When we focus on weight loss as a Western society, there are a myriad of programs, diets, and pills. Sometimes they include the counting of calories or even cheat days. In recent years, more research is surfacing about the benefits a vegan diet has on weight loss. It’s no surprise that veganism has proven to be effective in fighting various cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic ailments. It’s also a tactful remedy for scaling back obesity and increasing weight loss. Scholarly evidence regards veganism to go more mainstream, specifically as a tactic to lose weight.
According to statistics, over 39% of people in the US are adding more vegan foods to the dishes they eat. The popularity of the diet and lifestyle is becoming more widespread, particularly amongst millennials and generation X. Many proponents of veganism regard the lifestyle as the best thing they have ever done for their physical and overall health. Going vegan changed their life in more ways than one.
A whole-foods vegan has a diet comprised of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, and oil. While skeptics may claim a vegan lifestyle to be limiting, there are millions who swear by the lifestyle. Often, vegans will tout that their only regret is not going vegan sooner. Veggie lovers don’t consider the 10,000 plus edible plants that exist to be as limiting as omnivores might consider.
How Does Veganism Contribute to Weight Loss?
When someone goes vegan, they replace high-saturated, high-fat foods with foods high in fiber and lower in calories. Fruits and veggies are often very high in water, which is what makes them low-calorie. When you start to change your diet to healthier real foods, you begin to heal yourself from the inside out. So basically when you cut dead animals from your plate, your body starts shedding stubborn pounds. Your body starts its transformation towards optimal performance, and people see rapid weight loss. Then, they keep it off!
Some tips to Lose Weight on a Vegan Diet:
There’s a method to losing weight on a vegan diet in a healthy way. All you have to do is put your focus into consuming nutrient-dense foods versus empty calories. Take your time to learn about how to eat a balanced vegan diet. You will come out the other end with lots of ideas for healthy recipes, and you will have your “why.” You will learn which plant foods keep you satiated longest, and how the power of plants will give you more energy than before.
-timing your meals (try to avoid grazing): by eating your meals around the same time each day, you are boosting your metabolism and engraining healthy eating habits into your mind. It also may be helpful to have your biggest meal of the day be breakfast
-We know it’s hard, but try to avoid binging on plant-based desserts. Just because something is vegan does not make it healthy. This definitely applies to cake and ice-cream. If you already struggle with a sweet tooth, try opting for naturally-sweetened vegan foods like dates, dark chocolate, or fruit. I love to make my own freshly-baked cookies because I can monitor how much sugar I add to them and I can be sure to use high-quality ingredients and make healthy versions of different yummy things
Cut oil and added sugar- the picture says it all
-load at least half your plate with nonstarchy veggies. Eg: kale, cabbage, spinach, lettuce, etc. There is a compound in leafy greens called thylakoids that can actually help fight your cravings for unhealthy food
-exercise! Veganism is not a magic pill that will force the fat to melt from your body like vegan butter. Of course, diet is an essential aspect of weight loss, but so is movement. To ignore such a critical part of what could be a life-changing journey towards a healthier you, it would be foolish to depend on only one aspect of change and not others
Eating vegan is not only associated with weight loss, but with a decreased risk for diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancers as well. Choose now to take back control of your life and your weight. Do it by trying vegan! You never know, it may just change your life.
Feeling hungry? Check out this review before visiting Beyond Sushi in NYC and their all-vegan menu.
Some Scholarly Articles That Go Into Detail of Veganism, Obesity, and Weight Loss
- Medical Hypotheses: Vegan proteins promote weight loss because they are high in fiber and low in saturated fat.
- Medical Hypotheses: Increased FGF21(fibroblast growth factor 21) in vegans might contribute to a healthy weight,
- Medical Hypotheses: Animal protein paired with starch increases insulin release and weight gain: this is very prevalent in Western society.
- International Journal of Obesity: BMI Comparison in controlled experiment among omnivores, pescatarians, vegetarians, and vegans. Results showed that vegans had the lowest BMI (body mass index)
- International Journal of Obesity: By investigating changes in weight gain over a five year period, vegans experienced the least amount of weight gain.
- Journal of Geriatric Cardiology: Plant-based diet is successful at preventing overweight-ness and obesity and for promoting weight loss.
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: plant-based diets are associated with lower BMI’s and should be encouraged for optimal health