Although a vegan weight loss diet has all the makings of a healthy, low calorie, low fat, nutrient-rich diet, it doesn't necessarily lead to weight loss. For those who turn to a vegan lifestyle solely for animal welfare, there are plenty of junk food alternatives available: think vegan marshmallow fluff with peanut butter on a delicious ginger snap.
What Is a Vegan Diet?
A vegan diet is completely devoid of animal products. That means no meat, eggs, dairy products, or other foods that are a production of animals or animal behavior such as honey. Luckily for vegans, plants are incredible sources of nutrition and are usually not calorie dense. Having such a restricted diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies, however, some meals must be carefully planned to ensure all needs are met.
Fill Your Plate with Veggies
For weight loss, bulky, leafy vegetables are best such as spinach, lettuce, broccoli and more. Let's face it, almost any vegetable is relatively low in calories. Be careful with starchy vegetables such as potatoes and corn. These, while definitely a nutritious part of any diet, can sneak extra calories into your meals if over-utilized.
Eat Protein at Every Meal
Yes, the average American consumes too much protein, but that really is difficult to do on a vegan diet, so there's no worry about over-doing it. Besides, protein is essential for the energy and vitality needed to get your daily dose of exercise.
Go Light on the Faux Foods
Watch the vegan alternatives to unhealthy items. These alternatives, although non-animal sourced, are probably unhealthy as well. Items like vegan 'butter,' 'cheese,' cookies and cakes can be safely integrated into your diet to flavor your food and keep you from going completely bonkers...well maybe. Unfortunately, these alternative foods are usually calorie-dense and can lead to weight gain if uncontrolled, just like their animal-derived counterparts.
Be Careful with Portions
Mind the portions of breads, nuts and crackers. Again, a slice of hot, delicious bread is absolutely beautiful on a vegan diet geared towards weight loss. It is especially gorgeous in the morning if it's toasted with a touch of natural peanut butter on it. Three or four, however, will begin to pack on the pounds if habitual.
Like any diet, a vegan diet for weight loss runs the risk of self-sabotage due to hunger, stress or boredom. Making as many meals as interesting as possible will help you stick to it and enjoy the amazing journey you have undertaken.