Vegan and Plant based diets are often hailed to be efficient for weight loss. In fact, research has indicated that vegans tend to have a lower BMI than meat-eaters. And at least one study found that people who ate a vegan diet lost significantly more weight than those who followed a low-fat diet that incorporated animal products.
Generally, vegans tend to weigh less and consume fewer calories and less fat than meat eaters because the foundation of the vegan diet is whole grains, vegetables, fruits and plant-based proteins, which are almost always lower in calories than dairy and meat products.
The Vegan Weight Loss Paradox
Turning vegan doesn’t automatically make you lose weight. There is only one proven method for weight loss, which is to consistently eat fewer calories than you burn. You may be more likely to do that while following a vegan diet, because the foods you eat will tend to be lower in calories, but if you eat large portions or eat a lot of calorie-dense foods, there is still a chance that you’ll maintain or even gain weight.
Although Vegans may avoid high-calorie foods such as cheeseburgers, ice cream, buttery pastries, and egg, they can still stuff themselves with loads of pasta, bread, french fries, dairy-free chocolate, and nuts, and end up gaining weight.
Meals and snacks for vegans should include a balanced variety of fruits and veggies, vegan sources of protein like beans and soy products, and whole grains like brown rice and quinoa. When avoiding meat or dairy products, it’s important to pay special attention to your daily amount of protein, iron, and B12 to ensure your body is getting what it needs nutritionally. Also, you can eat salad for every meal, but if it’s smothered in Goddess dressing, an entire diced avocado, sliced almonds, croutons and Daiya cheese, you won’t be any closer to losing those pounds.
The Role Exercise Plays In A Vegan Diet
Coupled with your balanced vegan diet, you’ll see faster results by including 30 minutes of daily exercise, limiting your alcohol intake to one drink or fewer a day, and most importantly, remember that just because a food is vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy or low in calories. Hundreds of companies make vegan versions of just about everything from pepperoni pizza to cupcakes to cheesecake, so just like their non-vegan counterparts, indulge in them wisely.
Things You Need To Be Aware Of
Vegans can still eat dairy-free cakes, cookies, candy, oils, butter and dairy substitutes, which can all be quite calorie-dense. Thus, it’s important to keep track of your daily calories with the aid of an online calorie counter and add physical activity to your routine. Vegan diets tend to be low in some nutrients, especially protein, vitamin D, calcium and vitamin B12, so consult your doctor or a registered dietitian to ask about using dietary supplements before adopting a vegan eating plan.
Do The Plant Based Diet Right
Eat a diet rich in real foods- vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. Make sure to include some small amount of whole-food sources of fats, like nuts, avocados, and seeds. Not only will such a diet provide an abundance of fiber to keep you full, but these foods are rich in nutrients to fuel your body. This fuel is needed to energize you during vigorous physical activity, which you should participate in regularly, and is essential to any weight-loss program- not to mention maintaining overall health and well-being. Opting for a vegan diet not only benefits your waistline, it is a compassionate choice that benefits the animals and the planet.