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If you've been to any large banquets recently, you may have noticed people passing up the prime rib and baked chicken in order to feast on a vegetarian meal. Vegetarianism seems to be gaining in popularity each year, spurred on by health concerns, weight difficulties, and celebrity endorsements. You may find that a vegetarian diet is the key to weight loss in your particular case.
First of all, it is important to define the vegetarian diet. You may be surprised to learn that there are actually a variety of vegetarian diets in use today. In some cases, vegetarians eat only fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts. In other cases, they may also eat cheese and drink milk, while in still other cases, they may eat eggs.
One of the advantages to the vegetarian diet is that it tends to be low in fat and cholesterol. As a result, a vegetarian diet can help you avoid heart problems and even cancer. However, you may also find that you are missing some important vitamins and minerals on a strictly vegetarian diet.
It has been said that the key to a successful vegetarian diet is planning. You must decide what you will be eating for every meal in order to ensure that you receive the proper nutrients. Otherwise, you may end up starving your body of the nutrients you need in order to be healthy.
A major benefit of the vegetarian diet is that it tends to involve a healthy serving of fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains. However, getting enough protein can be a challenge. Therefore, you might consider adding soy to your diet, which is high in protein content. Another important consideration is iron. You'll need to make sure that you eat spinach and beans in order to guarantee that you receive enough iron, since you will not be consuming customary sources of iron such as liver and roast beef.
You may need to supplement your diet with vitamins in order to ensure that you receive the appropriate amount of B-12, Vitamin D, calcium, and zinc. Otherwise, you'll have to load up on cereals, soy milk, spinach, and broccoli. Also, eating a vegetarian diet does not mean you have a license to eat as many sugary foods as you want. You'll still have to restrict high-calorie foods.
Variety has been called the spice of life and it is also the key to an effective vegetarian diet. You'll need to eat an array of fruits and vegetables. Also, if you do use dairy, be sure that you choose non-fat or low-fat milk and cheese. Since eggs are rich in cholesterol, you should eat them only in moderation.
Studies have shown that vegetarians tend to consume fewer calories each day than meat-eaters. Also, the body mass index—a tool used to measure obesity—is generally lower for vegetarians than for the population at large. However, as a vegetarian, you will still need to pay attention to portion control and calorie counts. Therefore, while vegetarianism may not be a panacea for weight loss, it can certainly help in the battle against the bulge.
However, it should be noted here that some people mistakenly look upon vegetarianism as a quick fix. They figure that if they give up meat for a couple of weeks, they'll lose weight. Then, after their trial period is over, they go back to their old eating habits. This is a bad pattern because it encourages yo-yo dieting. If you decide to go on a vegetarian diet, it is very important that you stick with it. Otherwise, you may be greatly disappointed in your weight loss progress.
Vegetarianism is not for everyone. However, if you enjoy fruits and vegetables, are non-committal about meat, and are good at planning meals, you may want to go vegan. But if you do not fall into that category, another diet plan may be preferable. Which diet program you ultimately choose may depend greatly upon your personal preferences and what kind of diet regimen you are prepared to follow over the long run. The key to any successful diet is commitment; you must be determined to succeed