Does a vegan diet help weight loss?

Does a vegan diet help weight loss?

In the last few years veganism has become extremely popular, whether it be for diet, health or purely by choice. However, this has led to some sort of misconception that a vegan diet guarantees weight loss, meaning many people believe they can simply switch to a vegan diet to shed the pounds. Sadly, this is just not the case and in fact, if you don’t watch what you eat, a vegan diet can cause you to gain weight too. Ladies, if you want to eat a vegan diet and lose weight, you’ll need to ensure that you’re eating healthy foods most of the time and making the right decisions.

What you need to know about following vegan diet

losing weight vegan Vegans don’t eat animals or any products derived from animals meaning no dairy, eggs, meat or fish. Alternatively their diet is fuelled with fruit, vegetables, legumes, beans, plant milks, meat alternatives and dairy free products. Lots of people opt for a vegan lifestyle due to ethical concerns whether it be surrounding animals or the environment. Some recent research has shown that becoming vegan may help you to lose weight. This is due to the fact that you may end up reducing the amount of high calorie foods you eat and replacing them with high fiber ones. Don’t take this as the full truth though, there is still more research to be done to know for certain. Take note that if you switch to a vegan diet, you’ll be cutting out some of the main food groups that if ignored and not replaced, could lead to a deficiency. For instance, there is a concern that people don’t get enough vitamin B12 or iron into their diet. To avoid any deficiencies, vegans supplement their diets with soy products, vitamins and fortified cereals. Also, some people may find that they have issues with yo-yo dieting once they’ve gone vegan. This is when your weight fluctuates and you experience weight loss and gain cycles.
Also Read: Sneaky ways food can make you gain weight
Nonetheless, you 100% can eat a healthy vegan diet and lose weight. As is the case with all diets, it just requires some attention on nutrient filled foods as opposed to those devilish empty calories.

Nutrient-dense vegan foods include:

  • Seeds and nuts
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes and beans
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
Like any other diet or lifestyle, try and control or avoid heavily processed foods that contain the below added ingredients:
  • Sodium
  • Starches
  • Sugars
  • Fats
  • Food additives

Losing weight on a vegan diet: top tips

Ordinarily, we need to consume 2000 calories per day to maintain our weight. However, in order to shed the pounds, this would need to decrease to about 1500 calories. That being said, eating 1500 calories in Oreos (which I might add, are vegan) is definitely not the same as eating 1500 calories of your healthy whole grains, vegetables and fruit.

Get enough protein into your diet

When going vegan, many people worry about not getting enough protein into their meals. It is currently recommended that we consume 5.5 ounces or approx 0.41g of protein per pound of body weight. There is approximately 4 calories in each gram of protein, meaning that us women should be getting about 244 calories from protein each day.

Sources of plant based protein:

  • Peanut butter
  • Quinoa
  • Lentils
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Seitan
  • Soybeans
  • Beans: kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans etc
  • Textured vegetable protein (TVP)

Get yourself into a routine

Eating your way through the day whilst you’re working or just lying about watching TV is not going to do any good for your weight loss. Perhaps try and eat your meals around the same time every day, this will then get your stomach and mind into a routine. If you’re one for working out, try and eat your meal within 45 minutes of finishing your workout as this will repair and feed your muscles.
Also Read: Yerba Mate Tea for Weight Loss
Try to also avoid eating within two hours of bedtime as consuming calories before bed is associated with disturbed sleep and weight gain.

Give the ‘healthy’ drinks a miss

How often would you say that you eat half a pineapple, half a mango, a banana, a pear and 7 grapes? I’m guessing probably not all that often, am I right? Drinks like juices, smoothies and even kombucha can be quite a number of calories. A freshly squeezed orange juice contains roughly 279 calories per 20 ounces, but an acai smoothie could see you drinking 460 calories. When they’re containing this many calories, these drinks need to be considered as a meal or a snack, not just a drink. It’s probably best to stick to water and then save these drinks as something to have every so often. Water is hydrating and is completely free of calories. If you’re not one for drinking just plain water, try adding some lemon or lime to give it some taste. Perhaps also give sparkling water or herbal teas a try if you’re looking for something else.

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Watch your portions

Whether you’re vegan or not, how much you eat matters. The United States Department of Agriculture’s ‘My Plate’ suggests that us ladies consume the following servings of foods each day:
  • Meat and beans - 5 ounces
  • Dairy or dairy alternative 2-3 servings
  • Grains - 6 servings
  • Vegetables - 3 or more servings
  • Fruits - 2 servings
  • Fats/oils - 5-6 servings
Food group Serving size
  • ¾ of vegetable juice
  • 1 cup of leafy greens
  • ½ cup of raw or cooked veg
  • ¾ cup of no added sugar fruit juice
  • ½ cup of fresh, canned or cooked fruit
  • 1 medium piece of whole fruit (apple, banana, pear)
  • 1 cup of cereal
  • 1 slice of bread
  • ½ cup cooked rice, pasta or cereal
Meat and Beans
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 ½ ounce soy burger
  • ⅓ cup nuts
  • ½ cup tofu
  • ½ cooked dry beans
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ½ medium avocado
  • 1 ounce nuts
  • 2 tbsp of nut butter
  • 1 cup plant milk alternative

Limit processed vegan alternatives

As there is a vegan alternative for nearly everything now, there is so much choice when following a vegan diet. However, try and avoid these as much as possible as they’re processed foods and won’t help you in achieving those weight loss goals.

Prep prep prep

meal prep vegan Vegan or not, most of us know what we should and shouldn’t be eating in order to lose weight. However, when we’re not in the mood or when we’re tired it can be really difficult to maintain. This is where meal prepping can save you and help you stay on track. Take a look at some recipes and choose ones that have similar ingredients to cut down on waste. Then spend a few hours in your kitchen getting all the meals cooked and portioned into tubs and into the fridge.
Also Read: How much weight can you lose in a month?
This means that when you are tired and can’t be bothered, your meal is already there waiting for you and there is no need to order take out.

You can have dessert, in moderation

Now, did you know that the average American consumes a massive 22.2 teaspoons of sugar every day? That works out about 335 empty calories serving no nutritional value. Sugar messes with our metabolism and can lead to health issues such as high blood sugar, elevated blood triglycerides and inflammation. If you’re wanting a healthy vegan dessert option to stay on track and achieve your weight loss goals, stick to eating some fruit. Or have yourself a dessert but maybe only have half now and save some for another day.

Ready to make the switch?

There are many benefits to switching to a plant based diet, as we’ve covered above - including weight loss. Whether you’re ready to go vegan or you’re still a little unsure, there is another way to support your weight loss goals: Zotrim. Zotrim is 100% natural and clinically proven to suppress your appetite, curb your cravings and help you resist the urge to snack. You’ve got this!
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