Question:

I am a 32 year old male with weight = 150 lb. (approx.) and height = 5′ 5″. I am a regular to LA fitness and go 3 to 4 times per week. I do strength training for 1 hour and 30 to 45 minutes cardio (with incline). I am looking to gain muscle and lose the stubborn fat around my waist. I have been facing trouble with the diet choices I need to make. Note: I referred this post as well, which is helpful. I am a vegetarian and I eat eggs but no meat/seafood/chicken etc. I used to eat rice (white/brown) and vegetables (fried/cooked), and I am taking whey protein as well. What should my diet look like to do this? Please advise. Thanks in advance.

– Manoj

Answer:

If I am understanding you correctly, Manoj, perhaps you think you’re having trouble getting enough protein to build muscle and lose fat? Vegetarians can easily meet protein needs with adequate beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, and good vegetable & grain choices. Plus, you consume milk and egg products, which is a benefit when looking to increase protein.

Look to get at least 2 legume servings per day, 1 egg, 10 grams milk protein, 2 cups cooked vegetables + 1 cup raw, and 6+ grain servings per day. The remainder of your calories can come from fruit and unsaturated fat. To lean out, you’ll also need to limit added sugars, alcohol, and fried foods. Don’t forget to stay well hydrated!

Since you are keeping up to date with the Living Healthy blog, then you’ve probably already seen this recent post but I’ve included it for the rest of our readers.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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