You may have diverse intentions once you decide to get adapted to a plant-based diet. It can be a result of an ethical or metaphysical settlement, or you may want to try a new lifestyle. However, whatever your reason is, being vegan can bring you expected and unexpected benefits.
You can lose weight by being vegan when your diets are appropriately planned and regulated. This is one of the added advantages that an individual would get other than the satisfaction they get by fulfilling the intentions. So, let us unveil the facts and information about how a plant-based or a vegan diet would help you with weight loss, how you need to plan your food intake, and many more.
Can You Lose Weight Being Vegan?
Reaching a healthy weight or maintaining a healthy weight is what most of us need. In fact, being overweight or obese could have multiple adverse health effects on our bodies. And, it could trigger many conditions like type 2 diabetes, high levels of cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart diseases.
Nevertheless, losing weight might not have been your primary goal when you initiated going on a plant-based diet. Yet, according to a clinical study conducted by experts in 2017, it was proven that vegan diets could substantially contribute to effective weight loss. Long story short, non-vegan diets contain the most saturated fats and oils that fundamentally come from meat and dairy, leading to weight gain.
While, on the other hand, plant-based diets generally encompass vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes that can encourage you to lose weight. Accordingly, this can hold your weight off. It happens because they are filled with fiber, which helps fuel you up for longer periods without supplementing excess calories. However, a person who follows a vegan diet should have the proper knowledge on how they should replace the essential nutrients and regulate calories. If not, that could potentially lead to undesirable health issues and even unnecessary weight gain.
Facts About Plant-Based Diet And Weight
Life is all about balancing things. Accordingly, losing weight through a vegan diet is also a pragmatic approach once you are able to balance the calories and plan your meals. The food intake of each vegan is different from one another. It is merely because there is no other strict rule to follow apart from the basic ones. Thus, if you are a new vegan, it is crucial that you plan your meals to meet all your nutrients and to avoid unexpected weight gain.
Why Do You Tend To Gain Weight In A Vegan Diet?
If you are someone who just transitioned into a vegan, you may find it challenging to get adapted to the new diet initially. If your plates were filled with meat, eggs, or any other animal-based food before and you had a lot of dairy, there is a higher probability of feeling unsatisfied with your food once you switch to a plant-based diet. Therefore, most of you will tend to overcompensate calories by filling your plates with large amounts of carbohydrates and starch-loaded foods. This is one of the main reasons why you will tend to increase weight or not lose weight when going vegan.
In addition to this factor, on the contrary, if you do not get enough calories, that too can cause weight gain. You may be thinking why and let us make it clear for you. When you were a non-veg, you probably had enough things to eat. Meanwhile, a vegan diet is pretty restrictive. And you may not find anything comforting to eat at the beginning. Therefore, one might not eat enough and will not meet the relevant nutritional needs. Consequently, this could trigger any underlying hormonal imbalances in your body. For example, fluctuations or irregularities in the thyroid hormone could potentially lead to rapid weight gain. So, just like overcompensating calories, not eating enough too can be a cause for you to add extra pounds once you swap to a plant-based diet.
Tips To Plan Your Vegan Diet To Achieve An Effective Weight Loss And Meet The Necessary Nutrients
Whether you are a freshly transitioned vegan or not, diet is one of the main parts of your lifestyle as a vegan. Since staying healthy should be your ultimate goal, whatever the lifestyle you follow, it is necessary that you organize your meals accordingly. A plant-based diet is not so complex if you think so. Just follow these few simple tips to stick to, balance, and plan your regular vegan diets.
01 – Watch What You Eat.
People who consistently watch what they eat are less inclined to gain weight and maintain a healthy weight. When you follow a plant-based diet, you must manage your calories and avoid vegan junk, processed, high-carb, or starch-loaded food. In fact, it is critically important to limit or have moderate amounts from the following list of foods:
- Fats -plant-based butter, oils, and processed vegan meat alternatives.
- Starches -rice, pasta, starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes.
- Sugars -fruits with a lot of sweetness, vegan desserts, vegan protein bars, and beverages.
- Sodium- processed meat, mock cheese, and other meat alternatives with high salt contents.
- Food additives- vegan sauces, processed and junk food.
Moreover, you must also be watchful of the number of portions you consume. Having plant-based food in large amounts can also pave the way to unexpected weight gain. While limiting or moderately consuming the foods mentioned above, you could fill in your plate with plenty of nutrient-dense food items like:
- Whole grains
- Fibre-rich fresh fruits and vegetables (ones that are not too starchy or sweet)
- Nuts and seeds
- Leafy greens
- Beans and legumes
02 – Get Adequate Amounts Of Protein And Vitamin D
Many would think that going on a vegan intake may not provide them with enough amounts of protein, which is not true. In fact, there are a plethora of plant-based sources that can give you the proper dose of protein to keep you strong and salubrious. Not consuming enough protein can also be a reason why you tend to gain weight in a vegan diet. Thus, try including these protein-rich plant-based sources in your regular food intake:
- Black beans
- Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
Above all, another essential thing that you should not forget is to fulfill the requirement of Vitamin D. Deficiency of vitamin D may have a potential effect on weight gain. Hence, you can incorporate the following plant-based foods into your diet to meet your staple Vitamin D needs:
- Fortified soy milk
- Almond milk
- Orange juice
- Fortified cereals
Or, you could simply expose yourself to the morning sunshine, preferably during midday, to get your daily dose of vitamin D. And, it is entirely vegan-friendly!
If you are interested in learning more details about how vegans could get protein, we have a detailed article here.
03 – Do Not Depend Solely On The Diet To Lose Weight
First of all, if you think that veganism is only a diet that helps you lose weight and stay healthy, you should come out of that norm. Actually speaking, veganism is more than a diet-it is a lifestyle that one wishes to follow. Thus, relying utterly upon a plant-based diet if you need to lose weight is not a very good idea. In fact, you need to adjust yourself to have a good night’s sleep and work out to burn calories. Healthy lifestyle adjustments and exercises along with a nutritious vegan diet can bring you expected results in reducing weight.
In addition to these facts, it is really important that you get aligned with a well-planned day and reduce stress levels. A study conducted in 2018 shows that mental stress has a direct impact on weight gain and obesity.
Why Do Vegans Lose So Much Weight?
Like all other diets, the amount of weight you lose on a vegan diet, too, depends on the quality of food you consume. As discussed on top, well-balanced and planned meals could possibly promote weight loss. Meanwhile, on the contrary, vegan junk food or foods that are high in carbohydrates and starch can give you opposite results.
One of the main reasons vegans lose weight is that they don’t get to consume all the saturated fats and oils that mostly come from red meat. Instead, the plates of vegans are filled up with fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, lentils, whole grains, and dairy-free milk. Thus, excluding diaries that are high in calories can be another possible cause of weight reduction. According to the experts and the social data we collected, we perceive that people who follow plant-based diets have high energy levels and good moods. Having sound energy and pleasant moods leads to reducing stress levels which is another plus factor for weight loss.
Moreover, plant-based diet followers are more likely to cook their own meals at home than eat outside. Several reasons can impact this, like the lack of vegan options they find in most restaurants or the doubts or insecurities they have about making a mistake. As a result, most vegans find it safer and more comfortable to prepare their own food at home. This will ultimately lead them to consume fewer amounts of fats and oils which will cause weight gain.
How Long Does It Take To Lose Weight On A Vegan Diet?
Generally speaking, your personal weight loss journey may depend on several factors. What you must hold in mind is that, whatever the diet you follow, weight loss is something that relies upon what you eat, being in a calorie deficit, and the number of exercises you do regularly. In fact, the metabolism of each body is different from one another. And therefore, outcomes could vary from one person to another even if you follow a plant-based diet.
However, according to the studies, it was revealed that vegans drop anyplace between an average of 5.6 pounds in 18 weeks to a standard of 7.5% of their entire body weight in 6 months. In addition, the same study also shows that for every year on a plant-based diet, the risk of obesity is reduced by 7%. Furthermore, another research published in 2014 discovered that vegans consume approximately 600 calories less per day than people with meat-based intakes. Accordingly, if we divide 35,000 calories by 600 calories per day, we can detect that a vegan might take around 58 days to reduce 10 pounds. At that corresponding average of calorie-torching, one could possibly drop nearly 63 pounds in a year on a plant-based diet if you want. Still, remember that these results could potentially change anytime if you fail to balance your vegan meals.
The Bottom Line
Someone who follows a vegan diet may not only intend to satisfy their noble or philosophical measures. Some may want to stay healthy by excluding meat and meat-based food from their intakes. So, as you discovered from the facts unveiled throughout this article, you can understand that losing weight is a possible approach by going on a plant-based diet. Apart from reducing weight, you could have many other health-related benefits too.
However, as we brought out, vegan diets should be well-planned and balanced to meet the necessary nutritional requirement and avoid unexpected weight gain on the contrary. Thus, one should not solely depend on a plant-based diet if they intend to lose weight in pounds. Instead, they should include whole-healthy vegan foods, exercise, adjust their lifestyle into a healthy manner and try to maintain lower stress levels in order to lose weight. So, we hope you will make those lifestyle changes and have the prospect of living out the best vegan life ever!