Vegan and Vegetarian Weight Loss

Weight Loss Tips On a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet

Switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll lose weight. In fact, during my first six months as a vegetarian, I gained ten pounds. Since then, I’ve lost the weight and kept it off by following these vegetarian weight loss tips:

Vegetarian and Vegan Weight Loss Diet Tip 1: Add a High Quality, Plant Protein

Add a high–quality protein to each meal. A high-quality protein includes tempeh, seitan, tofu, beans, and eggs. Protein helps you maintain or lose weight.

A quality protein can help you build and maintain muscle and increase your metabolism to burn more calories. And, it will make you feel full after a meal.

Protein Increases Your Metabolism and Burns More Calories

When your body digests protein, it has to burn twice as many calories as it burns when digesting carbohydrates or fats.

As mentioned above, protein also builds muscles. And more lean muscle mass increases your “resting metabolism.” In other words, your body will burn even more calories when you’re not active.

Protein Makes you Feel Full

“One of the theories behind why higher-protein diets work well with weight loss is because it helps you not feel hungry.”

Wayne Campbell, Ph.D., nutrition professor at Purdue University

The American Dietetic Association adds that if you consume a lean protein along with foods that are high in water or fiber, you’ll feel fuller while consuming fewer calories.

Weight Loss Diet Tip 2: Forget the Processed Foods and Stick with Vegetables, Fruits, and Other Whole Foods.

The majority of processed foods are full of sugar, unhealthy fats, and salt. They provide almost no nourishment (so you keep eating), are addictive, and high in calories.

Whole foods are healthy and satisfying. They’re high in nutrients, fiber, and water. They add bulk to your meals and empty slowly from your stomach. You’ll feel full longer and on fewer calories.

Vegetarian Weight Loss Diet Tip 3: Ditch the Sugar, But Do Not Use Artificial Sweeteners

Sugar is bad and addictive, but artificial sweeteners are worse. While artificial sweeteners are low in calories, research shows that they stimulate your appetite, promote fat storage, cause weight gain, and increase cravings for carbs. In one study1, rats fed artificial sweeteners consumed more calories and gained more weight than rats fed foods sweetened with sugar. There’s also a link between artificial sweeteners and several health concerns.

Instead, try a sweetener that’s natural and healthier, including xylitol, stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol.

Vegetarian Weight Loss Diet Tip 4: Don’t Fry.

Let’s face it; fried foods taste great. Unfortunately, frying adds too many calories.

There are a lot of great options. You can use an indoor electric grill, a grill pan, an air fryer, or a non–stick pan with very little oil or butter.

Weight Loss Diet Tip 5: Snack on Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and Seeds are the perfect snacks because they ward off hunger pangs for hours. They help you maintain your energy level throughout the day. And they’re loaded with protein and healthy fats.

Vegetarian Weight Loss Diet Tip 6: Add Chia Seeds to Your Diet

Add a tablespoon or two to a glass of water, coconut, almond, or soy milk before you eat. The Chia Seeds will absorb the liquid and expand, helping you to feel full.

Chia seeds are also high in omega–3 ALA fatty acids (as are Walnuts). Omega 3 fatty acids are essential because your body uses good fats to burn fat. In other words, more fat gets burned instead of stored in your body.

Losing weight is about burning more calories (energy) than you eat. The above tips, along with exercise, will help you do just that on a healthy vegetarian or vegan diet.

References

  1. Swithers SE, Davidson TL. A role for sweet taste: calorie predictive relations in energy regulation by rats. Behav Neurosci, 2008; 122 (1): 161-73) 

Resources

Nicholas Perricone, M.D., The Perricone Weight–Loss Diet: A Simple 3–Part Plan to Lose the Fat

Gabe Mirkin, M.D. & Barry Fox, Ph.D., The 20/30 Fat & Fiber Diet Plan

Joy Bauer, “Boost your metabolism and lose weight faster” msnbc.com

Jenny Stamos Kovacs, “Increase Your Metabolism –– And Start Losing Fat,” WebMD Feature

© 2021 Living Well Health Coach

Disclaimer: The information on this site is for information purposes only. It is not intended to replace your healthcare professional or provide diagnosis or treatment.