I like to read the headlines on Yahoo!....a lot. That's where I find a lot of my fun nutrition and health facts. Recently, I found this gem: 10 Diet and Exercise Myths That Pack on Pounds. Guess what #8 is? “Myth: Becoming a vegetarian will help me drop a size.”
Thaaaat's right - ceasing meat consumption does not make one automatically lose weight. Why? Many vegetarians substitute cheese and dairy to get their protein, which also provides the daily requirement for calcium, however, dairy products generally have more fat than lean meat. That alone can work against one's weight loss goals significantly.
I've pasted some key elements of the article below:
Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, author of The Flexitarian Diet, explains common vegetarian beginners’ mistakes that may cause weight gain. Vegetarian “types” to avoid becoming:
Cheese-aholic vegetarians: They cut out meat from their diets and turn to cheese as a protein source. But cheese is a high-calorie, high-fat food and should be eaten in moderation.
Faux-meat fixators: All they eat is boxes of frozen faux meats, such as soy chicken nuggets, vegetarian sausage links, and veggie bacon strips. These products are okay once in a while, but they are heavily processed and can have a lot of sodium, resulting in bloating and water retention.
No-veggie vegetarians: A lot of vegetarians don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. They eat only grains, beans and veggie burgers, all of which can be high in calories.
Same-meal-minus-the-meat vegetarians: These people eat the same meals they did before, but without the meat. If they’re not replacing the protein, they’ll probably have a ferocious appetite and may be missing out on essential nutrients.
“Vegetarian” food label fans: These people find any recipe or packaging that contains the word “vegetarian” or “meatless” and then overeat that food. They often wind up taking in too much junk food. Be aware that the word “vegetarian” is not synonymous with“healthy” or “low calorie.”
Blatner recommends replacing meat with beans in recipes for an easy, healthy—and inexpensive—protein source. She advises new vegetarians—and those who want to dabble in a vegetarian diet—to start having fun with vegetarian recipes. “Find ones you like that you’re going to keep eating. Enjoy the journey of it.”
So if weight loss is your goal, don't automatically drop meat and expect to drop pounds as well. Consulting a nutritionist or dietitian is the best way to build a diet program that is best for you.
Are you a cheeseaholic? Or a meataholic? Vegeholic? What food could you absolutely not live without?
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~
**Disclaimer: I have nothing against vegetarians, I have several friends who don't eat meat. However, sometimes the myths that have become associated with giving up meat need to be dispelled.
Image from here
Labels: diet, health, meat, vegetarianism