A healthy and nutritious diet plays a vital role in maintaining the overall health of the body.
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. Vegetarian diet can also help in weight loss, while providing the basic nutrients required by the body. There are many unknown advantages of vegetarian diet that should not be ignored.
- Lowers the cholesterol levels.
- Reduces high blood pressure and hypertension.
- 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 vegetarian diet.
Vegetarian Foods for Weight Loss
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables: These are storehouses 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 contain fiber, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. These also include the essential healthy fats. Nuts and seeds like flaxseeds, sesame seeds, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc., not only keep our heart healthy and reduce cholesterol, but also strengthen bones and brain functioning.
Soya Products and Beans: Protein-rich food like fish and chicken are excluded in a vegetarian 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. 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, and barley in your vegetarian diet. They are a great source of iron and zinc and give energy to our body.
Fruits: 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, and berries.
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, and 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 do not prefer an English breakfast, you can have vegetable poha / upma/Idlis/ vegetable daliya with fruits along with skimmed milk.
- Morning snack: Handful of almonds or walnuts along with tea/black coffee/ juice. This is helpful when you are in office and need a small break.
- Lunch: Chapati without oil, rice (preferably without starch), salad, vegetable or vegetable curry, dal and curds.
- 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 curds (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.
Also make sure you consume 8 glasses of water daily.
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 fiber.
- Drink water and stay hydrated.
- Avoid junk foods, fried foods, and sweets.