Many people think that if they become vegan, they can lose weight more efficiently. After all, it seems reasonable that the high fat content of meat makes it an unnecessary and fattening food. If you can get all the nutrition you need from healthy legumes and soybeans (and the like), it makes sense to go vegan. However, if it was so clean cut, there wouldn’t be so much controversy surrounding the vegan lifestyle.
Some people claim that only meats can give you all the muscle building supplements you need to live healthily; others argue that everything you need can be ingested from plants and plant products. This guide presents a factual approach to the pros and cons of going vegan, as well as how it may or may not help you lose weight.
Pros of Vegan Eating
Studies have proven that vegans tend to be significantly thinner than people who eat meat, while also having lower blood pressure and less cholesterol. These traits are further advantageous when you consider that it lowers vegans’ risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Since the vegan diet tends to contain more fiber, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium and potassium than omnivorous or lacto ovo diets, the health benefits seem obvious.
Cons of Vegan Eating
There are convenience cons to vegan eating: it takes discipline to commit to a vegan diet since it can often feel like you have very few options. The more dangerous downsides to vegan eating are potential vitamin deficiencies, specifically calcium and vitamin D. With careful meal planning, however, vegans can still get plenty of calcium from green leafy vegetables, tofu and juices that have been calcium fortified.
Vitamin D can be a bigger problem, but vegans can still get sufficient amounts by eating cereals and beverages that are fortified with it. If that doesn’t seem to be enough, they can always opt for a vegan friendly vitamin D supplement. Therefore, the cons of vegan eating are the discipline and planning that it requires. Proper meal planning can ensure that there are no nutritional deficiencies in vegan diets.
Losing Weight with Vegan Eating
There’s no doubt that properly planned vegan meals have huge health benefits when compared to other eating; however, you shouldn’t expect to lose weight based solely on switching to a vegan diet. A vegan diet may indeed help you lose weight, but it’s still important to be aware of your calorie intake and exercise accordingly. Vegan diets are also ineffective if you find them too restrictive to follow, so if you’re thinking of switching to vegan for the sole purpose of losing weight, you might try a slow transition rather than an immediate switch. Try vegetarian eating, and if you find that doable, you can start cutting out dairy and other animal products.
There are many advantages to a vegan lifestyle, if you have the discipline to follow it. While veganism alone isn’t a magical path to weight loss, it may be a big first step in losing weight through healthful living.