How To Lose Weight On a Vegetarian Diet
Vegetarianism is becoming more and more popular since the China Study revealed its results showing an increase in all types of cancer associated with intake of animal protein. A push to eat vegan or vegetarian is definitely popular but is it always healthy?
I often see clients who follow a vegetarian lifestyle but are struggling with fatigue, weight gain and other health issues. When I look closely at their dietary intake I usually find that they are deficient in protein, healthy fats and vitamins and minerals. Neel is a perfect example of a vegetarian who came to me 2 months ago feeling tired and overweight and ready to make a change.
At 48 years old, Neel had been working at a sedentary desk job, living alone and not bothering to cook. In his younger years he was a dancer and wished to get back into shape to be able to dance again. He also had a goal to lose 20 lbs. His thought process when he came to me was that he was just going to exercise his way to weight loss and good health but when I took a look at his “vegetarian” diet, I was shocked at the lack of nutrients he was getting each day. His diet consisted of white carbohydrates (and I don’t mean cauliflower), cookies, candy, crackers and an occasional meal of beans or lentils with more bread. I would have to say that his diet must have been close to 90% carbohydrates with little to no healthy fats and protein.
Neel measured at 22.7% body fat and began a weight-training program with me along with BodyDesigns Two-Week Detox Plan. He was an incredible student with discipline to stick with the program 100%, which meant he had to begin preparing meals from scratch each day. He felt so good on the Detox Plan that he actually stuck with it for a few extra weeks before he began incorporating some different foods from his Lifestyle Diet Plan.
Neel started with me June 2nd at 180 pounds. He dropped 8 lbs. with the first 2 weeks of the Detox Plan and another 12 since starting his Lifestyle Plan. His strength has improved tremendously as he trained with me 3 times a week for 2 months now, never missing a session. His body fat dropped from 22.7% to a healthy 15.3% as he met his 20 lb. weight loss goal just 2 months after his start date. What is so remarkable about Neel is that he now eats an amazingly healthy diet full of vegetables, healthy fats and vegetarian protein sources such as organic tofu, tempeh, vegan protein shakes and some beans. His fatigue has passed as he has become stronger and ready to take on the dance world!
When I asked Neel what helped him most he told me:
1. I had no idea that I wasn’t getting good nutrition. I was just doing easy foods like bagels, crackers, fruits and some beans with some cookies and candy mixed in for my diet. It had never occurred to me how much I was missing. Getting into the habit of fixing meals full of a variety of vegetables and other healthy foods has become part of my life and worth the time it takes because I feel and look good.
2. Logging my food was helpful because Mary would comment on my food daily and helped me to make permanent changes in my diet.
3. Exercising was hard at first but it has become rewarding to be able to work harder and lift heavier weights in the gym. Seeing the muscle tone and results has been worth the effort and made me want to stick with working out for life.
Congratulations Neel on meeting your weight loss and fitness goals. You did an amazing job and I look forward to continuing to see you progress in your weight training program.
Are you looking to transform your health? Mary works with clients all over the country developing personalized nutrition and exercise plans for weight loss and health. If you’re ready to get started on your journey to health and wellness contact her today!