A healthy and nutritious diet plays a vital role in maintaining the overall health of the body. Nowadays people are opting for a vegetarian diet. For all non-vegetarians, we have this general misconception that chicken fish, meat and eggs provide the basic nutrition that a body requires for growth and at the same time help in weight loss if taken in right amount. But this is not always the case. Veg diet can also help in weight loss, while providing the basic nutrients required by the body. There are many unknown advantages of veg diet that should not be ignored.
Benefits of Veg Diet
• Lowers the cholesterol levels
• Reduces high blood pressure and hyper tension
• Reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases
• Plays a vital role for weight loss
• We consume fewer calories with vegetarian diet.
• We also avoid unnecessary and saturated fats while consuming a veg diet.
How to go about a Veg Diet?
If you are a hard core non-vegetarian, it will be tough for you to be a vegetarian altogether. Start slowly. Start with a 5 or 7 – day diet plan initially and see the difference that you observe in your body. In order to begin a vegetarian diet, start with a healthy diet plan and maintain that diet. Include lots of proteins, fiber, antioxidants and other essential vitamins in your veg diet.
Top 5 Weight Loss Vegetarian Foods
- Dark Green Leafy Vegetables : These are storehouse of vitamins, minerals, phyto-nutrients, and antioxidants, proteins and fibers. The dark green leafy vegetables like Broccoli, Spinach, Parsley, Kale etc. contain fewer calories and reduce the levels of fat in our body.
- Nuts and Seeds: These are also store house of fiber, proteins, vitamins, minerals. These also include fatty acids, but the essential healthy fats. Nuts and seeds like Flaxseeds, Sesame seeds, Almonds, Walnuts, Peanuts, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds not only keep our heart healthy and reduce cholesterol, but also strengthen bones and brain functioning. Nuts and seeds also contain rich amount of omega-3 fatty acids. These should be included in our veg diet but in a limited quantity.
- Soya Products and Beans: Protein rich food like fish and chicken are excluded in a veg diet. Hence, we should incorporate more of dairy products, soya products and beans in a vegetarian diet as these contain ample quantity of protein and other nutrients and soluble fibers which help to process fats in our body. The soy products like Soya Beans, Tofu, Kidney beans, Baked Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils, Black Beans etc. increase our metabolic rate, reduce our appetite and help in weight loss.
- Cereals and Grains: Include Whole Wheat Bread, Muesli, Brown Rice, Oats, Porridge, Semolina, Barley in your veg diet. These type of grains and cereals have ample nutritional values. They are a great source of iron and zinc and give energy to our body.
- Fruits : Yes, ofcourse we cannot ignore the fruits. They are anyday the best part of any kind of diet. With fewer calories and enormous quantities of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients, fruits are great for a weight loss diet. Fruits not only enhance our metabolism but also lower our blood pressure levels, cholesterol levels and make our heart healthy. For weight loss, always opt for fruits with rich water content like as Watermelon, Muskmelon, Apple, Papaya, Orange, Berries
Sample Vegetarian Diet Plan for Weight Loss
A vegetarian diet should be well planned so that it provides all the nutrients that satisfy your hunger pangs and at the same time do not increase your weight. You can start with the following vegetarian diet for weight loss. The choices of pulses, beans, vegetables should be changed from time to time.
- Morning (on an empty stomach) : Start your day with honey and lemon juice mixed in lukewarm water. This is very effective in getting rid of harmful toxins inside our body.
- Breakfast: Brown bread, skimmed milk, wheat bran/oats/cornflakes or sprouts or fruit salads. If you don’t prefer an English breakfast, you can have Vegetable Poha / Upma/Idlis/ Vegetable Daliya with fruits + skimmed milk
- Morning snack: Handful of almonds or walnuts + tea/black coffee/ juice . This is helpful when you are in office and need a small break. This can satiate your hunger.
- Lunch : Chapati without oil, rice (preferably without starch), salad, vegetable or vegetable curry, dal and curd.
- Evening Snack : Sprouts / apple / cucumber / carrot / nuts / tea with lite biscuits
- Dinner: Chapati without oil, rice (preferably without starch) or brown rice, salad, boiled soybean nutrela/ soup, vegetables, dal and curd (see that the quantity consumed is less than what you have consumed in lunch)
- Before going to bed : A glass of warm skimmed milk. This can be avoided if you have already taken milk in the breakfast. You can simply have fruits and go to bed.
And ofcourse, don’t forget to consume your daily 8 glasses of water. This is very very important.
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What is a Portion of Fruit and Veg in a Vegetarian Diet ?
• 1 apple, pear, orange or other similar sized fruit
• 2 plums, kiwi fruit or other similar sized fruit
• 1?2 a avocado or grape fruit
• 1 cup of cherries, grapes, or berries
• 1 large slice of melon or pineapple
• 3 full tablespoons of beans, vegetables, or pulses
• 3 full tablespoons of fruit salad
• 1 full tablespoon of nuts and raisins
• 1 dessert bowl of salad
• 1 small glass juice (150 ml)
• 1 small glass skimmed milk
• 1 dessert bowl of cereals
Important Nutrients for Veg Weight Loss Diet
- Calcium: Low-fat or skimed milk, yogurt and cheese, fortified soymilk, cereals, leafy green vegetables, beans, almonds, peanut butter etc.
- Iron : Consuming citrus fruits, orange juice, tomatoes increases iron absorption.
- Protein : Soy products, Beans, Whole grains, Nuts and nut butters, Dairy products
- Vitamin B12 : Nutritional yeast, soymilk, ready-to-eat cereals.
- Vitamin D: Fortified soymilk, skimmed cow’s milk, orange juice, and ready-to-eat cereals
Other important things to keep in mind:
If you really want to lose weight and want to opt for a vegetarian diet, then always remember the following things.
• Do not diet and remain hungry.
• Have small meals at frequent intervals
• Never skip breakfast.
• Walk, exercise or run at least for 30 minutes.
• Eat 2 fruits and 2-3 servings of veggies everyday so that you get sufficient amount of fibre
• Drink water and stay hydrated.
• Avoid junk foods, fried foods, sweets, bakery products.
Opt for A Vegetarian Diet and Lose your Weight. Be Healthy, Stay Healthy!!!