The three most frequent mistakes in a vegetarian diet that make you gain weight and three solutions

Neither a vegetarian diet is synonymous with “slimming diet” nor begin to carry a vegetarian diet ensures you lose weight. In fact, an ill-posed vegetarian diet does not even have to be healthy, if it is plagued with processed products to the detriment of food or if its macro nutrients are not balanced.

In many cases, a person who starts with a vegetarian diet without proper advice (by a dietitian-nutritionist) or without informing himself about it, usually gains weight and has a poor diet. Know the most common mistakes in vegetarian diets and avoid them.

Change animal proteins exclusively for flours and cereals

Possibly the most common mistake when making vegetarians is to introduce flours and cereals instead of foods of animal origin . So that we all understand: where we used to eat meat or fish, replace them only with pasta and rice.

It is a common mistake when we are not informed about what macro nutrients should be present in our food or when we abuse processed foods. The pasta, very helpful and easy to prepare, becomes the main contribution of calories in our diet, all from flours.

What can we do to solve it? The main protein source in vegetarian diets should always be legumes, prepared in different ways. We can prepare spoon dishes such as pumpkin cream and lentils, include them in cold dishes such as this beluga lentil salad or make new and original preparations, such as salted pea pancakes with chickpea flour.

Abuse of products that, even being vegetarian, are not healthy

This usually happens especially when we are at a party, a gathering of friends or when we go out to eat out. What kind of processed products, suitable for vegetarians but which are not healthy, we use? Most sweet or salty ultraprocessed snacks.

If we are at a party at friends houses and we have nothing vegetarian on hand, it is very possible that we will grind on the chips, the kikos, the doritos or the trinkets. All of them are options that are suitable for vegetarians and vegans (they do not contain elements of animal origin) but are by no means healthy : huge quantities of salt, ultraprocessed and large amounts of sugar or glucose syrup (in the case of caches) are present in these products.

What can we do to solve it? What I’ve learned after almost two years of vegetarian diet is that when I go to a party, or I’ve talked to the hosts before to make sure I’m having something for dinner, or I’ll bring something prepared from my own harvest. The hummus, cheese or homemade guacamole can be good choices when pecking veggie and healthy way among friends.

Abuse of the accused instead of eating real food

A food based on processed foods, however vegetarian it may be, is far from a healthy diet. At the very least we must read the nutritional labels of the products we buy to be aware of what we are taking to the mouth and, based on that, decide whether to enter our shopping cart or not. This simple look at the label should already discourage us from buying many of the products that come into our house every day.

If you do not know how to read nutritional labels, you do not have time or simply do not want to read them, there is a very simple option to eat healthily: eat real food, not processed products . Most processed products, even if they are suitable for vegetarians, are loaded with sugars and trans fats, which are not beneficial to our health. Buy food instead of produce and cook what you eat.

What can we do to solve it? Make the purchase in the market : it is the easiest way to buy food instead of processed products. If you think it is more expensive (junk food is certainly very cheap) consider it an investment in your health in the long term.

Finally, remember that adopting a vegetarian diet generally has deeper motivations than weight loss , which in the end is temporary: the defense of animals or concern for the environment are powerful reasons that can lead us to adopt a vegetarian diet and not to leave it aside in the long run.

If you have questions about this type of nutrition, always consult a dietitian-nutritionist who can help you design a healthy and balanced vegetarian diet.

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