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Vegan Weight Loss: Can You Lose Weight by Being a Vegetarian / Vegan?

Can You Lose Weight by Being a Vegetarian? Or Going Vegan?

Have you been thinking about “Going Veg” to lose weight?

Veganism and vegetarianism have both been in the media a lot lately.

Neither are new lifestyles however, more conscious eating habits and awareness about diet and fitness have pushed these two concepts to the forefront.

If you are not sure what a vegetarian or vegan is…. (hey – it CAN be confusing)

Here are some helpful Vegetarian Definitions:

Vegan diets – exclude meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products — and foods that contain these products.

Vegetarian Diets (there are several types)

  • Lacto-vegetarian diets – don’t eat meat, fish, poultry and eggs, or any foods that contain them. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt and butter, are allowed in a lacto-vegetarian diet.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian diets – exclude meat, fish and poultry, but allow eggs and dairy products.
  • Pescetarian – Eats fish but no other animal foods
  • Semi-vegetarian diets — also called a flexitarian diet — this is mostly a plant-based diet but allows meat, dairy, eggs, poultry and fish on occasion or in small quantities.

Many people are trying the vegan lifestyle and are finding that they’re losing weight.

Why?

Because they’re eating so many fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

These items are high in nutrients but they’re low in calories.

Click Here to learn more about EASY healthy vegan weight loss!

You can eat a large quantity of some fruits and many vegetables and still not consume as many calories as you might with a piece of chicken.

And you’ll find that because you’re eating so much healthy fiber, you’re also more regular. You’ll poop more which means less bloating or constipation which can add pounds to your weight.

If you’ve ever considered becoming a vegan or a vegetarian and you want to lose weight, the rest of this article will definitely be of interest to you.

Lots of people you might know have become vegan or vegetarian and lost weight and improved their health.

President Clinton adopted a semi-vegan lifestyle and he not only lost weight but his health improved too.

Check out this video where Bill Clinton and 2 doctors explain the Bill Clinton’s healthy dramatic weight loss – this is a very informative video

Partial Transcript from the Video (above)

Wolf Blitzer: How do you lose so much weight? What kind of diet are you on?

Bill Clinton: The short answer is I went on essentially a plant based diet. I live on beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits. I drink a protein supplement every morning. No dairy. I drink almond milk mixed in with fruit and a protein powder, so I get the protein for the day when I start the day out.

It changed my whole metabolism and I lost 24 pounds. I got back to basically what I weighed in high school. But I did it for a different reason, I mean I wanted to lose a little weight but I never dreamed this would happen.

CAUTION: Following a vegan or vegetarian diet isn’t automatically going to be low calorie.

Many people who try a vegetarian or vegan diet turn to starchy carbs for meals and snacks. This isn’t healthy as starchy carbs like bread, baked goods and potatoes or white rice do fill you up but they also lack nutrients. Worse, they cause a spike in blood sugar which causes energy highs and lows and cravings.

You can actually gain weight on a vegetarian diet if your portion sizes are large or if you eat a lot of high-calorie foods.

In addition many foods marketed as vegetarian or vegan might be loaded with calories and fat, such as soy hot dogs, soy cheese, refried beans and snack bars. For this reason it’s very possible to be overweight or get fatter while following a vegetarian diet.

The basics of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight are the same for everyone: Eat a healthy diet and balance calories eaten with calories burned.

Click Here to learn more about EASY healthy vegan weight loss!

Vegetarians — like nonvegetarians — can make unhealthy choices that contribute to weight gain, such as eating large portions of high-calorie foods or foods that have little or no nutritional value.

So if you decide to go more toward vegan or vegetarian eating habits – I encourage you to eat food in as natural a state as possible. That means: avoid processed vegetarian foods the majority of the time.

Jana’s thoughts….

Y’all know that I eat almost anything I want in moderation.

I don’t put myself in a specific box re: Vegan / Vegetarian / Semi-Vegetarian /  Flexitarian.  However….

The majority of what I eat happens to be non processed whole fresh natural foods. So you know that means I lean toward Vegan / Vegetarian in a BIG Way!

And  I have found over the years that eating this way is super yummy and satisfying!

You can’t go wrong if you keep filling your plate with healthy whole foods (fruits / vegetables / whole grains / lentils / beans / lean protein, etc.)

If you decide to lean more toward vegan /vegetarian meals, I think you will find that you get to enjoy very delicious nutritious food and you can easily achieve the healthy weight that is right for you.

If you are looking for more information about the vegan / vegetarian lifestyle, these books (by the doctor’s in the President Clinton video) offer a lot of guidance

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease

The Spectrum by Dean Ornish MD

You may also want to consult a registered dietitian to be sure your diet meets your nutritional needs.

You can also learn more about the vegan or vegetarian diet and how to do it in a healthy way, from the ADA (American Dietetic Assoication) by clicking here

If you’re not following a vegetarian or vegan diet but you’re thinking of trying it, here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • Begin to Add More. Begin to increase the number of meatless meals you serve your family. You can make vegetable lasagna, do a vegetable stir-fry, make a taco salad with bean burger (meat) rather than ground beef.
  • Try a substitute. Take favorite recipes and try them without meat. I do this with the majority of my popular family recipes. For example, you can make  chili vegetarian by leaving out the ground beef and adding an extra can of black beans. Or make fajitas using extra-firm tofu rather than chicken. You may be surprised to find that many dishes require only simple substitutions and they really taste delicious!
  • Do Simple Research to add variety to your recipes . Scan the Internet for vegetarian menus. Buy or borrow vegetarian cookbooks. Check out ethnic restaurants to sample new vegetarian cuisines. The more variety you bring to your vegetarian diet, the more likely you’ll be to meet all your nutritional needs and find so many delicious meals that you will never feel deprived!

Bottom Line: When choosing a diet healthy eating plan, you want one that promotes a healthy lifestyle that always includes: regular exercise and a wide variety of nutrient rich foods.

What do YOU think about vegan or vegetarian diets? Share your comments below.

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