There’s a myth that needs to be debunked.
Some persons think that because they transitioned to a plant-based diet, they’re 100% immune to weight gain.
If only it was that easy. Yes, plant-based foods are less calorically dense than its animal-based counterparts.
But even on a vegan diet, if you eat too much calories than your body needs, it will store fat in the famous troubled areas like the belly and thighs.
So, in this quick guide, you’re going to learn the right and safest way to lose weight on a plant-based diet.
Step 1: Take Your Fiber Intake More Seriously
I’m sure many of you have heard that having optimal gut health is important for your overall system. A lot of stuff happens in our gut and it impacts other processes.
And when our digestive system is on track, we’re able to absorb more nutrients from our food and able to eliminate toxins.
One of the main purposes of our digestive system is to get nutrients from our food and then eliminate what we don’t need.
The best way to make sure that happens is by eating more fiber.
Luckily, if you’re already following a plant-based diet then you’re probably eating a lot of fiber already.
Fiber rich foods are things like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Having fiber in our diet helps to stimulate digestive juices so that enzymes can breakdown food efficiently.
Another thing that I love about fiber rich foods is that they take longer to chew in general. So that means that once they hit our stomach it’s easier for our belly to put that through to our intestines.
So how does this help you to lose weight?
Well the fiber rich foods takes longer to digest.
So that means that when we’re eating a diet rich in fibrous foods, we can stay fuller for longer.
And we’re getting more energy which means you’ll be able to power through your workouts and burn a lot of calories.
Step 2: Find The Right Balance Between Raw And Cooked Foods
Here’s the thing, raw food isn’t always better.
I know that this is going to be a little bit controversial because there are a lot of raw vegans that live only on raw foods and that’s completely fine!
But for most persons they will need to have a balance of both raw foods and cooked foods in their diet.
The benefit of raw food is that it has not been heated and it retains all of the nutrients. But the downside of raw food is that it is a little bit harder on our digestive system.
In other words, it is harder to move through our system in general.
However, what’s interesting is that there are some vegetables that actually give more nutrients when its cooked.
That’s because the cooking process or heating process is breaking down the plant walls which ends up releasing the nutrients.
This helps our digestive system to absorb those nutrients because they’ve been released from the plant cells walls and are ready for absorption.
Try eating softer vegetables raw like lettuce, celery, celery and tomatoes.
However, tougher ones like broccoli and pak choi, you want to boil them to make sure it easier for you to digest.
Step 3: When Grocery Shopping Choose Better “Vegan” Labelled Products
These products are everywhere in the grocery store.
Look, because it say’s vegan or plant-based doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
I think a lot of us get caught up in hype sometimes. We assume that if something is labelled gluten-free, low fat or vegan that it’s the best thing since slice bread.
I want to encourage you to read the labels when at the supermarket picking up plant-based foods.
Just look at the box and look at the ingredients that are used in that food.
If you recognize everything on the list and they are whole food sources, that is fine.
But if there are things like additives, preservatives or other things that you don’t recognize, put it back and move on to another product.
Remember, the goal is to incorporate as many whole foods into your diet as possible.
You want them to be as close to the source as possible.
Of course, when you’re buying a cracker, it’s already been cooked.
So how does this relate to slimming down?
Basically, when you have a diet rich in whole foods, your digestion is easier.
When you’re eating a lot of processed and junk foods, those toxins are swirling around in your body and you just can’t get rid of the weight.
Because your body is just holding on to the toxins which end up into your fat cells and it just make things harder for you.
Step 4: Thinking That Portion Control Is Only For Meat Eaters
Portion control still matters.
Even if we’re eating an incredibly healthy diet or eating a lot of fiber rich foods, the quantity we’re eating is still a BIG DEAL.
I’m sure you know, there is this concept of calories in versus calories out and there is truth to that.
If we’re consuming more calories than our bodies are naturally using up whether that’s through exercise or just our daily life then we’re going to be gaining weight.
All because our body has an excess amount of calories.
What I think is interesting about calories is that every person is different and the amount of calories that you’re going to need depends on a variety of factors.
Including your gender, height, weight, age and activity level.
For example, a man who is 6ft 3 inches tall who is a pro athlete is going to need way more daily calories than somebody who is 5ft 4 inches and works behind a desk.
So you have to adjust the amount of calories that you need every single day.
To calculate your daily calorie requirement, use this calculator. No calculator is 100% correct (even the paid ones on the app store) but it does give you a good reference point to work with.
A food journal can really help too.
You can start by writing down the quantity of food that you’re eating.
You don’t necessarily have to put a calorie number next to that really. The idea is that you’re going to learn how much you’re eating, and you might learn something interesting.
I think a lot of times we think that were eating less than we actually are.
Smoothies are really great example of this. They are really high in calories because a lot goes into them.
So really the goal of the food journal is to give you an idea of how much you are consuming daily. And based on that you can adjust if you’re eating too many calories daily.
Step 5: Start Meal Prepping, It’s Not As Laborious As You Think!
What’s great about meal prep is that it sets you up for success for the entire week. With meal prepping you’re much more likely to consistently eat those healthy foods.
By doing this, you don’t need to worry about what you’re going to eat for lunch.
What happen to most persons is that they end up reaching for something that isn’t as nutritious.
In terms of the timing for meal prep, it really depends on your schedule. For a lot of people meal prepping works well over the weekend.
Sometimes you don’t even have to meal prep for the entire week. You could just meal prep a few days at a time.
And the best thing about meal prep is that it helps you to lose weight effortlessly. You’ll be eating more wholesome foods that will feed your body and satiated those hunger cravings.
So, do you need anything special for meal prep? Absolutely not!
If you have containers at home, ziploc bags or tin foil, you can totally start meal prepping.
I do recommend that at some point in your meal prepping journey that you transition over to glass containers.
Just because they are more non-toxic and also heat proof. So you can heat them up when you get to the office or school.
One common question about about meal prepping is how long the food lasts.
Well there’s good news.
Meal prepping plant-based foods last longer in the fridge than animal-based products. So, you don’t really have to worry about spoilage as much with plant.
A general rule of thumb is that if you are storing stuff in the fridge, it will last up to five days or maybe even 6.
And then if you’re storing stuff in the freezer, it lasts up to six months and you can even go longer than that sometimes.
So, if you’re meal prepping for a plant-based diet, that food is going to last you a lot longer.
And again, it’s just setting you up for success and it’s going to help you reach your weight loss goal a lot much more quickly. You’ll know exactly what you’re going to eat which makes it all less overwhelming.
Start Putting These Steps Into Action!
You probably notice that I didn’t’ even mention exercise.
That’s because losing body fat is 80% diet and 20% exercises. No matter how hard you train at the gym or home, if you’re eating more calories than you burn, you’re wasting time and effort.
Fix your diet first and that what will move the needle on the scale much quicker.
A Proud Vegan Enthusiast!