Following a vegan diet doesn’t immediately end in weight loss. There are a few more adjustments to consider if your expectations include weight loss on the plant based diet. Today, I would like to share 5 surefire tips on how to use the plant based diet for weight loss.
Can you lose weight on a plant based diet?
“In a recent study, restricting dietary fat led to body fat loss at a rate 68 percent higher than cutting the same number of carbohydrate calories when adults with obesity ate strictly controlled diets.” (source)
This means if you follow a low carb diet, you will still lose weight, but a lot of the weight loss takes place as water weight loss, or muscle mass loss. This might be an option if you only want to lose weight quickly, but if you are really serious about long term fat loss, go with the vegan diet and enjoy the (complex) carbs!
Studies also found that the vegan diet group is the only one that averages a normal BMI compared to other diet groups (study).
A plant based diet naturally promotes healthy weight. But weight loss is only one of many plant-based diet benefits. It has the power to improve overall health. Personally (besides weight loss), it has cleared my acne, migraines, and acid reflux while also improving my immune system and energy levels.
Surefire tips to lose weight on the plant based diet
When it comes to weight loss on the vegan diet, there are a few things to consider. You can make a few more tweaks to your plant based diet to lose weight quickly.
Tip #1 Stick to a whole food plant based diet
Tip #2 Don’t follow fad diets
A big weight loss mistake is cutting out too many calories, or cutting out whole food groups. Low carb and low calorie diets do not provide all the nutrients you need and will ultimately leave you hungry, cranky, and low on energy. Your body needs a certain amount of calories to get all the nutrients to function properly. I don’t recommend eating much less than 1700 calories per day. Anything below this may lack important nutrients.
Tip #3 Make these easy food swaps for weight loss
Swap white pasta and white rice with whole wheat pasta and brown rice. The whole foods will better regulate blood sugar and will give you energy for longer. You’ll have lasting energy and feel full for hours. Feeling full and satisfied will curb cravings and help you avoid reaching for junk foods.
Curb sweet cravings with sweet whole foods like fresh or dried fruits. To sweeten drinks you can use stevia. I like to use this stevia with erythritol. Both are safe, zero calorie sweeteners. Stevia is natural and erythritol is a safe sugar alcohol. These are great to make homemade sweet tea. Saving calories on sweet drinks can drastically help with weight loss. If you want a sweet snack, here are a few quick snack options:
- Snack #1: Spread peanut butter on a whole wheat tortilla. Then roll a banana into it and cut in bite-sized pieces.
- Snack #2: Melt vegan chocolate (typically 75%+ cocoa) in the microwave for one minute (or until melted) then cover your favorite fruits and let harden in fridge.
- Snack #3: Make an oat bowl with cinnamon, apples, flax seed, and maple syrup.
- Snack #4: Make this super sweet Black Forest Cake Smoothie.
- Snack #5: Make super easy carrot cake balls with carrots and nuts. I use the recipe within this meal planning app and cover in melted chocolate (like snack #2) instead of coconut flakes.
These options are naturally sweet but also contain a lot of fiber. So you’ll pack in important nutrients while satisfying your sweet tooth.These fiber-rick snacks are very filling so you are less likely to over eat.
Tip #4 Balance your meals and fill your belly
The moment you are hungry is the moment you are mentally weak and give in to cravings, right? There is no point in starving yourself. It is not healthy, not effective, and it does not create lasting habits.
So be sure to prepare filling meals and eat until you are full. Balancing meals will help you get all your nutrients in while reducing calories. A balanced plate contains lots of vegetables, a plant based protein source, a healthy whole grain, and a small amount of healthy fat.
Tips #5 Check Your Calories
My struggle with weight loss is that I LOVE FOOD 🙂
What actually made me change my habits was not a weight loss motivation. The vegan diet has helped me with weight loss and some health issues like migraines, acid reflux, and more. But after 2 years I still struggled with hormonal acne, infertility, and I just couldn’t shed the last few pounds. So I tested how it would affect my body when I go completely whole food plant based. No more processed wheat products, no added oils, no sugar, no alcohol.
Within a few days my hormonal acne cleared. AND my weight dropped naturally as a side effect. So my recommendation is to not focus on only weight loss and get too concerned with it but to learn and understand how to eat healthy first. Focus on making small changes toward a whole food plant based diet and the weight will shed naturally.
In the image above you can see how I lost weight by simply eating vegan (with processed foods every once in a while). But once I focused on whole food plant based completely (red arrow) my weight started to drop pretty fast. And I was not hungry or felt like I am dieting. I also did not work out during this time. I ate a lot of food and delicious food! During this time my acne cleared as well. t’s amazing what a whole food plant based diet can do for you.