There are increasing numbers of people who are curious about vegetarian and want to start their journey. Most of them have a similar reason, and this is to lose weight. However, keep in mind that eating a pure vegetable in the diet is not a sure way to shed off a lot of pounds. It requires a lot of effort to lose weight by doing physical activities together with your vegetarian diet. It is important to look for a long term plan and ask for a Nutritionist or Registered Dieticians advice.
According to a published study in 2012 from Nutrition Research and Practice, vegetarians following a well-planned diet have lesser body fat as well as decrease cholesterol level compared to meat-eaters. The main reason is the fact they are focus on consuming foods that are rich in protein and low in calories and fat like legumes, green leafy veggies, egg, and soy protein.
There are diverse vegetarian that you need to know before you start your journey. First is the Lacto-Ovo vegetarian that includes dairy and egg with vegetarian foods. Next is the Lacto-vegetarian that eat dairy and without egg in the diet. Another one is ovo-vegetarian that consumes veggies with egg, but without dairy. The last one is the vegan diet that only consumes plant food sources.
1. Lentils or Dal
You need just one cup of lentils or dal curries that you can use along with soups or salads. This can give you 18 grams of protein and complex carbohydrates that are slowly digested by the body. The fiber in lentils is vital for a vegetarian diet for weight loss and it is a source of other nutrients like folate, iron, and manganese which are all vital for overall health.
This is a type of legumes that is very high in protein. One cup of cooked chickpeas can offer 15 grams of high-grade protein. Also, it is packed with minerals such as iron, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and other nutrients like folate and complex carbohydrates that are essential for maintaining healthy body weight. Vegetarian snacks composed of chickpeas are a good source of plant compounds that is useful to fight diseases.
3. Quinoa and Amaranth
These two grains are gluten-free and it is a good source of enough protein for a vegetarian diet. Quinoa and Amaranth are rich in high-quality protein and fiber to make you feel full for a longer period thus preventing you from consuming a lot of calories.
Spinach is a popular green leafy vegetable that contains much higher protein compared to eggs and also half of its calories. Unlike other veggies, spinach is healthier when steamed than eating it raw. The reason is that steaming helps in retaining most of the vegetable vitamins and promotes better absorption of calcium and avoids bloating. This is one of the best vegetarian foods to add to your diet.
This nut is known as an effective weight loss pill. Eating a few almonds a day in your diet can aid you in weight management. In fact, according to a study conducted by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, almond is the best vegetarian snacks right before gym exercise because it is very rich in an amino acid called L-arginine that can aid in burning a lot of fats and carbohydrates during workouts.
6. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese or also known as paneer is very low in fat and calories. This is one of the best vegetarian foods as it is high in protein, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins like B12 and riboflavin. This is a good snack if you are craving some salty foods instead of eating chips.
Broccoli is a superfood because it is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and plant compounds. Also, it is a source of nutrients that are commonly deficient during a weight loss diet. It is best consumed boiled or steamed to make the most out of its nutrients.
A vegetarian diet for weight loss is not simple because you need to ensure that you get a well-balanced diet. Also, it is vital to complement it with a healthy lifestyle and enough physical activities for a sustainable weight loss plan.