Get Slimmer with a Vegetarian Diet?
Wait
people actually DO that?


They sure do
quite a lot of them, actually. In fact, more and more people are adopting a vegetarian diet to slim down and become more physically fit. True, some of us move in that direction for philosophical reasons as well, but health and fitness remain significant motivators. Either way works for the giant elves at this site, who live to serve.

Those same elves also understand that you're not looking for complications: having to learn a bunch of new stuff, for example, or perhaps going cold-turkey (so to speak!) with many of the foods/flavors you presently enjoy. Instead, you can explore ways to transition into a vegetarian diet with small steps and stages. In fact, that's how I did it myself.

[Please note, however, that I am not a professional nutritionist
—just someone who learned as I went along. See our disclaimer.]

A simple first step? Gradually begin adding more fruits and veggies to your diet. Maybe you've been meaning to do that, anyway...or at least wonder if it might be a good idea, since the Cookie Monster himself now claims to eat F&V. (Now, there's an endorsement, right?)

The great thing is that, however modest and gradual, such steps can lead you and even Cookie-Man to a better-balanced and healthier diet. With minimal fuss, they can also help you maintain it, if plant-based eating is the route you ultimately choose. But either way you win, because such foods can generally help you become slimmer and fitter whether you eat them exclusively or not.

Making a Vegetarian Diet Work for YOU

First, a cautionary note: if you're relatively new to vegetarian eating, try tackling your transition by degrees. For example, live it up with the fruits and veggies, the grains and legumes, but don't attempt a dietary one-eighty in a single week. If you do, your body may find that sudden load of fiber "challenging," to say the least. (Catching my drift here?)

Instead, begin with a simple modification: perhaps easing one or two more veggie servings into your daily consumption and also trying out a "new" fruit or vegetable now and then.

Then, gradually add more fruits and veggies and also begin cutting back on meat, moving as quickly or slowly as feels right to you and also buddying up to flexibility and compromise.

For example, let's say that one day you have a serious letch for meat. In that case, build your next meal around a hearty meat substitute, or perhaps eat only half the meat you might otherwise do. Instead of a steak, pork chop, or sausage, you might make (or order) a dish containing a few pieces of chicken or perhaps fish among other ingredients. Again: flexibility, compromise, and often some imagination

Getting Enough Protein

Wondering about that, perhaps? No worries. You'll have more tasty choices than you might imagine, not only meat substitutes such as tofu and seitan, but also umpteen grains and legumes. Moreover, if you're not vegan, you'll have the whole spectrum of dairy as well. And don't forget that vegetables themselves contain some protein. For discussions of some proteins available to you on a vegetarian diet, check out these pages:

Soy and Seitan
Although some of us may require less protein than once believed, you’ll need to pay at least some attention to your intake. So, let's look at two common meat substitutes: soy products and seitan...to continue, click here.

Grains and Legumes
Excellent vegetarian protein sources, legumes and grains also score highly for fiber, folate, and vitamin B. And more good news: despite their low fat content...to continue, click here.

Dairy and Meat Substitutes
For vegetarians, dairy products can provide quite a lot of protein (if you're not lactose intolerant). And, since they often come in low-fat and non-fat versions...to continue, click here.

Bottom Line

Because any healthful change in your eating habits is cause for celebration, please don't beat yourself up for whatever "timeouts" you choose to take during the transition. (Keep the fruits and veggies, though, right?)

When/If you decide to give some degree of vegetarianism another shot, just step back onto whatever path feels right to You. And, yes, your transition really could be as simple as that: not always effortless, perhaps, but basically simple. Plus, you can find support here and from many other sources just for the taking. So, is this the day you go for the slimmer, fitter bod??


The material at this site is NOT medical advice, as I am neither doctor nor nutritionist. What I am is merely someone who's lived successfully on a vegetarian diet for many decades...and I transitioned from omnivore to vegetarian gradually. Please check with your doctor if you're considering big changes to your own diet. Also, be sure to find a dependable source of Vitamin B12.

                              
                              Vegetarian Diet Tips for a Slimmer, Healthier Body

                          Copyright 2010-2016. Lynda Edwards. All rights reserved.