Living the vegetarian life offers numerous health benefits, from cutting the risk of heart disease, type -two diabetes and cancer, to capping blood pressure; and losing weight.  Many people believe that if they simply switch to a vegetarian diet, it will cause them to lose some weight, however, it is not always so. If done the wrong way, becoming a vegetarian can be a recipe for weight gain. Here are four vegetarian faux pas that are sure to lead to weight gain:

Overloading on Liquids

The first option health conscious people go for when they become vegetarian are ‘Green drinks’. These green drinks include veggie and fruit juices and smoothies, and they are a fun twist to the vegetable meals. The thing about these drinks and smoothies that combine vegetables and fruits though is they can easily pack 250-350 calories.  They have much more calories than you imagine as some have extra sugar included in them. And this sugar eventually leads to weight gain. To avoid this extra weight gain, try making your own juice on your own so that you are sure it does not contain processed sugar. Again, try chewing, rather than gulping these fruits and vegetables for a better result.

Forgetting to include proteins

Protein is a key element in weight control because it boosts satiety, preserves muscle and revs up metabolism. The general idea is that protein comes from meat, and since being vegetarian entails avoid meat, most people just assume they do not need the protein in their meals. Unfortunately, forgoing protein is a recipe for hunger and weight gain. There are other sources of protein that are non-meat, and if you are avoiding all animal products, go for options like legumes, hummus, nuts, nut butters, split peas, tofu, and lentils. Protein helps you to feel satiated and without it you end up feeling hungry every few hours, eating more food and adding more weight. Also, do not rely on processed meat substitutes, instead keep it au naturel.

 

Overdosing on dairy products

Most vegetarians include dairy products such as milk, cheese, and butter in their meal for protein. Some even live on grilled cheese, cheese pizza and mac and cheese. These dairy products, especially when over-consumed can lead to weight gain. Cheddar cheese, for instance, packs four times the calories and nine times the fat of skinless chicken breast. If you decide to keep dairy in your diet, limit yourself to given portion day and stick with non -fat milk or yogurt. You can also decide to ditch it for other sources of protein like legumes e.t.c.

Satisfying your sweet tooth

There are more vegetarian sweet treats on the market than ever before, from cookies and cupcakes to ice creams. These treats, however, are not as healthy as is assumed. They actually pack on more processed sugar that other non-vegetarian treats!  If you must have treats, avoid sweet vegetarian treats as they lead to weight gain, instead go for goodies made without butter and eggs as they are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol free. You, however, have to make sure they are not high in calories as well.

Not eating the right portion

Yes, you are staying healthy and consuming only healthy foods including veggies, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and avocado, but how large is the portion you are taking? While these healthy options contain raw materials that either fuel the activity of your body’s cells, or help maintain, heal, or regenerate tissue, there is a required portion to be taken. The portion usually is based on your age, sex, height, ideal body weight, and physical activity level. You may find that you will gain weight is the nutrient intake exceeds your needs. If your portions are packed with about three times what your body actually needs, you are sure to gain weight. It is important to know the amount your body needs per time and stick to it if your aim is to lose weight.

 

Image Source: Healthyfoodforgood , Fotograf-comanescu,  Food Network, Watchfit , Ignorelimits

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