There are many ways to lose weight, but not all of them will provide other important health benefits at the same time. One way to shed excess pounds, slim down, maintain muscle mass, and potentially even get healthier overall is by following a vegetarian diet.
The Potential Weight Loss Benefits
According to the CDC, more than 65% of adults in America are either obese or overweight, but amongst those who follow a plant-based diet, obesity is under 10%. Also, the weight of a vegetarian is likely to be anywhere from 3-20% lower than that of an omnivore. Researchers have concluded that you can lose weight when you switch to a balanced plant-based diet, even if you don't make any changes to your portion size or exercise routine. When you embark on a vegetarian diet, you can also enjoy an increase in the number of calories burned naturally after you eat. Plant-based meals are utilized in a more efficient manner, so rather than storing the calories as fat, they'll end up providing the fuel your body needs.
Stick with Natural, Non-Processed Foods
Like any other diet, when consuming vegetarian or vegan foods, you should stick with whole food options, rather than artificial, processed foods, for the best results. To get the most benefits from your vegetarian diet, you should avoid plant-based junk foods. Opt instead for a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, lentils, beans, and so on. Even though it might be tempting and easy to consume a lot of the vegetarian versions of things like hot dogs, burgers, pizza, sausage, and desserts, it's best to keep those to a minimum.
Get the Right Fats
One of the great things about following a plant-based diet is the chance to reduce your intake of unhealthy fats. If you plan on including dairy products in your diet, do so in moderation. Ounce for ounce, there are four times the amount of calories, and nine times the amount of fat, in cheddar versus a skinless chicken breast, so don't be fooled into thinking you can have a lot of cheese just because you're vegetarian. To successfully lose weight, stick with just one dairy-based meal each day that contains no more than an ounce of cheese, preferably organic. If don't want to switch to plant-based milks, opt for fat-free organic milk. You can also get plenty of desirable omega fatty acids by eating foods like nuts, coconut oil, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and avocados, as a few examples.
Focus on Protein
Getting enough protein can help you control your weight and maintain your muscles. Many people worry that a vegetarian diet won't provide enough of this nutrient, but you actually don't have to be concerned. It's recommended that protein make up 10-12% of your calories, and the majority of legumes, grains, and vegetables provide this naturally, so it's easy to get enough protein when following a plant-based diet. Of course, adding a delicious Promax protein bar to your diet is another great way to get the protein you need! All our bars are vegetarian, so they're perfect for boosting your protein intake and providing yourself with some fun variety in your vegetarian diet.
If you've been having trouble losing weight, switching to a plant-based diet might help. As long as you focus on eating right and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you're likely to get all of the nutrients and results you need. For more information about Promax, check out our product page or our blog.