Developing Vegetarian Meal Plans for Weight Loss

| January 15, 2012 | 0 Comments

Developing Vegetarian Meal Plans for Weight Loss

Article by William Witt

One of the critical parts of any weight loss plan is developing good, quality meal plans. Anybody can slap a few recipes together and call it a meal plan. Developing vegetarian meal plans for weight loss is a challenging process. You must ensure there is balanced nutrition. Additionally you have to plan for adequate proteins without relying on animal sources. Thirdly you need to maintain the proper caloric level for your weight loss needs. Once you have done this you will discover that all the planning and work is truly worth it.

Your first step in developing meal plans is to ensure you are going to have balanced nutrition. First get a copy of the USDA food pyramid. You can easily adapt this to a vegetarian diet. The only real change will be in protein which we will discuss shortly. Next using the pyramid as a guide either create meals on your own or from a collection of vegetarian recipes. Now make sure some preliminary meal plans ignoring protein, which we will discuss next.

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Ensuring that enough protein is in your diet is not as difficult as it sounds. Even without using animal products it is not hard, and if you allow dairy products in your diet then it is really simple. First some guidelines as to how mush protein we really need in our diets. In 2002, the National Academy of Sciences published a Dietary Reference Intake. It included everything from fiber to fatty acids, for protein they recommend an optimal range of protein is 10 to 35 percent of calories (on a 2,000 calorie diet this would be 50 to 175 grams of protein). In everyday terms this means women need at least 46 grams of protein daily and men need at least 56 grams of protein daily (very active and elderly people may need more). Now here are some foods with their protein amounts:

Black Beans, 1 cup cooked 15 gramsBread (Whole Grain), 2 slices 6 gramsBrown Rice, 1 cup cooked 5 gramsCorn, 1 cup 6 gramsCorn Tortilla 2 gramsGarbanzo Beans, 1 cup cooked 12 gramsKidney Beans, 1 cup cooked 15 gramsLentils, 1 cup cooked 18 gramsPasta, 1 cup cooked 7 gramsPotato Baked With Skin 5 gramsRefried Beans, 1 cup cooked 16 gramsSplit Peas, 1 cup cooked 16 gramsTempeh, 1/2 cup 16 gramsTofu, 1/2 cup 20 gramsYogurt (Non Fat), 1 cup 13 grams

As you can see getting enough protein should not be an issue. So now review the meal plans you have and modify them to ensure your protein amounts are where you want them to be.

Maintaining the proper caloric level in your meal plans is perhaps the easiest of all. Now you need to review your meal plans with an eye towards the daily calorie levels. If your calorie counts are too high either substitute foods (i.e. spinach for lettuce) or reduce the added in fats from oils & such.Once your caloric levels are good, your vegetarian meal plans are ready to go.

Well if you have made it this far I would say that you have some workable vegetarian meal plans for weight loss and in developing them you made sure that there was a proper caloric level on a daily basis. You also discovered how easy it is to ensure adequate protein as a vegetarian. Lastly you maintained balanced nutrition throughout your meal plans. I hope you enjoy yourself as you develop, and follow your vegetarian meal plans.

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