The people switching to a vegan diet is growing constantly, and one of the reasons for this is their wish to lose weight. Obesity has long become one of the biggest health problems in America, and the efficiency of veganism in promoting a healthy body mass has been proven by several studies. However, if you choose to give up meat for the purpose of losing weight, you need to be aware of the healthy vegan diet guidelines. Following them is necessary to prevent nutritional deficiencies that can put your well being at risk.
Vegan Diet -Basics Guideline
As veganism eliminates several large food groups, the risk of nutritional deficiencies for this diet is particularly high. However, it’s caused by poor meal planning, not the low nutritional value of plant-based foods.
It’s possible to get the required daily dose of all essential vitamins and minerals even without meat, fish, and dairy products. It just requires more planning and studying food labels.
Basic vegan diet guidelines without hurting your health:
- Set a time limitYou can start with setting yourself a goal of 3 weeks of vegan eating. This time would be enough for your body to get accustomed to new flavors. This period is also long enough for you to feel the improvement brought by this diet. Seeing these positive changes will help strengthen your resolve.
- Avoid unbalanced vegan meal plans.There is quite a few vegan weight loss meal plans that promise miracle results fast. Steer clear of them as in the majority of cases they are nutritiously unbalanced. Remember that to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn. However, you have to receive the required daily amount of essential nutrients. The general RDA guidelines are calculated based on a 2000-calorie diet. As every person is unique, your needs might differ a bit. Therefore, you should consult a professional nutritionist to work out the right meal plan for you.
- Start a meal journal and keep track of your weight.Keep track of all the food you eat and monitor your weight daily. Record this information into a journal that will allow you to follow your progress. Today you can make this task easier using specialized mobile apps.
Sample vegan diet
Green leafy vegetables are extremely low in both calories and carbohydrates but loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber, making them a perfect food for reducing body fat. Eating leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collards, and swiss chards increases the volume of your meals, without adding extra calories to your diet.
Highly nutritious, quinoa is well-known for its ability to aid in weight loss. It contains many essential vitamins and minerals such as protein, fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and many other beneficial antioxidants that improve health and weight loss. Quinoa is gluten-free and happens to be one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa, which is high in dietary fiber and protein, can effectively help you lose weight. The seed also has a low glycemic index, which is another important characteristic linked to reduced calorie intake
Beans and legumes
Beans and legumes – such as lentils, black beans, kidney beans and some others – can be a great food for weight loss. They are rich in nutrients like protein, fiber, B-vitamins, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc, all of which are good for your health and helpful in reducing body weight. Most beans are also low in fat.
Grains: 8 servings.
At least 6 of your daily servings have to come from whole grain sources (brown rice, wheat bread, bran cereal, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal). One serving equals about 80 kcal, so one serving of oatmeal amounts to about 1 oz. of dry cereal. This means that your ‘grain plan’ for a day should look like this:
- 1 cup of oatmeal for breakfast
- 1 sandwich (2 slices of bread) for lunch
- 1 ½ cups of spaghetti pasta for dinner
- 1 slice of French bread for a snack
- Fruits: 3 servings.It’s better to eat whole fruits instead of juices. If you choose a juice, make it yourself as processed products are packed with refined sugar. The best fruits to eat are those that are low in calories but high in nutritious value, such as plums, oranges, berries, peaches, and grapefruit. One serving is about half a cup of sliced fruit.
- Vegetables: 4 servings.Make sure at least one of your daily servings consists of raw vegetables. Healthy vegan diet guidelines stipulate that you should favor dark leafy green veggies as they contain large amounts of essential nutrients. Kale, spinach, and/or collards should be a part of your daily meals as they contain calcium. If you dislike their taste, consider mixing them with other ingredients into a smoothie. The serving size is about ½ cup of cooked vegetables and 1 cup if they are raw.It’s very important to avoid fat dressings on your salads and veggie sandwiches.
- Legumes: 3 servings.A cup of beans (one serving) a day is mandatory for this meal plan. You can break it down to a half cup of cooked beans and another half of spicy bean spread, or try some other recipes. A cup of low-fat soy milk will also count towards your legumes servings, as do vegan meat substitutes.
- Sweets: 1 serving.This is an optional serving, but it can make your day brighter, especially when you only start to adjust to a vegan diet. There are many delicious sweets you can make from plant-based foods, even cakes. Make sure your daily serving is no more than 100 kcal.
Some useful tips for weight loss when following a vegetarian diet
Truth is, a healthy, well-balanced vegetarian diet is appropriate for people of all age groups. Just make sure that you incorporate the following tips in your eating plan if you’re really trying to lose weight fast and keep it off.
- Focus on a vegetarian diet is high in protein and fiber.
- Try to reduce your calorie intake gradually.
- Never skip a meal.
- Avoid junk and processed food.
- Avoid refined sugar.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Ensure that you adhere to the plan.
Besides following a well-balanced vegetarian diet, keeping these few points in your mind will be the key to losing weight successfully. Follow this plan for a week and see the difference.