Given that a vegetarian diet excludes animal proteins, which tend to be naturally low in carbohydrates, is it possible for vegetarians to lose weight?
Is there a risk that eating too many of the more ‘carby’ sources of vegetarian protein mean that weight loss will be slower and more difficult?
For example 100g of lentils contains about 20g of carbohydrate while 100g of tofu contains just 2g. Does this mean you should avoid beans and lentils?  Absolutely not, they have a low glycaemic index which means they are digested slowly and help to keep you feeling full.
They are naturally low in fat and high in fibre – an important element for our digestive tract.  Fibre helps to ‘feed’ the good bacteria in our gut and there are more and more studies to demonstrate that these good bacteria play a key role in weight control. The carbohydrates group includes all the grains and white potatoes.  Quinoa is actually a seed which has a higher protein content than most grains so it is a good addition to a vegetarian diet.


As for vegetables?  Have you ever heard of a vegetarian who does not eat vegetables?!  You can have any vegetable you like and don’t hesitate to try new fruits and vegetables. There’s the ‘King Kale’ but all the green leafy vegetables are really ‘super foods’.   Don’t neglect the ‘ugly vegetables’ such as celeriac and Jerusalem artichokes which are fabulous in soups, salads or purees. To lose weight, all(!) you need to do is be conscious of the serving sizes of your protein and carbohydrate servings and bulk up your meals with lashings of vegetables. Moderate amounts of butter, cheese and cream are fine, however large quantities are not going to help you lose weight.  The ‘good’ fats are found in nuts, seeds and plant oils and recent research demonstrates that these ‘good fats’ are essential for our brains and cognitive functions. While once upon a time it was thought that eating little and often was more effective for weight loss, it now seems that having longer periods of time without eating is much more effective for fat burning. Base your plan around 3 meals a day and try not to snack after your evening meal until breakfast the next day.


So with a drum roll, here’s our ‘Solid and Nutritious Vegetarian diet plan’ to help you lose weight.  It works, it really works!  We hope you enjoy it and please do get in touch if you have any questions.
Charlotte Debeugny is a bilingual UK Registered Nutritionist and published author working in medical centres in and around Paris. Different things work for different people and I was lucky enough to find one that worked for me.



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