Isn’t it exciting to read those stories of people who go vegan and immediately drop 50lbs, get off their medications, and have dramatic life and health improvements? But what about when that doesn’t happen?
Listen closer, read between the lines, and you will hear the stories of those who don’t lose weight when adopting a vegan diet, and some who even gain weight! Sometimes in private conversations, so as not to bring down “the movement”, they whisper their shared frustrations “Why did magic vegan weight loss not happen for me?”
The decision to go vegan is not necessarily one that should be solely about achieving specific weight loss goals. However, many people do enjoy some weight loss while living a vegan lifestyle. While there’s no silver bullet vegan weight loss diet, there are things you might be doing that are preventing you from losing weight, including these listed below.
1.Consuming Hidden Calories in Drinks
Smoothies are a dietary staple for many followers of a vegan diet. They can be a good source of nutrition when you’re a vegan. Unfortunately, they can also be filled with hidden calories and may do little to help you feel full or satiated. Other drinks, such as alcohol, some fruit drinks, sodas and even some sports drinks can be high in calories. When you’re drinking these in excess, they can be a stumbling block for your weight loss goals. When you’re thirsty, your first instinct should be to reach for water until it becomes your beverage of choice.
2. Failing to Exercise Proper Portion Control
While a plant-based diet is healthy, it is not an all you can eat proposition. You must exercise some degree of portion control and count your calories. Sometimes the fix can be as simple as using smaller dishes for portion control. It’s even wise, if weight loss is your goal, to monitor your macro nutrients (fat, protein, and carbohydrate) intake.
3. Overindulging in Excess Fats
Fats are a necessary part of a healthy diet – no matter how the headlines read. If weight loss is your goal, though, it is crucial to moderate your fat intake as fat has a fair amount of calories (9 calories per gram of fat compared to only four calories per gram in proteins and carbohydrates).
4. Taking in Inadequate Protein Consumption
Protein is essential for building muscle mass. Why is that important, you ask? Muscle mass helps keep your metabolism going so that it’s constantly burning calories throughout your day. Weight loss is, ultimately, about burning more calories than you consume in a day.
5. Frying Your Vegetables
Vegetables are great! Some people prefer them fried. If this is you, you might be sabotaging your weight loss efforts. As a strictly occasional preparation method, it is acceptable to do so. However, for the bulk of your daily meals, it is far better to seek alternative preparation methods like steaming, baking, roasting, and stewing – allowing you to skip out on the excess salt and oils that can derail your weight loss efforts.
6. Neglecting to Read Food Labels
It’s important to be informed about the foods you’re putting in your body. The problem many people have when new to a vegan lifestyle is trying to replace the foods they loved before. There are plenty of boxes, mixes, and other products designed to do this, but they can, and often do, include a few unhealthy ingredients, like – preservatives, fats, sodium, etc., in the mix.
Read labels. Know what is in the foods you’re consuming so you can make better-informed choices when following a vegan diet. What does this have to do with weight loss? A study found that women who read labels weigh almost nine pounds on average less than those who do not. It makes a difference.
7. Eating Too Many Carbohydrates
Your diet is a delicate balance of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Whenever you consume more carbohydrates than proteins it can cause your body to hold on to water – causing you to gain water weight. Fruits and vegetables all have good carbs. Starchy foods like white rice, white breads, and empty calorie snack foods are the kind of carbs you can do without. Watch your carb intake and limit excess sodium in your diet too for better weight loss results.
These seven simple things can stall your weight loss efforts even while you follow a vegan diet. Start focusing on them, and see if they make a difference for your weight loss results.
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