Vegetarianism as a way to lose weight


I was inspired to write this after reading my friend Kathleen’s blog about the changes in her lifestyle she has made in the last year  and has lost about 45lbs. since May 2007… so really, there even hasn’t been a full year yet.

Part of her changes was not becoming vegetarian… she has been a vegetarian actually longer then me, for about 11 years now.  But she did made changes in how she looked at food and how she ate everyday and that alone made a difference.   Some of the things I noticed:

  • She eats 3 full meals– breakfast, lunch and dinner, accompanied by healthy snacks throughout the day
  • She eats healthy sweets – with fruits, whole grains and without any refined sugars
  • She drinks mainly water and tea – no calorie-free sodas here!!!!
  • She cooks her own meals – this way she’s completely sure what goes into her body, in terms of ingredients, quality, quantity, etc.
  • She always eats fresh food – she cooks dinner daily and only eats leftovers less than 24 hours after being cooked originally.  This practice I believe helps retain food’s nutrition as much as possible.  Eating food that’s been cooked for over 24 hours is mostly roughage, with little energy there.

Similarly, when I decided to make changes in my diet to become healthier, not even vegetarian yet, I noticed I dropped a few pant sizes.  These were my changes:

  • Eradicated sodas from my diet – now my friends know never to ask me for a soda when they come over
  • Moved to an almost 100% whole grain diet – I started buying only brown rice, 100% whole wheat bread, whole grain pastas and cereals, etc.
  • Avoided canned goods – if something I bought in can now comes in a glass jar or any other type of packaging I prefer it.  It’ll be recyclable and without the preservatives and sodium canned goods tend to have.
  • If I did not understand at least 1 ingredient in the list of ingredients, I would not buy it.
  • Stopped buying food with any artificial colorings – somehow, Red #40 doesn’t sound too appealing
  • When I decided little by little to eat less animal products that’s when I saw the real changes – I slept better at night, I never felt overly full after I ate, I had more energy, I could indulge in a treat every so often and my weight is stable.

Now that the New Year started, maybe these experiences and small changes my friend Kathleen and I implemented might help you incorporate some of them into your lifestyle.  As you can see… from the cartoon above, vegetarians are not known for being overweight… so start small, start easy and little by little you’ll see how these small changes can have a big impact in the way you look and the way you feel. 

Just ask Kathleen…

13 Responses to “Vegetarianism as a way to lose weight”

  1. um-ru9aya November 25, 2008 at 6:18 pm #

    from one year ago i changed my way of eating i follow almost the same things like you said , and you are right, i feel much better i lost 6 kilogram, and i don’t feel like i m making diert because i cook my food how i like and i eat all the heathy and fresh food i love my new life i look good and i feel healthy.

  2. pneusyhophy December 20, 2008 at 11:09 pm #

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  3. MichaellaS July 20, 2009 at 11:49 am #

    tks for the effort you put in here I appreciate it!

  4. Eva November 5, 2009 at 6:20 am #

    I was a fat vegetarian. I put on terribly after renouncing on meat which I did for religious reasons. I lost some weight following the advices of the Traditional Chinese Medicine, which meant that I added some chicken meat and cooked a soup from it. Some years later I made a big mistake following a diet that did make me lose a lot of weight, but I got attacks of vertigo every few days. The reason probably was that I renounced on grain products — as all carbon hydrates.
    16 years later. I follow the advices of a Tibetan doctor who allows me just little chicken meat, but I renounce on white sugar and have reduced fat. I lost some weight, slowly, but constantly.
    I asked my Lama, a high Rinpoche, about the karma of eating meat. He said, you don’t have a direct connection to the animal because you neither killed it nor told someone to kill this very animal. So there is no karmic connection if you eat it. What matters is to treat all the beings right, and if you can be a vegetarian, said the Dalai Lama, this is better than eating meat.
    In some parts of the world, people just can’t do without — or could not. As in old Tibet.

    KFC – Interesting journey… it is my belief and that of this blog, that eating/consuming animal products does carry a negative karma with it. It does not matter who does the actual killing… you’re still a participant in the whole process. Besides being good towards all living things – that includes people, animals and any living creature in general – maintining a whole lifestyle as natural as possible is a way to steer away from most illnesses.

    Some people can’t accomodate a fully vegetarian lifestyle… I respect that. But the recipes and commentary shared in this blog will help those people appreciate that a vegetarian lifestyle is good, easy to follow, beneficial to their health and our environment too. By adopting more and more days in the week of eating vegetarian food exclusively, you will have a positive impact in yourself and all that surrounds you. And that, in and of itself, is a step in a positive direction…

  5. fast weight lose February 10, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    The bad stuff never comes alone but if so then the good stuff it comes togheter also doesn’t it? Hey, i’m looking forward for updates. Keep us updated and thx for your intrests and passion.

  6. Shauni Duffy May 4, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    I agree that vegetarianism helps you lose weight but I also dont agree. The Simple way to think about it is that you cannot eat meat all the time because it is so fatty and has so much natural salts in it plus added salts. But then again I am vegetarian and I am skinny but that is for natural courses. As well as vegetarianism being a healthy option I now have to take tablets so that i get the protein from meat but not by eating meat. Any reply would be helpful.
    Yours sincerely
    Shauni Duffy

    KFC – Shauni, thanks for your comment… I agree that many vegetarians may suffer from a protein deficiency, but I do not believe in the need to take any animal-related products to acquire that protein. Your comment has sparked several ideas on future articles on how vegetarians should eat to ensure they’re taking all necessary nutrients, without the need for supplements.

    Something simple that comes to mind right now is combining foods to create a “complete” protein – like eating whole grain rice and beans, peanut butter and jelly on whole grain bread, among others – are a few classic food combinations that, when eaten together, recreate a complete protein and thus avoiding any deficiency in such area.

    I agree it is very important to eat as varied as possible to acquire all proteins, vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates, water, etc we need to be well functioning human beings. Thanks for your comments and keep them coming…

  7. meissa2112 July 24, 2010 at 12:01 am #

    Hi! I stumbled across this blog hunting for the Breitenbush Cookbook, which I didn’t buy it when I was at the hot springs last april and I so regret that. The food we were served during our stay at the women’s weekend retreat (vegetarian) was top notch excellent, and, I know this is TMI, but I had 4 awesome bowel movements each day of my stay. Never felt so good in my life, and I had very little to no physical activity. Three full meals. I want that book so bad!

    I’m not a vegetarian nor will I be in the near future, not because I don’t welcome the idea, but more for practical and financial reasons. My husband is a meat and potato eater and not very open to a diet change, and we just can’t afford to make two separate menus for each on of us. So I have to work with what options I have. Thankfully he will eat pretty much anything I make but shellfish. I also come from a Latino country, Ecuador, where we are also used to fritters and white rice, where Grandma used to drown the steak in oil, and have the most unhealthy but delicious food handy in the little hole in the wall type of eatery.

    I try to buy foods with the least amount of processing as possible, I don’t do substitutes, no margarine, no artificial anything.

    I read through your recipes and there are so many winners. My mouth waters just thinking of them! My husband loves spinach and artichokes, I will definitely will be adapting them to our lifestyle. If anything, at least I will be able to mask the healthy choice in a yummy dish. I try to make at least one meatless dish in the week, and thankfully he understands 🙂

    Going back to my experience at Breitenbush, where the salads were literally dripping olive oil and had full fat cheeses (I believe de-fatting is an unnecessary process), they had the right combination of ingredients to make the magic happen.

    Thank you so much for archiving all the amazing recipe ideas. I will be forwarding this blog to my friends. I’m so sure they will love it!

  8. Mineh September 20, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    I started eating vegetables more and more and reduce the rest of animal products and have seen changes. I would be panting after walking for a distance but now I dont feel the same.

    Reduce fat, sugar and salt and all will be well. Most seasoning too have alot of sodium reduce these too.,

  9. Roseatta May 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Great tips. It is so much healthier to lose weight by increasing your awarness and making healthy choices. It’s smarter and more enjoyable than eating “low fat” and counting every calorie . I agree with no soda or canned food….fresh is best. I try and follow a rule that I’ve made for myself… eating sweets or snacking unless I’ve made it (or on special occasions, it comes from a very good glueten free bakery). It helps to keep me on track.

  10. ArchiesBoy August 28, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    “Loose” (as in the headline) is the opposite of “tight. “Lose” is the opposite of “find.” Better brush up on your English.

    • KarmaFree Cooking August 29, 2012 at 1:01 am #

      Thanks for letting me know about this typo… I appreciate that out of all the people who have read this post, you’re the first person to notice it and make a comment about it!!!! Gracias…

  11. tedoymisojos December 2, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    My god some replies here 0_0 If you eat from the remaining food groups: Vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains, nuts and fruits… you wont be running into deficiencies anymore than regular omnivores, actually probably less, much less. And if you eat some fish/chicken/cheese/milk/cream even just 3 times a year… youll be eating … an optimal diet. Id be more worried about your microbiota. Take probiotics or fermented & sprouted foods. We have all taken antibiotics and are constantly exposed to toxins

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