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If you are looking to lose a few pounds, you might have considered adopting a vegan diet. Vegans do not consume eggs, fish, meat, or other dairy products. Instead, they consume food like beans and legumes, fresh fruit and vegetables, plant-based milk alternatives, other meat alternatives, etc.
While some people prefer a vegan lifestyle because of ethical considerations for animals, the lifestyle itself can have some amazing health benefits. The latest studies have shown that a vegan diet can also help you shed many pounds.
How exactly is that? And how can you make the most out of the benefits of being vegan while following a vegan weight loss diet? Read the best 11 tips to follow a vegan diet and reap both the weight-loss and health benefits of being vegan:
Focus on Fibre
Constant hunger is one of the key reasons why a vegan diet for weight loss fails. When you concentrate on high-fibre foods, you feel full and satisfied for longer, as this important nutrient is relatively slow to digest. Many people have a fibre deficiency and don’t consume the recommended dose of 25 grams per day. High-fibre foods include leafy greens, legumes, fruits, lentils, beans, oats, and peas. For an effective vegan weight loss focus on foods rich in fibre.
Don’t Be Scared of Whole Grains
Some diets fully exclude grains and grain-based products, but whole grains are packed with essential nutrients that we need, like B vitamins.
There is a major difference between consuming foods containing refined grains and consuming things containing whole grains. Not all of them are made equally. Whole grains are healthy complex carbs that our bodies use for energy to digest food more slowly, giving your body the vital glucose it needs evenly. This helps to regulate the blood sugar, which in turn facilitates weight loss. Plus, our body needs the essential nutrients that whole grains offer us.
Remember the effect that eating different grains has on you. Stop consuming basic carbohydrates (like white pasta or white rice) and instead find whole grains (like whole-grain pasta or brown rice) for long-lasting energy and a drastic vegan weight loss before and after.
Limit Your Consumption of Processed Foods
Sure, crackers may contain some sort of fibre, but they possibly also contain high-calorie oils and other additives that might contribute to weight gain. It's a great thing to exist in a society where vegan choices abound, but just because they exist, it doesn't imply we should consume dairy-free ice cream or vegan grilled cheese daily. Start concentrating on the plants, and indulge in vegan treats occasionally.
Processed foods can reduce post-meal calorie burning by nearly 50% as compared to whole foods. Read more.
Cut Back on Sugar Intake
Sugar is terrible news, and the more you consume sugar, the tougher it is to shed the extra weight. If you do indulge in sugar, make sure it is organic.
Also, excessive usage of sugar can lead to the overgrowth of yeast in the body, and when that happens it gets impossible to lose weight. You have to get the yeast overgrowth under control to lose weight. And the resulting diet can be very restrictive. Also, if you take a look at your vegan weight loss meal plan 1200 calories—where can you add excessive sugars to your regular or weekly menu anyway?
Fill Your Fridge
Don't leave your food to the last moment. You don't need to write down a menu or spend several hours cooking dinner, but you can keep some healthy options, like vegan superfoods, on hand, so you don't end up ordering pizza.
Some convenient foods to keep in the fridge include quick-cooking grains, frozen vegetables, canned beans, pre-chopped vegetables and lettuce, fruit galore, oil-free hummus, and sauces. With a well-stocked fridge, there's no reason not to enjoy utterly delicious, healthy vegan recipes for weight loss.
Drink a Lot of Water
All those incredible fibre-rich foods that you should consume need water to help them do the work they are supposed to do. Two to three glasses of water a day will not help your body adjust to body changes after going vegan.
The range of your water consumption should be at least 6 to 12 glasses each day. Shoot for 6 glasses of water i.e. the lower range, if you consume plenty of water-rich fruits and vegetables, and also drink smoothies, juices & concentrates. Aim for the higher limit i.e. 12 glasses if you don't.
Train Your Taste Buds
We understand that cravings are bad. These incessant neurological signs, together with hunger, are another reason why a vegan diet plan for beginners fails. There's no magical solution to stop your cravings, but with time, you can, at minimum, adjust them to your will.
Your taste buds and intestinal microbiome can be adapted to what you offer them. With time the body starts to ask for the healthy food you give it regularly. We know this is a big leap of trust, but trust the process. Soon, your body will only crave healthy food, which is a win-win for you.
Nuts Are Your Friends
A lot of people want to know if nuts are good for someone who wants to pursue vegan weight loss. The answer to their question? Yes.
Nuts have essential healthy fats that we need and are also packed with vegan protein. Raw nuts offer essential enzymes that our body needs. Toasted nuts tend to taste a little more exciting and also make proteins more available for your body. So, it is better to eat both raw nuts and toasted nuts and enjoy the best of both worlds. Just remember to not go overboard with them—-1/4 cup of nuts per day to complement your high protein vegetarian diet for weight loss.
Try Avoiding Liquid Calories
Apart from avoiding oil, also restrict any calories that are available in liquid form if you want to lose some weight. Do not drink calories, particularly in the form of energy drinks, sodas, other sweetened drinks and alcoholic beverages. The calories in these beverages add up easily and don't fill you up either. And for effective vegan weight loss, eating whole fruit outdoes drinking fruit juice. Water is the only drink that our body really needs.
Avoid Vegan Junk Food
Only because something is plant-based, it doesn't mean it is healthy for you. Many food companies are misusing the benefits of being vegan and classifying their products as plant-based even when they are mostly highly refined, dense in calories, and have a low nutrient content. This is especially true of plant-based burgers sold by food shops everywhere. Your best choice is to stick to whole plant foods as tightly as you can.
Do Not Forget to Exercise
Make exercise a part of your daily routine. Go for the physical activities you love, as you're more likely to stick to a proper workout program.
There is no weight loss diet in the world that will succeed unless you exercise daily. If you go to the gym every week and run on a treadmill for 30 minutes, that's still better than doing nothing. But you must work a sweat to lose weight.
Warm-up for 10 to 15 minutes while you slowly raise your heart rate. Then exercise to keep your heart rate high for a minimum of 30 minutes. Typically, a mixture of, say, jogging with quick 1-minute bursts of intense running works wonderfully as you push your body to do more with each exercise. Then cool down for 10 to 15 minutes while you get the heart rate back to the normal.
At last, be patient. Make improvements to your diet slowly for the best long-term results.
Wrapping It Up
While several scientific researches have shown the efficacy of plant-based vegan diets for losing weight, not everyone is able to immediately lose weight after undertaking a whole-food, vegan weight loss diet.
If you've been consuming foods this way in hopes of meeting your weight-loss goals and haven't made as much improvement as you would like, follow the tips explained above and achieve your body goals.