first off, congratulations. it's great to see that healthy eating has impacted your life so drastically. 3nodding
secondly, i'm not sure if i would recommend going vegetarian just for weight loss. I think going vegetarian, pescatarian, or vegan would be great in combination with a healthful exercise routine. it'd be great for people who already exercise a lot and need to change their eating habits to aid in weight loss. It's also a good first step for people trying to lose some initial weight before they start an exercise regime. But I don't think it's good advice for the sole sake of dropping pounds. Being closer to a healthy weight is great, but numbers can't solely dictate how healthy a person is.
Healthy lifestyle change should really include exercise and good eating in combination. A balance of the two is what will lead to longer, healthier life.
It's so hard to cut out all processed foods, especially complex carbs like bread and cereals. Does milk and stuff like that count as processed? I mean, it IS processed, but it's not changed from it's original state? What about vitamins?
There is an episode or two of Good Eats that goes over the pasteurization process (it's pretty much boiled at a super high temperature and then rapidly cooled).
Yes, this is considered processed. But if you don't have any problems with milk (lactose intolerance), you should be fine, either way. Compared to bread and cereals, it's far less so.
Just be sure to mind your calories. It's very easy to go over your BMR with milk. I know a few people who stagnate because of it. They drop the milk and blame milk for causing them to stay fat, when it's just not the case (as they're placing themselves in a caloric surplus).
Since you cut out processed foods, did you basically eat mostly eat raw fruits/vegetables?
I cut out most processed foods, but I recently found out that multli grain bread, granola bars, yogurt, and cottage cheese are processed foods, so it makes it difficult.
Also for going vegan, I would really like to do that, and really it is only me holding myself back. I managed to cut off all red-meats,since they are very unhealthy. I got to where I was eating just chicken and turkey, but I was buying deli-meat, which is filled with sodium from a broth it was soaked in.
So what all have you been eating? How much did you limit yourself?
I really want to do what you're doing, it seems helpful and also healthy.