Many people make the choice to go vegetarian or vegan not only to eat healthier but also to lose weight. Unfortunately, making the transition can be somewhat easier said than done. Read on for more tips on how to make the transition easier.
First, look for ways you can make switch on dishes to which you are already accustomed and enjoy. This is the easiest way to make this big change. One way you can do this is to simply leave out the meat from your favorite spaghetti sauce. There are also many vegetarian substitute sauces on the market that you can try instead.
Next, don’t be afraid to try new foods. You might be surprised at what is available that you will enjoy. This can allow you to enjoy a far more varied diet than you would have thought possible, which can not only lead to a healthier lifestyle but also a more diversified palette.
In some cases, you may find that when you try a particular food you won’t like it. This may be especially true with meat substitute items. Instead of trying it once and giving up however, do make a commitment to try it at least twice. Try using some different seasonings or even prepare it in a different way. You might be surprised at how much you enjoy it the second time around when you prepare it a little differently.
Be aware that starting any new diet can be difficult to stick with and the decision to go vegetarian or vegan is certainly no different. In some diet plans, dieters are encouraged to reward themselves in moderation. On some plans, dieters may be allowed to reward themselves with a snack item or dessert. If you find that you’re having a hard time making a complete switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet, try allowing yourself a meat reward one day a week. This may help you to stick with your plans the rest of the week, if you know that you can have that burger you’re craving another day of the week.
If you find that the decision to go vegetarian or vegan is particularly difficult for you, try instead to simply cut out red meat from your diet, since this can be the most problematic. Eat lean cuts of poultry and fish instead. Who knows? With time, you may also be able to cut out even these meats as well. If not, you’ll still be doing your body a favor by cutting out the red meat.
The Zone Diet
The Zone diet is one of the most popular diets of all time and is actively practiced by many celebrities. Practice of this diet was first begun by athletes in an effort to achieve maximum performance and sustain energy levels. This diet is reputed to help you regulate your energy levels throughout the day and help you to achieve peak metabolic efficiency.
It is believed that this diet is able to do this through the control of eicosanoids, which are chemical messengers contained within the body. Eicosanoids are derived from dietary fat and contain both good and bad physiological functions, much like cholesterol. Good eicosanoids have the ability to help the body speed up the use of stored fat. Bad eicosanoids reduce the speed at which fat is used. The Zone diet takes the theory that these messengers can be controlled by the foods we consume at each meal. One of the basic theories of this diet is that high levels of carbohydrates will increase the production of bad eicosanoids and decrease the production of good eicosanoids. Proteins and carbohydrates must be balanced in order to control the production of both good and bad eicosanoids in order to provide maximum efficiency.
In order to do this, there are several rules for the Zone diet. Here are a few:
It is important to eat just enough protein for the needs of your body. The amount of protein each person needs is determined by their activity level and their lean body mass. Protein should be consumed at every meal, along with carbohydrates; however this should be done in a ratio of three to four; protein to carbohydrate.
Whenever possible, eat carbohydrates that contain a low glycemic index. This will generally be vegetables and fruits.
Make sure that you consume a sufficient amount of fat in order to control the rate of digestion at each meal. This is also important to control hunger. Ideally, fat should consist of about 30% of the calories in your meal.
Be sure to drink at least eight glasses of water each day. You may also substitute some sugar free decaffeinated beverages.
Whenever possible, eat protein that contains low levels of saturated fat. Examples include chicken, fish, tofu, turkey, low-fat dairy products and egg whites.
Monosaturated fats are preferable to saturated fats.
Meals and snacks should never be spaced out more than five hours from one another.
Always eat within one hour after you wake.
Eat a snack before you workout.
Have another snack before you go to bed.
Foods are not completely banned in this diet, but should be consumed in moderation.