Slimming Down with a Vegetarian Diet

Ready to give it a try? Perhaps you, too, would find a (well-planned) vegetarian diet helpful in attaining and also maintaining a more-slender body...and often some pretty good health, besides. Even if you're drawn to vegetarianism largely for philosophical reasons, you probably wouldn't say no to health and fitness, right? But whatever your motivation, it'll work for the giant elves at this site, who live to serve.  ;-)

Those same "elves" 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 transition to a vegetarian diet, or a partially vegetarian diet, the easy waywith small steps and in gradual stages. I did it that way 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 eats F&V. What, you don't believe me? Google him and see(!)

The great thing is that, however modest and gradual, steps such as this can lead you and even Cookie-Man to a well-balanced and healthy 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 in one or two more veggie servings every few days 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, you might 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 do the job.

Getting Enough Protein

Although some of us may require less protein than once believed, if you drop meat you will need to pay at least some attention to your intake. But already, you're likely consuming many non-meat proteins: not only grains and legumes, but perhaps also meat substitutes such as tofu and seitan.

Moreover, if you're not vegan, you'll have the whole spectrum of dairy as well. And don't forget that vegetables themselves often contain protein. See the following pages for discussions of some proteins that can work well on a vegetarian diet.

Soy and Seitan
Here are a couple of common meat substitutes that can be very handy to have around: 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 "time-outs" you choose to take during the transition. But keep the fruits and veggies, 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 elves and I vote yes, but
your own is the vote that counts.


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 2010-2018. Lynda Edwards. All rights reserved.