Healthy Vegan Weight Loss – How to Lose Weight and Eat Healthy Without Animal Products
It’s natural for people to lose weight when they first start eating a vegan diet, but that weight loss doesn’t always last. And if you’re switching to a vegan diet specifically to lose weight, there are some challenges you’ll need to overcome. Here’s what you need to know about losing weight and maintaining weight loss on a vegan diet.
Follow the Vegetarian Food Pyramid — with Modifications
Print out the Vegetarian Food Pyramid to learn about the components of a healthy vegan diet. Eliminate the dairy/eggs level and make sure that you’re getting an adequate amount of vitamin B12 through either fortified whole grains or a vitamin supplement. Finally, you’ll notice that there’s a range of servings for each food group. Keep your intake on the low side of those ranges to keep your calorie intake low.
Reduce Your Intake of Processed Foods
As the vegan diet has become more popular, lots of manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon to provide tasty meat and dairy substitutes and processed foods for vegans. They taste good and may make your life easier, but they’re often high in fat and sodium. You know what that will do to your weight loss efforts. Instead, create your own meals from whole foods.
Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Sugar is a no-no, and not just processed, white sugar. It provides lots of empty calories, and too much sugar can lead to too much yeast, and too much yeast leads to all kinds of problems. Especially, a yeast overgrowth can make it nearly impossible to lose weight. While you’re at it…
Cut Out Fruit Juice
Fruit is good for you, but fruit juice without the fiber just provides you with the sugars in fruit without all the healthy fiber. On a sidenote, whole fruit juices — that is, juiced fruits and smoothies with all the fiber — are acceptable, but skip the supermarket versions, which often contain lots of additional ingredients your body doesn’t need and may not like very much.
Drink Lots of Water
You’re eating a lot of fiber, and your body needs lots of water to help move it through your system. Drink at least 6-12 8-ounce glasses a day. You can get by on the lower end of the range if you eat lots of watery fruits and vegetables.
Eat Foods Rich in Calcium
Your body needs calcium to power your weight loss. Leafy greens are among the best sources of calcium in a vegan diet, so bulk up your menus with lots of kale, broccoli, greens (mustard, turnip, collard and others) and bok choy.
Add Nuts and Seeds to Your Diet
Your body needs some fat to properly digest foods. In a vegan diet, your sources of healthy fat are somewhat limited. Nuts and seeds are among the best. Sprinkle raw grated coconut on your salads or add a tablespoon of chopped walnuts to your casserole for best results. Remember, though, if your goal is weight loss, you want to keep the portions low. Shoot for about a 1/4 cup total daily.
Healthy eating is always important, but all the more important when you’re trying to lose weight. Follow these suggestions and you’ll see your weight loss accelerate and the pounds drop off.