I’ve been writing quite a bit on here lately about vegan weight loss. My most recent posting on the subject was about creating a vegan diet weight loss plan. And one of my very first that you might like to review was a free vegan weight loss diet that I wrote.
Why so much written about losing weight on a vegan diet? Well primarily because I know that there are a lot of fat vegans out there. In fact, I recently lost 20 pounds myself and because of this I want to let other vegans reach there goal weight in a sensible and healthy way.
Veganism as a lifestyle does not include a magic diet aspect that lets you eat everything you want and keep lithe.
A vegan diet is definitely helpful for your health, but you can eat way too much fat, too much salt, too many refined carbohydrates and just too many calories and get fat. Fat vegans in my opinion have a harder sell convincing folks that veganism is the best diet.
We all care about animals but we also care about how we look. Sadly, we are a vain society in many ways, and folks want to look their best, and this will often be at the expense of animals if they fell it will make them slim. Look at Atkins et al.
Listen, it’s good to be slim and want to be healthy. Being fat increases your chance of several cancers, heart disease and diabetes amongst other things. So let’s get healthy and slim on a vegan diet for weight loss.
I’m going to use Veronica (Ve) the vegan vixen and Viv’s cousin (from the previous weight loss for vegans post) as an example of how this works.
First of all Ve needs to determine how many calories she needs to eat right now to maintain her current weight. Ve is a petite American woman at a height of 5’2″, and like most (66%) of America she is overweight. She weighs 150 pounds which puts her BMI at 27.4.
The number of calories Ve needs to eat to maintain her weight of 150 is 2,045 calories per day. Ve doesn’t exercise so I put her activity level as “sedentary”.
To lose 1 pound of weight per week – which is a great goal – Ve needs to cut 500 calories from her daily calorie intake.
I’m using Ve as a sedentary example to show you that a lifestyle tweak of cutting calories is all you need to lose weight. Exercise is not necessary to lose weight but it is recommended for general health.
Okay, so Ve needs to eat at around 1,500 calories per day in order to lose 1 pound per week. Cutting 500 calories per day equals a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories in a week which is how many calories there are in a pound of fat.
Now I’m all about making losing weight as a vegan to be something that is easy and helpful, not painful and full of deprivation. As such, below you will see 2 diets. The left one is a vegan junk food diet and the right one is a healthy vegan diet. You can lose weight on both. The point is not to encourage you to eat every day like the junk food diet, but to let you see that you can incorporate some “treats” into your diet and still lose weight.
|Vegan Junk Food Diet||Vegan Health Food Diet|
|Breakfast:9 Dunkin’ Donuts Hashbrowns (200 calories)
Starbucks Grande Vanilla Soy Latte (250 calories)
|Breakfast:0.66 cup of dry oatmeal with hot water, 1 tsp sugar and 0.25 cup of blueberries (275 calories)
1 cup of light vanilla or light chocolate Silk soy milk (90 calories)
|Lunch:Subway 6″ Veggie Delight on Whole Grain with lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, pickles, olives, red onions, cucumbers, yellow mustard and olive oil blend (290 calories)
Bag of Baked Lays (130 calories)
Diet Coke (0 calories)
|Lunch:Homemade whole wheat sandwich: 2 slices of bread, 1 tbsp vegenaise, 2 vegan deli slices, 3 slices of tomato and one romaine leaf (400 calories)
Glass of water (0 calories)
|Dinner:Taco Bell Fresco Bean Burrito (350 calories)
Taco Bell Cinnamon Twists (170 calories)
|Dinner:3 cups of mixed salad greens, one small tomato, 0.25 cup of onions, 1 Gardein Vegan chicken breast and 2 tbsps light balsamic vinaigrette (350 calories)
1 cup of prepared lentil soup (130 calories)
|Snacks:4 pieces of Twizzlers 45 grams (160 Calories)||Snacks:1 banana (100 calories)
1 orange or apple (80 calories)
|Total Calories: 1,550||Total Calories: 1,425|
The takeaway from this exercise is that you can still eat fast food or junk food as a vegan and lose weight. Call it the vegan junk food diet for fast weight loss.
Something else to keep in mind, and this is likely the biggest tip I can offer you is not to drink any calories. Except for the soy milk at breakfast for the healthy vegan weight loss diet plant or the latte on the junk food vegan diet, Ve didn’t drink any calories. This is a key component. I believe that liquid calories are not as satiating as food calories, so DON’T drink your calories.
Lastly. If you are serious about losing weight as a vegan or vegetarian, please start learning to count calories. This is key. It worked very well for me and I know it’ll work for you. One of the problems for us vegans who need to lose weight is that we’ve become accustomed to portion sizes that are just not realistic. Counting calories will help you to learn more reasonable portion control.
Lastly, lastly ;). Some petite women like Ve might find that 1,500 calories seems like too much food for them. If that is the case, adjust downward to around 1,200 calories and see how you do. It can be safe in the short term to go as low as 1,000 calories for a petite woman but please don’t go any lower. And if you are going lower than 1,200 it is recommended that you consult your doctor first. I want you to lose weight, but to do it healthfully and intelligently.
Men should start at this calorie base of around 1,500 to 1,600 calories and can likely go as high as 1,800 calories depending on your size and how much weight you’ve got to lose.
Please try and eat 5 to 6 days out of each week in the style of the vegan healthy diet plan and limit your fast food to 1 day a week, or 2 days a week if that. Key above all else is to limit your calories. And while you’re dieting especially if you enjoy junk food now and then, please take a good vegan multivitamin. Go for it. You can do it!