Lose Weight Diet For Vegetarians

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This vegetarian weight-loss meal plan makes it easy to eat your veggies and lose weight. Whether you already follow a vegetarian diet or are just looking to go meatless sometimes, this vegetarian meal plan makes it easy to eat meat-free and lose weight. Eating more plant-based foods is a great way to boost your health. A vegetarian diet has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes and even certain types of cancer.

In this 1,200-calorie vegetarian weight-loss meal plan, we make sure to include plenty of filling foods so you feel satisfied—not starved—while losing weight. Protein-rich beans and tofu, high-fiber whole grains, fruits and vegetables and healthy fats, like nuts, help to keep you feeling energized all day long (get our list of Best Vegetarian Protein Foods to Eat). Coupled this healthy plant-based meal plan with daily exercise and you’re on track to lose a 1 to 2 pounds per week.

How to Meal Prep Your Week of Meals:

  1. Meal prep the Lemon-Roasted Vegetable Hummus Bowls and store in to-go containers for the work week. (To buy: amazon.com, $21)
  2. Bake a batch of the Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups to have throughout the week. Store in air-tight meal-prep containers to keep fresh (To buy: amazon.com, $38).
  3. Whip up the Peanut-Butter Energy Balls to enjoy as snacks and evening treats this week. Store in an airtight container (like above link) for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.
  4. Make 3 hard-boiled eggs to have as snacks for the week.

Day 1

Breakfast (310 calories)

  • 3/4 cup oatmeal cooked in 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup raspberries

Top oatmeal with raspberries and a pinch of cinnamon.

A.M. Snack (95 calories)

  • 1 medium apple

Lunch (345 calories)

  • 1 serving Whole-Wheat Veggie Wrap

P.M. Snack (80 calories)

  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sliced strawberries

Dinner (394 calories)

  • 1 serving Mushroom-Quinoa Veggie Burgers with Special Sauce

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)

  • 1 serving Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups
  • 1 clementine

A.M. Snack (116 calories)

  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Lunch (360 calories)

  • 1 serving Lemon-Roasted Vegetable Hummus Bowls

P.M. Snack (174 calories)

  • 2 Peanut-Butter Energy Balls

Dinner (422 calories)

  • 1 serving Butternut Squash & Black Bean Tostadas

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

Day 3

 

Breakfast (271 calories)

  • 1 serving Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups
  • 1 medium apple

A.M. Snack (78 calories)

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

Lunch (360 calories)

  • 1 serving Lemon-Roasted Vegetable Hummus Bowls

P.M. Snack (32 calories)

  • 1/2 cup raspberries

Dinner (380 calories)

  • 1 serving One-Pot Tomato Bail Pasta topped with 2 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese

Evening Snack (174 calories)

  • 2 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)

  • 1 serving Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups
  • 1 medium apple

A.M. Snack (78 calories)

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

Lunch (360 calories)

  • 1 serving Lemon-Roasted Vegetable Hummus Bowls

P.M. Snack (35 calories)

  • 1 clementine

Dinner (405 calories)

  • 1 serving Stuffed Potatoes with Salsa & Beans topped with 2 Tbsp. shredded Cheddar cheese and 1 Tbsp. sour cream

Evening Snack (174 calories)

  • 2 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.

Day 5

meal prep veggie and quinoa bowls

Breakfast (306 calories)

  • 1 serving Avocado-Egg Toast
  • 1 clementine

A.M. Snack (32 calories)

  • 1/2 cup raspberries

Lunch (360 calories)

  • 1 serving Lemon-Roasted Vegetable Hummus Bowls

P.M. Snack (95 calories)

  • 1 medium apple

Dinner (428 calories)

  • 1 serving Vegetarian Tikka Masala
  • 3/4 cup cooked brown rice

Daily Totals: 1,221 calories, 47 g protein, 155 g carbohydrates, 35 g fiber, 53 g fat, 1,203 mg sodium.

Day 6

6474212.jpg

Breakfast (310 calories)

  • 3/4 cup oatmeal cooked in 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup raspberries

Top oatmeal with raspberries and a pinch of cinnamon.

P.M. Snack (95 calories)

  • 1 medium apple

Lunch (345 calories)

  • 1 serving Whole-Wheat Veggie Wrap

P.M. Snack (174 calories)

  • 2 Peanut-Butter Energy Balls

Dinner (360 calories)

  • 1 serving Beefless Vegan Tacos

Daily Totals: 1,225 calories, 44 g protein, 165 g carbohydrates, 35 g fiber, 49 g fat, 1,417 mg sodium.

Day 7

6349104.jpg

Breakfast (322 calories)

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal cooked in 1/2 cup skim milk and 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 medium apple, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

A.M. Snack (95 calories)

  • 1 medium apple

Lunch (345 calories)

  • 1 serving Whole-Wheat Veggie Wrap

P.M. Snack (78 calories)

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

Dinner (401 calories)

  • 1 serving Curried Chickpea Stew

Daily Totals: 1,211 calories, 67 g protein, 138 g carbohydrates, 31 g fiber, 46 g fat, 1,625 mg sodium.

Turns Out This Diet’s Just as Calorie-Burning (and Healthy) as the Mediterranean

Vegetables

A new study has found that the vegetarian diet is just as effective for weight loss as the popular Mediterranean diet. And the vegetarian diet was actually more efficient at lowering LDL cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol.1 We know—there are so many ways, diets, and methods to get healthy out there—it can get a bit exhausting. But going vegetarian is increasingly becoming an approach to consider for its host of energy, fitness, and nutritional benefits.

For those who are still skeptical: the vegetarian diet and being “veggie” is more straightforward than ever these days. For a start, there are more plant-based meat alternatives than in years past thanks to growing awareness of this diet in the U.S., and there are some amazing recipes—not to mention restaurants—that cater to vegetarians, vegans, and their needs. Want to know how it can help you lose weight and the best tips to follow? Here’s a super-quick download on the vegetarian diet, according to the experts.

What Is a Vegetarian Diet?

The vegetarian diet isn’t as restrictive as other plant-based diets, and many vegetarians still eat eggs and dairy products even though meat consumption is off the table. Typically, health, religious, environmental, or cultural factors influence the decision to adopt this method of food intake. However, it’s important to consider the health impacts and consult a professional before making any big changes to your food intake.

According to Lon Ben-Asher, the most common type of vegetarianism is called “Lacto-Ovo,” an approach that requires avoiding animal meat but allows for dairy and eggs. The nutritionist also cites “Ovo,” which permits eggs, and veganism, which prohibits consuming all meat and animal by-products, as other popular versions of the vegetarian diet. Ahead, we’ll focus on the most prevalent type of vegetarianism, which allows for eggs, dairy, and other animal by-products while avoiding meat.

Tips to Lose Weight on the Vegetarian Diet

Food Effect author and nutritionist Michelle Braude, MD, confirmed that the vegetarian diet is useful for weight loss: “[One study of obese individuals found] that most men and women lose weight when they switch to eating plant-based protein instead of red meat and animal protein.”3 She also cited research that showed the more animal protein and saturated fats people ate, the more at risk they were of becoming overweight or obese.4

That being said, the key to weight loss is creating a calorie deficit, explains Ben-Asher. His advice? Focus on calorie density. “Choose foods that are low calorie-dense, meaning they have a lot of water and high dietary fiber content, which creates volume in your stomach and keeps you feeling full for a long period of time.” These include minimally processed foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. However, remember that your calorie deficit shouldn’t be too high. Long-term health and weight loss require an individualized and sustainable approach without any severe restrictions.

 

 

Choose foods that are low-calorie-dense—like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes—to help with satiety and keep you full for longer.

It’s also worth noting that if you’re dairy intolerant or can’t eat eggs or nuts, it’s not as easy to get your protein, which you will need for a balanced diet. However, it can be done. Braude again offered some sage advice about how to get enough protein in your diet when becoming vegetarian.

 

“If you’re wondering how you will get enough protein and iron if you don’t eat animal protein, just consider that the world’s strongest primate, the gorilla, consumes enough of these nutrients by just eating fruit and vegetables and leaves,” she says. Unlike the gorilla, she continued, “a human’s vegetarian diet is likely to be a lot more varied, with plenty of plant-based sources of protein (nuts, nut butter, beans, legumes and so on), so you definitely have nothing to worry about.”

What Vegetarian Foods Boost Weight Loss?

In short, vegetarians should focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and unrefined carbohydrates—such as oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, farro, millet, potatoes, yams, beans/lentils, and other legumes, says Ben-Asher. Braude also recommends ensuring your protein intake is sufficient after cutting out the meat in your diet. If you are worried about getting enough protein (the recommended consumption for the average woman is 46 grams per day6), the author and nutritionist created a useful table you can use to work it out by eating meat alternatives:

 

Make sure you’re getting plenty of plant-based sources of protein when you switch to the vegetarian diet.

  • 75g cooked lentils (18g protein)
  • 75g cooked split peas (16g protein)
  • 2 eggs (12g protein)
  • 250g 0% Greek yogurt (23g protein)
  • 100g uncooked oats (7g protein)
  • 1 sweet potato (4g protein)
  • 40g chia seeds (12g protein)
  • 25g protein powder (20–25g protein)
  • 4 tbsp sunflower seeds (8g protein)
 

What Vegetarian Foods To Avoid For Weight Loss

Although cutting down on your meat intake has a slew of benefits, not all vegetarian foods are created equal. “Packaged and highly-processed foods such as potato chips, pretzels, dried cereals, bread, and crackers” will not leave you feeling full and satiated, so they are best to be avoided in large quantities, says Ben-Asher. It’s better (and easier) to focus on adding whole foods to your diet rather than avoiding any particular food group or type.

With a vegetarian diet, some of the calorie-counting work is already done for you. Braude explains that animal protein, especially meat, is high in saturated fat, “so by cutting this out of your diet, you save a lot of calories.” She even said that despite chicken’s “healthy” label, “certain cuts of poultry, such as dark chicken with the skin on, are extremely high in fat and, therefore, calories.”

The Final Takeaway

With all drastic changes to your diet, consulting a nutritionist or doctor is important to cutting down on your meat intake safely. Vegetarianism is a viable option for some people, but there is no one-size-fits-all for nutrition, so make sure to check in with yourself regularly to affirm that going “veggie” works for you.

As you cut down on animal meat and certain by-products, make sure you’re consuming plenty of whole foods (vegetables, whole grains, and fruits), as well as keeping your protein intake up through a variety of plant-based alternatives. And if weight loss is your ultimate goal, it’s important to keep in mind that a number on the scale is not necessarily the best indicator of health. Vegetarianism has plenty of health benefits and positive outcomes that have nothing to do with losing, maintaining, or gaining weight.

 

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