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Weight Loss on a Vegetarian Diet

About 45 to 50 million Americans try to lose weight every year by going on some kind of diet. The weight loss industry is benefiting from this with revenues between one to two billion dollars a year. Only five percent of those who are successful in losing weight are able to keep it off. Maintenance is much more difficult than the process of losing pounds. The reason for this is diets do work, but only temporarily. The diets are not sustainable long-term and many diets, even though effective, are unhealthy. The true definition of the word diet is what we eat. Society has distorted the word to mean losing weight.

Some studies show only seven percent of our food intake is from vegetables. This clearly factors into why we have such large numbers of overweight and obese people in this country.

Counting calories is tedious, time consuming and downright boring. The key to successful weight loss is embracing a lifestyle that involves eating the right foods, not a fad diet. This is where vegetarianism or a plant-based diet comes in.

Plant-based foods are high in fiber and low in calories. A healthy plan for losing weight consists of eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Added fats must be avoided, especially oils of any kind. Overeating is a concern for anyone losing weight, however, if these foods are the foundation of your eating plan and consumption is reasonable, there is no need to calculate calories.

The plan is simple:

  • Eat fruits, avoid fruit juices
  • Eat vegetables, focus on less starchy ones
  • Eat legumes (beans, peas, lentils)
  • Eat whole grains, avoid refined grains
  • Minimize or avoid processed foods, especially junk foods
  • Avoid added fats (nuts, seeds, avocados, oils)

The right equipment in the kitchen helps keep it simple. Use a non-stick skillet so oil is unnecessary. Cook with water, broth or wine! The jury is still out on the safety of non-stick skillets. The general consensus is to discard skillets with a lot of scratches and don’t use them at extremely high temperatures. Non-stick cookware’s positive features: they are easy to use, easy to clean and eliminate the need for cooking with fat. A good crockpot, rice cooker, food processor and blender are invaluable tools too.

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