This is by far one of the best guides on how to lose weight on a plant-based diet step by step.
A healthy lifestyle not only changes your body, but it also changes your mind, your attitude, and your mood.
Nowadays, obesity has become one of the major problems. Anyone who is overweight or obese tries all the available diet plans to shed their extra pounds. One of the most discussed phenomenons today is the whole food plant-based diet.
If you want to stay healthy, fit, active, and to avoid the risk of diseases. And one thing that can help you achieve your desired goals is to move to a plant-based diet.
Many researchers have explored the possibilities that if people move from an animal-based diet to a plant-based diet, it can help them to control and even eliminate the risks of dangerous diseases like diabetes and cancer and heart attack.
What is a whole food plant-based diet?
If you have seen forks over knives, an American documentary that promotes the idea of a low-fat whole-food plant-based diet. It encourages a vegan diet over refined and processed food. You must be aware that now science has proved that if you change the way you eat you can live longer and avoid harmful diseases.
Whole food plant-based diet consists of the following principles:
- It limits the use of animal products.
- If focuses on plants, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, etc.
- It excludes all the refined food, like added sugar, white flour, and the use of oil.
- It excludes the idea of eating processed food.
- The whole food plant-based diet promotes the idea of natural and organic food.
Food categories in the plant-based diet
Here is a quick overview of all the major food categories of a plant-based diet that you will love.
All the fruits including apples, bananas, grapes, strawberries, and all types of citrus fruits.
Includes all the vegetables like lettuce, spinach, peas, cucumber, etc
It includes all the root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, beets, etc
Grains, cereals, brown rice, oats, barley. Popcorn is also a whole grain.
Beans, lentils, pulses, etc.
Weight loss strategies
Some important strategies should be kept in mind if you are going for a plant-based diet. These are discussed as under:
When you eat, you take in calories. The body uses these calories as fuel and burns them to produce energy. If you are taking more calories than required, the body starts to store these as fat deposits.
On the other hand, if you take a lesser amount of calories, the body starts to break down these fat deposits. In simple words, if you want to lose weight you need to watch the calorie intake.
You need to keep a track of the following things:
- How many calories do your body wants daily?
- How many calories do you burn when you do exercise?
- And how many calories are you consuming each day?
With the help of the plant-based diet, you need not put yourself into a lot of hassle. As the plant-based diet consists of elements that already contain lesser calories.
Natural source of fiber
The plant-based diet is the best source of natural fiber. All of you must be aware of the importance of fiber. All the products rich in fiber help us to feel full. This means that the body will not feel hungry hence there will be lesser cravings of food, which automatically results in weight loss.
Beans, pulses, whole grains, and many of the fruits included in the plant-based diet are rich in fiber. By including these in the diet it is easy to shed the extra pounds.
Change is not that easy for some people. They might take time to adjust or to adapt themselves to new changes. It might be quite difficult for some of you to leave your eating habits and switch to a plant-based diet. If you force yourself into something you are not ready for, there might be a chance that you go back to your previous routine.
Instead of switching directly on to a plant-based diet, initially make you used to it. You can first add one meal a day of whole plant-based diet into your daily routine. And then when you and your body get used to it, you can switch over to a plant-based diet completely.
Don’t skip meals
Some people think that with fasting and skipping meals it is easy to lose weight. But it is a myth and has been proved scientifically too. Instead of skipping meals prepare high fiber meals so that you feel full and don’t crave.
If you still starve, go for healthy munching options instead of unhealthy ones. You can take ant fruit or a hand full of nuts to fulfill your hunger.
Include whole grains in your diet
Carbs don’t make you fat. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy. When you are on diet only the highly processed and refined carbohydrates should be excluded. If you talk ablaut a plant-based diet, there are many options for you to include carbs in your daily life.
Including foods like brown rice, oats, barley in your meals you can get the required amount of carbs in your diet.
Cut out oil
Oil is one of the things which contain high levels of calories. So it is important to eliminate oil from your daily meals. Some people have the habit of adding oil dressings to their salads. And then they complain that they don’t lose weight. The problem is not with the bowl of salad. The problem lies with the additional oil dressings that are added to the salads to make them taste good.
These dressing contain a huge amount of calories. So it is important to cut them out of your daily meals. Instead, you can use salt pepper and vinegar to add a bit of taste to your salads.
Snack when you feel hungry
Most of the diet plans consider snacking as their major enemy. But believe me, that is not true. You can snack whenever you feel hungry. But make sure this snacking should not consist of an unhealthy option or junk food.
Instead snack with nuts, any type of fruit or vegetables which are included in the plant-based diet.
Some people have a habit of snacking. If you are one of them make sure you have some healthy snacking options available. Or else your diet will be spoiled just because of your unhealthy snacking habit.
Most of the people who switch over to a plant-based diet start to lose weight within a few days. But this might not be true for some other people. Remember that all of us have different bodies and different metabolic systems.
For some of your plant-based diet might suit fit and you start losing weight immediately. But for some, it might take a bit long. But you dint have to lose hope and stay consistent. Most people lose hope easily and they move to their previous routine but you have to keep in mind. Slow and steady wins the race.
If you are not losing weight just consider the points:
- Have you stopped using oil in your daily meals?
- Are you taking the right amount of calories your body requires?
- Are you having a cheat day?
- Have you completely stopped eating out?
- Are you exercising daily and burning extra calories?
Remember plant-based diet not only reduces weight it is also helpful in staying healthy and avoiding diseases like heart attack, diabetes, and cancer. Only weight loss should not be your main focus. But to live a healthy life.
Stop worrying about deficiencies
A healthy diet contains all the vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats needed for the body. Some of you might think that in a plant-based diet you are not eating meat, eggs, and chicken so the body might get deficiencies of some of the important nutrients.
In a plant-based diet, you can get all the important nutrients necessary for your body. If you are not eating meat then you will need some plant-based souse as protein like beans chickpeas, tofu, tempeh, etc. Likewise all the vitamins, minerals, calcium iron are all present in different fruits and vegetables. You can include then in your diet as your requirement.
Avoid junk food and beverages
As more people are adopting the plant-based diet, many of the companies are now selling their junk food by labeling them vegan junk food. You must be aware of all such things. As all such food is highly processed and refined and does not contain anything which is labeled on it.
In the same way, you must be aware of the harmful effects of all the sweetened and soda beverages. Most of the companies also sell some of their drinks by labeling their diet. But it is not true. Research has proved that most of the diet products contain more sugar than regular dinks.
You should have your last meal for almost three hours before going to bed. Don’t lie down in bed when you are full. And don’t stay up for longer at night. Staying up at night can increase the risk of cravings. And you might end up fulfilling the cravings with the wrong food items.
Don’t forget to exercise
It does not matter what diet plan you are following. Any diet plan in the world cannot be successful if you are not doing exercise.
As exercise helps in shaping your body along with burning the extra pounds. It also helps you to stay healthy, active, and energetic. You should at least work out for 5 days a week.
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Conclusion: How to lose weight on a plant-based diet
The whole food plant-based diet mainly emphasizes on the use of natural and organic food. it contains a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes.
Researchers are also promoting the idea of shifting to a plant-based diet for a healthy lifestyle. As a part of losing weight, it also helps to avoid the risk of dangerous diseases like heart attack, cancer, and diabetes.
Plant-based diet might suit some of us more as compared to others as we all have different bodies and metabolism. But you have to remain consistent in your approach. Our only target is not to lose weight but to live a healthy, active, and happy life.