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Old 11-03-2004, 06:52 PM   #1  
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Default what issues do you consider when going on a vegetarian weight loss diet?

Since a vegetarian lifestyle is usually healthy anyway, what special considerations do you have when losing weight? Do you just count calories, or do you change the types of foods you eat?
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Old 11-03-2004, 09:24 PM   #2  
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For me, losing weight has meant cutting out most processed food, and watching portion sizes of grains, legumes, healthy oils and high fat dairy, while eating more veggies, fruits and low fat dairy than I used to. I count calories too, but if I don't eat lost of veg and fruit, low fat dairy, and smaller portions of whole grains and legumes, I end up hungry most of the time.

There are so many yummy vegetarian foods out there, both homemade and prepackaged, healthy and unhealthy, that are calorie dense, so vegetarian doesn't = low cal diet or healthy weight.

I also think it's a misperception that vegetarian=healthy food/lifestyle. It can, but it can also mean giant muffins, fast food pizza, ramen noodles, potato chips, cake and ice cream, etc. Cutting way down on the unhealthy stuff has been a big help too.
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Old 11-04-2004, 11:01 AM   #3  
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I still think you have to watch your fat and calories while on a vegetarian diet. If you are not careful you may end up loading up on carbs and dairy products. When I first started looking for vegetarian recipes to make for my dad I found that there were a lot that consisted of pasta, rice and/or cheese. But I am now able to find ones that are lower in calories and fat. there are also a whole slew of vegetarian products on the market now which means there is a lot more choice out there than there used to be

I think if you switch to lower fat cheese or soy cheese and go for whole grains and whole wheat pasta it may help. The important thing is to make sure you are eating a balanced diet and getting proper amounts of protein, iron and vitamins from other sources besides meat.

Including exercise in your plan is just as important as what you eat.

For myself I try to eat as many fresh foods as possible and prepare my own lunches and meals. I am not a big fan of processed food so I don't buy prepackaged foods or frozen dinners very often. I also try to buy organic foods when I can find them and if they are affordable.

I am also trying to incoporate soy into my life but I am not a huge fan of it so for the moment I am sticking to drinking chocolate soy milk -which I find quite tasty and chocolate soy pudding which is not bad.

Try to read to read the labels of any vegetarian products to check for the fat content if you are concerned about the amount of fat in your diet and use "good" oils like olive oil when cooking.
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Old 11-04-2004, 01:30 PM   #4  
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I completely agree that vegetarian does not necessarily mean healthy. It is possible to become a pizzatarian or a chocolateatarian if one is not careful. I have gone through both of those phases which is probably why I gained weight to begin with.

The biggest things for me are watching portion size, making certain that I get enough iron in my diet and eating unprocessed stuff as much as possible.
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Old 11-22-2004, 04:42 PM   #5  
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pizzatarian - I love it! That's me in a nutshell.

I can attest to the fact that being a vegetarian does not equal weightloss unless an effort is made to eliminate processed junk food like cakes, cookies, snacks, french fries, onion rings, and buttered Italian bread. I've been veggie off and on over the years and it has never contributed to MY weightloss unless I count my calories.

I'm trying to focus on eating lots of fresh vegetables (frozen as a second choice) and fresh fruit, whole grains of all kinds and beans of all kinds. I like TVP as a meat substitute and Boca burgers are a favorite too. Salads are a bit of a challenge for me since I don't like low fat dressings, so I just use the real thing but less of it.

There are some great tasting commercial whole wheat pastas out there right now but I'm going to try making my own homemade pasta in the near future. I need to find a good recipe for whole wheat pasta first.
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