Vegetarians can be successful on the Lean for Life program. The protein food selections during the Weight Loss phase include tofu, veggie burgers, eggs or egg substitute (such as Egg Beaters), cheese and non-fat milk, yogurt, fish and chicken. There is also a variety of optional Lean for Life protein products that may be used during the program. (Some contain soy protein and some contain various forms of milk protein.)
If you prefer, you may use other protein foods that are “vegetarian” and are comparable in nutritional value (calories and grams of protein, carbohydrate and fat per serving) with the foods on the menu. It’s helpful to have a good ‘food counts’ book. There are many great resources that you can find at you rlocal bookstore and online. (You will use it during the Lifetime Maintenance phase of the program also.)
When choosing a substitute protein food, you’ll want to know that the Protein food portions for Weight Loss on page 37 of your ‘Lean for Life Phase One: Weight Loss’ book contain approximately 70-110 calories, 8-25g protein, 0-12g carbohydrate (most do not contain carbohydrate), and 0-5g fat. The Meat, Poultry and Seafood selections generally contain the highest amount of protein (15-25g).
Protein products (such as bars, drinks) used during the program should contain a maximum of 170 calories, maximum 16g carbohydrate, maximum 5g fat, 8-15g protein per serving size. You may need to use a partial portion of some products to fit these guidelines. (To calculate carbohydrates, please refer to the formula on page 83 in your ‘Lean for Life Phase One: Weight Loss’ book.)
The Weight Loss phase of the Lean for Life program is more restrictive than the Lifetime Maintenance phase. Once you achieve your goal weight and move on to the maintenance phase you will be able to choose from a much wider variety of foods.
Interesting Note: Vegetarianism as it relates to weight control is an interesting topic. Overweight people who become vegetarian to lose weight are often disappointed in their results. In an Australian study published in the journal Metabolism, there was no difference in average weight loss, total, or LDL (bad cholesterol) levels after 16 weeks of either predominantly red meat or soybean-based diets.