Turns Out You Can Lose Twice as Many Calories on a Veggie Diet
When yet another new diet comes out with the promise of helping us lose weight, we tend to feel a bit, well, tired of it all. There are so many new ways to get a flat stomach/drop pounds/look slimmer it can get a bit exhausting. Which is why when we heard that one super-easy old-school diet was making a comeback to help you lose weight we were more than a little happy. That's right: Being vegetarian has actually been proven to be the diet to help you lose weight more than others. According to one recent study, it can help you lose twice as many calories.
For those who still turn their noses up at the vegetarian diet (no, you can't eat wafer-thin ham), being veggie is totally different these days and there are some amazing recipes, not to mention restaurants that cater for this diet. Want to know how it can help you lose weight, plus the best recipes to follow? Keep scrolling for a super-quick guide on the vegetarian diet.
What is the vegetarian diet?
The vegetarian diet isn't as restrictive as a vegan diet so while meat's off the table, you can still eat eggs and dairy products. However, you want to make sure you get your daily intake of protein. Many vegetarians get this from beans, pulses and eggs, with tofu and Quorn also being popular.
How does it help you lose more weight?
Food Effect author and nutritionist Michelle Braude, MD, confirmed that the vegetarian diet is the best for weight loss saying that "countless studies have shown that most men and women lose weight when they switch to eating plant-based protein instead of red meat and animal protein." She also cited one study that followed 1730 male employees for seven years, which found that the more animal protein and saturated fats people ate, "the more at risk they were of becoming overweight or obese."
Braude also explained that animal protein, especially meat, is high in saturated fat "so by cutting this out 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, is extremely high in fat and therefore, calories." So since a vegetarian diet is generally low in fat, you end up shedding pounds easier. It's as simple as that.
I'm sold, where do I sign up?
The first thing is to work out if you can curb your meat intake. 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."
If you are worried about getting enough protein (the average woman is recommend to consume 46 grammes per day), Braude has created a useful table you can use to work it out by eating meat alternatives:
Meat alternatives high in protein
Food Protein amount
75g cooked lentils 18g protein
75g cooked split peas 16g protein
2 eggs 12g protein
250g 0% Greek yoghurt 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