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Does a vegan diet boost weight loss?

Over the past few years, there has been a huge rise in the number of people going vegan for their diet needs and health. Having said that, though, this has led to a misconception that veganism means guaranteed weight loss with lots of people thinking that switching to a vegan diet is a simple and easy way to lose weight.

In actual fact, if you’re not careful and watch what you eat, like any other diet, there are plenty of ways to gain weight as a vegan too.

If you’re wanting to lose weight on a vegan diet, you’ll need to ensure that you’re eating the right foods and that they’re actually healthy.

A vegan diet for weight loss: what you need to know

Vegans don’t eat any products from an animal, this means no dairy products, eggs, fish or meat. Alternately, they eat meat alternatives, non-dairy products, fruit, vegetables, beans and legumes.

Many people opt to be vegan due to ethical concerns whether it be related to animals or the environment. But, some people choose to be vegan as some studies have shown that being vegan may help with weight loss. This is because you could end up reducing the number of high calorie foods you consume and replacing it with a high-fiber alternative. Not only are they lower in calories, but they will keep you feeling full for longer too. There needs to be more research into this for us to know for sure.

Also Read: 6 easy habits to help you lose weight

Remember, when making the switch to a plant based diet, cutting out some of the main food groups in your diet could lead to deficits if you ignore your nutrition.

The best vegan foods that are packed with nutrients

  • Legumes and beans
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Whole grains
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables

In the same way that we should avoid junk and processed foods, the following should also be kept to a minimum:

  • Sugars
  • Sodium
  • Starches
  • Fats
  • Food additives

Our tips for losing weight on a plant based diet

Typically, we need around 2,000 calories a day to maintain our weight. But, in order to lose weight, this needs to be reduced to around 1,500 calories. However, heading straight for the vegan snacks is not quite the route you want to take.

Instead, opt for 1,500 calories a day of nutrient-dense foods, including fruit, veggies and whole grains.

Get ready to plan

Snacking your way through the day whether you’re working or lazing about watching TV, isn’t helping you in reaching your weight loss goals. Instead of this, try to have your meals at the same time each day to get your mind and stomach will then get into a routine.

Also Read: What is a calorie deficit and how does it help weight loss?

If you’re one for exercising, try and eat your meal within 45 minutes of finishing your workout as this will replenish and repair your muscles. Also, try and avoid eating within 2 hours of going to bed as this has been linked to weight gain and disturbed sleep.

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Pay attention to portion sizes

Whether you choose to be vegan or not, portion control is vital. The US Department of Agriculture’s ‘My Plate’ suggests that women eat the following servings of these foods each and every day:

  • Meat and bean – 5 ounces
  • Grains – 6 servings
  • Vegetables – 3+ servings
  • Fruits – 2 servings
  • Fats/oils – 5-6 servings
  • Dairy/dairy alternatives – 2-3 servings

Type of food:

Fats

Size of serving:

2 tbsp nut butter

1 ounce nuts

½ medium avocado

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp oil

Type of food:

Meat and beans

Size of serving:

⅓ cup nuts

2 tbsp peanut butter

2 ½ ounce soy burger

½ cup of Tofu

½ cup cooked beans

Type of food:

Fruit

Size of serving:

¾ cup no added sugar fruit juice

1 medium piece whole fruit (pear, apple, banana)

½ cup of cooked or canned fruit

Type of food:

Vegetables

Size of serving:

½ raw or cooked veg

¾ vegetable juice

1 cup leafy greens

Type of food:

Grains

Size of serving:

½ cup cooked cereal rice or pasta

1 cup cereal

1 slice of bread

Type of food:

Dairy

Size of serving:

1 cup of plant milk

Get plenty of protein

Lots of people worry that when going vegan whether or not they have enough protein in their diet. The current recommendation for protein intake is around 5 ½ ounces a day, or approximately 0.41g of protein per pound of body weight. There are approximately 4 calories for every gram of protein, meaning that women should get around 244 calories from protein every day.

Here are some great protein sources on a plant based diet:

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

Avoid ‘healthy’ drinks

How often would you eat a banana, half a mango, half a pineapple, two apples, four grapes and a pear in one sitting? I think it’s safe to say, not very often…

While smoothies and juices may feel like you’re doing the right thing, they are often packed with hidden sugars that can be damaging your weight loss goals! Your best bet is to stick to water and save these drinks for the occasional treat.

Enjoy desserts… Sometimes

Just because you’re following a vegan diet, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some treats once in a while! It’s just knowing not to go overboard of course…

Also Read: Weight Loss Comparison to Objects

When it comes to vegan desserts, they are often packed with unnatural, processed sugars in order to taste similar to your usual dairy treats. This is totally fine for the occasional treat, but don’t get caught up in these desserts every day!

Skip the vegan ‘alternatives’

When you’re newly vegan, it can be easy to eat every ‘vegan alternative’ and meat substitute in sight, especially if you’re missing the taste of meat. The trouble is, both vegans and meat-eaters are met with plenty of junk and processed options.

Although you may feel like you’re eating healthier by opting for a vegan alternative, these fake meats can be heavily processed to get them that way! Which could be damaging your weight loss. Instead of processed vegan mince for example, opt for natural foods instead, such as lentils.

Get planning your meals

If you’re trying to lose weight, meal prep is an absolute God send! Not only does it help you to keep to healthy eating, but it also helps curb the urge to snack – since you know your lunch is there ready and waiting!

Choose some meals for the week; opting for recipes with similar ingredients will help you cut down waste. Then spend a few hours prepping a week’s worth of meals all at once and store them in the fridge.

Ready to smash your weightloss goals?

Going vegan could open up your weightloss for the better! But there is another way to smash your weightloss goals: PhenGold. Our 100% natural formula enhances your body’s ability to burn fat, reducing your cravings while boosting your metabolism.

Whether you go plant based or continue eating meat, you’ve got this, ladies!

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Written by PhenGold

Written by PhenGold

We research and write articles about health, fitness and dieting. Each of our articles includes sources from scientific studies where possible.

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