Are your vegan friends thinner?
Vegan diet weight loss totals will not automatically surpass their anything-goes dieting counterparts. Right off the bat though, there are a couple of factors that people sometimes get wrong when trying out a vegan diet, or fail to consider when looking at their vegan friends. First, when you eat out, sometimes all there is for the vegan to eat is salad. Vegans should not eat a diet of salad unless you mean salad in the absolute broadest context (perhaps anything served cold in a pile with some form of dressing is a salad). As a result, even really creative vegans usually eat far less fast food. In many Western World diets, simply eliminating fast food has a major impact, since it can be so prevalent.
An additional factor to consider, which I discuss in more detail later in this article, is that if you have friends who are trying it out thinking they have stumbled upon a vegan diet weight loss secret may lose some weight early on. If they fail to eat a nutritious and balanced diet, not getting enough polyunsaturated fats and protein, or overall calories, they will eventually fall prey first to the skinny-fat person mistake. They will eventually not have the lean muscle mass or metabolism to continue to maintain their weight loss. Make no mistake though, you can be on diet that allows you to eat any type of food make this mistake. People do all the time. Any time you begin a diet program, do your research and consult your health care professionals first. Really focus on maintaining a balanced diet.
Did you go vegan and think you would be losing more that you are?
You must replace the calories that were made up by animal products in your meals (At least mostly/ no to excess) otherwise you will not get adequate calories or nutrition from your meals and then snack more.
What can end up happening is that you meals are so inadequate that they are essentially snacks. So if you eat 3 meals and 3 snacks per day, and your snacks are junk food (or you have trouble controlling their quantity) you essentially end up with 6 snacks that all lack the basic nutrition you need to get you through the day with energy and maintain your health, while helping to give you the opportunity to succeed in your weight loss goals.
If you fail to change your diet properly AND eat unhealthy snacks (because maybe you cracked, maybe you never realised how detrimental poor snacking habits are, or maybe you felt so hungry because your “healthy meals” where poorly constructed and inadequate. If your lunch was a green salad, are you really expecting to lose weight over the long term, or are you just fooling yourself?
There can be no nutrition without education
Unless you have a personal chef or partner willing to do all the cooking who knows how to balance a meal that will help with your vegan diet weight loss goal, you CANNOT just stumble through this lifestyle change or this diet (whichever the case me be). You have to actually understand what nutrients your body needs and what foods provide that. I don’t think that acquiring this knowledge is onerous, it can be more and more exciting as you discover ways to make yourself feel better and empower yourself to change your life and health, and even your family’s life for the better (and often longer).
Most of the Tools and Rules Are the Same
Whether you eat all types of food or you are on a strict vegan diet weigh loss program that, the fundamentals of weight-loss and health are the same. The first two are obvious, but people fail on number three all the time.
1. Increase your physical activity
2. Reduce your calories if they are too high
3. Maintain your blood sugar and nutrient levels throughout the day: This is the #1 mistake in the history of weight-loss. So many basic things can go wrong if you fail to obey this fundamental rule. Look at bullet #2 especially.
- You may not have the energy to work out as hard as you need to in order to meet your target.
- Your metabolism can get very screwed up. If you skip meals, or take too much of your daily calorie intake with one of your meals, and skimp on the others, it will adversely affect your weight loss. Some people can even stop losing weight altogether even though they have reduced their calories.
- Your body will lose (catabolise) lean muscle mass when it is starved, especially when it is protein starved. I’ll bet all those snacks are mostly sugar and starch....Oh, I know what some of you may be thinking you are better and eat fruit an veggies, you reply. Wrong. To your muscles they are not better. You are not only losing out but you may actually be damaging your body.
- Your body needs a steady stream of balanced nutrients flowing into it. See, this is not a difficult idea. You need whole grain, fruit and veggies, fat (yes, fat!), and protein. The key is that you want both healthy sources and balance. So monitor your calories. But do not skimp on the protein or eliminate all the fat, both of which will make you feel satisfied after a meal or snack and give your body vital nutrients that rice cakes and iceberg lettuce will not.
I could go into what makes up a healthy snack or a balanced meal if you live a permanent athletic lifestyle, or need to accomplish specific vegan diet weight loss goals, but there are other great articles in this series that covers those topics and I don’t want to take up more of your coffee break than I have to. I am going to stop short of contradicting the age old conventional wisdom about the three meals, or the new wisdom of that plus two or three snacks.
As part of my lifestyle, I eat 6 small meals per day. Each is usually a balanced one (or at least with some whole grain, fat and protein if I am on the run and it needs to be portable). I think my method very clearly gives me the best level energy throughout the day, keeps me alert, never feeling heavy, and active at a moment’s notice. Ultimately, one additional element is that meals are valuable social experiences, so preparing a meal and gathering together for more than a quick bite is very valuable. Just remember that if you are looking for a healthy vegan weight-loss diet plan, to maintain the balance and to not toss out the rules that work!