Weight Loss

Vegan Weight Loss Plan: 7 Steps (Plus a 1-Week Meal Plan)

Want to lose weight on a vegan diet?

You’re in the right place. Today, you learn how to eat metabolism-boosting, vegan food that keeps you full and satisfied, while you lose weight. 

Want to find out more? Here’s the 7-step vegan weight loss plan (and 7-day meal plan).

What is veganism?

Veganism is a diet that is based on plants. Vegans completely abstain from using any animal products, such as meat, eggs, and dairy products. 

People choose to become vegan for several different reasons. Some want to live a healthier life, some want to protect the environment, and some want to stop any exploitation of animals. 

The term “vegan” was actually coined back in 1944, but it’s in recent years that the diet’s popularity has skyrocketed. For example, a few vegan celebrities include Natalie Portman, Beyonce, and Gisele Bündchen. 

Veganism vs vegetarianism

What is the difference between a vegan and a vegetarian? A vegetarian does include some animal products in their diets, but not meat. So vegetarians typically eat dairy products, eggs, and honey (depending on the type of vegetarian diet that they follow). Vegans, on the other hand, exclude all of them. 

Veganism vs plant-based diet

But what is the difference between a vegan and someone who follows a plant-based diet? While vegans strictly exclude ALL animal products, someone who is plant-based will typically mostly eat a vegan diet, but may also occasionally eat animal products. 

So, now you know what a vegan diet is. But what are the pros and cons of veganism? 

Pros of being vegan

What are the pros of being vegan? 

First, vegan diets are richer in foods like fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Thanks to this, you include more of their beneficial nutrients in your diet. 

Vegan diets tend to provide more dietary fiber, vitamin E, vitamin K, folate, iron, and fatty acids.

What’s more, veganism also has other health benefits. Vegans have been shown to have lower blood sugar levels. They can possibly also be at a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes

Plus, veganism could be linked to a lower risk of heart problems. Eating fruits, legumes, vegetables, and fibers are all linked to a lower risk of heart disease.

Cons of being vegan

On the other hand, what are the cons of being vegan? 

First, a poorly planned vegan diet might not provide enough vitamin B12, zinc, calcium, selenium, vitamin D, and iodine

That’s because animal products have nutrients that a plant-based diet lacks. 

However, by properly planning ahead, vegans can make up for these deficiencies. Supplements can help vegans get enough nutrients like B12

And deficiencies like these aren’t limited to a vegan diet. There are deficiencies in carnivorous diets as well. So no matter what diet someone is on, it’s always important to be mindful of the food we eat. 

vegan healthy food

Is veganism a good way to lose weight?

Do vegans lose weight faster? Observational studies indicate that vegans tend to be thinner and have a lower body mass index (BMI) than people on other diets. 

Veganism is linked to lower emotional eating and lower uncontrolled eating compared to an omnivorous diet. 

A vegan diet is also healthier than other diets it’s compared to. A small study comparing a typical Western diet with a vegan diet found that those on the vegan diet lost slightly more weight than those on a Western diet. 

How much weight can you lose on a vegan diet in a month? 

Look:

Weight loss is highly individual. That’s why it’s impossible to say how much someone will lose in a specific time frame.

For example, in Slim Down Transformation, which is my own weight loss program, women tend to lose 12-19 pounds in the first 2-3 months. And then they go on to lose anywhere between 30-100 pounds. 

Ultimately, it’s better to lose weight a bit slower if you want to keep those results.

If the weight loss is unhealthy and too rapid, you risk making it much harder to lose weight in the future. Research links deprivation with a slower metabolic rate

If you want to see what weight loss for vegans can look like, take a look at this vegan success story

Lauren, a vegan mom of two, lost six pounds and ten inches off her body in 21 days. Wow! 

How do you lose weight as a vegan? The 7-step vegan weight loss plan  

Naturally, you can’t just adopt a vegan diet and hope and pray that you’ll lose weight. Instead, you need to be very strategic about how you lose weight. 

1. Eat more protein (this is extremely important)

As a vegan, you risk eating less protein than non-vegans. 

Protein, again, helps you lose weight. How? There are several reasons. Protein helps prevent muscle loss and metabolic slowdown. 

Another reason is that protein has a higher thermic effect compared to carbs or fat (20-30% vs 5-10% and 0-3%). For that reason, protein helps you lose more calories than you eat. 

Good sources of protein for vegans include: 

  • Chickpeas
  • Peas
  • Quinoa
  • Nutritional yeast 
fat burning food framework

2. Exercise (strength train) 

If you’re doing cardio to lose weight, think again.

Strength training has been shown to prevent metabolic slowdown and reduce muscle loss. That’s why you should participate in at least two strength-training sessions every week. 

(No need to go to the gym. You can exercise at home!)

3. Avoid processed food

There are a lot of vegan substitutes for meat and cheese on the market. But the problem with these foods is that they are processed. 

Processed foods are high in sugar, starches, and fat. They don’t include nutrients, so even though, say, an apple includes sugar, it’s much healthier than a donut because apples come with plenty of nutritions that “take out” the impact of sugar.  

So skip those vegan foods and focus on protein, vegetables, and fruits.

4. Cut out hidden sugars

Want to stop eating sugar

Elevated sugar consumption levels have been linked to weight gain. Sugar also has a range of other unhealthy side effects, such as heart problems.

That’s not to say that you should cut out sugar entirely. Your body needs sugar, too.

But you should reduce the amount of sugar you eat, if you eat more than 25g of sugar a day (for women) or 36 grams (for men). 

Remember that we’re not just talking about clearly sugary foods and drinks like vegan donuts or soft drinks. 

There are plenty of foods that we consume every day and that contain hidden sugar. For example, fruit drinks and coffee/tea are some of the biggest sources of hidden sugar. (Coffee and tea if you add sugar to them.)

5. Skip the next diet 

When you think of weight loss, you probably think of diets, right? 

The thing is that restrictive diets are really bad for you. 

Diets lead to weight loss, yes, but people gain back those pounds. According to a study of 19,000 men, the best predictor of weight gain is that people have lost weight on a diet at some point during the previous years. 

6. Make it easy for yourself 

You know what happens too easily? 

Someone will get excited to lose weight, take all the steps they need to, only to quickly hit one challenge after the other as they can’t keep up with weight loss and living their life.

If you have a busy job and a family, it’s really hard to keep going every day if you try to do things that you normally wouldn’t do in your life.

Maybe you’re giving yourself a hard “no” on any sweets whatsoever. And they just feel so tempting at 2pm in the afternoon when you’re starting to hit that slump…

Or you have to cook for yourself AND your family. Who has time for that?

Successful weight loss comes down to adopting habits that work with your lifestyle. 

Don’t restrict yourself 100%, but enjoy your life by eating that vegan chocolate cake. And instead of a sugary sweet, have a delicious smoothie to kick back from your afternoon slump. 

It all comes down to balance. 

7. Get support! 

Finally, you know the saying, “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”? 

It’s highly applicable to weight loss.

You see, as weight loss statistics show, support is essential for successful, long-term weight loss.

A randomized trial shows that programs that include elements like group support, assignments, and discussions are more effective than a self-help approach. 

7-day vegan weight loss meal plan 

What does a healthy vegan weight loss plan look like? Here’s a 7-day meal plan to help you get started. I’m linking to some of my favorite recipes to make the preparation even easier for you. 

The best part is that these recipes are family-friendly. You don’t need to cook separate meals for the rest of your family (unless they have other diets). 

Pro-tip #1: A real-life hack is to make a bit more dinner the night before and use that as your lunch the next day. Or why not meal prep and batch dinners so that you have lunches and dinners ready to go for several days? 

Pro-tip #2: I know you’re busy and cooking is a really time-consuming activity. You’d love nothing more than to relax with your family at the end of a busy workday instead of spending hours in the kitchen. My go-to is a crockpot. It’s the best feeling to come home to a fully cooked meal. 

vegan food

Here’s your grocery list for this meal plan:

Dry/canned food and nuts 

  • Old-fashioned rolled oats
  • Oat flour 
  • Coconut palm sugar 
  • Baking powder 
  • Cocoa powder 
  • Mixed nuts 
  • Walnuts 
  • Tomato paste (can) 
  • Garbanzo beans 
  • Black beans 
  • Kidney beans
  • Cannellini beans 
  • Red lentils 
  • Brown, green or pardina lentils 
  • Coconut oil
  • Coconut milk 
  • Coconut milk yogurt 
  • Coconut flakes 
  • Chickpeas
  • Tofu 
  • Quinoa or brown rice 
  • Vegetable stock 
  • Tamarind paste 

Fruits, vegetables & berries 

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Red onion
  • Mushrooms 
  • Small tomatoes 
  • Spaghetti squash 
  • Sweet potatoes 
  • Cherry tomatoes 
  • Tomatoes 
  • Pumpkin (pureed) 
  • Peppers
  • Baby carrots 
  • Asparagus 
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower florets (frozen) 
  • Celery 
  • Avocado 
  • Baby spinach
  • Lemon
  • Lime juice 
  • Bananas 
  • Clementine mandarin oranges 
  • Blueberries 
  • Mango
  • Strawberries 
  • Pepitas 
  • Frozen pineapple 
  • Frozen honeydew melon pulps 
  • Acai pulp 
  • Dates 

Spices & herbs 

  • Mint leaves
  • Fresh parsley 
  • Dried parsley 
  • Paprika 
  • Cilantro 
  • Cinnamon
  • Tai peanut dressing 
  • Sesame seed 
  • Chili powder
  • Chaat masala 
  • Jalapeno pepper
  • Turmeric powder
  • Garam masala 
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg 
  • Ground cloves 
  • Cumin
  • Curry powder 
  • Oregano 
  • Garlic powder 
  • Vanilla 
  • Maple syrup 
  • Tahini 
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar 

Monday

Breakfast: Easy overnight cinnamon oats 

Snack: Masala mixed nuts 

Lunch: Curried garbanzo beans 

Dinner: Spaghetti squash Thai noodle bowl 

Tuesday 

Breakfast: Easy overnight cinnamon oats 

Snack: Masala mixed nuts 

Lunch: Curried garbanzo beans

Dinner: Hands-off turmeric tofu with roasted veggies

Wednesday

Breakfast: Easy overnight cinnamon oats 

Snack: Healthy orange creamsicle smoothie 

Lunch: Black bean pumpkin chili 

Dinner: One-pot Moroccan chickpea bowl 

Thursday

Breakfast: Easy overnight cinnamon oats 

Snack: Masala mixed nuts 

Lunch: Black bean pumpkin chili 

Dinner: Leftover Thursday

Friday

Breakfast: Low sugar blueberry smoothie 

Snack: Apple and nuts/seeds 

Lunch: No-cook 3-bean salad

Dinner: Spicy vegan fajita bowl 

Dessert: Clean eating molten lava chocolate cake 

Saturday

Breakfast: Homemade acai bowl

Snack: Avocado mojito smoothie 

Lunch: Healthy slow-cooker spiced lentil and vegetable soup 

Dinner: Mushroom stroganoff (leave out sour cream) 

Sunday 

Breakfast: Homemade acai bowl 

Snack: Creamy ginger green smoothie 

Lunch: Red & green salad

Dinner: Vegan masala lentils 

Over to you!

There you have it! Now you have a solid vegan weight loss plan to follow. What it comes down to is taking consistent steps and troubleshooting whenever you hit a plateau.   

Next, I’d love to know: 

What questions come up for you?

Let me know in the comment below!  

The post Vegan Weight Loss Plan: 7 Steps (Plus a 1-Week Meal Plan) appeared first on MasalaBody.

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Meet the Founder: Alice Asquith of Asquith Clothing

Thanks to the pandemic, the transition from working ...

I’m sharing everything on my journey to get in the best shape of my life.

I’m learning a lot and so will you.