Once you know exactly how many calories you need to prompt weight loss, and how you want to structure your diet, make those calories consist of whole, unprocessed foods. Skip the refined sugar and grain options that may fit the definition of vegetarian, but add excess calories and limited nutrients.
Poached eggs or egg whites with veggies, scrambled soft tofu with salsa or a fruit smoothie made with yogurt or vegetarian protein powder make nutrient-dense breakfasts that have protein to help keep you full. A large salad with chickpeas, vegetable soup with kidney beans or a black-beans-with-brown-rice dish are all high-fiber lunches. The beans add fiber as well as protein, both of which help make you feel more satisfied and not deprived. For dinner, stir fry tempeh or tofu with minimal oil and serve with a mound of roasted vegetables, or steam the veggies and spritz with lemon juice. A small serving of whole grains, such as quinoa or wild rice, or a starchy vegetable round out the meal. The size of your servings depends on how many calories you’ve figured you need daily to achieve your goal.
- Dark Green Leafy Vegetables : These are storehouse of vitamins, minerals, phyto-nutrients, and antioxidants, proteins and fibers. The dark green leafy vegetables like Broccoli, Spinach, Parsley, Kale etc. contain fewer calories and reduce the levels of fat in our body.
- Nuts and Seeds: These are also store house of fiber, proteins, vitamins, minerals. These also include fatty acids, but the essential healthy fats. Nuts and seeds like Flaxseeds, Sesame seeds, Almonds, Walnuts, Peanuts, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds not only keep our heart healthy and reduce cholesterol, but also strengthen bones and brain functioning. Nuts and seeds also contain rich amount of omega-3 fatty acids. These should be included in our veg diet but in a limited quantity.
- Soya Products and Beans: Protein rich food like fish and chicken are excluded in a veg diet. Hence, we should incorporate more of dairy products, soya products and beans in a vegetarian diet as these contain ample quantity of protein and other nutrients and soluble fibers which help to process fats in our body. The soy products like Soya Beans, Tofu, Kidney beans, Baked Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils, Black Beans etc. increase our metabolic rate, reduce our appetite and help in weight loss.
- Cereals and Grains: Include Whole Wheat Bread, Muesli, Brown Rice, Oats, Porridge, Semolina, Barley in your veg diet. These type of grains and cereals have ample nutritional values. They are a great source of iron and zinc and give energy to our body.
- Fruits : Yes, ofcourse we cannot ignore the fruits. They are anyday the best part of any kind of diet. With fewer calories and enormous quantities of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients, fruits are great for a weight loss diet. Fruits not only enhance our metabolism but also lower our blood pressure levels, cholesterol levels and make our heart healthy. For weight loss, always opt for fruits with rich water content like as Watermelon, Muskmelon, Apple, Papaya, Orange, Berries
Foods to Avoid
- Meats, poultry, fish, eggs (both whites and yolks), and all dairy products (regular and non-fat), including milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, cream, sour cream, and butter.
- Added oils, such as margarine, salad dressings, mayonnaise, and cooking oils.
- Fried foods, such as potato chips, French fries, onion rings, tempura, and donuts.