Why I’m not losing weight: 6 reasons to gain weight on a vegetarian diet

Certified gastroenterologist Will Bulzwitz notes that vegetarians often reduce their chances of losing weight by eating more processed foods to replace animal protein.

“When it comes to weight gain on a vegetarian diet, it’s important to make sure the majority of your calories come from high quality, fresh foods,” he says.

If you’ve eliminated meat from your diet and are gaining weight, here are the specific causes and remedies for the problem.

1. You’re eating the wrong carbs.

When animal products are no longer a part of your diet, in a cafe or restaurant, you will most likely choose falafel over chicken skewers. And pay for it.

“Just because a food meets the criteria for a vegetarian diet doesn’t mean it’s healthy,” says Esther Bloom, author of Cavewomen Don’t Get Fat. – Get carbohydrates from whole foods that should not have more than five ingredients, unless it’s herbs and spices. Eat sweet potatoes, legumes, lentils, bananas, whole grain bread, replace white flour with chickpeas. Carbohydrates from whole foods do not raise blood sugar levels, they keep you feeling full for several hours. When something is ground, made into flour, and then baked, it loses its nutritional value and causes a spike in blood sugar, contributing to weight gain.”

2. You avoid fruits and juices.

“Many people try to stay away from fruits because they are concerned about their sugar content,” Bloom notes. “But fruit sugars are great for the body, fighting inflammation and clearing out the liver and hormonal imbalances that contribute to weight gain.”

But Bloom recommends avoiding store-bought juices, as they lose their nutritional value just a day after being processed. It is better to prepare fruit juices at home and add more vegetables to it. Esther recommends adding celery to every freshly squeezed juice as it will help digest food, avoid bloating, gas, reflux, and get all the nutrients. And healthy digestion will only help you lose weight.

3. You don’t eat enough protein.

“One study showed that when vegetarians added more protein to their diet so that 30% of their daily calories came from protein, they automatically cut 450 calories per day and lost about 5 pounds in 12 weeks without even adding more exercise.” , says M.D., gastroenterologist and author of Ask Dr. Nandi” (“Ask Dr. Nandi”) Partha Nandi.

The best sources of plant-based protein that are also rich in satiating fiber include legumes, lentils, quinoa, and raw nuts.

4. You are trying to find an alternative to meat

You might be tempted to try tofu or pea-based meats when you dine at a restaurant. Or you just love to buy ready-made wheat sausages or cutlets. But these foods are highly processed, with added chemicals, sugar, starch, and other unhealthy ingredients. In addition, many plant-based alternatives are higher in calories, salt, and fat than their original versions.

5. You eat “dirty” protein

Perhaps you still make yourself an omelet and a simple salad or cottage cheese with fruit, assuming that you are consuming a healthy vegetarian diet. Alas, eating animal protein sources like eggs and milk and some non-organic vegetables can work against your weight loss efforts.

Esther Bloom explains that pesticides sprayed on food can disrupt your hormones and endocrine system. It is worth noting that most store-bought fruits and vegetables contain pesticides. Animals on farms are not fed corn and pure soybeans, most often their food is grass and earthworms. For these reasons, Bloom does not recommend sticking to any animal products.

6. You choose the wrong snacks.

You don’t have to eat protein during a snack to feel satisfied and maintain blood sugar levels. Try snacking on fruits or vegetables, which balance potassium, sodium, and glucose and keep your adrenals working. When your adrenal glands are chronically stressed, they can interfere with your metabolism and slow down your weight loss process.

When you get the urge to snack on vegan butter or chocolate spread toast, spread at least half of your toast with crushed avocado, sea salt, and a few orange slices. Or make yourself a salad of orange, avocado, spinach, sweet potato, kale, and lemon juice for a snack.

If you want to approach the issue of weight loss on a vegetarian diet in a complex way, see our article that can prevent you from losing extra pounds.

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