Many people give veg*sm a try in order to lose weight. Many people give up veg*sm when they fail to lose weight or they find that they are gaining weight on a veg*n diet.
Unless someone lives like the stereotype of the vegetarian who eats only vegetables weight control can come up as an issue while on a veg*n diet.
Portion controll is often cited as a contributer to the obesity epidemic in North America as well as the epidemic of overweight individuals.
After years of being super sized North Americans have simply lost touch with what healthy portion sizes are.
This problem is made worse by switching to a diet of new foods where one has no sense of reference as to what a reasonable portion is.
90% of portion control and weight control is just knowing how much is too much.
The US RDA is based on an average person who needs 2000 calories a day.
Most people, especially women, smaller people, and sedentary people probably need a lot less.
An extra 250 calories a day will cause a weight gain of 1/2 pound a week, 2 pounds a month or 24 pounds in a year.
A big mac is between 500 - 600 calories.
1 bagel is about 300 calories
1 slice of bread is about 80 calories
1 cup of cooked whole grain is about 250 calories
1 cup of cooked legumes is about 250 calories
Same for about 1/4 - 1/3 block of tofu
2oz of dried pasta is about 200 calories, cooked, that amount of pasta is just enough to cover the surface area of the back of your hand.
1 tablespoon of nut butter is about 100 calories
1 tablespoon of oil is about 100 calories
Most beverages are about 100 - 200 calories per cup. If you are drinking anything other then water you are taking in a significant amount of calories that aren't filling you up like solid food would.
If you are new to a vegetarian diet or are trying to lose weight it might be worth your while to write down what you eat for two weeks and calculate the calories.
Studies have shown that most people underestimate the amount of food they take in. Keeping a log for two weeks can give you an idea of how many calories you are eating. It will also give you an idea of what the best portion size for you is of the foods you regularly eat.
All calories are equal in terms of the weight they will put on you, but not all calorie sources are equal in terms of how well they keep you filled up on fewer calories.
A can of soda and 2 - 3 apples are about equal in terms of calories. A can of soda will leave most people with "room for more" whereas eating 2-3 apples will make most people not want to eat.
They key is to choose foods that keep you feeling full longer on fewer calories.
While keeping a calorie log for two weeks it is useful to notice how well roughly equal amounts of calories from different foods keep you from being hungry.
In this respect beans, whole grains, vegetables, and little dabs of MEASURED fat ( nut butters, avocados, nuts ) will help you fill up on fewer calories.
Sweets, refined carbs, flour products, and even whole grain flour products will put more calories into you with less satisfaction.
This USDA site will tell you, quickly, what the nutrtion info is for just about any food:http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/