Aside from aging and genetic factors, there are few reasons why a person on a vegetarian diet should remain fat (or in some cases, get fatter). The problem is other lifestyle choices which make it hard to shed the pounds. Cutting meat alone will not guarantee weight-loss success, and in some cases (if you are not a conscientious objector to including meat in your diet), eating a portion of meat would be healthier than some of the choices that vegetarians make. Here are some lifestyle choices that you might want to reconsider if you are a vegetarian that is having a hard time slimming down:
Watch What You Drink
So you have cut meat out of your diet. Good for you, but are you sitting in coffee shops with the holier-than-thou hipster crowd? Are you sipping on fattening lattes? Sure, there isn't any meat in a latte, but they might still be loaded with empty calories (particularly with all of the extras). You may want to cut back on lattes, as well as soda, store-bought smoothies, and other sugar-filled drinks. Having one once in a while probably won't hurt too much, but if you make it an everyday habit, you probably won't be losing fat anytime soon.
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Taste Makes WasteEveryone likes food that tastes good, but some of our methods to make food taste good are not conducive to reaching our fitness goals. Broccoli smothered in cheese sauce, or carrots dipped in blackened ranch are 100% meat-free, but but those extra toppings add a tremendous amount of calories. Instead of adding all of the extras, try to find a way to mix vegetables together to make them suitable for your palate. If you cannot go without the extras, then try to find low-fat alternatives, or experiment with recipes of your own so you will know exactly what you will be consuming.
Lack of Protein
It is important to make sure that you are getting the right amount of protein, especially if you are trying to build muscle. Protein increases your metabolism since your body has to burn more calories digesting it. This includes non-meat sources of protein such as nuts or beans. Protein is also important in building and maintaining muscle, and as you may know, muscle mass increases one's metabolic rate, even when at rest. Finally, protein can help to reduce the feeling of hunger more effectively than carbohydrates, which can reduce the desire to overeat.
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!If you want to lose weight, you are going to have to get on a caloric deficit. This means that you must burn more calories than you take in. If you cannot do this with diet alone, then you will have to exercise to burn off those excess calories. Exercise can also help you to build muscle, which makes it easier to keep the fat off due to the increase in metabolism that muscle provides, as previously stated.
Whether you are a meat-eater or not, basic lifestyle changes will be necessary if you are serious about losing weight. Eating vegetables just to brag to your friends and feel smug is the same as going to the gym without getting on a treadmill or picking up a single weight, and will not get you the results that you desire.