DISCLAIMER: I am not a vegetarian.
My good friend is a fat vegetarian... I'm not being mean, that's the truth.
And she needs to hear it, because she refuses to work on losing her weight. Her solution is to buy into fad diets and magic pills that never ever work. Magic pills and "diets" don't work because they are not sustainable solutions. If you loose the weight, you gain it right back because you haven't changed your eating habits.
Her biggest problem is that she eats a ton of cheese. Guess what? Cheese is evil. Yes I said it. And I love cheese (I just don't eat it). Her reason for eating so much cheese? A lack of variety in her veggie diet.
So if you're a fat veghead because you eat tons of cheese, here are some tips to diversify your diet without resorting to that delicious, delicious fatty cheese... *drool* oh the memories (whatever, being thin tastes better than cheese).
1. Find Vegetarian Restaurants - You may find yourself calling a restaurant ahead of time to determine just what is in their vegetarian meal. This can be a good idea to insure your meal is cheese free and delicious. The best method to find these restaurants would be to search on Google Maps (maps.google.com). Just change the zip code in the Search box at the top to your own.
2. Join a Vegetarian Support Group Online - This could include a Facebook group, vegetarian forum (message board), church group, or social group. Or you and your friends can start your own vegetarian support group. The purpose is to get talking and exchange help, support, tips, recipes, and stay strong in the vegetarian lifestyle.
3. Stock up on Vegetarian Recipes - Do not get yourself into a situation with limited choices and repetitive meals. There are plenty of great vegan and vegetarian recipes available online for every meal of the day. Talk to your vegetarian support group and exchange recipes. Visit a bookstore and browse some of the vegetarian recipe books. Do not be afraid to experiment on your own.
5. Beans & Lentils - Beans and lentils provide a much needed source of protein, fiber, iron, and other nutrients. Beans and lentils can easily be combined into many different types of foods. There are a wide range of ethnic foods that can use beans and lentils as a tasty and filling combination. Women in particular need to consume more beans and lentils to avoid a risk of anemia. They are also a great alternative source for iron and come in a million exciting varieties.
6. B12 - B12 is necessary for the natural health of your body. It is normally found in animal products and a vegetarian diet on its own does not provide enough B12. Most multivitamins contain B12. What does this have to do with staying away from cheese? Put some in your body and find out.
7. Calcium - Calcium is important for strong teeth and bones. But there are many other alternatives than dairy products for obtaining calcium. Make sure to eat plenty of dark leafy greens. You can get large boosts from drinking orange juice fortified with calcium as well.
8. Vitamin D - Vitamin D is necessary for strong bones. Make sure to spend time in the sun and take vitamin D supplements. Doing this will keep you healthy sans the cheese.
9. Omega 3 - Omega-3 fatty acids help you to regulate your cholesterol, and can be found in many cheeses. Vegheads need to keep Omegas in their system while cutting the cheese (no puns, but still funny). You can be found in flax seeds, walnuts, fish, almonds, and cloves instead.
10. Drink Lots of Water - Drinking plenty of water is highly recommended for everyone. It is particularly important for vegetarians to get your body running at peak performance and not wasting energy or nutrients. It can help your body adjust to a vegetarian diet that lacks the filling feeling of cheese. Most times when you feel hungry, you're actually thirsty. The body doesn't know the difference!