This diet is associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases and may aid weight loss 1. Some people may follow this diet for religious or ethical reasons, while others are drawn to its possible health benefits. Other plant-based eating patterns include the flexitarian which includes some animal foods but is mostly vegetarian and pescatarian which includes fish but not meat diets. Vegetarian diets typically focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. These foods are rich in fiber, micronutrients, and beneficial plant compounds, and tend to be lower in calories, fat, and protein than animal foods. However, the benefits of vegetarianism largely depend on the types of foods you eat and your overall dietary habits. Overeating or choosing too many highly processed foods will provide fewer benefits than a diet based on unrefined, whole plant foods — and may have several downsides. A vegetarian diet excludes meat, fish, and poultry and mostly focuses on plant foods.
There are plenty of reasons to try the vegetarian diet, including reduced animal cruelty, helping the environment and of course, losing weight. But a vegetarian diet isn’t always a guaranteed way to drop pounds. You might very well eat processed chips, cereal, energy bars and pasta as the bulk of your diet and still be heavier than someone following an omnivorous diet consisting of lean meats and leafy greens. Long-term vegetarians, though, do tend to have less body fat and lower cholesterol than meat eaters, reported a study in Nutrition Research and Practice published in Vegetarians successful at keeping a healthy body weight focus on eating whole foods, such as beans and legumes, fresh vegetables, soy protein and, if ovo-lacto, eggs and milk.
My sister insists that I will automatically lose weight if I become a vegetarian. Is this true? While switching to a vegetarian diet can bring health benefits, including weight loss, it doesn’t always. That said, a well-constructed and healthy plant-based vegetarian diet can help you lose weight over time, provided you make good food choices and reduce the number of calories you normally eat. The USDA notes that a healthy vegetarian eating plan includes a variety of nutrients, including protein sources to make up for meat options you are cutting out. Some good substitutions are beans, nuts, and soy products.