Can being vegan help you lose weight?
Have you tried every diet under the sun and nothing has worked or given you long lasting results?
Eating vegan isn’t necessarily about weight loss, but it is an awesome side benefit. Vegans tend to be slimmer, stay slimmer, and suffer from far fewer diseases and issues as those who are overweight.
Have you tried too many diet plans in the past to even list? A vegan diet is different than all of these plans because being vegan is more of a lifestyle than a diet.
Becoming vegan is a lifestyle change. You are going to be eliminating many foods that were sabotaging your weight loss and replacing them with foods that are going to naturally cause you to lose weight.
On a vegan diet, you are going to be eating a ton of nutrient dense foods. Your body is going to feel so much healthier and lighter that you will feel more motivated to get up and move rather than being stuck with that sluggish feeling you get after consuming large portions of animal products.
In order to lose weight on a vegan diet, you are going to need to follow a plant based vegan diet plan. This means that the majority of your calories are going to come from whole plant foods. You will load up on leafy salads, a rainbow of highly nutritious veggies, incorporate more beans into your every day, eat healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, and avocados, and you are going to be eating whole grains.
What you are going to avoid are vegan junk foods. Yes, even junk food comes in vegan forms. Just because it is vegan doesn’t mean it is healthy. Most vegan junk foods are loaded with a ton of sugar, salt, and highly processed ingredients. These should be eaten as sparingly as possible.
If you need a sweet treat, have a piece of fruit. You will find that once you commit to a healthy, plant based vegan lifestyle, your taste buds will change and the sugar laden foods will become unappetizing and overly sweet.
There are a lot of meat alternatives on the market these days as well. You can go to almost any grocery store and find a whole freezer door full of them. I am from a relatively small town and my grocery store has three doors dedicated to meat alternatives. I find some great things in there like vegan burritos made with beans and rice for a quick meal at work. However, I find a lot of overly processed foods as well. There are faux chicken tenders that I would never even touch since the main ingredients are highly processed soy products.
Be careful what you are buying to substitute meat with. A good rule is to buy with the least amount of ingredients as possible. Like brown rice pasta. My brand of choice only has one ingredient: you got it, brown rice.
Eat as close to the earth as possible. Your plate should be predominately veggies with a small helping of grains and a helping of legumes, fats, nuts, or seeds.
Your biggest secret weapon to losing weight on a vegan diet is fiber. Fiber helps you stay full for longer. Fiber isn’t easily digested by the body so it is slower to break down which will keep your blood sugar levels even and you will avoid those sugar crash cravings.
Here are the bullet steps to losing weight by switching to a vegan diet:
1. Don’t just replace your current junk food with vegan junk food.
2. Use vegan substitutes sparingly. It’s okay to get a frozen vegan meal or veggie burger every once and a while, but it shouldn’t be your dinner staple.
3. Make sure you are eating at least half of your meals as veggies. Vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
4. Include beans in your meals. Beans are high in fiber and protein, both of which will keep you full and satisfied for longer periods of time.
5. Plan your meals ahead of time to avoid grabbing the first thing that is convenient.
6. Don’t go carb crazy. New vegans find it easiest to substitute meat and dairy with pasta and bread. You can still have pasta and bread, but don’t overdo it. If you are trying to lose weight, keep them to 1-2 servings a day.
7. Incorporate whole grains into your meals. Whole grains are better for you than highly processed grains. They break down slower which keeps your blood sugar from spiking and keep you from needing to grab another meal to fill you up so quickly.
8. Make sure you are getting enough protein. Protein reduces hunger and keeps you going for longer periods without needing to stop for a snack. It can also boost your metabolism.
9. You still need to be eating healthy fats. Fats get you that satiated feeling and are important for your overall health. Try nuts and avocados for healthy fats.
10. Stay away from excess sugar. All the added sugar in our diets is a big part of why we can’t lose weight and keep putting on weight. All that excess sugar tricks the body into picking up fat from the bloodstream and we don’t use the fat that is already available. Sugar free alternatives should be avoided too. These trick the body into thinking sugar is available but not delivering on the calories. This leads to the desire to eat more to replace those missing calories.
11. Drink plenty of water. Water will keep you hydrated and you won’t confuse dehydration with hunger.
12. Make being vegan a lifestyle and the weight will come off more effortlessly. You will be able to stick with a weight loss plan better if you think long term and not just go for the quick fix. Those that change their way of thinking about food have the most success.
A healthy vegan lifestyle can be a great way to lose weight and be healthy at the same time. If you want to lose that last 10 or 20 pounds or you have a longer way to go, switching to a vegan lifestyle will help you stick with your plan and it isn’t super complicated.
Follow the steps above and you will be living the healthy lifestyle you have been dreaming of.