Losing the Meat to Lose Weight
The idea of eliminating foods from your diet in hopes of losing weight is nothing new. In fact, most weight loss plans encourage cutting out certain foods to help you cut down on calories and to encourage your weight loss efforts.
However, there is a big difference between cutting out sugar and fat and cutting out something that would otherwise be a healthy component of a weight loss plan. While there are some health merits to going vegetarian, before you make any changes to your medical weight loss plan it is important that you think the plan completely through, and that you speak with your medical weight loss doctor about your ideas.
Why Go Meatless?
A 2015 study on vegetarianism in America found that approximately three percent of the adult population in the United States consider themselves vegetarian in some capacity. The leading reasons that people cite when explaining their dietary choice include religious reasons, environmental concerns, and an overall desire to be healthier.
Some health experts have suggested that following a vegetarian diet can help people lose weight because it eliminates fatty animal proteins and provides an abundance of grains, fruits and vegetables. Data from the National Nutrition and Health Survey has identified a high intake of grains, fruits, and vegetables as factors that promote a healthy weight.
However, when the weight loss benefits of a vegetarian diet were put to the test, researchers found that only people who stuck to the vegetarian diet 100% of the time experience a tiny increase in weight loss compared to people who ate a primarily vegetarian or a typical low-calorie diet.
This means that, just like any other elimination dietary plan, as soon as you decide to bring meat back into your diet, the health effects will not necessarily last. As soon as you return to your regular diet, you are likely to gain back any weight that you lost.
One of the biggest problems with a vegetarian diet is that it doesn’t actually reduce many of the problem foods that lead to weight gain, like baked goods, candy, or even ice cream. If you are going to focus on what you can eliminate from your diet, talk to your weight loss doctor about the most common culprits in your diet. Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains and greens is a great idea, but that doesn’t mean you need to completely eliminate animal proteins. The best thing to do is set your goal on a well-balanced diet that you can keep up long-term.