Saturday, 28 March 2009

Vegetarians aren't always Healthy

A vegetarian diet can be used for effective weight loss, or it can be a disaster. A vegetarian diet does not necessarily mean a healthy one. Potato chips, cheese, cookies, and soft drinks can all be part of a vegetarian diet. A healthy vegetarian diet, however, can help you lose weight and feel great.

Types of Vegetarianism

There are many levels of vegetarianism. Lacto-ovo vegetarians are the most common and consume plant food, eggs, and milk. Vegans omit anything animal based from their diet and only eat food from plant sources. Pescetarians, while not vegetarian, consume plant foods and fish. Semi-vegetarians prefer to eat primarily vegetarian foods, often for health or diet reasons, but are not 100% vegetarians. Any of these vegetarian or near-vegetarians diets can help you lose weight if applied correctly. Choose the one you feel most comfortable with. A diet that you cannot enjoy will always fail.

If you decide to go the most popular lacto-ovo vegetarian route, be sure to limit the amount of cheese in your diet. It should be used to garnish a meal, not be a major part of it.  

Balanced diet is the key!
So what makes a vegetarian diet so effective? Done correctly, a vegetarian diet is lower in calories and higher in nutrients. It balances proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, while reducing or eliminating the bad fats and simple carbohydrates. You'll have more energy with this diet and will be able to eat large meals.

Vegetarian Cookbooks offer delicious recipes

The best vegetarian diets are based on vegetables. Fortunately, vegetables don't have to be the boring, overcooked vegetables that you remember as a child. Invest in some vegetarian cookbooks.  

Find cookbooks that focus mostly on fruits and vegetables. If you hate cooking, pick up cookbooks geared towards quick and easy meals. Another good investment is a slow cooker. With a slow cooker you can prep the food before you leave for work and have a meal ready for you when you get home.

In addition to cookbooks, pick up a book on general vegetarian nutrition. Some people lose weight quickly when they switch to a vegetarian diet because they don't know what to eat! When this happens, the metabolism slows and the person, tired of starving, stops dieting completely. Find a few meals that you enjoy before you start your diet.  
When you start your diet, make sure that you have a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. This is easy to achieve if you eat a variety of whole foods.
Important components of a balanced diet


Many new vegetarians are worried about not consuming enough protein. Fortunately, it is extremely difficult to become protein deficient if you are eating enough calories. The body's protein requirements are half of what the average American consumes.  
It's simply to discover your Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of protein. Multiply your body weight (in pounds) by .36. A person weighing 150 pounds would need to consume 54 grams of protein a day.
Protein is not just found in animal sources. A cup of black beans contains 15 grams of protein. A cup of cooked peas contains 9 grams. A cup of brown rice has five grams, as does a cup of spinach. A medium sized potato has four grams. A cup of 2% milk has 8 grams while a cup of soy milk has 7.

It's true that carbohydrates can make losing weight difficult, but not all carbs are bad carbs. Cut out the simple carbs from your diet. Things like cookies, crackers, and bread should only be eaten in moderation. Your body turns these simple starches into sugar.  

When you consume carbs, go for complex carbohydrates. Have a sweet potato or some brown rice. Your body converts these carbs into energy. If you are trying to lose a maximum amount of weight, limit your carb-filled food to one meal a day. Focus on fruit and vegetable dishes for the other meals.

Just like carbs, there are good fats and bad fats. The good fats can actually help you lose weight. Since you're eating a vegetarian diet, it is easy to avoid most of the bad fats, such as saturated fat. What you need to focus is on adding good fats to your diet.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are the fats that you want to incorporate. Foods that contain good fat include walnuts, avocadoes, and flax seeds or flax seed oil are all great for any vegetarian diet plans.


Top Foods for Dieting

You don't have to be on a weight loss plan to lose weight. If you want to burn more fat but don't want restrictions, calorie counting, or high priced but low flavor packaged food, try incorporating these seven powerful foods into your diet.  

These foods will help you in a variety of ways. Some will help increase your metabolism. Most will help make you feel more full. Others can actually help burn fat. The best way to add these foods to your diet is to use them to replace the junk food that you eat. Then you'll get a double weight loss bonus by cutting empty calories, sugars, and bad fats and by adding these diet foods.
Fibrous and Vegetable Based

All of these foods are plant-based. A diet high in fiber is one of the secrets to effective weight loss. Fiber is great for a number of reasons. It helps lower LDL, the bad cholesterol. It makes you feel full and eat less. High fiber foods take longer to digest. Your resting metabolism increases due to the work your body does digesting these foods.

This list is in no particular order. There is no miracle food so number one won't help you lose more weight than any of the other numbers. Instead, try to add or increase the amount of all of these foods in your diet. If you don't like one, then focus on the other six.

 1. Apples  

The pectin in apples makes you feel more full. This is a great way to eat less. In addition, the pectin actually limits your cells fat absorption. Try an apple in the morning during breakfast or try it as a midday snack.

2. Avocadoes

Avocadoes are proof that a food does not have to be low in fat to help you lose weight. Instead, it needs to have the right kind of fat. Avocadoes contain more than 25 of the essential nutrients. When you eat an avocado you're getting B vitamins, potassium, vitamin E, and lutein.  

3. Grapefruits

Of all the citrus foods, grapefruit ranks the best as a diet food. It can lower your insulin levels which in turn will make you less hungry. If you don't like grapefruit, add a different citrus fruit. Both grapefruits and oranges can increase your metabolism. The vitamin C actually dilutes fat.

4. Hot peppers
Spicy foods such as jalapeƱos are one of the best diet foods. They give a quick boost to the metabolism. They also prove that healthy food is not necessarily bland.

5. Broccoli

Broccoli is a powerful anticancer food. Its high in calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It's filling without being high in calories.

6. Blueberries

Blueberries are full of powerful antioxidants. They fight against disease, give you energy, and their sweet taste makes a great snack.  

7. Almonds

Of all the nuts, almonds are the most nutritional. Have a handful of almonds in the morning during breakfast to give you energy for the rest of the day. They are also great to replace any unhealthy snack foods which are standing in the way of your weight loss goals.

Adding these top seven foods to your diet will help you lose weight while being healthy. The weight will not come off overnight, but you will gradually shed pounds and keep them off. 


An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but not if it’s your body shape!

The simple tape measure test:

Stand upright. 

Take a deep breath in and then a deep breath out. 
Place the tape around your waist, between the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hipbones. Hold the tape firmly, but no so tight that it indents your skin. Make sure the tape is not at an odd angle because it can result in a misreading.

You're at increased risk:
a) if your waist circumference is equal or more than:
40 inches (102 cm) for men
35 inches (89 cm) for women


b) if your waist is more than half your height

The waist hip ratio test

Test your waist-to-hip ratio by dividing your waist measurement by your hip measurement. 

You’re at increased health risk if your waist-to-hip ratio is: 
more than 0.8 for men 
more than 1.0 for women 

The 90 calorie DEAL weight-loss program incorporates nutrition guidelines of leading scientific authorities including Dietitians of Canada, the American Dietetic Association, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the American Heart Association. 

It's healthy weight-loss made easy.

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