Vegetarian Weight Loss Meals
If you are a vegetarian seeking to lose weight, you will need to plan your meals carefully to be sure that you are getting the right amount of daily nutrition while you diet. While it is possible to minimize your caloric intake and remain true to your vegetarian principles, you should be sure to include plenty of low-calorie protein and calcium sources to avoid losing muscle tone, in addition to fat.
Your breakfast while dieting should ideally include whole grains, such as one slice whole wheat toast or half a cup of oatmeal, along with a small portion of fruit for fiber. You may add one tablespoon of honey to your toast or oatmeal, or drink a cup of herbal tea with honey. Avoid sugary cereals or refined wheat or corn products, and stay away from fruit juice, as it has a high sugar content and offers little in the way of nutrition.
It is important to have at least one healthy snack between breakfast and lunch, in order to keep your energy levels up and to avoid getting hungry, which could cause you to eat the wrong kinds of foods or more than you need at your next meal. A small handful of walnuts or almonds, along with a slice of low-fat cheddar or mozzarella cheese will provide your body with the energy and protein it needs to exercise and concentrate on daily tasks between meals. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, including a glass with your midday snack. If you like, you may add a slice of lemon or orange to your glass of water for flavoring, but stay away from carbonated sodas, caffeine and fruit juices, which offer empty calories or unnecessary toxins.
Eat a light lunch, such as a small salad with olive oil and seasonings for dressing. Stick to low-fat vegetables, like sliced bell peppers, tomatoes, onion and celery instead of vegetables that have a high sugar content, like carrots or corn. A whole-wheat flour tortilla wrap with chick peas, olive oil, chopped peppers, red onion, garlic and lettuce will provide you with extra fuel on days when you are planning to be physically active. Or create a low-fat bean burrito filled with black, red, pinto or kidney beans seasoned with cumin and chili powder. Eat one half of an apple dipped in a tablespoon of low-fat yogurt for dessert. Drink herbal tea flavored with lemon for a treat.
Be sure to allow yourself at least one small snack between lunch and dinner when you are dieting. A good, low-calorie vegetarian snack might be 2 tbsp. of sunflower seeds, a piece of celery dipped in low-fat, organic peanut butter, three whole wheat crackers with low-fat cream or cottage cheese on top, or a small apple or pear. Drink a full glass of water or iced herbal tea flavored with lemon.
Steam a half a cup of brown rice, and top it with steamed or sauteed vegetables, including sno peas, onions, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, green beans and celery. Add tofu and some sesame seeds, salt, pepper and 2 tbsp. of teriyaki sauce for flavoring and additional nutrition. Serve the meal with a side salad of lettuce, tomatoes, sliced red onion, celery and bell peppers, topped with ginger dressing or olive oil, oregano and basil. If you drink, allow yourself one glass of red wine with dinner.