Vegetarian nutrition and weight loss: What vegetarian diet is the best to lose fat?

How I lost 1 lbs of belly fat per week and kept it off with a vegetarian weight loss plan

When I started going to the gym, I quickly discovered that nutrition can speed up or sabotage my bodybuilding effort. Time and time again, on the same exercise program, I gained weight if I strayed away from my plan, and made impressive progress if I did not.

The "Eat More Protein, Lose More Fat" dilemma

The problem with bodybuiling diets is that all of them recommend eating protein with every meal, five or six times a day. At least thirty percent of calories you burn are expected to come from protein in your food.


I understand the theory that body should be constantly fueled so that it doesn't go into starvation mode and doesn't start to store fat. I understand that eating more protein is good for my metabolism. But most diets recommend to eat more lean turkey, chicken breast, and fish as sources of lean protein. And I just don't want to do that. So I did some research and came up with my own vegetarian meal plan. How can someone on a plant-based diet get 30% of calories from protein without eating more meat or fish?

I turned to the Internet, but did not find any vegetarian weight loss plan suitable for women who work out and lift weights several times a week in order to lose fat 

Some of them did not support muscle building, others were based on severe calorie deficit. Some looked promising, but were too hard to follow. There was too much cooking and the result was not all that palatable. 

I have also found that I was not alone. On the bodybuilding forums, women complained that they just did not want to eat more meat even though they were not vegetarians.

Building my own Vegetarian Fat Loss Meal Plan

So I started experimenting with cooking plants that are high in protein. I combined my meals in easy to follow meal plans because I had no time to cook and no personal chef to cook for me. Meals were not random. I built them to follow the guidelines of the most successful fat loss program of all I have tried, "Burn the fat, feed the muscle" (aka BFFM) by Tom Venuto.

Tom is a natural bodybuilder and a famous fat loss coach who helped thousands of people to lose weight. I shared recipes on his forums and got positive feedback and a lot of requests to share my vegetarian weight loss plans.

Can vegetarians lose weight on Tom Venuto's diet?

Tom Venuto's diet gives grades to foods, from A (excellent for fat loss) to D (very poor). This diet has adjustments to different stages of fat loss - what you adjust is target amount of protein. It includes lean meat, fish, and chicken. So can vegetarian lose weight on Tom Venuto's diet?
Yes they can! I tested it more than once on myself and several eager volunteers. The issue is that meat is not replaced by beans or tofu 1:1, so your meals have to change. You cannot just substiture one for another. However, as my research into vegetarian sports nutrition has demonstrated, vegetarians get away with eating less protein and getting the same results if they are on whole foods diet. The reason is that whole foods diet contains a lot of fiber. So nutritional vegetarian meals help to lose weight approximately at the same speed as standards BFFM diet meals - but, on my opinion, in an even healthier way.

When Tom launched his new exercise and nutrition weight loss program, "THE HOLY GRAIL BODY TRANSFORMATION SYSTEM: How to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time", I took this as an opportunity to try it in combination with my own vegetarian diet plans. During 21 days, I kept my weight training, cardio and nutrition as close to the guidelines of the Holy Grail body transformation system as possible. I lost another three lbs of the stubborn fat in the abdominal area. I looked and felt fantastic.

My reward was fantastic: flat stomach (yes!), 1.3 inches lost in the abdominal area, and 3 lbs of fat (not weight, fat!) gone in three weeks.
I felt great, energetic, and not hungry. Vegetarian diet plans work!

Never before was I able to achieve such a great physique.

Why not just vegetarian diet plans? Why exercise?

From my own experience, vegetarian and vegan diet plans can help to stop weight gain and, perhaps, lose 3 to 5 pounds. But just like any other diet, they alone are not sufficient for reshaping your body and losing significant amount of weight. Most women, when they reach the age of 35-40, endure the uphill battle with weight gain. As their metabolism slows down, eating less fat and sugar can help only to certain extent. Tactic that never fails is to speed up metabolism again, therefore exercise come in play.

I did try to lose weight with the diet only. I failed.

My weight kept going up during last 10 years because of my sedentary lifestyle, high stress level, and uninformed nutrition choices. When I started this website, I became very enthusiastic about idea of weight loss through nutrition. I did not like working out at the gym or running, and I did not have much time to spend on exercise. To make things worse, I always loved food! I never get tired of eating.

Two years of making low fat whole foods choices, experimenting with vegan and vegetarian diets have stopped my weight gain but they were not able to reverse it. Those stubborn 10 pounds that stood between me and my favourite dress were not going away no matter what I ate. I tried everything in order to lose those last 10 pounds, and the only approach that worked for me was a combination of weight-loss targeted exercise, right state of mind, and tailored nutrition program for weight loss. Research confirms that the right combination of diet and exercise turns your body into the fat burning machine.

“Just diet” did not work.

Vegetarian weight loss plan

And that's when I went back to the only program that has helped me in the past – BFFM. Tom’s position has always been that weight loss works the best through the synergy of diet, exercise and mindset. There seemed to be no way around. So I decided to make the most optimal plan possible just to get over this weight loss stage faster.

I enrolled into Tom's 50 day Holiday Burn the Fat Challenge in November 2009. Despite the stress of the year end, endless parties, and lonf dinners during vacation with family, I was able to drop 7.5 pounds. I simply could not believe what was happening to me! The target of the challenge was the biggest improvement of the body composition, and contest winners showed impressive changes in their physique. It was these unusual contest results that prompted Tom to dig into the scientific research on concurrent muscle gain and fat loss and create a new program that he calls: "THE HOLY GRAIL BODY TRANSFORMATION SYSTEM: How to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time"

The only problem was to find a high protein vegetarian meal plan.

Exercise nutrition is traditionally oriented towards meat eaters because weight loss through exercise requires high protein meal plans. This is a no-brainer. Meat is high in protein. 95% of people in North America eat meat. So BFFM meal plan naturally included a lot of lean meat.

What about the other 5%? What about people who are used to eating very little meat? Can vegetarian diet match protein requirements of the weight loss and exercise program? What kind of fat loss results can one get on the vegetarian or vegan diet? Are they comparable to the results meat eaters would get?

These were the questions that ran through my mind when I committed to the 21 days long exercise plan using Tom Venuto's new system. I achieved my goal of 1 lbs fat loss per week. I was not hungry, and was full of energy. Vegetarian meal plan was very effective for my fat loss.

And now I'd like to share the plan that worked for me with you - find this simple whole food vegetarian weight loss plan here.
To your success!

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