Do Vegetarians Lose More Weight?
A vegetarian diet doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to lose weight. You could eat processed foods like potato chips, sugary cereals and pasta as the heart of your diet and still be heavier than a person following an omnivorous diet that consists of lean meats and leafy greens. However, long-term vegetarians tend to have less body fat and lower cholesterol than meat eaters. This is backed up by multiple nutritional research reports throughout the years. Vegetarians who have success at keeping a healthy body weight focus on eating real food. This includes whole foods like beans, legumes, fresh vegetables, soy protein, eggs and milk. If you are a vegetarian and you want to lose weight quickly, you will still need to limit your caloric intake, and lead an active lifestyle.
Long-term vegetarians tend to have less body fat and lower cholesterol than meat eaters.
The basics of losing weight
Losing weight on any type of diet can only occur when you consume fewer calories than you burn! For example, a deficit of 3,500 calories will lead to 1 pound lost. It is possible to create this deficit by exercising more, consuming fewer calories, or ideally – a combination of both. It is recommended that you do not lose more then 2 pounds per week, as you will be less likely to keep that weight off in the future. This may not be the fastest way to lose weight, but you can take comfort in the fact that you are losing weight at a manageable and maintainable pace. If you are losing 2 lbs a week, I’d say you’re doing quite well!
If you burn more calories in a day than you consume, you will lose weight!
An activity tracker such as a FitBit or Jawbone UP will help you track your daily burn, so have a reference point to compare to your daily intake of food. Use an online calorie calculator to or consult with a dietitian to determine how many calories you can safely cut from your diet. Losing 2 lbs per week would require a deficit of about 1,000 calories per day. As stated earlier, this may be achieved by either eating less or exercising more. It is important to not consume fewer than 1,200 – 1,500 calories per day, as this can leave you nutritionally deficient. Exercise will speed up the results of any diet, whether you eat meat or not!
Types of Vegetarian Diets
One of the many great things about a vegetarian diet is that you are potentially cutting out some high-calorie food choices such as fatty meats and processed meats. These foods may be very tasty, but their impact on your health may not justify that sensation! A typical vegetarian diet includes no animal flesh or even no animal products whatsoever. There are variations of vegetarian diets that include lacto-ovo vegetarian, lacto-vegetarian, ovo-vegetarian and vegan. Below you will find a description of what each type of vegetarian diet includes:
This type of vegetarian diet includes eating dairy products and eggs along with plant-based foods.
Lacto-vegetarian includes eating dairy products such as milk and cheese, but not eggs.
This type of diet is the opposite of Lacto-vegetarian. This diet includes eating eggs, but no dairy.
A vegan consumes only plant foods, without any animal products whatsoever.