Will You Lose Weight if You Go Vegetarian?

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There are a lot of popular books out right now that claim that you will lose weight if you go vegetarian. Is there any truth to such claims?





Most people imagine vegetarians eating only super-healthy, low-calorie meals consisting of lots of fresh, organic produce. By definition, going vegetarian does not ensure you’ll eat plenty of vegetables; it just means you won’t eat meat products. Perhaps you think tightening the perimeters such that you go vegan, which means not eating meat, eggs, or dairy products, will solve the problem, but that still doesn’t eliminate fudge, Snickers bars, or muffins.


Most likely you’re problem isn’t that you eat too many calories from meat. Yes, eating fresh produce and whole grains is very good for you, but going vegetarian doesn’t ensure you really will do that. In fact, many well-intentioned “vegetarians” are actually “carbotarians”, meaning they may not eat meat, but they live on muffins, bagels, high sugar cereal, and other not-so-good-for-you foods.


Instead of viewing meat as the enemy, it may help to realize protein is helpful when trying to lose weight and tone up. Eating protein will help you feel full and will support any muscle tear-down and rebuilding related to exercise. Of course it’s very possible to eat plenty of protein as a vegetarian, but it’s easy to neglect this essential when eating vegetarian for the first time. If you’re just thinking about weight loss, you probably shouldn’t blame meat for your troubles (unless you regularly eat huge fatty steaks).


However, most Americans could stand to increase their fruit, vegetable, and whole grain consumption, assuming they exchange this for a reduction in consumption of high calorie, highly processed foods. Fruit and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that feed your muscles, nerves, and brain, fight cancer, and facilitate efficient elimination. Fresh produce is low in calories, and if you want to lose weight, you have to control caloric intake and exercise.


So you want to lose weight? You don’t need to go strictly vegetarian to lose weight. Just increase your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables, and forego the processed foods and high calorie meats. You’ll get good results from a moderate plan of healthful dieting and regular exercise.





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