I am thinking about becoming a vegetarian. I need to lose weight and it’s been hard. I only gained instead of lost even though I cut down on how much I usually eat. What kinds of food should I avoid and what foods can I eat? If I eat salad, is the dressing vegetarian?
A vegetarian diet is a wonderful healthy way to lose weight and maintain weight loss… if you are smart about it. Too many vegetarians eat way too much cheese and dairy, which are full of fat. Have a smart eating plan formulated, and discuss this with your doctor. If you are not making this change based on animal rights or environmental concerns, you may have an easier transition if you begin limiting meat but keeping eggs and dairy. Maybe eggs are fine for you, but you don’t want to eat seafood. Maybe no animal products at all will work better. See what feels right to you, your body, and your conscious. You can always try out different levels of vegetarianism, it can vary depending on your needs at the time.
It is a myth that a vegetarian diet is limiting or unhealthy, and just as it is rude for vegetarians to criticize meat eaters diets, it is just as rude for them to criticize your food choices. You will need to be able to feel confidant in your food choices, because some people feel they have the right to butt in, both meat eaters and veggies who feel they are more “pure” than you because you eat something they won’t. Don’t listen to them.
Buy some vegetarian cookbooks, or go to the library and get some good examples and ideas for healthy meals and shopping strategies. Learn to read labels, you’d be shocked to actually see what is in your food. This is a great strategy even if you aren’t vegetarian. Whole grains, legumes, leafy greens, and soy products are some of the things you should be looking at. Salads are great, but there is a whole world of wonderful, healthy, and non-animal based foods to explore. If you eat out, try Indian, Thai, Italian, Middle Eastern, Mexican and Greek cuisine, as there are great traditional dishes that are naturally meatless. Just watch the cheese, butter, and oil.
And most important, you must also get moving if you want to lose weight. Take walks, go swimming, ride your bike.
A vegetarian does not nessesarity mean you will lose weight. Weight loss is a matter of physics, burn more calories than you take in. If you switch to a vegetarian diet and replace your meat with carbs(pastas, rice, etc) and little vegetables you are taking in the same calories(you are taking in less colesterol, etc, but calories will be about the same)
Meat is unhealthy and has a lot of fat and calories in it, but so can processed vegetarian food(veg. food is simply lowler in saturated fats, and cholesterol). You need to replace your meat intake with vegetables, beans, tpfu, etc.
Off the vegetarian topic of a second and onto weight loss:
The best way to lose weight is slowly over the course of several month(1-2lbs per week max). Eat several smaller meals over the entire day and stop eating a few hours before bed. Cut out the junk food, and replace them with fruits and vegetables. Stop drinking sweetened drinks(you wouldn’t beleive how many calories these have). Switch from soda to diet soda, juices to diet juices(crystal light has powder drinks with no sugar). Cut down on sugary food, salty snacks, etc.
No diet is complete without excersize, 30 min a day is minimum(6 days a week) Best would be to do 3 days cardio, 3 strength training) Excersize increases matabolism and burns fat and calories.
If you cut down to to low a number of calories you will go into a starvation mode,and stop losing. It is best to vary calories eaten per day, 1200 calories for a few days, 1500, for another few, and day where you take a break from dieting and eat what you want(in moderation)
First of all, Proteins are found in TONS of foods other then meat. So is Iron. Therefore if you eat enough veggies and fruits you will have just as much protein and iron as any meat eater would except, you wont have heart problems, clogged arteries or cancers caused by eating meat.
HUGE LIST OF VEGAN FOODS WITH LOTS OF IRONS
Lima beans, cooked
Swiss chard, cooked
Black beans, cooked
Pinto beans, cooked
Turnip greens, cooked
Kidney beans, cooked
Beet greens, cooked
Veggie hot dog
Black-eyed peas, cooked
Brussels sprouts, cooked
Bok choy, cooked
Veggie burger, commercial
Green beans, cooked
black eyed peas
whole white bread