Are you one of those people who thinks that vegan diets are for the hippies, yoga instructors and hipster college students of the world? Well, it’s time to think again. Veganism, which is to abstain from consuming any kind of animal product, is actually an incredibly effective diet to take on if you’re trying to lose weight. We know, we know, the thought of giving up your bacon cheeseburgers and steaks is enough to give you nightmares, but think about how much good you could be doing your body. This is even more crucial if you’re morbidly obese and really need to get something done about your state of health. If you’re willing to make the commitment to stick to a vegan diet to help you accomplish your weight loss goals, here are some of the things you should do to make sure you come out of your journey successful.
Stop Looking for a Meat Replacement
We can understand how hard things are when you miss meat. You start looking for the perfect substitution everywhere – that one food item that will make you feel like you’re eating meat again. The fact of the matter is that no amount of manipulation or reshaping will ever make tofu or wheat gluten feel or taste like that burger you’ve been craving. Instead of focusing on finding a meat substitute, embrace the lack of meat or animal product in your life completely and start finding satisfaction in a full plate of veggie-based protein.
Eat Tons of Peppers
Vegan friendly and absolutely delicious, peppers can do a lot more for your weight loss than just spice things up. They could help you lose tons of additional weight too. You can thank a metabolism boosting compound known as dihydrocapsiate for the extra bit of help. Whether you’re eating your peppers as a base for your meal or incorporating it as a snack, it’s a great vegan friendly ingredient to have on hand and around you at all times.
Don’t Let the Carbs Bring You Down
When we’re depriving ourselves of our favorite source of protein or the goodness of all things dairy, the next thing we tend to find comfort in is the humble but oh-so-evil carbohydrate. Look, we’re not saying this to make you feel unintelligent the other way, but it begs to be said that the bread at your local vegan restaurant (no matter how artisanal it is!) is just as bad for you as the dinners rolls at the grill house across the street. Switching out your animal products with hundreds of empty calories and useless carbohydrates is a mistake that many new-vegans make. Don’t let yourself all into this trap. Eat slow-digesting foods instead to help you feel fuller for longer.
Drink as Much Water as You Can
You’re doing your body a lot of good by flushing it with plant-based nutrients, but you can make it even better if you make sure to drink a lot of water. Having enough water in your body ensures that you’ll feel satiated for longer, which also means that you won’t have to deal with as many forms of temptation. Not only that, but water keeps the digestive system moving well.
Vegan-ize Your Favorite Dishes
Who says you can’t enjoy a plate of Buffalo “Chicken” Wings just cause you’re eating a plant based diet? There are tons of ways to vegan-ize your favorite meals and get the same flavor profile without having to consume meat products. To run with the example we’ve already given, try switching out your chicken wings for chunks of cauliflower. Get some batter ready, dip your cauliflower, bake it until crispy then give it a toss in your favorite buffalo sauce. Trust us, it’ll hit the spot and you’ll be even happier to add a
Plant Based Protein Powder FTW
If you’ve been using whey protein or egg protein powder in your post work out shakes don’t fret. Plant based protein powder does exist and it’s just as effective as your favorite animal based protein powder. Added bonus? It’s much healthier for you too. Research shows that those who ingest plant based protein are far less at risk for high blood sugar, high cholesterol and even obesity. Hemp protein in particular is a vegan favorite since it’s easy to digest and has 15 grams of protein per scoop. There are also pea-based protein powders available that pack a mean punch of 19 grams of protein per serving for only 100 calories.
Don’t Be a Slave to Your Scale
In any diet program, your scale shouldn’t be your complete and total measure of success. Instead of focusing on the number that your scale gives you, find other points of measurement like your waist line, hip measurements and so on. You may find that the scale could say something completely contrary to what your tape measure says and chances are that you’ll find comfort in the fact that even if your scale isn’t reflecting the number you want, you have solid proof that your body is shrinking. Also, you’ll find that as you lose weight, you’ll start building muscle. Since muscles weigh more than fat, it’s only natural that the number on the scale isn’t going down even if you are losing fat.
Flood Your Muscles with Nutrients
The humble smoothie has been a favorite post and pre-workout snack for years. If the same can be said for you, take heart in the fact that switching to a vegan diet doesn’t mean that this habit of yours has to change. In fact, it could even help you lose weight faster now that you’ve switched to a plant based diet. The key is creating smoothies that are high in protein and low in fat. A great post workout smoothie, for example, could consist of a frozen banana, a scoop of delightful plant based protein powder we were talking about earlier, and a cup of your favorite non-dairy milk. Your inflamed muscles won’t just thank you, they’ll absolutely adore you.