Obviously, it’s still possible to lose weight on any diet – just eat fewer calories than you burn, right? The problem with this simplistic advice is that it ignores the elephant in the room: Hunger. Most people don’t like to “just eat less”, i.e. being hungry forever. That’s dieting for masochists. Sooner or later, a normal person will give up and eat, hence the prevalence of “yo-yo dieting”.
Low levels of vitamin B12 — You can only get vitamin B12 in substantial amounts by consuming meat, fish, eggs and dairy. Cutting out all of these foods can sometimes be problematic and contribute to vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms like fatigue, weakness and others. For this reason it’s recommended that all vegetarians and vegans who abstain from eating most or all animal foods take vitamin B12 supplements.
Many people choose to reduce the amount of meat, fish and other animal foods in their diets in order to lower their carbon footprints. Plant foods are “lower on the food chain” and require less natural resources, such as water and others, to produce. According to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, manufacturing animal foods requires a higher proportion of water, land, fossil fuels and energy than most plant foods do. (7)
The Adventist Health Studies is ongoing research that documents the life expectancy in Seventh-day Adventists. This is the only study among others with similar methodology which had favourable indication for vegetarianism. The researchers found that a combination of different lifestyle choices could influence life expectancy by as much as 10 years. Among the lifestyle choices investigated, a vegetarian diet was estimated to confer an extra 1–1/2 to 2 years of life. The researchers concluded that "the life expectancies of California Adventist men and women are higher than those of any other well-described natural population" at 78.5 years for men and 82.3 years for women. The life expectancy of California Adventists surviving to age 30 was 83.3 years for men and 85.7 years for women.[116]
^ Jump up to: a b c Forrest, Jamie (December 18, 2007). "Is Cheese Vegetarian?". Serious Cheese. Serious Eats. Archived from the original on March 18, 2018. Retrieved March 18, 2018. Some vegetarians are OK eating cheeses made with animal rennet, but many will seek out ones made with vegetarian rennet, especially since the latter are quite prevalent nowadays.
Packaged and processed foods, such as cakes, cookies, candies, chocolate, yogurt, and marshmallows, often contain unfamiliar animal ingredients, so may be a special concern for vegetarians due to the likelihood of such additions.[3][5] Often, prior to purchase or consumption, vegetarians will scrutinize products for animal-derived ingredients.[5] Vegetarians' feelings vary with regard to these ingredients. For example, while some vegetarians may be unaware of animal-derived rennet's role in the production of cheese, and may therefore unknowingly consume the product,[3][6][7] other vegetarians may not take issue with its consumption.[3][4]
According to research published by the Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health at Loma Linda University, people who follow a vegetarian diet or vegan diet — meaning they avoid all meat and possibly dairy, fish and eggs too — represent between 2 percent to 5 percent of the total adult population in the United States. (1) Several analyses that have compared vegetarian diets to non-vegetarian diets have found that those eating predominately plant-based diets have increased protection against health problems, including cardiovascular diseases, cardiometabolic risk factors, some cancers, type 2 diabetes, obesity and total mortality.
Although zinc is found in many vegetarian foods, it is not as well absorbed as meat-based zinc. Eating plenty of zinc-rich foods can help you maximize the amount your body absorbs. Good sources include milk, cheese, whole-grain breads, nuts, soy foods, and legumes, such as chickpeas. Hummus on a whole-grain pita is one tasty snack that does the trick.
Keep in mind that the initial weight lost on a fast is primarily fluid or "water weight," not fat. And when you go back to eating, any lost weight usually gets a return ticket back. Not only do most people regain weight lost on a fast, they tend to add a few extra pounds because a slower metabolism makes it easier to gain weight. Worse, the weight that is regained is likely to be all fat -- lost muscle has to be added back at the gym.
At least one study indicates that vegetarian women are more likely to have female babies. A study of 6,000 pregnant women in 1998 "found that while the national average in Britain is 106 boys born to every 100 girls, for vegetarian mothers the ratio was just 85 boys to 100 girls".[223] Catherine Collins of the British Dietetic Association has dismissed this as a "statistical fluke" given that it is actually the male's genetic contribution which determines the sex of a baby.[223]

My diet is personally about 70 percent plants and 30 percent animal-derived foods. I usually consume about 70 percent raw plant-based foods, and 30 percent of my diet is organic grass-fed beef, organic pastured dairy, wild-caught fish (wild-caught salmon is my favorite), and free-range organic poultry and eggs. I’ve tried a number of diets, including vegetarian, vegan and pescatarian, and have found I really feel the best following this ratio. I call this ratio the healing foods diet and have also found this to have the best results with my patients, as well. Here’s the new, updated healing foods shopping list so you can have an extensive food guide to follow. If it’s on the list, it’s good to go.
Make sure that everything you're eating is whole — as in nothing processed or packaged. Since salt is a preservative, these are the foods that are highest in sodium — something to keep in mind when planning your meals. Plan on making sure that all items you choose are fresh. That means filling up on fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein.
Your body needs a certain amount of essential vitamins and minerals to function properly. What happens when you don’t get enough of them? What happens when you eat too little food, or when the food you eat isn’t sufficiently nutritious? Perhaps our bodies catch on and reply by increasing hunger levels. After all – if we eat more, we increase the chances of consuming enough of whatever nutrient we are lacking.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for heart health. Diets that do not include fish and eggs are generally low in active forms of omega-3 fatty acids. Canola oil, soy oil, walnuts, ground flaxseed and soybeans are good sources of essential fatty acids. However, because conversion of plant-based omega-3 to the types used by humans is inefficient, you may want to consider fortified products or supplements or both.

People who eat a high amount of vegetables and fruit daily tend to have the best protection against weight gain as they age. Because plant-based foods like fresh veggies and fruit are very low in calories yet are high in terms of volume and therefore take up lots of room in your stomach, they are filling and keep you from over-eating. Plant-based (or “mostly plant-based”) diets are tied to a lowered risk for obesity, lower BMI status and reduced complications related to obesity, such as heart problems or metabolic syndrome. (6)