Many individuals have adopted a vegan lifestyle for different reasons, including its potential health benefits like weight loss.
If you’re considering adopting a vegan lifestyle and wondering how much weight you can expect to shed, this article aims to help you understand the possibilities of weight loss on a vegan diet.
How Much Weight Can I Lose on a Vegan Diet?
How much weight you can lose on a vegan diet depends on the type of foods you’re eating. If your vegan diet is made up of more fiber-dense, nutrient-rich foods, then there are possibilities for weight loss.
Focus on foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, and give up processed foods that come in bags or boxes since they might contain higher carbs.
You can lose 2-3 pounds per week effortlessly on a vegan diet since the key to weight loss is staying away from inflammation-boosting animal products that are not found in plant-based whole foods.
Instead, these plant-based whole foods are low in oil, plainly cooked, and full of fiber.
How to Lose Weight on a Vegan Diet
1. Caloric Balance
Weight loss occurs when you consume fewer calories than your body expends. Vegan diets, when properly planned, tend to be lower in calories, as they emphasize whole plant-based foods that are naturally lower in energy density.
By opting for nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and plant-based proteins, you can create a calorie deficit that facilitates weight loss.
You can also burn calories by performing some exercises like walking or doing some lightweight resistance training.
The best times to work out if you’re looking to burn more calories are in the morning before a meal or 6 hours after a meal.
2. Eat More Fiber
Fiber is made up of the indigestible compounds of plants. The good news is that fiber is a portion of plant-derived foods like whole-grain products, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Guess who incorporates more of these diets into their meals? Vegans! A diet that is high in fiber leads to a decrease in daily caloric intake since fiber adds bulk to food but not calories.
3. Drink More Water
If you are trying to lose weight on a vegan diet, one of the things you should do is avoid liquid calories by drinking more water.
Examples of liquid calories are sodas, juices, and energy/sports drinks. They can contain high calories and sugars, which might not help if you’re looking to lose weight.
If you’re like many who do not like to drink plain water, you can add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime to the water. Other natural alternatives to add are fresh mint or berries.
You can also eat more foods that are high in water content like apples, pineapple, and oranges since they are low in calories.
4. Reduce Oil Intake
Reducing oil intake is one of the fastest ways to cut off excess calorie intake since oil is essentially pure fat. For example, a tablespoon (about 14 grams) of olive oil contains 119 calories.
If you must use oil when cooking, you can try sautéing with vegetable broth, balsamic vinegar, or soy sauce.
This doesn’t mean you should avoid oil from whole foods like whole olive, peanut, avocado, etc. These foods provide the healthy fat that the body needs.
5. Plan your Meals
Do you eat more high-calorie foods for dinner? does it matter? Of course, it does matter since eating a greater amount of energy early and following it up with smaller amounts later in the day enhances weight loss.
The research found that eating 50% of your daily calories for breakfast, 30% for lunch, and then 20% for dinner, increases weight loss.
This is because calories eaten in the morning are more likely to be burned off due to diet-induced thermogenesis.
How Fast Can You Lose Weight on a Vegan Diet
The rate at which you can expect to lose weight on a vegan diet varies. A safe and sustainable approach is to aim for a gradual weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week. This modest pace is associated with better long-term success in maintaining weight loss and minimizing the risk of nutrient deficiencies or muscle loss.
Eating a whole-food, plant-based diet is the fastest way for vegans to lose weight since these foods are high in nutrients and low in calories.
Examples of foods that can be eaten in their whole, unprocessed forms are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.
Why am I gaining weight as a vegan?
If you’re experiencing weight gain as a vegan, there could be several reasons for this. One common factor is an increased consumption of carbohydrates and fats while not paying enough attention to protein intake.
It’s important to maintain a balanced macronutrient profile in your vegan diet, ensuring an adequate protein intake to support muscle maintenance and promote satiety.
Another possible reason for weight gain is relying too heavily on processed vegan foods and desserts, which may be high in calories, unhealthy fats, and added sugars. These foods can contribute to excess calorie intake and hinder weight loss efforts.
A well-planned vegan diet can facilitate weight loss, but the amount of weight you’ll lose varies based on individual factors.
By embracing a balanced and nutritious approach to plant-based eating, creating a calorie deficit, and incorporating regular exercise, you can achieve sustainable weight loss.
Remember, the focus should be on overall health and well-being rather than solely the numbers on the scale.