And Easy Steps to Follow to Ensure That Your Vegan Diet is Helping You Lose Weight
Are you looking to lose weight, but no diet seems to work for you? Well, have you considered becoming a vegetarian, or more specifically, a vegan? Wait! Before you turn your nose up at the idea, hear us out. While it is true that the ‘vegan’ label comes with many negative connotations, there is much more to this diet than you think.
As you may or may not already know, vegetarianism takes many forms and is differentiated by the dietary restrictions a person places on themselves. A vegan diet is one in which a person stops eating meat products or products derived partly from animals, including dairy products or eggs.
Some also give up products such as honey, beeswax, and products tested on animals. Therefore, the vegan diet is a plant-based diet consisting solely of fruit, vegetables, nuts, and grains.
This diet is usually referred to as a philosophy in which products produced through the exploitation of animals are excluded as far as possible in favor of using animal-free alternatives.
While it is common for people to switch to this diet for ethical and moral reasons, veganism also has many nutritional benefits – including the ability to assist in weight loss. You must be wondering what makes veganism any better than, say, a keto diet. This is precisely what we hope to explore in this article.
Has your curiosity gotten the better of you yet? Great! Then please, stay tuned as we look into how to use the vegan diet to lose weight and our discussion on how to follow a vegan diet to lose weight more effectively.
Does a vegan diet work for weight loss?
A balanced vegetarian or vegan diet is rich in fruits and vegetables while avoiding meat, dairy, and eggs. While plenty of studies show that vegans tend to weigh less than people who eat animal products, some experts say that following a strict diet could lead to nutrient deficiencies.
While a balanced vegetarian diet can offer many health benefits, it can be challenging to follow because it doesn’t always align with what most people consider “normal.” For example, some people don’t eat enough protein, consume too much fat, and others miss essential minerals like calcium and iron.
In addition to being nutritionally sound, eating a plant-based diet is often easier to stick to than a full-on vegan diet. People who eat a primarily plant-based diet typically avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and highly-processed meats. They also ensure to eat lots of whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
How Does a Vegan Diet Help Accelerate Weight Loss?
Overview: Significant Health Benefits
First and foremost, vegan diets have significant overall health benefits. The typical ‘American Diet’ consists of many foods high in trans fats and saturated fats, as well as unhealthy amounts of salt and processed meats.
This diet puts people at high risk of health complications and reduced life expectancy. However, the Journal of Geriatric Cardiology published an article that concluded that following a plant-based diet would have the opposite effect! A plant-based diet, which is much lower in these unhealthy fats and without these processed meats, has significant health benefits.
Proven to Boost Metabolism!
Apart from these health benefits, a plant-based diet also has significant nutritional benefits. According to a trial where patients were fed a plant-based diet for 16 weeks, people showed much better beta cell functionality and sensitivity to insulin than those not on a plant-based diet.
Further still, it was confirmed that those who were conforming to veganism showed improved body mass indexes and overall less fat around their stomach areas.
Through this, the researchers concluded that this diet could boost metabolism, better help people manage their weight, and assist in weight loss when followed correctly.
Sustainable Weight-Loss Through Carb Consumption!
Veganism can help you lose weight much healthier and more sustainably than other diets. On average, there is about a 4.5-pound difference in weight loss between people on a vegan diet and those following another not a plant-based diet.
It is scientifically proven that following a strict, plant-based diet is the only diet that will help you maintain long-term weight loss while improving your health. But how and why is this so?
Plant-based diets may have this substantial weight loss benefit due to the foods consumed as part of this diet. Vegans eat more whole foods and generally consume more carbohydrate-based foods instead of higher fat foods.
This helps vegans lose weight because consuming fewer calories is the key to weight loss, and where 1 gram of fatty foods counts about nine calories, 1 gram of carbohydrate foods counts only four calories.
Eating less, Burning More, Staying full!
While following a vegan diet that is balanced and full of good veggies and fruit, you will likely be burning more calories than you are consuming. This is because vegan foods are often much lower in calories and will contain a lot of good vitamins and minerals to keep your body happy and healthy while keeping you full. It is essential to pay attention to the quality of the foods you are eating for this diet to be beneficial.
This may sound difficult for someone who has never dieted before or does not know much about nutrition. Do not fret! We have got you covered! In this next section, we will discuss HOW you can CORRECTLY follow a vegan diet to lose weight.
Easy Steps to Follow to Ensure That Your Vegan Diet is Helping Your Weight Loss:
Eat Less Oily Food
What does it mean to pay attention to the quality of the foods you are eating? To give you an idea, one study showed that vegans who put aside meat and consumed very few oily foods could lose significant weight (about 2 pounds a week) without exercising! What’s more, these vegans could maintain this weight loss when re-evaluated two years later! What you should take away from this paragraph, if anything, is that the participants in this study avoided oily foods! That means that these vegans could not simply replace this meat with any food and expect to see results. Following a vegan diet to lose weight needs to be done correctly!
Do Not Eat Processed Foods & Refined Sugars as An Alternative to Meat
Yes, removing the meat, cheese, and eggs from your diet will mean eliminating a significant amount of fats – but many vegan foods can be fatty and unhealthy too. For example, French fries and Oreos are vegan – but these foods are not recommended to form part of anyone’s daily diet.
It would be best if you tried as far as possible to avoid eating processed foods and refined sugars, as this will impede weight loss. These foods also increase appetite and often leave you craving even more unhealthy foods.
Instead, it would help if you filled beans, vegetables, and fruits. You should also try to eat plenty of fiber (aim for about 40 grams daily) as this will keep you fuller for longer. This ‘full feeling’ will mean you do not have to eat any extra calories and will be one of the essential tools in almost effortless weight loss.
Meal Prep and Portion Control
Another tool that will help you lose weight is to plan your meals. One of the most challenging parts of starting a new diet is consistency and learning to stick with it! You can easily attach to your plant-based diet by pre-planning and pre-making meals.
This may seem overwhelming if it is your first time trying out a vegan diet, so consider looking up some recipes online or purchasing a vegan cookbook for fun, healthy vegan meal ideas. This will help with portion control and help you avoid overeating as you pre-portion your meals.
As they say, too much of a good thing is not good!
Drink Plenty of Water!
Eating well is good, but drinking plenty of water is even better! Ideally, you should be trying to drink at least 8 cups of water every day. This will help you avoid unnecessary calories (for example, by drinking fruit juice which may seem healthy, but which is extremely high in sugar!), and will keep your body, mind, and digestive system functioning at peak performance.
Water consumption is essential to weight loss as it helps you burn more calories, helps with metabolism, and suppresses appetite, which helps avoid overeating. When paired with a good, plant-based diet, this will ensure that you reach all of your weight-loss goals.
Why may you not lose weight on a vegan diet?
There are many misconceptions about being a vegan. Many people assume that eating vegan automatically makes one healthier. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While there are health benefits associated with a plant-based diet, it does not make someone automatically healthy.
A lot of that boils down to processed vegan foods. Processed vegan food is often loaded with sugar, salt, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and lots of fat. These items are usually cheap and easy to find, appealing to those looking to cut costs and lose weight. However, while these products may seem convenient, they don’t necessarily offer the best nutritional value.
Veganism isn’t inherently healthy; it depends on what you put into your body. If you choose vegan, you must exercise caution and watch out for hidden sources of added sugars and sodium. You also want to avoid getting too much protein, which can lead to kidney stones. To keep yourself healthy, you must pay attention to what you consume.
Is losing weight as a vegan easier?
A lot of people think that being vegan makes it easier to lose weight. But does it work? There are many reasons why it might make losing weight harder.
It is possible to lose weight as a vegetarian. You’ll want to watch out for just a few things. First, make sure that you’re meeting your daily calorie needs. Second, try to avoid highly processed foods.
Third, make sure that you’re getting enough protein. Fourth, choose nutrient-rich foods over calorie-dense ones. Finally, remember that moderation is vital. Overeating fruit, for example, can lead to weight gain.
What to do if you do not lose weight on a vegan diet?
Vegan diets are often touted as being healthier than regular diets because they don’t contain animal products like meat, dairy, and eggs. However, many people struggle to stick to a vegan lifestyle. While eating plant-based food every day might seem easy enough, several factors could prevent you from losing weight while following a vegan diet.
First, make sure that you’re getting plenty of protein. Protein helps build muscle mass, which burns more calories than body fat. One study found that men who ate less than 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of lean body mass gained more belly fat over three months than those who consumed around 1 gram of protein per kilogram.
Second, make sure you’re drinking enough water. Water keeps you hydrated and prevents you from feeling hungry. One study published in the journal Obesity showed that participants who drank 2.5 liters of water each day lost twice as much weight as those who drank just 1 liter daily.
Finally, avoid sugary drinks. Sugary beverages are loaded with empty calories that do little to help you reach your weight loss goals. Instead, drink lots of water and cut down on sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda, fruit juice, sports drinks, sweet tea, and energy drinks.
Who should not be opting vegan diet?
The vegan diet has gained popularity over recent years, especially among those looking to lose weight. But, while many see it as a healthy way to eat, certain things about the diet make it less appealing for some people.
For starters, the vegan diet eliminates all food items containing animal products. This includes dairy, eggs, fish, meat, poultry, honey, cheese, butter, milk, yogurt, gelatin, and even leather. While this sounds great, it makes it very hard to maintain.
And, just like any other diet that restricts certain foods, it may be challenging to adhere to. Studies have found that vegans had lower levels of calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, fiber, folate, choline, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein compared to omnivores. Therefore, anyone with a known nutritional deficiency should not go the vegan diet route to lose weight.
If you have a history of eating disorders or experience one now, you might want to avoid following a strict vegan diet. Eating disorders often involve restricting food intake, bingeing, purging, and/or excessive exercise. These behaviors are common symptoms of bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder.
Using a vegan diet for weight loss safely
A plant-based diet isn’t just about cutting out meat and dairy products; it’s about making smart nutrition choices. Here are a few tips to help you navigate a vegan diet without sacrificing essential vitamins and minerals.
First things first: Your diet needs protein. You’ll get plenty of protein if you eat a lot of soybeans, legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh, and seitan. But if you don’t eat those foods regularly, you might want to supplement with protein powder, hemp milk, or even eggs. You can also add beans to soups or salads for extra protein.
Next up: Vitamin D. This vitamin helps our bodies absorb calcium, which is vital for strong bones and teeth. Some vegans miss out on this nutrient because they avoid eating fish, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids—and thus, vitamin D. To ensure you’re getting enough vitamin D, try taking supplements, drinking fortified beverages, or adding mushrooms to your meals.
Vitamin B12 is another crucial ingredient for vegans. Many people find themselves deficient in this nutrient simply because they don’t eat many foods containing it, such as dairy products, eggs, and poultry. Vegans often rely on nutritional yeast, fortified cereals, and yeast extract to get their daily dose of B12.
Iodine is vital for thyroid function, and most vegans lack adequate amounts of this mineral. Iodized salt is one way to remedy this problem, but there are other ways to boost your intake. One option is kelp, which contains high levels of iodine. Another is seaweed snacks, which contain iodine naturally.
Iron is necessary for red blood cells, and it’s usually found in animal proteins like beef, chicken, pork, and seafood. However, vegans can still get their fill of iron by consuming lentils, spinach, chickpeas, blackstrap molasses, dried fruits, and dark chocolate.
Zinc is crucial for good health, especially during pregnancy. And while it’s hard to get too much of this mineral from food alone, you can increase your intake by eating whole grains, pumpkin seeds, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, sesame seeds, and oysters.
If you follow these guidelines, you won’t go hungry or fall short of essential nutrients. You might end up feeling healthier than ever before.
To Sum It Up…
You can efficiently utilize a vegan diet to lose weight if you are doing it right! Although many people frown at becoming a vegan, choosing this diet is one of the best decisions you can make for your weight loss journey.
As we have discussed, veganism is scientifically one of the best diets for sustainable, long-term weight loss. This is because the vegan diet, which consists of much more fiber and good carbohydrates in the form of vegetables, fruits, and protein such as beans, helps you keep fuller for longer, boosts your metabolism, and burns more calories.
Of course, you must follow this diet correctly to see these benefits. We noticed that avoiding processed foods, oily foods, and foods high in refined sugars, drinking plenty of water, and meal prepping are some ways to see the best weight loss results on a vegan diet.