Vegan weight loss is easy, at least it is a lot easier than trying to lose weight on the Standard American Diet or SAD diet as it is commonly known.
In this short tutorial I’ll give you some tips and strategies on how to maximize vegan weight loss as well as discuss some of the reasons as to why using a vegan weight loss diet is going to help you lose all the weight that you want.
The key is to eat only the foods available on a vegan diet. So let’s quickly review what foods you CAN’T eat on the vegan weight loss plan.
As long as you are on a vegan weight loss meal plan you cannot eat any flesh, fish, fowl, dairy or eggs. That’s a pretty simple list to keep it easy right?
Now lots of folks will say that restrictive diets only cause temporary weight loss and they’ll point out that a vegan diet is a restrictive diet. Bollocks. Even though technically speaking the vegan diet is a restrictive diet its restrictions lie outside of dieting.
That is to say, folks embark on a vegan diet for reasons other than losing weight. Usually, the vegan dietary choices are made for the benefits that eating this way offer to your health as well as to the planet.
So even though you might be restricting your choices of foods (albeit only marginally), you are making a lifestyle change that you can live with. You aren’t on some crazy cabbage soup diet where you just can’t wait to get off and binge on stir fries and breads and pastas etc. The vegan diet for losing weight is not restrictive like that.
A lot of vegans also choose to eat this way out of care, compassion and consideration for the animals.
So what follows are some vegan weight loss tips and then we’ll look at a quick vegan weight loss menu as an example.
Fast vegan weight loss tips
1. Don’t drink your calories – The only exception to this is if you are drinking a glass or 2 of soya milk or other plant milk for the added calcium it provides and you can afford the calories. Otherwise, while you are losing weight on the vegan diet no wine, beers, juices or pops.
2. Make the SS work for you – Join the secret society of soups and salads. These are not only nutritious foods but they are very low in calories too. A bowl of vegetable lentil soup for example will only have around 150 calories. And a 4 cup serving of salad with tomatoes and onions and a maximum of 2 tablespoons of dressing will come in under 250. Make one of your meals each day a soup and/or salad.
3. Whole foods for fast weight loss – You can eat anything you want, but not everything you want. To really speed up your vegan weight loss efforts stick to whole unprocessed foods. Stir fries with brown rice. Whole grain pasta with marinara sauce. Oatmeal for breakfast, whole grain sandwiches and of course be at all times a card carrying member of the secret society of soups and salads!
4. Don’t eliminate the naughty – I’ve managed to lose over 25 pounds on my vegan weight loss program and I really started getting traction when I didn’t censor treat foods. While losing weight I would still indulge each day in a small soy ice cream bar sandwich (130 calories) or 2 cookies (150) or even a small bowl of chips (200 calories). If you become too strict you will capitulate eventually to bountiful binge of bad foods and that will get you into trouble.
5. Put movement on the menu – Listen, weight loss can happen without exercise but it is important to exercise for other health reasons and it can aid your weight loss efforts. Just start out with the simple things that you can add into your life. Park further away and walk to the store. Never take an elevator to the first 3 floors. In fact climb 2 or 3 flights of stairs a few times during the day just for fun. Get down and give me 20 pushups before bed, or 10, 5. Do 5 or 25 squats when you’re bored. There are lots of ways to put movement on the menu.
6. Use the miracle of water – Water is really a powerful ally in your weight loss goals. If you think you’re hungry but you’re not sure, do me a favour and drink an 8 ounce glass of water. Weight just 10 minutes and see if you’re still hungry. If you are go ahead and eat, the water will help you feel fuller sooner. If you aren’t still hungry, bonus, you’ve just saved some calories.
7. Use mathemagics – What you measure or in this case count can be changed. Until you’re well on your way to the weight you want to be, count every single calorie. If you can’t count it because you have no idea how much it is, don’t eat it. This was hugely eye opening for me. We eat way too much food in way too big portions and you’ll start to get a feel for it when you only have around 500 calories per meal with about 100 to 150 calories for 2 snacks. Trust me, this is the key right here to the magical kingdom of weight loss nirvana.
Sample vegan diet weight loss meal plan
This vegan weight loss meal plan is based on 2,000 calories. For most men this will allow for steady weight loss. For most women you might need to subtract 200 to 400 calories and aim for 1,600 to 1,800 calories per day as a start.
|Breakfast||1 cup Kashi Go Lean Crisp
1/2 cup of soy milk
|Lunch||4 cup mixed salad greens with 1/4 sweet onion and 1 medium tomato
2 cups Amy’s Organic Lentil Vegetable soup
|Dinner||1 cup brown rice
2 cups of broccoli
1 cup tofu
1 tablespoon oil
|Snacks||1 slice cinnamon raisin toast with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 cup chocolate soy milk
Something easy you could do if you were a woman looking to tweak this menu is just to have half a cup of brown rice and half a cup of tofu in your dinner’s stir fry. That would save you around 280 calories bringing the total calories for the above menu down to 1,645.
The key here is to play around with foods and what you like to eat. You can eat any vegan foods that you like but if they are treats you can’t eat everything you like. In other words you’ll need to put them into your daily calorie budget (DCB). And if there is space, go for it. Looking at the above menu though, I’m pretty sure that most of us would not be that hungry on so much food for a day.