Is being a vegetarian a good way to lose weight?
My vegetarian friends say they didn’t really experience any weight loss when they stopped eating meat. A vegetarian diet is not a weight-loss diet but rather a lifestyle choice. You might follow a vegetarian diet for cultural, religious or ethical reasons, or because eliminating or reducing meat, poultry, seafood and other animal products may help you become healthier.
In fact, for most of us, vegetarian is almost synonymous with lean and healthy, isn’t it? And when you start any diet, what’s the first thing the experts tell you? Generally it’s to increase the amounts of vegetables you’re eating and to eat limited amounts of meat, especially high-fat red meat and pork.
And what happens when you resume your old eating habits? Generally the weight will come right back on. Even the greatest will-power can’t overcome the unhealthy effects of eating high-fat meat.
When you eat a diet that’s higher in dietary fiber, that’s primarily if not totally vegetarian, you’re naturally healthier. You’re feeding your body and getting it the nutrition it needs to run efficiently. You have more energy and stamina; you wake up more easily and more refreshed. It’s easier to exercise, because you’re not so weighed down by digesting the high fat and excessive protein that comes from eating a carnivorous diet.
Many diets fail because we think of them as depriving ourselves of food we love. The trick is to change that thinking. There are so many compelling reasons to eliminate meat from our diet, so why not forget about losing weight? Focus instead on eating healthier, or eating in a way that’s in balance with the earth, and that doesn’t need to subsist on the suffering of animals. You’ll probably find you’ll start to lose weight without even thinking about it!
And when you do lose weight, so many other health risks can fall by the wayside as well. You’ll find your blood pressure falls into a healthier range and your risk for Type II diabetes can decrease. You’ll look better and feel better and probably never go back to your old ways of eating!