Losing weight is never an easy job, especially when we talk about post-pregnancy weight. The weight we put on during pregnancy can be very stubborn to lose. When we discuss this with experts or nutritionist friends, they often recommend foods like chicken and egg whites to speed up weight loss. It is true that a non-vegetarian diet has all the proteins required to boost your body during exercise, and thus makes shedding the kilos easier. However, as per some recent studies, the right kind of vegetarian food can actually help you burn fat even more quickly! We have collected for you the best tips on vegetarian diet for 6-pack abs - time to finally achieve your weight loss goals!
Losing weight, getting six-pack abs, or fitting into our pre-baby clothes - these all seem to be easier said than done. It is very difficult for mothers to get time for exercise or to stick to a strict diet. However, according to a recent study, following a vegetarian diet can be an effective route for weight loss - even more so than following a conventional low-calorie diet! Yes, anyone can realise their dream of having a body to die for even if you’re not into a meaty diet and don't go to the gym!
Vegetarian Diet for Abs & Weight Loss - The Amazing New Finding
The research was led by Dr Hana Kahleova, Director of Clinical Research at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington DC. The results have been published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
His team, based on their experiments, found that a vegetarian diet was almost TWICE as effective in reducing body weight as compared to a conventional diet! The vegetarian diet resulted in an average loss of 6.2kg compared to 3.2kg for the conventional diet - i.e. 3 kilos more of weight loss!
As per the experts, here are the main reasons this happens:
A vegetarian diet helps to improve metabolism by reducing muscle fat
A vegetarian diet shows a greater reduction in intramuscular fat. This means muscle strength and mobility will also improve
While the research focused on diabetes and people struggling with weight loss on account of diabetes, the results hold true for all of us. Dr Kahleova has concluded that a vegetarian diet is much more effective at reducing muscle fat. He says:
"This finding is important for people who are trying to lose weight. It is also relevant to anyone who takes their weight management seriously and wants to stay lean and healthy."
Try This: Here's a 10 days vegetarian meal plan designed for weight loss. It fulfils daily nutritional requirements and can be quite delicious too! *It is recommended to discuss with your doctor before starting any diet plan.
Key Takeaway: Here’s a sample diet plan to get those killer abs the vegetarian way. It will keep you full through the day, and will also help you lose weight organically.
In the morning: Flaxseeds + warm water
30 minutes later: Coffee/Tea
30 minutes later: Lemon rind water (Lemon peels and ajwain strained water + Lemon Juice)
Lunch: Pea + Carrot dalia (cracked wheat)
30 minutes later: Lemon rind water
Evening Snack: Lemon rind water + 5 almonds
30 minutes later: Flaxseeds + warm water
Dinner: Oats + green tea
30 minutes later: Lemon rind water
If you feel hungry in between meals, you can have a tomato or a cucumber.
Vegetarianism and following a vegetarian diet to get abs have now become a fitness mantra for many moms - and they are actually able to see results. Kareena Kapoor, a fitness inspiration for many, said about turning a vegetarian: "I gave up eating meat several years ago, and I no longer crave it. I eat just about everything in vegetarian food. It helps that I like eating at home much more than dining out. I enjoy simple, home-cooked meals: veggies, roti, dal, rice. But, like most of the Kapoors, I love eating. Once in a while, I indulge myself with a samosa or a kachori."
Lisa Haydon, also a fitness enthusiast and new mommy, is a vegetarian too. She says her mother’s cooking is what kept her firm on the path of vegetarianism!
Now that we know just how powerful a vegetarian diet for weight loss can be, time to get started! Contrary to what many believe, you don’t have to spend a whole lot of money on a nutritious diet, or get only organic, exotic foods. You just need to know the right kinds of food and mix them up for a tasty variety. These items are a few essentials that you must add to your vegetarian diet for abs, that your body will love!
Popeye got those forearms bursting out of his sleeves with spinach alone! This green is a fibre and protein powerhouse. Both fibre and protein make up an essential part of a vegetarian diet for 6-pack abs and spinach fits the bill.
Recommended Recipe - Tofu, Spinach and Sesame Stir Fry This is a low-calorie dish that's easy to make and also very high in proteins, vitamins and minerals. Tofu and spinach make the perfect combination for a nutrient-dense dish, while sesame adds some interesting flavour. You can also make the above dish in the form of a salad, adding some walnuts and almonds for extra taste.
Tip: If you are a non-vegetarian, add a boiled egg to this dish. It will still be a beneficial weight loss meal but also give you the taste of your favourite non-veg foods!
Sweet potatoes have their own special place in the best vegetarian diet for six-pack abs. They supply a good dose of carbohydrates that are required for energy. Unlike potatoes, they don’t cause your insulin levels to rise and your fat storage to increase.
Recommended Recipe - Sweet Potato Patties Trying to lose weight doesn't mean you need to deprive yourself of all snacks! We all get those evening cravings, and for times like these, these patties can be a healthy option. They are also a good source of Vitamin C, potassium and fibre.
Oatmeal is a great way to start your day when you want a toned physique. The high fibre content makes digestion easy. Stick with plain oatmeal, though, as flavoured oats contain more sugar and calories that can do more harm than good.
Recommended Recipe - Oatmeal Smoothie A delicious way to eat oatmeal is to make this breakfast smoothie - just keep extra stock of bananas, flaxseeds and almonds. Along with oats, flaxseeds are also power foods for mothers - they help in battling high levels of oestrogen and maintaining balanced hormonal levels.
If you're looking for more conventional breakfast ideas and a smoothie doesn't seem appetising, you can go for an Oats Idli or even an Oats Dosa.
Broccoli is another powerhouse of green energy that you can add in wholesome quantities to your vegetarian or even vegan diet for abs. Rich in fibre and extremely low in calories, it does a good job in energising and building muscle. Added to its advantage is a good amount of vitamin C that helps you recover from physical exercise. A piece of advice, however: try not to eat it with any condiment as its best had on its own.
Recommended Recipe - Cream of Broccoli Soup This is a healthy, wholesome and satisfying soup that will help you reap all the benefits of this amazing vegetable. The best part is, this soup also has strong flavours of celery and garlic, so you will enjoy it even if you are not a broccoli lover.
Cauliflower contains sufficient amounts of protein, carbohydrates and dietary fibres, enough to fuel your body when you’re working towards those six-packs. It fits well into an Indian vegetarian diet for six-pack abs.
Recommended Recipe - Roasted Cauliflower Roasting a cauliflower gives it a nice caramelization and enhances its taste. You can lightly spice it with pepper, salt and also add some lemon juice.
Many mothers have found success in their weight loss journey by adding cauliflower to their diet. Mom Chan Vekaria who went from 104 to 44 kgs also ate a curry with cauliflower rice or salad. Cauliflower, she says, is her favourite vegetable and she adds it to pizza bases, hash browns, Frittata and patties. Did You Know? You can actually eat a vegetarian pizza to lose weight! Well, as long as it is made of cauliflower crust. Many of us are pizza lovers, and giving up on this comfort food is very difficult when we are trying to slim down. A good balance is to make a cauliflower pizza crust instead of using regular flour. This way, you cut down on many calories and still relish the taste.
A must in the list of vegetarian foods for 6-pack abs, protein shakes are like a magic ingredient for a toned body. These shakes are extremely beneficial when you’re trying to slim down as protein helps to repair and recover muscle tissues as fast as it builds them up.
Recommended Recipe - Home-made Protein Shake You can make your own shake like this: just add a mix of fruits, vegetables and pulses, and blend till smooth. You can choose foods like bananas, raspberries, almonds, etc. Also, add peanut butter and Greek yoghurt for added flavour.
If you want to keep it simple, you could try ready-made whey protein powder. It’s the most popular protein supplement available. You can also stock up on these protein-rich foods for a flat tummy!
High in essential nutrients and low in calories, delicious mushrooms are a choice food to include in your diet chart for six-pack abs. They stay expanded in your stomach giving you that feeling of fullness so you can go for a couple of hours without feeling hungry. Add them to your lunch or dinner with equal measure. You can also have them for breakfast.
Recommended Recipe - Mushroom & Broccoli Soup This soup combines the goodness of two healthy veggies and can be a great evening snack or light dinner option.
You could also try this Mushroom Sabji as a side dish. On days when you feel like treating yourself, we'd recommend this Mushroom Pasta. Yum!
This one might come as a surprise to many of you, but bananas are an excellent food to get rid of bloating. While having killer abs is great, a bloated stomach can significantly take away from your look. The best way to get rid of water retention is by drinking lots of water – the more water you drink, the less your body needs to hold onto it. However, bloating can be caused by other factors too (not just dehydration). Bananas are the universal answer for bloating.
Did you know that one cup of black beans contains about 12 grams of protein and 9 grams of fibre? This not only makes black beans a superfood when it comes to healthy weight loss (which is basically fat-loss), it also makes them great for those abs you’re working on so hard. The fibre keeps you satiated through the day. Black beans are also loaded with folate, copper and vitamin B, which are all great for building your muscles and tendons.
This is a list of some of the best Indian foods for perfect six pack abs. As mothers, we invest a lot of time and energy in our children and family, which is why we need to eat well, even when we are trying to lose weight. These vegetarian foods are hence a perfect and healthy option to those risky fads and crash diets. Stick to a balanced diet and never underestimate the power of vegetables when it comes to building up your body.
Foods to Avoid If You Want Killer Abs
While you may be doing everything right, if you do not also watch out for foods you are NOT supposed to eat, all your efforts may well go vain! So here is a list of foods you need to avoid if you are working those abs!
High Fructose Corn Syrups - because it has absolutely no nutritional value and is of no use while building abs.
Store-bought Peanut Butter - because it has a higher number of added fats, preservatives, and is also high in calories. Best to make your own at home!
Whole Milk - because of its higher number of calories as compared to skimmed or toned milk.
Breakfast Cereals - because they almost always contain a high amount of added sugar. If you must, pick a box of cereals that has no added sugar, fewer preservatives and is made of organic raw material.
Donuts - does this one need to be explained? Full of refined flour, sugar, and deep fried, doughnuts are the perfect enemy of abs.
Crackers - because of the ingredients that they are made of (refined flour and sugar).
Diet Soda - yes, the label claims there is 'zero sugar'. But if you want killer abs, artificial sugar can be equally harmful.
Frosting - a lot of us love to dip our fingers in the frosting and lick it off when having cake. But it is full of trans-fats which mobilise fat from other parts of the body to the belly.
Potato - yes, we vegetarians love our potatoes, but potatoes are basically nothing but a big blob of starch, one of the worst enemies of abs.
Sticking to vegetables alone is also a good way to great abs, or you can balance this with some non-vegetarian foods like chicken and fish. It’s all about picking the right foods and finding what works best for you. All the best!