Is there a Vegan Diet for Weight loss? Can the vegan diet be used for weight loss? The vegan diet is one of the most complicated and difficult to follow diets out there.
Being vegan is more of a way of life driven by the desire to protect animals and advocate for their safety. Many people often confuse a vegan diet with a vegetarian diet. While both diets involve eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, these two diets cannot be used interchangeably. While a vegetarian diet will allow consuming some animal products such as milk, eggs and honey, a vegan diet does not allow the consumption of any animal products.
Related: The Paleo Diet for Weight Loss
Vegan diet for weight loss
When it comes to weight loss, the vegan diet is very thorough and effective at keeping weight at bay if done correctly. However, do not be deceived that just because you are on a vegan diet that you can eat anything you want as long as it is vegan. The bottom-line of weight loss lies in the number of calories you consume so as much you are eating vegan, you need to consider the amount of your calorie intake. Here is a simple but effective guide to get you started.
What to eat
As the name suggests, vegetables are the core of a vegan diet. You will need to eat lots of vegetables because they are low in calories and provide fibre to make you feel full. It would be very productive if you eat weight loss-friendly vegetables like spinach, broccoli, cucumber, celery, carrots, cauliflower, beets, chillies and asparagus. These vegetables are low in calories and are packed with essential nutrients needed to boost your metabolism.
Fruits, like vegetables, are high in essential nutrients that aid in weight loss. Besides that, they are also high in fibre and make you feel fuller for longer hence suppressing your appetite for a while. Additionally, consuming plenty of fruits will prevent cravings since your body is getting all the nutrients it needs.
If you are wondering where you will get your protein on a vegan diet, legumes have you covered. Beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils and soybeans are all good sources of protein.
Not all tubers are good for weight loss. Most starchy tubers like Irish potatoes and yams will only add to your weight gain. Choose healthy and weight loss friendly tubers like sweet potatoes, beetroots and turnips.
Whole grains are good sources of fibre and micronutrients. Think brown rice, barley, oats, popcorn and buckwheat just to name a few.
You are going to have to choose your snacks wisely when you are on a vegan diet for weight loss. Snacks may seem insignificant because they are not part of your main meals but they can contribute greatly to your weight loss efforts. Fruits, nuts and seeds make for good snacks. However, if you have to go all the way, then you have to choose vegan-friendly snacks.
What to avoid
By all means, avoid starchy vegetables and fruits if you want your weight loss to be effective. Starch is a carbohydrate that will spike insulin levels in your body, leading to weight gain.
Processed foods contain a lot of added sugars and artificial sweeteners which are not good for weight loss or even your general health, to begin with. Try to stay as organic as possible.
While most saturated fats are derived from animal fats, saturated fats present in some processed foods and fast food can be counterproductive to your weight loss. Avoid saturated fats such as margarine and vegetable fat.
This simple guide will help you get started on a vegan diet. It is okay to start small and let your body get used to this new diet. Eventually, your body will thank you. Watch out for our next article for tips on how to stay on your toes while on a vegan diet.