An increasing number of people are eating vegan. But how suitable is the vegan diet for losing weight? Read more about it and get the best tips on how to lose weight successfully and in the long term.
What exactly does vegan mean?
The vegan diet is enjoying increasing popularity. It is a subform of the vegetarian diet. Remember: Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish or seafood. A vegan also does without eggs, honey and dairy products. Thus no animal food is consumed.
This change in diet may seem radical at first. After all, animal products are contained in numerous foods and for many people are simply part of a normal diet. Meanwhile, however, there is a vegan substitute for almost every product with animal ingredients that can facilitate the changeover. These substitute products do not have to be however inevitably lower in calories.
Vegan weight loss: Does it work?
More and more people are turning to the vegan diet to lose weight – and rightly so. Observation studies show that vegans have a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than non-vegans. The BMI has proven itself over many years as a measure of healthy body weight.
Plant-based diet is also superior to other forms of nutrition when it comes to losing weight. Numerous studies have shown that a low-fat, vegan diet resulted in the greatest fat loss among the diets compared.
In order to obtain success, the vegans did not even have to count calories. The study participants took up completely intuitively fewer calories, at the same time however each meal until full. Thus they could lose weight even more than the calorie-counting non-vegans in the comparison groups. Vegan diet therefore seems to be a good way to get rid of a few troublesome pounds.
In a direct comparison of the most common forms of nutrition, the plant diet beat, among other things, a low-meat and Western diet in terms of weight loss for these reasons. Already alone the renouncement of animal food means thus a potential plus point with removing.
What should I eat to lose weight?
Eat a large amount of vegetables with every meal. Vegetables are rich in fibre and contain a lot of water. So it fills the stomach especially well. At the same time, vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals that are essential for a healthy body. Since vegetables are almost fat-free and often low in carbohydrates, you should take them without hesitation.
To ensure that you consume enough energy during your diet, you should focus on whole grain cereals and legumes. Particularly healthy cereal products include oat flakes, wholemeal noodles and fresh wholemeal bread. Legumes include beans such as kidney beans, soybeans, peas and lentils.
Beans and Co. also provide plenty of healthy protein, which keeps you full for a long time and maintains muscle mass during regular exercise. In this way you protect your metabolism and counteract the yo-yo effect.
In addition, avoid heavily processed products. Meanwhile there are many sweets and substitute products, which do without animal contents materials. This makes them vegan, but by no means low in calories. If you want to lose weight vegan, your focus should be on unprocessed foods such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cereals and legumes.
Vegan foods with lots of calories
A good example of a vegan calorie bomb is vegan cheese. Of course, switching to a vegan diet is easier when the beloved gouda is replaced with a cheese substitute rather than a vegan spread. However, many substitutes consist largely of fats such as palm or coconut oil. These fats are true calorie bombs.
The nougat cream in the morning, chocolate in the evening and chips or biscuits are now also available in vegan varieties. However, these do not have fewer calories than their dairy-representatives; therefore not suitable if you want to lose weight with vegan diet.
In addition to fat, sugar can also be a real weight gainer. Manufacturers often use so-called glucose-fructose syrup or isoglucose to avoid the term sugar. These new types of sugar are even more unhealthy than household sugar and boost the appetite considerably.
Getting rid of extra weight with vegan diet: How to cover all nutrients
If you want to lose weight, you have to eat fewer calories than your body consumes. Only then does the body begin to draw the missing energy from the fat reserves. With such a reduction diet, the amount of nutrients supplied, such as minerals and vitamins, decreases in the same breath. Since vegan nutrition in particular avoids entire food groups, a well thought-out selection of foods is essential to counteract a nutrient deficiency in the long term.
For this reason, foods that are particularly dense in nutrients should be consumed. Remove high-calorie drinks and sugary desserts and snacks from your shopping list. White flour products such as rolls, toast or light noodles also provide hardly any vitamins and minerals. Choose wholemeal bread or noodles instead. Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach or white cabbage provide many nutrients and fill the stomach. This is the only way to successfully lose weight vegan.
Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron in the intestine and ensures a sufficient supply (6). Tofu, soy yoghurt or unsweetened soy milk are the right choice for absorbing sufficient calcium.
As long as you eat a varied diet, avoid heavily processed foods and consume a large proportion of your calories from cereals, pulses, vegetables and fruit, your body should be sufficiently supplied with nutrients. The only exceptions are iodine and vitamin B12. Since iodine is only present in sufficient quantities in some algae species and vitamin B12 is completely absent in a vegan diet, these nutrients should be supplemented in the long term. You can find out more about the vitamin B12 deficiency here.
Lose weight quickly? How to avoid the yo-yo effect!
You may know the following scenario:
The decision has been made. You want to declare war on the kilos and are highly motivated. So you plunge into the diet, welcome the hunger and concentrate on the fact that the scales are constantly going down. After a few weeks, however, you no longer have any strength. Your mood gets worse and worse and your thoughts only revolve around the next meal. The worst of all is – nothing happens on the scales anymore. Now give up the diet and eat as before, suddenly the weight rushes up and suddenly you weigh even more than before the diet. What have you done wrong?
Your body is very smart and above all efficient. As soon as he notices that he is no longer getting enough calories, he will try to reduce his energy consumption. If you do little exercise, the body will lose “unimportant” muscles for him and reduce the metabolism to a low level.
As a result, your metabolism gradually slows down until your body consumes only as much as you eat in your diet. Suddenly your weight stagnates and you no longer lose weight. At the same time you feel tired because your metabolism is in the basement. When you start eating “normally” again, your body stays on the low flame and transfers the excess calories to the fat cells.
To avoid this, you should only eat five hundred calories less than you normally consume. You can also increase your activity by taking long walks, cycling or swimming. Weight training also sends signals to the body not to break down muscles. This is particularly important because the muscles consume a large proportion of the energy and therefore the calories.
Once you have reached your desired weight, you will also have to recalculate your calories. If you eat wrongly and too much, slowly regain weight. Only by building muscle mass can you boost your metabolism again. Try to keep all this in mind if you want to lose weight vegan. Then nothing stands in the way of your desired weight!
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