A vegetable is an edible plant or portion of a plant, including leaves such as lettuce, roots such as potatoes, and fruit such as peppers or tomatoes. Consumers often label herbs,sweet fruits and dried beans separately on their shopping lists, but these, too, are vegetables in the broadest sense of the word, as distinguished from meats and dairy products. An all vegetable diet can be effective for fast weight loss and to maintain health.
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Eating an all vegetable diet is a precept that has had adherents throughout history, reports The Vegetarian Society. Many notable leaders of ancient Rome including Plutarch, Diogenes, Plato and Socrates were vegetarians. Practitioners of some of the world's oldest religious organizations, including Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and Jainism all adhere to vegetable diets for reasons philosophical, spiritual and healthful. Those health reasons include a reduction in obesity, according to the Arizona Cooperative Extension.
On average, people eating a vegetable-based diet eat fewer calories and less fat, resulting in lower body weight, according to MayoClinic.com. You still have to eat fewer calories each day than you burn off through activity, the Columbia University Health Services advises, but doing so on an all-vegetable diet may be easier because fruits and vegetables are low-calorie but high in fiber, so they fill you up with fewer calories. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables also provide essential nutrients and can reduce the risk of some cancers and chronic diseases while helping maintain healthy weight, according to the U.S. Department of Health Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
All vegetable diets for fast weight loss include structured diet plans, such as the cabbage soup diet, which includes a recipe for a fiber-dense vegetable soup and prescribes specific additional foods to be eaten with the soup each day. The fruit and vegetable diet advocated by Travis van Slooten, founder and editor of Men's Total Fitness, simply means including a minimum of 2 to 3 servings of fruit and 4 to 5 servings of vegetables in your diet each day. Some individuals consider a diet to be vegetarian if it includes animal products such as milk or honey, which do not involve the animal's death, while others consider an all vegetable diet to include no animal-generated products whatsoever, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Low-fat all vegetable diets are useful for generating weight loss, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Eating fruits and vegetables daily is key to effective weight loss, according to Men's Total Fitness, and 9 or more servings per day will create optimal health and maximal weight loss.
Switching to an all vegetable diet alone does not guarantee weight loss, MayoClinic.com advises. You still need to reduce caloric intake below caloric expenditure to lose weight. Structured vegetable weight loss diets such as the cabbage soup diet may claim to create rapid weight loss of 10 to 15 lbs. in a week, according to University of Florida IFAS Extension nutrition scientist Elaine Turner, but this will be primarily water weight, which will rapidly return. A better option is to carefully plan all vegetable food meals to ensure inclusion of necessary nutrients, the University of Maryland Medical Center suggests.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Net Wellness: Fast Weight Loss for Cardiac Surgery Patients
- University of Florida News: Cabbage Soup Diet No Lucky Charm for Weight Loss Says UF Expert
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center for Disease Control and Prevention: How to Use Fruits and Vegetables to Help Manage Your Weight
- Columbia University Health Services: Weightloss Diets for Vegetarians and Everybody
- Vegetarian Society: History of Vegetarianism
- Arizona Cooperative Extension: Vegetarian Diets
- MayoClinic.com: Vegetarian Diet--Will It Help Me Lose Weight?