A lot of people think that being vegan will automatically help you lose weight, but that's unfortunately not true. While a vegan diet does cut out a lot of unhealthy foods automatically, you still need to be careful with your diet and lifestyle if you're looking to lose some extra fat. Oreos are vegan, after all!
In this article, we'll go over some weight-loss tips for vegans that can help you shed pounds in a healthy way. Keep reading to learn more!
Eat a Well-Rounded Vegan Diet
The first step to losing weight as a vegan is to make sure that you're eating a well-rounded, nutrient-rich diet. This means filling your plate with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy plant-based proteins.
Vegan Food Pyramid
Most of us are familiar with the traditional food pyramid that was created by the USDA. The vegan food pyramid is similar, but it's specifically tailored for people following a plant-based diet. Here's a quick overview of what the vegan diet pyramid looks like:
- The base of the pyramid is made up of whole grains and starchy vegetables. These foods should make up the majority of your diet, as they're packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Some good options include brown rice, quinoa, oats, sweet potatoes, and legumes.
- The next level of the pyramid includes a variety of fruits and vegetables. Aim to fill half of your plate with these foods at every meal. These foods are low in calories but high in nutrients, making them great for weight loss.
- The next level includes plant-based proteins. These include tofu, tempeh, beans, lentils, and nuts. Choose these options over processed vegan meats, which are often high in sodium and unhealthy fats.
- The next level of the pyramid is made up of healthy fats, such as avocado, olive oil, and coconut oil. Use these sparingly, as they are high in calories.
- The top of the pyramid includes sweets and desserts. Eat these in moderation, as they are typically high in sugar and calories. When possible, look up vegan dessert recipes online that you can make at home. These are always healthier than store-bought treats!
Make a Vegan Diet Grocery List
Once you have a good understanding of the types of foods you should be eating on a vegan diet, it's time to make a grocery list. This will help you make sure that you're buying all of the healthy ingredients you need to lose weight.
When making your grocery list, try to include a variety of different colors. This will help you get a good mix of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Fruits: apples, bananas, oranges, berries
- Vegetables: carrots, celery, kale, spinach
- Whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, oats
- Plant-based proteins: tofu, tempeh, beans, lentils
- Healthy fats: avocado, olive oil, coconut oil
- Sweets and desserts: fruit leathers, dark chocolate squares
Once you have your grocery list, head to the store and stock up on all of the healthy ingredients you need. This will make it easier to cook healthy meals at home and resist unhealthy temptations when you're out and about. If you have the time to set aside a day to meal prep for the week, even better! This will help you save time and money in the long run while making it easy to stick to your diet.
Consider Going Raw
If you're really serious about losing weight, you may want to consider going raw vegan. This means eating only raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. This diet is very high in nutrients and fiber, which can help you lose weight quickly. It's also low in calories, so you can eat as much as you want without having to worry about packing on the pounds.
Of course, switching to a raw vegan diet can be a big adjustment. If you're not sure if this diet is for you, consider trying it for just one week. During this time, look up some raw vegan recipes for weight loss and eat as many raw fruits and vegetables as you like.
You can also make smoothies, juices, and raw vegan desserts to help satisfy your sweet tooth. After one week, reassess how you're feeling. If you're enjoying the diet and seeing results, stick with it! If not, that's okay, too. You can always try another weight-loss diet or go back to eating the way you were before.
Work Out to Speed Up Weight Loss
In addition to changing your diet, you'll also need to start exercising if you want to lose weight. Exercise helps burn calories and speed up weight loss. It's also great for your overall health!
If you're new to exercising, start by doing some simple cardio, such as walking, jogging, or biking. You can also try taking a dance class or doing bodyweight exercises at home. As you get more comfortable with exercise, you can start adding in strength-training exercises, such as lifting weights and doing a kettlebell workout for weight loss.
Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes per day, five days per week. Don't forget to warm up before you start working out and cool down afterward. This will help prevent injuries and make your workouts more effective.
The Bottom Line
Losing weight is challenging, no matter what diet you're following. However, with dedication and hard work, it is possible to reach your weight-loss goals. If you're a vegan who wants to lose weight, use these tips to help you achieve your goals. Remember to focus on healthy eating and exercise, and you'll be on your way to a healthier, happier you.