with pasta & beans, broccoli with brown rice & soy sauce, homemade chickpea patties with baked potatoes.
Say no to these foods
So, a vegetarian diet plan for weight loss has been loaded into your head, now what’s remaining is a list of don’ts that you must strictly follow.
Even though you’re a vegetarian, certain food must be prevented from reaching your stomach.
Try to avoid these foods, if not at least limit its intake for a healthy weight loss routine.
- Processed foods – There are many processed foods you can buy from your grocery stores, which can ruin the entire weight management. Veg burgers, meat replacements, frozen desserts, imitation foods, etc.5
- Refined carbs – When you are on a quest for weight loss, carb-rich products like white bread, bagels, crackers, pasta, etc., should be limited or avoided.
- Sweetened foods – Those foods containing artificial sweeteners should be avoided at any cost. Pastries, ice-creams, candy, cookies, fruit juice, carbonated beverages, etc.
- Fried foods – There is a whole lot of fried veg munchies, which might be might be a treat for your taste buds, but not for your weight loss quest.
Now you’re done with the knowledge grabbing part in weight loss, remaining is to put these things into practice.
A vegetarian diet plan for weight loss will only work when you combine it with exercise.
Exercises should be an integral part of this process, and without it, your weight loss journey won’t reach the destination.
Certain organic supplements based on plant products are a great deal, but make sure you purchase a genuine product with fat-burning capabilities.
Being over conscious about your diet can make things difficult, so find the middle ground and work out things accordingly.
If you have access to a nutritionist or a dietician, it will significantly help your cause by getting customized a vegetarian diet plan for weight loss.
Going gym is the fastest way to trim the fat and lose weight, but even without it, you can get back into shape, provided you follow your diet and do your general exercises.