Vegetarian diets are most often much lower in sugars and fat than a meat based diet; though just cutting meat out is no guarantee of weight loss.
Vegetarians are still tempted by junk food, highly processed foods and other unhealthy foods too. If you are planning on losing weight by becoming a vegetarian then you need to follow some other basic weight loss strategies to ensure you lose the weight you want.
One of the main benefits to you of the vegetarian diet is that it is lower in saturated fat (though be wary of convenience vegetarian foods which are high in these unhealthy fats) and has a higher intake of fresh fruit and vegetables. This makes a vegetarian leaner than a meat eater, so long as they are not a junk food addict.
Being a vegan means even less saturated fat as you do not eat dairy or eggs, so technically you can lose more weight. However, it is down to your personal preference, your lifestyle and your tastes. Going vegan for a few weeks can help kick start your weight loss.
Just stopping eating meat isn’t going to help you lose weight if you are still consuming huge amounts of calories every day. You will need to discipline yourself and control your calorie intake like you would on any diet. However, remember that vegetables in particular are low in calories and most diets instruct you to “pile ‘em high” on your plate!
Just watch your portion sizes, particularly with the more fattening foods that you eat; the same goes for restaurants. Prepare your meals in advance and plan what you are going to eat and you will find it much easier to lose weight. Also make sure you have some healthy, low fat snacks around so you are less likely to reach for a candy bar.
Try to avoid frying food when you can and bake, steam or grill instead because it is lower in fat and much healthier for you.
In order to lose weight reliably you will need to increase your exercise levels to burn fat and excess calories. Regular cardio and weight training will help to improve your health and help you process food better. You can lose some weight as a vegetarian but to really turbo-charge your weight loss you need to incorporate exercise into your daily regime. Join a gym, get a personal trainer and start working out because you will find your weight loss speeds up and that you lose inches as you start to firm up your muscles.
The main component of your diet will be vegetables and fruits, together with beans and whole grains. With all meats and fish eliminated from your diet you are already eating many of the foods that are recommended by diet plans to help you lose weight. Studies have shown that a low fat vegan diet alone will help you to lose 1lb a week without including exercise or any other factors!
Be aware though that if you are loading up on pasta, cereal and breads (high carbohydrate / low nutrition) then you will struggle to lose weight. Eating too many sugary foods or the meat substitutes is also going to contribute to you not losing weight. Remember that by applying these principles to your vegetarian diet you will speed up your weight loss and improve your health further.