Going Meatless for Weight Loss?
There are plenty of popular diet plans out there that are designed to help you lose weight by ensuring that you eat a balanced diet that is high in nutritional value and low in calories. Weight loss diets are designed by weight loss experts. The best diet plans are ones that are well-rounded, not discouraging you from eating any one particular type of food in general, but instead encouraging moderation and control in your diet.
Vegetarianism and veganism are not medical weight loss diets. These diets practice the complete elimination of all meat (vegetarianism), or the more severe elimination of all animal by-products in general (veganism). While there are health benefits associated with both of these dietary programs, neither is considered a weight loss diet, and there are plenty of things that can be enjoyed on both of these diets that are in no way low-calorie, low-fat, or healthy.
So, if you are thinking of going meatless for weight loss reasons, it is probably best to think again. Sure, research shows that cutting down on meat consumption—especially red meat consumption—does have health benefits, but simply cutting down on meat isn’t enough to make a huge difference in your diet. Instead, it is recommended to focus on developing a diet that is rich in whole foods, and eliminating as many processed foods as possible.
If you are thinking of going meatless for other reasons, be they personal, religious, or environmental, then there are healthy ways that you can reduce meat from your diet while you are trying to lose weight.
Healthy meat substitutions include ideas like:
- Tofu, which is rich in protein and can be cooked in healthy ways, much like grilled meat
- Tempeh (another soy-based meat substitute, similar to tofu)
- Vegetables like mushrooms, eggplant and squash, which can be grilled or cooked up in may recipes in place of meat
If you are making the choice to go meatless, it is recommended that you avoid traditional meat substitutes, like veggie burgers and veggie sausage, as these are highly processed foods that are actually loaded with carbohydrate instead of meat, making them in many ways unhealthier than the whole food itself.
Before making any changes to your diet, it is a good idea to meet with your weight loss surgeon about the best dietary practices for your personal needs.