Some people may choose a vegetarian diet to help with weight loss and there is some merit in this thinking as a balanced vegetarian diet can be low in kilojoules (energy). But, getting the benefits of vegetarian diet is more complex than simply skipping meat.
Here are some of the common weight loss pitfalls I see from people trying to lose weight on a vegetarian diet.
Choosing High Energy Vegetarian Foods Too Often
While many vegetarian foods are healthy options, not all vegetarian foods are created equal. For example, some vegetarian foods are high in energy such as full fat dairy, fried foods, chocolate, chips and ice-cream – even vegan versions like coconut ice-cream are often still high in energy and should only be enjoyed in moderation.
Eating too much
The basic weight loss principles, of eating less and moving more, are the same for vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets. So, while you may be sitting down to a healthy vegetarian dish, you still need to keep portion sizes in check.
Not balancing meals
If lean meats are not replaced with a vegetarian meat alternative, such as soy, low fat dairy or legumes, it can leave you feeling unsatisfied and run down. This might mean you’re more likely to overeat and less likely to get some activity. That is why it’s important, as with any way of eating, to make sure your vegetarian meal plan includes a variety of foods and has some carbohydrates, fibre and protein at each meal.
The Jenny Craig vegetarian meal plans have been designed by our Dietitian team to take the guess work out of balancing meals. The plans include portion controlled vegetarian meals and treats so you can enjoy all your favourites and lose weight with the confidence you are getting the right nutrition.