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Weight Loss Tips for Vegetarians

Contrary to popular belief, just being a vegetarian does not mean you're automatically going to be skinny -- Far from it actually. In fact, some vegetarians smother their food with cheese, which happens to be a big ticket item when it comes to calories.

To give those vegetarians an edge on weight loss, CalorieLab.com has come up with a few great tips on eating without the meat and the extra pounds:

  • Embrace tofu. A longtime vegetarian staple, tofu makes a great low-calorie alternative to meat. Try Nasoya Lite Tofu for even more calorie savings. Each 3-ounce serving contains 7 grams of protein and 1.5 grams of fat, all for a mere 40 calories. Add it to stir-fry, wrap it up in a tortilla with some veggies, or mix it with pasta and marinara.
  • Make a meal of veggies. All-vegetable meals don’t have to be rabbit food — there’s so much more than celery and carrot sticks. Ratatouille, a French dish of stewed vegetables, makes eating your veggies anything but boring. Chop up some fresh tomatoes, garlic, onions, zucchini, or whatever vegetables you have on hand. Fresh not available? Canned can be just as good, and the myriad frozen vegetable blends available make the possibilities endless. Other meal options include easy pasta primavera or supermarket vegetable sushi.

There are three more great calorie cutting ideas, so just

  • Bring beans to the table. Members of the legume family, such as beans and lentils, are all great sources of protein and fiber — both helpful in making you feel full. Although most varieties are available dried, canned beans make meal preparation much more convenient. Dried varieties often require overnight soaking while canned varieties are precooked; however, the canned varieties frequently contain high amounts of sodium. Look for low sodium canned varieties to top salads or stuff burritos. Canned beans also make whipping up meatless chili a snap.
  • Skip the cheese. Unfortunately, opting for a meat-free diet does not give you license to dump cheese on everything you eat. While cheese is a good form of vegetarian protein, it is still a good idea to keep an eye on your saturated fat consumption. When dining out, standard vegetarian dishes, such as Eggplant Parmesan and Fettuccine Alfredo, typically contain high amounts of cheese and cream. Consider ordering a hearty salad or soup instead. At home, use low fat cheeses to sprinkle on salads or pasta. Choose other low-fat dairy, such as yogurt and cottage cheese, for a satisfying and protein-rich snack. If you opt for a vegan weight loss plan, there are now low-fat soy versions of cheese, yogurt, and milk available.
  • Don’t be afraid of faux meat. In recent years there has been a noticeable proliferation of meat substitutes introduced to the supermarket. Brands such as Boca and Morningstar Farms make a wide variety of meatless wonders, ranging from deli meat to breakfast sausage. While these products often contain a hefty amount of salt, most are high in protein, low in fat, and almost always low in cholesterol. For example, if you substitute an original vegan Boca burger for the real thing, you’ll save 13.5 grams of fat and about 140 calories. With stats like that, it’s clear that faux meat makes slashing calories a cinch.

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hardcorecupcakex hardcorecupcakex 7 years
Great ideas
in_a_dream_land in_a_dream_land 8 years
Cheese isn't vegetarian.Anyway thanks for the ideas
Realblonde Realblonde 8 years
I am a fat vegetarian...So there...
vaportrailed vaportrailed 8 years
They forgot about Tempeh and TVP. Cheap, delicious and vegan!
tralalala tralalala 8 years
Haha do you know how rough it is being a fat vegetarian? It's even worse to be a fat vegan. Anyways, someone had mentioned that you would automatically lose weight if you became a vegan, which isn't true. Because of where I live, it's hard to get good, fresh fruits and vegetables all year long, and tofu selection here isn't the greatest, so I lived pretty much exclusively on carbs. I actually gained weight as a vegan.
ShedItandGetIt ShedItandGetIt 9 years
I just went vegetarian and I love the Nasoya tofu! It's so good! And I couldn't live without Fage yogurt.
tralala2 tralala2 9 years
Tofu, Boca Burgers, all that crap is BAD. Worse than you think. Try tempeh instead of tofu, cook it at home. A little bit of soy is not bad, but a lot can lead to health problems. My best suggestion is going on a raw diet, get your protein from yogurt w. active cultures and nuts. Oats, cereals, quinoa! A link to more: "The Truth about Soy and the Soy Industry!" http://www.the7thfire.com/health_and_nutrition/truth_about_soy.html
KatyinPrada KatyinPrada 9 years
I've been a vegetarian my whole life, i could never give up cheese! As long as you dont consume alot of it, cheese is good for vegetarians. I've never heard that cheese is not vegetarian(its not vegan obviously). I count on diary for alot of my protein intake for the day. I also like making black beans with veggies in them(carrots, tomatoes, onions, mango's..) with brown rice. I like making tofu in the oven with a little corn meal and seasoning to make it kinda crunchy. I've recently started cutting out white flour/oats from my diet...its challenging!!
RebeccaAdele RebeccaAdele 9 years
Oh, and sweet idea rachelattack! I'll have to try that.
RebeccaAdele RebeccaAdele 9 years
Boca is a Philip Morris company, just so you know. Morningstar is a rockstar, though! Love them! I could comment so much more on this and about my own experiences, but I doubt any website has enough bandwidth. I'll just say thanks for educating people, Fit!
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
i agree with veggiechick. its not always the case though. there are so many ways to veganize a dessert for instance that there are always ways around not eating cheese etc for the fat content...i did find i lost weight when i became vegan about 6 years ago though.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
i agree with veggiechick. its not always the case though. there are so many ways to veganize a dessert for instance that there are always ways around not eating cheese etc for the fat content...i did find i lost weight when i became vegan about 6 years ago though.
EcannDallas EcannDallas 9 years
corn and black bean salsa on some baked corn tortillas is soo good! and its a complete protein.
gigglesss gigglesss 9 years
ah i love being a vegetarian =]
Fitness Fitness 9 years
Here's a great healthy, vegetarian dish : Warm Soba with Spinach and Tofu. Tofu is really tasty, you can cook with it at home and it doesn't need to be deep fried like they do in restaurants.
almblack almblack 9 years
Thanks so much for the positing fit. I’m a vegetarian and love the site, but most diet tips are not applicable to me. I'm a vegetarian because I can't stand the thought of chewing on animals, but weight loss is a plus. Although, I eat tons of potatoes and other carbs…. which may be counterproductive.
almblack almblack 9 years
Thanks so much for the positing fit. I’m a vegetarian and love the site, but most diet tips are not applicable to me. I'm a vegetarian because I can't stand the thought of chewing on animals, but weight loss is a plus. Although, I eat tons of potatoes and other carbs…. which may be counterproductive.
veggiechick veggiechick 9 years
Go vegan. That cuts out the fat from cheese and other dairy products. Quinoa is a complete protein and can be used in so many ways! Peanut butter and bread, rice and beans are complete proteins when eaten together. There are a lot of options out there. I lost 20 pounds since I went vegan and I watch my calorie intake and workout several times a week.
cams cams 9 years
Not very much commercial cheese is actually still made from RENNIN (not rennet) anymore.
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
Maybe in America, but not in the UK. I had to cut it out of my diet completely when I went veggie. I think there was one supermarket who stocked rennet-free cheese and all the rest continued using it. The Veg Society are putting pressure on suppliers to change. My other alternative was vegan cheese. Bleeeeeeh.
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
Maybe in America, but not in the UK.I had to cut it out of my diet completely when I went veggie. I think there was one supermarket who stocked rennet-free cheese and all the rest continued using it.The Veg Society are putting pressure on suppliers to change. My other alternative was vegan cheese. Bleeeeeeh.
NdHebert NdHebert 9 years
Fluffyhelen, There are tons and tons of Vegetarian cheeses. Here is a is of cheeses vegetarians can eat, http://cheese.joyousliving.com/CheeseListBrand.aspx
NdHebert NdHebert 9 years
Fluffyhelen,There are <b>tons</b> and <b>tons</b> of Vegetarian cheeses.Here is a is of cheeses vegetarians can eat, http://cheese.joyousliving.com/CheeseListBrand.aspx
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
Cheese isn't vegetarian anyway. What sort of vegetarian are you if you eat freaking cheese? It contains rennet which is made from the stomach of calves.O.oI was a vegetarian for three years. I didn't have cheese or gelatine products and found that this meant I had to be VERY careful in restaurants and when buying anything new.Weight loss tips for vegetarians? Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and mix it up with meat substitutes and ensure you get enough protein.Nuts are another good source of protein. =)
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