10 Tips for Losing Weight on a Vegan Diet


Working on Losing Weight on a Vegan Diet and Actually Keeping the Weight Off?Weight-Loss-on-a-Vegan-Diet

You’re in the right place… Read on!

Perhaps you’re starting your vegan adventure for this one goal of losing a few pesky pounds or to achieve a complete physical transformation, but rest assured that you will quickly notice numerous benefits of your new vegan menu.

Veganism is so much more than a nutrition plan – above all, it is a lifestyle choice that is defined by countless health perks that will not only allow you to maintain a healthy weight, but also look and feel your absolute best.

For those just embarking on this weight-loss journey, here are a few essential steps you need to take in order for your vegan diet, workout routine and other habits to take effect all together in helping you to achieve your goals.

1. Ditch the junk foodDitch the Junk Food

The fact that it has a vegan label does not make it a healthy option, and the sooner you cleanse your diet from all the processed items, the faster you’ll see results. More often than not, highly processed foods are devoid of any healthy nutrients, so they mostly contain empty calories, processed sugar and unhealthy fats.

Another sneaky trait of processed meals is that they cause fireworks in your brain’s reward centre, thus leading to over-consumption and a feeling that resembles addiction. Loaded with artificial flavour-enhancing chemicals and other harmful substances, junk food is an instant energy source that your body will start craving, unless you switch to a healthier option.

2. Visit the local farmer’s market

Not only will you support your local economy, but you will also have insight into the origin and quality of the produce you choose. You can always find the stalls that sell organic items grown without pesticides, and base your vegan diet on all-natural, healthy and locally-grown vegetables brimming with vitamins and minerals.

healthy vegan snacks3. Snack wisely

If your home is ideal for a sweet treasure hunt, then you might be unknowingly supporting your own little cheat-meals that could hinder your progress. Refined sugar is an enemy in your battle for losing weight on a vegan diet. Surround yourself with healthy snack options such as fresh fruit, almonds, walnuts, or peanuts, and only a handful of these delicious munchies will keep your belly full and your diet on the right track.

4. Swap your Fruit juice

Although it’s tempting to reach for a glass of freshly-squeezed juice, once you remove the skin and pulp, you are left mostly with sugar. It’s healthier for you to eat a whole apple or an orange to use the healthy fibre, vitamins and minerals these fruits are teeming with, or to simply drink a glass of water to quench your thirst instead.

Oatmeal Bowl5. Embrace the oatmeal

Breakfast is meant to be rich in nutrients and versatile, so if you stick to your box of sugary cereals, you cannot expect your vegan diet to do wonders for weight loss. In addition to providing your body with all the essential nutrients, oatmeal contains plenty of complex carbs, making it one of those foods with a low glycemic index.

This means that your glucose levels will be sustained for a longer period of time giving you plenty of energy, and that you will feel full much longer. Not to mention that you can combine it with countless other healthy additions, such as raisins, nuts and seeds, and make every meal differently.

6. Build a workout plan

While it’s true that 80% of your weight-loss success will depend on your diet, your exercise routine is responsible for the remaining 20%. Dependingon your current health and level of fitness, you can choose any sport you like, work out at home or at the gym, jog or join an HIIT class, but make sure to have at least three workouts a week, get the right gear and have enough sleep to maintain your progress.

Treat your workouts like a doctor’s appointment – it’s a serious commitment that requires discipline and consistency for it to take effect. Pick comfortable, suitable gym wear to help you achieve your goals, and maintain a regular sleeping schedule to allow your body enough rest to reap the rewards of your workouts.

7. Think greenPopeye-for-Protein

As a staple of a vegan diet, veggies are packed with all the micronutrients your body needs, and they are exceptionally low in calories, so you can use them as a side-dish in any meal, as the main course and as a snack without risking compromising your caloric intake. You can eat them raw, steamed, baked, or grilled, but avoid too much processing simply because they will lose their nutritional value if they are overly cooked.

8. Don’t skip protein

As the building blocks of life, proteins are your best friends in the battle against excess fat and building muscle. Since you’re not consuming animal or dairy protein, you should introduce several worthy and equally healthy protein-packed plants such as spirulina, beans and lentils, quinoa and chia seeds, to name a few, whereas you can also have a protein powder shake mixed with berries and almond milk as your ideal meal on the go.

9. Go nuts

Unless you’re allergic or intolerant, there is absolutely no reason to skip these versatile, delicious treats on your mission to lose weight on a vegan diet. A single handful of nuts can contain plenty of healthy monounsaturated fats, protein and carbs, and much like oatmeal, they have a low glycemic level, which allows them to gradually release sugar into your bloodstream, and provide you with a steady energy influx. They will also keep you full, but don’t go overboard with the amount – they are calorie-dense!

Chew-your-Food-for-Weight-Loss10. Mindful munchies

Perhaps the most important tip of them all, a step that is intertwined with every other mentioned on this list, is to listen to your body whenever you’re prepping your meals or eating. Many people prefer to sit in front of a TV or pouring too much on the plate simply because they feel hungry (or hangry) at that moment, and end up eating more food than they need.

Instead, the best mindset for losing weight on a vegan diet involves choosing healthy foods and chewing every single one of your bites into a paste, slowly and mindfully, to feel the flavour and texture, and to enjoy every meal to the fullest. This is an excellent way to control your portions, ensure healthy choices and keep your digestion up to par, all of which will let you lose weight.

Five Easy Steps to go Vegan in 2015!


At the 2014 Naturally Fit Games with one of my vegan inspirations, and Plantbuilt Teammate, Robert Cheeke!

Learning how to take small, easy steps to go vegan, looking at it as a day-by-day transition, is the way to making the transition a success.

Since switching to a vegan diet plan I’d have to say that aside from the obvious “where do you get your protein from” question, what I hear the most are objections to why other people just can’t do it. Usually it’s too expensive, too hard, too restrictive; when in actuality it is none of these!
Keep in mind, I never tell people what they should or shouldn’t do. I am not one of the “on my soapbox” preachy vegans. Unfortunately there tends to be some negativity around the “v-word” which is one of the reasons I try to avoid it at all cost when talking with people who don’t follow a similar lifestyle. As soon as you say, “vegan”, many people immediately become defensive even though I never push my opinion on anyone.
Now, on the flipside of that, when people start arguments with me about why we need animal protein, how you can’t get strong or build muscle without it, and other caveman or apex predator nonsense, or try to convince me that there is such a thing as “humane slaughter” I will not hesitate in calling them on their B.S. and voicing my opinion. Particularly when the people that tell me they love animals are plowing through burgers in the same breath.
It took me some time to come around to the idea of adopting a vegan diet plan and actually make the change. In hindsight it really isn’t that hard. Not at all.
That being said, here are 5 simple steps to successfully adopting a plant-based diet. If you apply one step per day, you will be 100% plant-based in less than a week. If you apply one step per week, you will be 100% plant-based in just over a month. If you require the requisite 21 days to form a habit, then simply apply one step per month and you will be 100% plant-based in just under half a year.
The take-home point here is to focus on progress and not perfection. If you follow this approach you will be looking back and agreeing with me that the whole process is really very easy.
One important point to remember is calorie intake. You will have a very hard time trying to substitute a spinach salad for a 16 oz. steak or a plate of bacon and eggs. Be sure to swap animal-based dishes with plant-based dishes of similar caloric density.
Step 1 – Cut out all red meat.
Step 2 – Cut out all white meat.
Step 3 – Cut out fish.
Step 4 – Cut out eggs and dairy.
Step 5 – Start being aware of the hidden ingredients in foods, particularly baked goods that use butter, milk, and eggs; as well as the clothes you wear, products you use, etc.
Bonus! Step 6 – Volunteer your time with an animal rescue, shelter, or rehabilitation facility and give back to those living beings who are treated as commodities. Remember, they don’t have their own voice, if you truly love animals be the voice for them and support people and organizations who dedicate their lives to animal welfare.
Now that we’ve talked about what not to eat, check out what you can eat.

  • Fruits. Spare me the “fruits are sugar and will make you fat” crap. It’s like my friend John “The Badass Vegan” Lewis says, “Fruit doesn’t make you fat. It’s that gluten-free brownie that makes you fat.”
  • Vegetables.
  • Greens.
  • Oats, rice, and other healthy sprouted or whole grains.
  • Nuts & seeds.
  • Beans & legumes.

In spite of what many people would try to have you believe, it is 100% possible to not only survive, but to totally thrive and be healthy while following a 100% plant-based diet. You can excel as an athlete as well. There are far too many real world examples of this to believe anyone who tries to tell you otherwise.
You want strength and power? Look at strongman Patrik Baboumian and NFL defensive tackle David Carter.
You want physique? Look at professional bodybuilding champion Torre “Tha Vegan Dread” Washington and IFBB professional bodybuilder Jehina Malik. A side note – Torre has been vegetarian since birth and vegan for the last 16 years and Jehina has been vegan since birth!!!
You want endurance? Look at ultra runner Scott Jurek and ultraman triathlete Rich Roll.
You want a multi-sport athlete? How about ultra runner, bodybuilder, and long distance rower Austin Barbisch.
You want verification from plant-based Registered Dietitians? Look at Matt Ruscigno and Julieanna Hever.
If you want even more examples, look at my 40+ teammates on the Plantbuilt Vegan Muscle Team at plantbuilt.com and browse the numerous profiles at veganbodybuilding.com – the website started by the original vegan bodybuilder, Robert Cheeke!
Going vegan is easy. Much easier than you would think or that it’s made out to be. Make sure you are getting a lot of fresh, raw, plant-based foods in your diet, focusing on variety. This will ensure that you are getting the entire spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that are abundant in plant foods. Throw in other steamed and cooked vegetables, healthy unprocessed grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds and you’ll be good to go! You will have all the macro- and micro-nutrients you need to be healthy and strong with your vegan diet plan.
Good luck and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask, I’m more than happy to help in any way I can!

Top 10 Tips for Going Vegan in 2014!

Veggies on forks

If you have resolved to adopt a plant-based diet in 2014 these “Top 10 Tips for Going Vegan” is for you!

First of all, congratulations on the decision to hop on the path to feeling and looking your best, staying healthy and disease-free, and living conscientiously! I have compiled these tips to help you along your way:

1. Take it One Month at a Time.

You have been eating a certain way for a very long time, right? Well completely changing your whole diet overnight and expecting it to last, in most cases, sets yourself up for failure. Instead, create manageable steps month by month. For example, lets say you are a vegetarian, and you know that giving up cheese is going to be your most difficult food to eliminate. So for January, you make the decision to eliminate milk completely from your diet. Then, in February, you have “cheese-less weekdays,” meaning you do not eat cheese Monday through Friday, but allow yourself some over the weekend if you are craving it. Get the idea?

2. Instead of “Giving Up” Animal Products, “Replace” Them!

Choose vegan substitutes for the animal products you are eliminating to keep readily available at home.Coconut Milk Ice Cream
If you are a milk drinker, find the non-dairy milk that you like best and stay stocked. Same goes for cheese, yogurt, and ice cream (you still get to splurge every now and then on a vegan diet!). When it comes to meat, my suggestion is that for the first couple months, if you can find substitutes that you like, even if they are not the best for you (most faux meat is processed and less healthy than choosing whole foods such as beans and nuts), allow yourself some leeway to eat them anyway as a stepping stone. Ultimately though, using these products only on occasion is the best way to attain a healthy, whole foods, plant-based lifestyle.

3. Find support from other vegans.

There are vegans everywhere these days, and we have the technology to connect, so use it! Seek out other healthy vegans in your community, there are often local vegan-related meet-ups you can join. The other option is finding support online through forums (such as the new, Sexy Fit Vegan Forum!) The more support the better!

4. Talk to your friends, coworkers, and family members about your lifestyle changes.

Old habits will stay current habits if you don’t communicate with the people who surround you on a daily basis. Talk to these people and let them know about the changes you are making, and ask them for their support.

5. Take a B-12 Supplement.

Vitamin B-12 is the one nutrient that can be difficult to get on a plant-based diet. There are many products fortified with B-12, but I think it is simply a good habit to take a supplement to ensure you are ingesting enough. A deficiency can be hard to diagnose early enough to prevent permanent damage to your body. But again, it is a simple fix. Take a supplement.

6. Find at least one Protein That You Enjoy and Use It As Your Go-To.Vegan Protein Cartoon

22 Days and Plant Fusion are two I highly recommend that contain both high levels of protein and other ingredients that pack your body with powerful nutrients. All you need is a shaker bottle to create a perfect snack. Getting enough protein to gain lean muscle can be one of the most common worries among people looking to maintain/gain muscle mass and increase strength and performance. A few shakes a day is a simple way to ensure your protein intake stays high.

7. Invest in a Vitamix.

You may look at the price tag on this thing and cringe. I did! And then I received one for my birthday and my life changed forever! Ok, that may be a little dramatic, but it made me a believer in the Vitamix. The smoothies, juices, soups, nut milks, and dips you can make, quickly and easily, makes it well worth the cost. Making a smoothie with super foods like hemp seeds, flax seeds, and dates can come out chunky with a regular blender, but with the Vitamix, you are always ensured an even, smooth shake.

8. Find Time to Plan Ahead.

The first several months, it’s important to realize that it is going to take you more time than usual to figure out your food choices. Find the time so you do not get into an “emergency situation” in which you feel like you’re starving, and have no idea what to eat! We’ve all been there. If you are like me, by the time you get to that point it’s too late for your brain to think clearly and for you to make logical decisions. Avoid this situation by making the time to plan your day’s food intake. You may need to pack a lunch, or keep healthy vegan bars in your car. Always keep good-for-you snacks around. Celery and hummus, carrots and raw almond butter for example.

9. Variety is Key.

Its important to keep in mind that eating a wide variety of vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains is the key to a well-balanced plant-based diet. Forks Over Knives DocumentaryChances are, by adopting this new lifestyle you will end up eating more different foods than you did before. Research plant-based super foods to add to your meals and shakes, such as hemp and chia seeds. You are exploring new options that you probably never sought out before! Keep an open mind and adopt the attitude of fun exploration rather than limitation.

10. Continue Your Education.

Continuously learn about why a vegan diet is so great by watching documentaries such as Forks Over Knives, reading articles, reading books, and even visiting factory farms and animal sanctuaries if possible. This way you will keep your motivations fresh in your head instead of letting them fade and slipping back into old habits because of it.

Cheers to the start of the healthiest, sexiest year of your life, 2014!!!