Working on Losing Weight on a Vegan Diet and Actually Keeping the Weight Off?
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 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.
3. 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.
5. 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 green
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!
10. 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.