ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Benefits of a vegetarian diet in weight loss

Updated on March 20, 2010
Image taken from and used under Creative Commons Attribution licence.
Image taken from and used under Creative Commons Attribution licence.

Firstly, I'd like the pre-face this article by stating that I am NOT one of those militant, preachy vegetarians here to inflict a moral superiority complex on those of you who like to eat meat. My aim is more to counter some of the “you can't be healthy without meat” types and provide some advice and reassurance for the vegetarian people out there trying to put together a diet or nutrition plan that works for them.


A healthy vegetarian diet is perfectly suited to weight loss, for several reasons. The first and most obvious is of course the lack of animal fats consumed. It is widely accepted that a diet high in saturated fat (such as animal fats) contributes to many health issues such as obesity, heart disease and high cholesterol. While some vegetarian foods can still be relatively high in fats, these fats are usually of a mono-unsaturated or poly-unsaturated variety, which are therefore a source of the essential fatty acids (such as Omega 6) that are required in a healthy diet.

Note that the “good” fats do still have the same calorie count as the “bad” fats, so the vegetarian still has to be careful not to over-indulge!


A further benefit to be gained in vegetarian diets is in ensuring adequate levels of fibre or “roughage”. Fibre has numerous health benefits, and particularly in relation to weight loss adds bulk to a meal, filling the stomach without adding large amounts of calories. Soluble fibre has additional benefits in slowing the absorption of glucose, regulating blood sugar levels and lowering cholesterol. Insoluble fibre is also beneficial to the digestive system.


Contrary to what some misinformed people might have you believe, there are many good sources of protein available to vegetarians. Egg whites and dairy products are a good source, as well as soy and wheat based products such as tofu or satien for the more strict vegetarians who exclude eggs and dairy products. Legumes are also a good protein source which also have the the benefits of being highly fibrous, as described above.


Low carb diets seem to be the fad of the past few years, and while it is advisable to reduce high GI processed carbohydrates from white bread (for example), adequate carbohydrate intake is actually an advantage in weight loss.

Carbohydrates are your body's primary fuel source and are necessary to train to your full potential, or just to make it through the day without falling asleep at work! Fats are also utilised as a fuel source, however it is important to understand that carbohydrates are needed for fat metabolism, and when carbohydrate stores deplete, the rate of fat metabolism also declines.

This goes some way to explaining why many people struggle to lose weight, despite under eating and doing some form of exercise.

A balanced diet (combined with regular physical activity) is really the key to weight loss, and the good news for vegetarians is that a healthy vegetarian diet will be, almost by default, low in fat (especially saturated fats), reduced carbohydrate and high fibre. If you simply aim for high protein, and avoid high carb foods such as white bread, potato, rice and pasta, and of course stay off the junk food and keep to healthy snacks only, you really won't have to put much thought into your meal choices to stay on target for getting into, or staying in shape. Include some avocado in your diet and you can lower your cholesterol levels even further.

For vegetarians following the above guidelines, it should be very unlikely that you would ever exceed your target calorie intake. The same rules regarding healthy snacks, low fat and high fibre meal choices are true for meat eaters as well, but vegetarians should have a slight advantage in already being in the habit of consuming fresh vegetables, legumes and so forth.

Again, I'm not trying to convince everyone in the world to go vegetarian, I'm just letting the vegetarians know they can disregard any “you have to start eating meat” advice that others try to force upon them.

Eat well, train hard and be proud!



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)