How to Lose Weight Fast on a Vegetarian Diet

A vegetarian diet consists of fruits, vegetables, eggs, milk, grains and cheese. Individuals who follow a vegetarian diet, according to Colorado State University Extension, consume fewer calories on average than non-vegetarians. Although this means that it is possible to lose weight by switching to a vegetarian diet, choosing the right foods and combining them with regular exercise is imperative. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute explains that to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week you need to cut 500 calories per day from your daily intake. Whether you are a seasoned vegetarian or are looking to adopt a new vegetarian diet, it is possible to eat filling, healthy vegetarian meals while losing weight at the same time.

Step 1 
Start each day with whole grains, such as oatmeal and bran. Whole grains help the body feel fuller than it does after consuming a meal high in refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and sugar cereals. Fiber-rich oatmeal also has been proven to reduce cholesterol and your risk of heart disease, according to the August 2012 issue of "Nutrition Journal."

Step 2
Cook with a small amount of olive oil or fat-free cooking spray instead of butter or vegetable oil. Vegetable oil and butter are high in saturated fat, which causes weight gain.

Step 3
Add flavor to your food without adding fat. If meals without meat seem boring, spice up your vegetables and tofu by adding low-fat soy sauce or herbs, such as basil, tarragon or chives.

Step 4
Eat lean protein with every meal. Chickpeas, tofu, tempeh, soy, egg whites, low-fat peanut butter, quinoa and black beans are meatless sources of lean protein. Avoid protein sources such as whole-milk cheese and full-fat peanut butter, says Mayo Clinic's Zeratsky.

Step 5
Fill out your meal with fruits and vegetables. Those with high fiber and water content, such as bell peppers, celery, carrots, watermelon and apples keep you as full as eating a plate of cheese and crackers but contain negligible calories due to their water content.

Step 6
Avoid the notion that all vegetarian food is healthy. Foods such as doughnuts, sugary cereals, white bread, pasta, full-fat cheeses and sour cream are considered vegetarian, but they are high in saturated fat and should be eaten sparingly, if at all.

Step 7
Stop eating in restaurants. Even meals that are touted as being vegetarian options in restaurants usually contain butter, salt and oil. Cook food at home so you can be sure it is healthy.

Warnings

Consult your doctor before starting any restrictive diet.

Tips

A vegetarian diet includes dairy and eggs, while a vegan diet does not.