If weight loss was one of your New Year’s resolutions that you have miserably failed to attained, you can surely give it another shot. But this time, try something new and different. If lack of great tastes was the primary reason to leave your diet plan, try out vegan diet. Clubbed with the right workout program, vegan diet is ideal to successfully keep your promise of shedding a few extra kilos. You might think that sounds like a vegetarian diet, but vegan take you one step further.
What is vegan diet?
A vegan diet is purely plant-based. The diet even does not allow byproducts of animals like diary and honey unlike vegetarian diet that includes eating and drinking dairy products like eggs and milk. Vegan mainly contains fruits, vegetables, nuts and seed, leafy greens and legumes. Is it sounding too boring? But in reality, living on a vegan diet has become increasingly popular. There has been a virtual explosion of vegan blogs and cookbooks. So there should not be any problem getting inspiration for what you’re eating.
Vegan is just about eating a more natural and healthy diet without any place for processed and junk foods in your life. Vegan automatically reduces body weight because of the reduction of calories associated with it.
How do you benefit from vegan diet?
Vegan diet contributes to a healthy life in several ways. However, when it comes to your weight loss plan, it helps you in the following manner
Plant-based foods contain fewer calories
Eggs, meat and dairy products are high in saturated fats and cholesterol. Similarly, animal flesh is best known to store calories. Even the so-called ‘low-fat dairy products’ ate packed with fat and cholesterol, compared to fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Meat like beef/pork’s fat ratio is 40 to 60% which is too high for someone who considers in losing weight. In short, meat and dairy products cause obesity.
Vegan diet enhances metabolism
Plant-based foods are high in complex carbohydrates and fiber which help boost metabolism. And you burn calories much faster. According to research done by American Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition, people who follow vegan meals not only have lower body weight but shows higher level of energy to exercise and are less likely to suffer from diseases like cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
What to include in a vegan diet?
Vegan diet followers should keep a careful eye on their nutrition to avoid any deficiencies that could damage the body. So make sure you are getting enough of the following in your diet
- Vitamin D: Eat foods like mushrooms, cereals and yogurt
- Vitamin B12: Foods like yeast or soya is vital for red blood cells
- Protein: Cereals, grains and pulses are rich in protein to get the essential amino acid
- Calcium: Drink soy and almond milk or high-calcium mineral water or eat fruits and vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and citrus fruits
- Iron: You will find plenty of iron in tofu, pulses and whole grain
- Omega 3: Foods like hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds compensate for the absence of oily fish in a vegan diet.
How to eat vegan?
As breakfast is the important meal of the day, it should include a healthy portion of nutrition. Add lots of vegetables and fruits with oatmeal, soy or yogurt. Filling yourself with healthy foods in the morning will cause the metabolism to increase. An increased metabolism promotes weight loss with little to no effort from the dieter
Do not include too many foods in your lunch. It should be moderately heavy or light. You can include plenty of raw vegetables and organic salad. The snacks in between your breakfast and lunch should comprise of nuts and seeds, banana, organic chips or an apple
Dinner is the last meal of the day. It should not be too heavy in calories. Eat tofu or vegetable pot pie with vegetarian gravy. These are less destructive calories and give you a large helping of vegetables.
Enjoy the popular vegan staples such as vegetable pulses, whole grain, soya foods and raw vegetables devoid of butter, cream or mayonnaise. You can also include vegetable-rich pasta or Chinese noodles, Thai vegetable curry with beans and spinach burritos for hearty and nutritious dinner.
What not to include in a vegan diet?
Do not assume the fact that vegetarian diet is automatically low in calorie. You can gain weight if you are not careful about what you are actually eating. You can gain weight on a vegetarian diet if your portion sizes are too big or if you eat too many high-calorie foods including sweet beverages, oily snacks, fried foods and desserts. You may also find foods marketed as vegetarian high in calories and fat such as soy cheese, snack bars, refined beans or soy hot dogs.
Do not be a vegan junk food eater. Although the organic frozen pizzas uses non-dairy and soy pepperoni, this is does not mean you are making a healthy choice. Avoid the frozen processed foods and stick to food that can rot
Do not choose red chilies or cheese/butter to add flavour to your food. Instead, use herbs and natural seasoning to flavour your food
Do not simply eat what is in front of you. Reach for the fruit bowl whenever you are hungry. They are the best option; as they are rich in belly-filling fiber it will keep you satisfied longer
Avoid non-organic foods. Always buy organic stuffs. Organic foods come from nutrients dense soil that results in more nutrients dense food
Most importantly, stand more than you sit and walk more than you stand. Find something that you love to do whether it is yoga, swimming, aerobics, dance, walking or running. It is vital to know that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% workout.
Vegan diet and weight loss
Besides your body mass index, caloric requirement of an individual are determined by age, occupation and lifestyles of a person. The nexus of weight loss and vegan diet is directly proportional. Irrespective of your age, occupation and lifestyle, it is proven that weight loss is highly possible on a green diet.