Now 2018’s ‘Veganuary’ is in full swing (where people adopt a vegan lifestyle and diet for January), it’s clear that this year is set to be the biggest yet with over 150,000 participants. Everyone involved in Veganuary has their own reasons for trying out the challenge, however, one of the most common reasons in recent years is weight loss, in fact – Veganuary 2017 saw weight loss as the second biggest reason for trying out veganism behind animal welfare.
It’s a common belief that being vegan means you “can’t eat anything”; meaning you’re unable to lose weight like a meat eater would. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. With this in mind, we have collaborated with Discount Supplements, one of the UK’s leading retailers in health and fitness supplements to provide you with an infographic all about Veganuary and how you can effectively lose weight on a vegan diet.
Cut Down Your Portions:
Although healthy foods, such as vegetables, fruit, nuts, whole grains and seeds contain nutritional values that can fuel your body, you don’t actually require an endless supply of these nutrients. The amount your body requires depends on your age, gender, height, physical activity level and your current body weight. For example, a young, tall physically active male with a higher ideal weight will require larger portions than an older, petite inactive female.
It’s extremely easy to overindulge on how much your body actually needs to keep fuelled throughout the day so keep your portions small, just like you would with any other diet.
Ensuring you get enough protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass, promoting weight loss and keeping your metabolism satisfied. People often believe that being vegan means it’s virtually impossible to meet your daily protein needs as you’re avoiding staples such as eggs, chicken, milk and fish. It is possible to get all the protein you need from a plant-based diet, you just have to be strategic.
Packing your meals full of pulses such as beans, lentils and peas, is a perfect way to increase your protein intake, as they’re one of the largest plant-based protein sources, for example – one cup of cooked lentils contains approximately 17 grams of protein. Incorporating plenty of vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli into your meals is also a great way to meet your recommended calorie and protein intake. Still struggling? Why not try some of the best protein shakes available that are suitable for vegans for an extra boost?
Avoid Plant-based Junk Food:
Now veganism is becoming more popular, the variety of foods available has also increased. Although this is perceived as a progressive change, it can open doors to some unhealthy plant-based vegan junk food such as sweet potato crisps and coconut milk ice cream. Plant-based desserts, frozen foods and snacks are not only high in calories, but they also include refined flour and added sugar and are usually stripped of nutrients and fibre.
Whilst they are fine in moderation, eating them daily can cause you to rapidly pack on the pounds. Choose dark chocolate and in-season fruit to satisfy a sweet craving, and perhaps raw vegetables with hummus or guacamole to fulfil your savoury fix.
Don’t Drink All Your Calories:
There are a multitude of beverages marketed to those on a plant-based diet, including coconut water, green juices, almond milk and chia drinks. With so many choices available, it’s extremely easy to unknowingly sip hundreds of extra calories per day.
A good rule to play by is if it’s not water or unsweetened tea, your drink should count as part of your meal or snack. Make sure you check the ingredients, nutritional information and serving suggestions to decide whether a particular drink is best for you.