Diet Plan For Vegetarian For Weight Loss


Vegetarian diet plan is best for losing weight. A full meal of vegetarian diet provides proportionate amount of proteins, minimal carbohydrates, moderate amount of vitamins and nutrients, and lower amount of dietary fats. With the vegetarian diet plan you can easily shed pounds.

What is a vegetarian?

There is more than one type of vegetarian:

  • Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat dairy and eggs but do not eat meat, poultry and fish.
  • Pesco-vegetarians eat dairy, eggs and fish, but do not eat meat and poultry.
  • Vegans do not eat dairy, eggs, meat, poultry and fish.

With some planning and careful attention to important nutrients, any of these vegetarian eating plans can be followed by teens.

The eating pattern for vegetarian teens is no different than that recommended for non-vegetarian teens. The only difference is the types of foods selected. Aim to follow Canada’s Food Guide.

What nutrients should vegetarian teens be concerned about?

All vegetarians, especially those who don’t eat any animal products (like vegans), need to be sure they get enough iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and zinc. Protein needs can easily be satisfied by eating a variety of beans, peas, lentils, soy products, nuts, seeds and whole grains (as well as milk products and eggs if they include those in their diet).

Iron – choose whole grain breads and cereal, dark green leafy vegetables, dried fruit, , beans, lentils, and nuts (and eggs if those are part of their diet). To increase absorption of iron from plant foods, eat vitamin C rich foods at the same time. For example: have cereal and orange slices for breakfast; add strawberries, kiwi fruit, sweet peppers, or tomatoes to dark leafy greens; make a vegetarian chili with tomatoes and beans.

Calcium and vitamin D – did you know that children between the ages of 9 and 18 years need more calcium than an adult?  The teenage years are important years for bone development, which is why it is key to get enough calcium and vitamin D at this age. Learn more about calcium and how much is recommended for each age group in our calcium article.
Milk, yogurt, cheese and fortified plant-based beverages are a good source of calcium. Some non-dairy foods also provide calcium including tofu made with calcium, broccoli, kale, Bok Choy, almonds or almond butter, and cooked beans (soy, white, navy, black, kidney). Vegetarian teens who don’t drink or eat any dairy products or fortified plant-based beverages can benefit from a calcium and vitamin D supplement. Check with your dietitian about choosing a supplement that is right for your teen.

Vitamin B12 – is found in animal foods such as milk and eggs. If animal foods are not eaten, look for foods that are fortified with vitamin B12, such as fortified cereals, fortified plant-based beverages, and fortified veggie ‘meats’, or take a vitamin B12 supplement.

Zinc – choose beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Milk, cheese, yogurt, and eggs all provide zinc.

Meal Suggestions for Vegetarian Teens

  • Omelettes or frittatas made with vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, mushroom, sweet peppers, and onions – serve with whole grain bread or toast and a glass of milk or fortified soy milk
  • Burritos or tacos made with kidney beans, black beans or refried beans
  • Stir fries made with tofu, vegetables, and nuts – enjoy with whole wheat couscous or brown rice
  • Salads made with leafy greens, chickpeas, white or red kidney beans, nuts, vegetables, pasta, rice, quinoa or barley
  • Dahl served with whole wheat roti and fruit salad
  • Falafels and hummus made with chickpeas served with whole grain pita bread and salad, sweet peppers or carrots
  • Fried rice made with edamame and veggies
  • Peanut or almond butter on whole wheat or multigrain bagels with banana or apple slices
  • Soups made with lentils, beans, and vegetables – serve with whole grain bread or crackers
  • Vegetable congee with tofu or soft boiled egg

Vegetarian Diets for Weight Loss: How Strong is the Evidence?

Vegetarian diets are common, well-accepted dietary patterns that are increasingly recommended as healthy options by professional organizations1 and nutrition policy makers.2 In vegetarian diets, meat-free protein sources include legumes, nuts, and grains, and—in lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets—dairy products and eggs. Reduced meat and vegetarian diets have been associated with a multitude of health benefits, including lower all-cause and cancer-specific mortality, reduced blood pressure and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.3–6 Whether elimination of meat and its substitution with other foods (e.g. fiber rich plant foods) affect weight or accomplish weight loss is less certain.

In this issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Huang and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the effects of vegetarian diets on weight loss.7 They identified 12 randomized trials with a total of 1151 participants (range: 11 to 291 per trial) that compared vegan diets (eight studies) or lacto-ovo diets (four studies) to non-vegetarian diets and that included body weight as a study outcome. Median study duration was only 18 weeks (range: 8 weeks to 2 years). Overall, participants in the vegetarian diet arms lost 2 kg more weight than those in the non-vegetarian diet arms. The mean difference in weight loss was slightly greater for those in the vegan (2.5 kg) compared with the lacto-ovo (1.5 kg) diet arms.

The majority of included studies were deemed low quality and had heterogeneous methods, particularly with respect to characteristics of the randomized groups and the types of diets in the intervention and control arms. The highest quality study was a 12-month randomized trial that compared four popular diets—Atkins, Zone, Ornish and Weight Watchers—in 160 overweight or obese adults.8 The group randomized to the Ornish diet, a low-fat vegetarian diet, had the lowest adherence (only 50 % compared to 65 % for Weight Watchers) and achieved non-significantly greater weight loss at 12 months (3.3 vs. 2.1 to 3.2 kg for other diets).8 In Huang’s meta-analysis,7 the longest study lasted 24 months, assessed weight loss maintenance for a vegan vs. a moderate low-fat diet (from National Cholesterol Education Program), and showed significantly greater weight loss with the vegan diet at 1 year (4.9 vs. 1.8 kg) and 2 years (3.1 vs. 0.8 kg), with similar adherence rates between the two diets.9 However, because few studies lasted longer than 6 months, this review was not able to assess the effects of vegetarian diets on long-term weight loss or maintenance.

The systematic review conducted by Huang and colleagues is notable because it is the first to focus on the effects of vegetarian diets on the outcome of weight loss.7 Another recently published systematic review used network meta-analysis to compare weight loss outcomes in low-carbohydrate diets (such as Atkins and Zone), low-calorie diets (such as Weight Watchers) and low-fat diets (such as Ornish), but did not classify diets as vegetarian/vegan vs. non-vegetarian. The network meta analytic approach permitted comparisons of each diet against each other and against no diet; compared to no diet, weight loss was ~8 kg at 6 months and ~6 kg at 12 months for the various diets, with a similar effect for all diets, including the low-fat Ornish (vegetarian diet).10 Still, because interventions in weight loss trials are commonly multi-factorial and promote calorie reduction together with advice on diet pattern (e.g., low fat, low carbohydrate, or vegetarian), it is difficult to tease apart the effects of a specific diet from behavioral changes (e.g., portion control and tracking calories), which also vary by trial and by randomized arm. With this in mind, it is noteworthy that half of the trials implemented ‘energy restriction’ with vegetarian diets; these trial achieved a greater mean reduction in weight loss compared to vegetarian diet interventions without energy restriction (−2.2 kg vs. -1.6 kg).

Does a vegetarian diet automatically help you lose weight?

  1. My sister insists that I will automatically lose weight if I become a vegetarian. Is this true?
  2. While switching to a vegetarian diet can bring health benefits, including weight loss, it doesn’t always. After all, cupcakes, cookies, and candy are technically vegetarian foods — but not necessarily ones that will improve your health or help you shed pounds. That said, a well-constructed and healthy plant-based vegetarian diet can help you lose weight over time, provided you make good food choices and reduce the number of calories you normally eat. The USDA notes that a healthy vegetarian eating plan includes a variety of nutrients, including protein sources to make up for meat options you are cutting out. Some good substitutions are beans, nuts, and soy products. Beyond making sure you get the right combination of nutrients, also focus on portion size and calories if you are looking to lose weight. Ultimately, keep in mind that a vegetarian diet, like any other, may help you lose weight, but it can also result in weight gain if you take in more calories than you burn off on a regular basis.

Vegan meal plan for weight loss

If you are looking to drop some pounds, the following tips will support you to manage your weight with your vegan meal plan without having to break it down into uninspiring calorie counting

  • Include snacks based on fresh fruits and non-starchy vegetables for example apples, berries and vegetable crudites with hummus instead of higher energy and often more processed vegan foods such as chocolate bars, crisps or biscuits.
  • Increase the proportion of fruit or vegetables in your meals to approximately half the plate. For example, fill half your bowl of porridge with berries, make up a salad to add to your lunch,  or roast some extra veg to fill up half your dinner plate. Why not make a big batch of this Roasted Cauliflower Salad and add it into your meal plan?
  • Aim to make your meals and snacks from scratch as much as possible
  • Check in with your hunger and plan your meals and snacks around the times you feel genuinely hungry. Become aware of times when you may reach for extra portions or snacks out of habit, boredom or stress and plan in a different activity. How about a walk, a bath or catching up with a friend?

Vegetarian Diet Plan For Weight Loss

Here is a sample vegetarian weight loss meal plan for 1200 calories from EatingWell (

Vegetarian Weight loss Meal Plan For 1200 Calories: Day 1

Breakfast (310 calories)

Top 3/4 cup oatmeal cooked in 1 1/2 cup water with 1/3 cup of raspberries and a pinch of cinnamon, and you’re ready.

A.M. Snack (95 calories)

One delicious apple.

Lunch (345 calories)

A serving of Whole-Wheat Veggie Wrap will provide you with energy till dinner.

P.M. Snack (80 calories)

Add ¼ cup of sliced strawberries in a 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt.

Dinner (394 calories)

A serving of Mushroom-Quinoa Veggie Burgers with Special Sauce will make your nutritious and filling dinner.

Daily Totals: 1,224 calories, 45 g protein, 173 g carbohydrates, 33 g fiber, 43 g fat, 1,269 mg sodium.

Day 2

Breakfast (211 calories)

A serving of Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups with a clementine for a perfect start of the day.

A.M. Snack (116 calories)

3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt and ¼ cup of raspberries.

See also

2-Week Meal Plan On A Budget: How To Eat Healthy And Still Save

Lunch (360 calories)

A serving of Lemon-Roasted Vegetable Hummus Bowls for a magnificent lunch.

P.M. Snack (174 calories)

Get your 2 Peanut-Butter Energy Balls to recharge in the middle of the busy day.

Dinner (422 calories)

A serving of Butternut Squash & Black Bean Tostadas for an ideal end of your day.

Daily Totals: 1,214 calories, 51 g protein, 163 g carbohydrates, 32 g fiber, 47 g fat, 1,317 mg sodium.

Vegetarian Weight loss Meal Plan For 1200 Calories: Day 3

Breakfast (271 calories)

Combine a serving of Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups with an apple for a sweet and healthy start of the day.

A.M. Snack (78 calories)

Get a hard-boiled egg seasoned with a pinch each of salt and pepper

Lunch (360 calories)

A serving of Lemon-Roasted Vegetable Hummus Bowls for a spicy and tasty lunch.

P.M. Snack (120 calories)

1/2 cup raspberries

Dinner (380 calories)

A of serving One-Pot Tomato Basil Pasta topped with 2 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese for an Italian-style dinner.

Evening Snack (174 calories)

Two Peanut-Butter Energy Balls

Daily Totals: 1,208 calories, 55 g protein, 160 g carbohydrates, 32 g fiber, 45 g fat, 1,478 mg sodium.

Day 4

Breakfast (271 calories)

A serving of Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups with an apple.

A.M. Snack (78 calories)

A hard-boiled egg seasoned with a pinch each of salt and pepper

Lunch (360 calories)

A serving of Lemon-Roasted Vegetable Hummus Bowls

P.M. Snack (101 calories)

1 clementine

Dinner (405 calories)

A serving of Stuffed Potatoes with Salsa & Beans topped with 2 tbsp. shredded Cheddar  Cheese and 1 tbsp. sour cream for a perfect dinner.

Evening Snack (174 calories)

Two Peanut-Butter Energy Balls

Daily Totals: 1,215 calories, 49 g protein, 162 g carbohydrates, 32 g fiber, 46 g fat, 1,349 mg sodium.

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