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​How to Lose Weight on a Vegan Diet

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How to Lose Weight on a Vegan Diet

With nearly 160 million Americans qualifying as either obese or overweight, it is no surprise that many are desperately looking to make lifestyle changes that may help them shed the excess weight. Although veganism is without a doubt a lifestyle and not a quick-fix diet, individuals who adhere to a vegan diet for about 18 weeks lose, on average, 4 pounds more than those on an animal-based diet according to the Journal of General Internal Medicine. What many vegans don’t realize, unfortunately, is that you will not automatically become thin from following a plant-based diet. In fact, unless you employ a lot of common sense and adhere to the basic principles of a vegan lifestyle, you can find yourself picking up weight instead of losing it.

Common mistakes vegans make

One of the most common mistakes vegans make when it comes to following a balanced diet is to overindulge in refined carbs such as white bread, pasta, rice, and fruit juice. While carbohydrates are an essential part of any healthy diet it is important to eat them in moderation unless you want to start piling on the pounds. If you want to lose weight while eating vegan, opt for whole grain bread, pasta & rice and stick to beverages with a low sugar and carb content.

Steer clear of vegan junk food

Contrary to what may be popular belief, vegan junk food does exist and it can wreak havoc with your diet. Candy corn, potato chips, vegan cakes, and biscuits may be free of animal products but that does not mean they are good for you. Check the labels of the foods you buy, steering clear of anything that is exceptionally high in added sugars, sodium, and preservatives. Even eating copious amounts of nuts as your primary source of protein could hinder your weight-loss efforts as nuts, despite being considered a healthy food source, is high in fat and has to be consumed in moderation.

Practice healthy vegan eating habits

Being overweight or obese can impact various aspects of your life including your life including your health and your ability to move around. If you want to lose weight on a vegan diet, you need to adhere to the same basic healthy vegan eating principles. Aim to eat a lot of greens such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and Brussel Sprouts that are ideal for weight loss due to the fact that they are so nutrient-dense. Most green vegetables are also high in fiber while being low in calories, making them the perfect addition to any meal. Make sure you eat enough protein to fill you up but not so much that it leaves you will sluggish. It’s always a good idea to start your day with a healthy dose of protein such as oats or a protein powder shake that will see you through to lunchtime without you suffering from severe food cravings.

Limit your processed food intake and prep your meals

While soy is not inherently fattening, consuming too much of any processed food item can see you gain weight. Instead of eating soy products three times a day, opt for a variety of interesting food items like vegan nut cheese, lentil burgers, and black bean tacos. Apart from limiting your processed food intake, you can also benefit greatly from meal planning. By planning your meals in advance you will afford yourself the greatest possible chance of eating healthy food conducive of weight loss at every meal time. Draw up a menu for yourself if you battle to plan in your head, ensuring that you don’t overindulge in or deprive your body of any nutrients.

If followed correctly, a vegan lifestyle can definitely help you lose weight. It is, however, important to remember that ‘skinny’ does not necessarily equate to ‘healthy’ which is why it is so important to seek out professional medical advice before embarking on any weight loss journey.

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