I’ve been looking for a low carb diet plan for vegetarians. My brother is a vegetarian and he has been putting on weight slowly over the years so I did a bit of research for him to find out why.
Many people assume that health conscious vegetarians have a healthy diet and do not get fat. But they get fat for the same reason meat eaters get fat – a high carbohydrate diet, too many calories and not enough activity.
Before we look at a low carb diet plan for vegetarians let’s look at vegetarians. The ovo-vegetarian includes eggs in their diet, the pesca-vegetarian includes fish and seafood, and the lacto-vegetarian includes dairy. And then there are vegans who have no animal protein in their diets. The main challenge for anyone who eats no animal protein (and that would be my brother!) is getting enough protein. What tends to happen is the diet becomes predominantly carbohydrate, and when carbs are not used by the body within three days they turn into fat! Protein, on the other hand helps to increase metabolism and burn fat. So even a healthy vegetarian diet can put on weight if there is not enough protein.
One way of getting more protein is to eat vegetable-derived meat alternatives such as tofu and other soy products, and beans. If your trying to lose weight, adding protein alone won’t work. You must reduce your carbohydrate intake at the same time as increasing protein consumption to get the best result. Studies have shown that by taking in more protein, while cutting off some carbs, will greatly enhance metabolism. Body functions are also enhanced because of the increase in amino acids which are the building blocks of protein. You create a virtuous circle of health and well being when you get the balance of protein to carbohydrate right. A healthy body weight increases energy allowing you to live a more productive life. Imagine what this does for your self image and self esteem!
If you are a vegetarian, choosing a low carb diet plan is a great option if you want to lose weight or simply want to maintain your current weight. Increasing your protein intake while reducing carbs really works. It’s easy if your a vegetarian who eats animal protein and a little more difficult if you eat no animal protein, but very manageable once you know what you need to eat.
Tips for a low carb diet plan for vegetarians and increased protein consumption:
- First, you have to reduce grains, eat only whole unprocessed grains and eliminate white flour, sugar and all processed carbohydrates. It is best that you consume half of your usual amount of these foods.
- To compensate for the lack of carbohydrates, you may consume more of fruits and vegetables to replace the natural sugar needed by your body. This also improves your fiber intake, enhances digestive function, and can lower cholesterol.
- You do you need some carbohydrates to fuel up your everyday. A zero carbohydrate or starvation diet is not recommended for healthy and permanent weight loss.
- Eating the right amounts of the right foods and staying active is the only way to lose weight and keep it off.
The Perfect Protein
The perfect vegetable protein source are beans. These are considered to contain all the essential amino acids needed by your body to function well. It should be known that not all protein sources contain the complete set of amino acids needed by the body. Beans like mung beans, kidney beans and soy beans are fantastic protein sources for vegetarians. Vegetable-derived meat alternatives are mainly derived from these sources.
These tips are not to be mistaken for an Atkins diet for vegetarians. You can find information about this on eHow.
Being a vegetarian is a lifestyle choice and it requires great discipline and understanding of what to eat to stay healthy. Start you low carb diet plan for vegetarians today.