Vegetarians are people who don't consume any meat or seafood. It's commonly asked whether a vegetarian diet and weight loss are related. There are many reasons why people choose a vegetarian diet including religious beliefs, ethical reason, health benefits and diets.
The three common types of vegetarianism are
1. Vegans- plant foods are only consumed
2. Lacto Vegetarians- meat, seafood and eggs are avoided but plant and dairy foods are included.
3. Lacto Ovo Vegetarians- meat and seafood is avoided, dairy (milk/eggs/etc) and plant foods.
Studies supporting the vegetarian diet weight loss theory
A nutritional review compiling data from various studies demonstrated that a vegetarian diet is effective for weight loss.
Studies show generally vegetarians have a lower body, between 3-20 percent lower than the weight of meat eaters. Generally a vegetarian's calorie intake is lower, most likely due to vegetables being lower in calories than meat. Also the high amount of fibre consumed helps to curb hunger.
It has also been proven that people can consume unlimited amounts of high-fibre foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains to reach or maintain a healthy weight without feeling hungry.
Evidence also suggests that a vegetarian diet burns more calories after a meal and that plant foods are used more efficiently as fuel for the body rather than being stored as fat.
Benefits of a vegetarian weight loss diet
Rates of obesity in vegetarians range from 0-6 percent. Meat eaters are more likely to be over weight than vegetarians.
Vegetarians are less likely to develop obesity related diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
How you can gain weight being on a vegetarian for weight loss diet
Although you cut out animal products you can still gain high amounts of calories from other foods if you are not paying attention.
If you are consuming more calories than your body burns in a day then you will put on weight regardless of whether you are vegetarian or not.
Vegetarian diet weight loss theory recommendation
Many studies have proven and support the vegetarian diet weight loss theory. Even without changes in exercise or limiting portion sizes it has proven to promote your body to lose weight.
As long as you are sticking to healthy options and consuming less calories than you burn then you will be losing weight. On average vegetarians consume around 500 less calories making it faster for you to lose weight.
You also need to be sure that you are still getting enough protein. If you are switching from a meat eating diet then most of your protein would have been coming from the meat you were consuming. You can maintain your protein levels by eating legumes, nuts and soy products throughout the diet.
It is essential to plan your meals, drink lots of water and maintain limited carbohydrates in your diet.
Although you can and most likely will lose weight from using a vegetarian diet for weight loss, if it is only a temporary diet, once you introduce meat back into your regular diet you're likely to slowly gain the weight back.
I would suggest making life style changes, healthier choices and to consume less calories.