According to Vegetarian Times 7.3 million Americans follow a vegetarian eating lifestyle and of those, 1 million are following a vegan diet.
As vegetarians, people will not eat meat, poultry and fish but milk products are sometimes a part of their choices, as are eggs. Vegans on the other hand will not eat ANY animal products or other products of animal origins. Honey is one such product a vegan will not eat.
Vegan diet for weight loss
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Looking at the typical food choices many people make today, there is an abundance of animal protein choices prepared and served. With this, comes more fat intake than maybe anticipated and some choices might be exceptionally high in unwanted saturated fats.
Because the vegan diet is a plant only diet, not only can it be good for you, a vegan diet could actually be a great weight loss diet, too!
Intake of vital nutrients
Vegan diets can often be challenging to those who are new and not aware of the typical combinations of foods or the essential variety of plant foods needed.
It is even more important to become knowledgeable in veganism when being used as a weight loss plan because there are some nutrients that could be lacking. These are nutrients that are normally not much of a concern for those who typically eat meat, poultry and fish.
When we are striving for weight loss, it is even more important to be sure there is ample intake of essential nutrients to keep the body healthy.
Think about it…you are most likely eating less calories, exercising and under some stress due to the change in lifestyle. What counters these stressors on a cellular level is a good sound diet.
What nutrients are of concern?
Riboflavin – essential for interactions with other B-vitamins as well as the release of energy from carbohydrates
Vitamin D – in general, needed for bone health
Vitamin B-12 – so many functions but a really important one is energy production
Calcium – important for bone and teeth health
Iron – important for immunity, cognition, temperature regulation and energy
Zinc – involved in many functions such as protein metabolism, immunity, DNA/RNA synthesis
When planning your vegan diet, be sure to include a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and nuts. You could even supplement with a high quality, vegan protein powder for shakes that could be a quick meal on the go.
Checking in with your physician and registered dietitian would also be a good idea to be sure you’re getting the proper nutrients. Once consulting with them, it may also be necessary to supplement with needed nutrients that are not being provided by your diet.Just as with any other weight loss plan, you do not want to replace your once eaten meat products with an abundance of processed garbage. Following a vegan diet should be your gateway towards optimum nutrition and health.
The vegan diet
With a vegan diet comes a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and that alone is setting you up for weight loss.
So replace your meat, poultry and fish with what grows from the ground first.
Adding in meat substitutes and processed grains should come a bit later, when you have had time to research what are the best choices. And even when you do decide which is best for you, those food items should still be an occasional treat.
Here are a few ideas
To get you started and be sure to seek out reputable resources for even more ideas to keep you well fed during your vegan diet weight loss transformation.
Sample – Day 1 of meals
-Breakfast: overnight oats made with coconut milk; topped with berries and walnuts
-Snack: carrot sticks and hummus
-Lunch: Sprouted bread spread spread with vegannaise, and topped with sliced tomatoes and avocado with fresh berries on the side
-Snack: steamed edamame
-Dinner: quinoa mixed with chickpeas, steamed broccolini, halved grape tomatoes, cashews and tossed together with salt, pepper, olive oil and fresh lemon juice
Sample – Day 2 of meals
-Breakfast: protein shake of vegan protein powder, almond milk, spinach, peanut butter, banana and cinnamon
-Snack: coconut yogurt with berries
-Lunch: Black beans sautéed with onions and peppers served over rice
-Snack: cucumbers with hummus
-Dinner: whole wheat pasta tossed with pesto and topped with diced tomatoes
For a personalised vegan diet plan, connect with me on WatchFit and watch the weight slip away.
Connect with Expert Jackie Vega