Authored by Debra Cornelius in Weight Issues
Published on 08-10-2009
A sensible vegetarian guide need not be difficult, but it does require some planning and attention to the choices made and portions served. There is an understandable assumption that you don’t need to lose weight if you follow a vegetarian diet. Vegetarian diets, like every other diet option has high fat food choices. Still there is a tendency to think that if it’s healthy there is less need to worry about portion control.
Begin by knowing what you now eat.
Keep a food journal for at least a week. Don’t monitor or change what you eat at this time. Simply write down all the foods you eat. Include meal times as well as snacks on the run or tastes and nibbles taken during the day. List the amounts of the foods eaten as well. You can guesstimate this but you will get a better picture of true portion size if you measure.
After keeping a food journal for a week. Look for any obvious places you can painlessly make changes. A good place to begin a vegetarian weight loss diet may be with the simple act of serving smaller portions and not going back for a second helping.
Make water your number one beverage choice. Drink water in between meals and even at mealtime as much as possible.
Prepare food in advance.
By planning meals ahead and having all your fruits, vegetables and other ingredients prepped as much as possible, you make it easy to get a meal together with less time and hassle after a long day. Without some advance planning it is easy to grab whatever is convenient and that is often the high calorie, over-processed food choices contenting high levels of added sodium. High sodium intake leads to water weight gains which should be avoided.
Vegetarian guidelines for protein choices
Vegetarian guidelines for protein choices include soybeans and soy products such as tofu, dried beans, peas and nut butters as well as nuts. These are all higher calorie options so portion control is needed. When counting the fats in a vegetarian diet, it is wise to avoid adding unnecessary fats during the cooking process. Avoid fried vegetables and chips especially. It is also advised to add a daily multivitamin to your diet to be sure you are getting all necessary nutrients.
Plan to spread your total calorie intake out throughout the day.
Include 1-2 snacks in the 100-200 calorie range and plan breakfasts to include 350-450 calories as well as 400-500 calories for lunch and dinner. How many calories you need to reach your desired weight is based on your height, age and body composition. There are many good calculators and online resource tools available, many for free.
If you have health issues, of course you should discuss your diet plans with your doctor and follow and specific guidelines that he gives.
Vegetarian weight loss guidelines, like all others, depend on a well thought out plan that balances meal planning, portion control,water, and exercise into your daily routine.