To many people the term “Vegetarian” implies someone who eats healthy. We have in our mind all the types of far out, unheard of and little known healthy food that the normal person just would not eat, as their everyday diet. For a few vegetarians this is true. For most they eat like everyone else just avoiding meat. Meat alone does not cause us to gain weight unless we over do it. In fact the number one culprit in weight gain is sugar. Sugar as plain table sugar and sugar in all of its artificial forms are the number one cause of weight gain. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that equals energy or just added weight. Because sugar is the number one food additive and the processed foods and flours are either simple sugar or converted to simple sugar once we eat it, we gain weight because of the excess of sugar in our systems. To lose weight we must first reduce these simple sugars. If possible we should completely avoid them and eat a healthy diet of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts and beans. This Healthy diet is the key to weight loss.
This may seem obvious but it is important that we eat at least 4-5 servings of vegetables a day. Many vegetarians give up meat yet they eat everything but vegetables as their main source of nutrition. Vegetables should be number one, hence the name vegetarian. Fruit and vegetables should provide 60% to 70% of our caloric consumption. Since fruit is mainly for energy they contain more natural sugar that could cause weight gain or in the very least hinder our weight loss progress. We need fruit. We need vegetables more and we need more vegetables.
3-4 servings of fruit a day is recommended by the USDA, any less and we are depriving ourselves of needed nutrition and energy. If we eat too many more servings and we will begin to gain weight as many fruits are full of natural sugar. Too much sugar, even though it is natural, causes weight gain.
Eat Whole Grains.
Avoid processed foods. Avoid processed cereal, rice, bread and pasta. Instead choose whole grain cereals, breads, rice and pasta. Processed foods take out the nutrition and add starch, sugar and preservatives. These are all a formula for weight gain and poor health. Whole grains provide the natural nutrition God intended.
Eat Seeds, Nuts and Beans.
Seeds, nuts and beans all provide protein and other nutrition we miss when we do not eat meat. Actually, seeds nuts and beans provide more nutrition with less fat than most meat. These help us get the nutrition we need without the excess fat.
Drink Plenty of Water.
Not only is water good for all the organs in our body but water helps us to lose weight. A body that functions properly needs 8 to 10 glasses of water daily. Water helps increase our metabolism which burns calories. Water also helps our digestive system. Therefore we eliminate the toxic waste that can build up in our system. When you do not drink enough water you body retains water and thereby increasing your weight. Our bodies are two thirds water, even down to the cellular level. As such water is key to all of our bodily functions. Yet many diets no nothing more than to reduce water weight which the will begin to retain for survival mode and thus the weight will return.
Regardless of what you eat if you do not exercise regularly losing weight is difficult. We lose weight by burning more calories than we consume. Exercise helps us to burn calories. When we give up meat we generally consume fewer calories. Like water if we do not have enough physical activity the body will retain fat. Our bodies reacts to our sedentary state by storing fat for the time that is needed. That time is when you exercise. Since we are programmed to burn fat or store fat regular exercise is the only way to ensure we do not move to the store “fat mode”.
Rest, Fresh Air and Sunlight.
Though mostly important for optimal health we need to rejuvenate our bodies to be most effective at weight loss. That is why sleep, fresh air and sunlight are so important to your weight loss program.