A vegan diet involves abstaining from using animal products and moving towards a plant-centric diet to lower the impact on the environment but what can they eat to not gain weight?
It is associated with a philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals and this practice is known as veganism.
Many people assume being on a vegan diet helps lose weight no matter what they eat, as long as there are no animal products.
Because of this misconception, people tend to forget that going vegan does not magically make that extra weight melt away.
But how does a vegan diet impact weight loss?
And what can vegans eat, or restrict themselves from, besides meats and eggs to lose weight?
Let’s find out.
Vegan diets are linked with weight loss.
Because plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and beans are low in calories and high in nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
As a result, they help an individual maintain moderate body weight by burning more calories than they consume.
A recent research report published in 2020 reported that people who converted to a vegan diet revealed significant improvement in overall health, including controlled blood pressure, reduced cholesterol, and weight loss.
Because of the higher content of less saturated fat and cholesterol and more dietary fiber, vegan diets promote lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure, reducing their risk of heart disease.
The vegan diet may be adopted for various reasons, which include ecological, religious, ethical, or healthiness.
However, the main goals are usually to lose weight, lower environmental impact, and reduce the risk of certain diseases.
Nutrient-dense foods are always an easy way to achieve sustainable, healthy weight loss regardless of the reasons for going vegan.
That said, to answer your question “what can vegans eat to lose not gain weight”, we have compiled a list of foods a vegan can eat to maximize their protein intake and minimize overall calories.
Piling the plate with healthy food isn’t going to make you lose weight overnight.
Along with choosing healthy food, it is important to choose the right nourishment.
Below is a composed list of what vegans can eat for healthy weight loss.
Almonds are considered a safe food by vegans since they are considered free of animal by-products or animal labor.
In fact, almond-related products, such as almond milk and almond butter, are often considered to be vegan staples.
An ounce of almonds contains 165 calories, 6 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat (80% monounsaturated, 15% polyunsaturated, and 5% saturated), 6 grams of carbohydrate, and 3 grams of fiber.
Almonds are rich in mono-saturated fats and fiber, which keep cholesterol in check.
And the unique composition of nutrients, such as fats, fiber, protein, magnesium, and vitamin E, promotes weight loss and lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases while maintaining the blood sugar level.
Consuming almonds as a mid-morning snack can also increase the overall satiety of your meals and snacks, thereby delaying hunger.
There are several ways to eat almonds.
They can either be eaten raw or by sprinkling the almond silver (roasted, toasted, or raw) on oatmeal.
As aforementioned, almond milk and butter are equally beneficial and are a good alternative to regular milk and butter.
However, adding a tablespoon of almond butter to a veggie stir-fry sauce can make it deliciously savory.
Sprouted seeds are often more nutrient-dense than ungerminated seeds or mature vegetables.
And due to their short growth cycle, sprouts can be produced with minimal input and without pesticides.
Sprouts can even be home-grown and harvested as needed; hence they have low environmental impacts.
Sprouts generally contain sugar (12 g/100 g), crude protein (40%), crude fiber (12%DM), vitamin E (55 mg/100 g), minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids.
Sprouts have multiple health benefits.
The components fight off germs and stimulate the immune system.
Sprouts are easy to digest and are a good source of antioxidants.
This improves the blood sugar level and lowers the risk of heart disease.
And since they contain fewer calories and a high amount of fiber, it helps reduce appetite while satiating hunger and promoting weight loss.
Sprouts can be eaten in several ways.
They are often consumed raw or lightly cooked because of their delicate nature.
They can be easily incorporated into several dishes, such as soups, sandwiches, rice dishes, and omelets.
Quinoa is a versatile and nutritious plant. People can eat both its seeds and leaves.
Quinoa seeds have higher nutritional value, such as minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants.
They are called pseudo-cereals because of their unusual composition and exceptional balance between oil, protein, and fat.
Quinoa is high in fiber, amino acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, saponins, phytosterols, phytoecdysteroids, phenolics, betalains, and glycine betaine.
Consuming it may reduce the risks of several health problems, such as metabolic issues, cardiovascular diseases, and gastrointestinal health.
Once quinoa is soaked and sprouted, it can be eaten raw or added to your daily diet.
It can be blended in with smoothies or sprinkled over salads.
In fact, quinoa is an easy and fast alternative to oatmeal and can be paired with nuts, fruits, or syrups.
Spinach: the leafy green vegetable that originated in Persia, is packed with nutrients and antioxidants, such as fiber, proteins, fat, carbohydrates, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
And apart from being a vegetable, spinach is recognized for its medicinal value that has made significant nutritional contributions to the vegetable diet.
Spinach is a good source of iron, a mineral that helps red blood cells carry oxygen to different areas of the body.
They are nearly all water, which can easily boost hydration and help curb appetite.
And the minerals and vitamins improve immunity and keep the bones healthy.
Spinach also helps with better skin care, improving eyesight, regulating blood pressure, building stronger muscles, and preventing age-related macular degeneration and hemophilia.
They also reduce the risks of several health problems, like heart attacks and neurological disorders.
Spinach is a nutritious addition to salads and sandwiches.
Spinach adds nutrients to any soup, stew, or stir-fry.
They can be blended into smoothies with other fruits and vegetables to enhance taste and nutritional value.
Chickpeas are especially nutrient-dense and generally low in calories.
And according to the US Department of Agriculture, a cup of chickpeas provides,
- 269 calories
- protein (14.5 g)
- fat (4.25 g)
- carbohydrates (44.9 g)
- dietary fiber (12.5 g)
- calcium (80.4 mg)
- iron (4.74 mg)
- magnesium (78.7 mg)
- potassium (276 mg)
- sodium (11.5 mg).
Chickpeas play a beneficial role in weight management, glucose, and insulin regulation, as well as positively impacting cardiovascular disease risks.
They may also help improve the nutrient profiles of meals.
There are several ways to eat chickpeas.
Pita filled with vegetables and chickpeas makes a filling lunch.
They can also be fried with some falafel or tossed in with pasta or curry (with some ginger and tomato-garlic sauce).
Oats are among the nutrient-dense foods rich in carbs and fiber and have higher amounts of proteins and fats.
One cup of oats serves 303 calories, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and 8 grams of fiber.
Oatmeal is well suited with fresh fruits, nuts, and seeds.
Either blend the dry roasted oats into smoothies or pair them with coconut milk and sweet berries.
Legumes are a family of beans, peas, and lentil seeds eaten in their immature form.
One-half cup of legumes provides 115 calories, 20 g of carbohydrates, 7–9 g of fiber, 8 g of protein, and 1 g of fat.
These edible and nutritious seeds control the blood sugar level and cholesterol levels.
Legumes are rich in magnesium, fiber, protein, and all the other nutrients that have a positive impact on blood pressure. It satiates hunger, consequently lowering the risk of obesity.
Legumes are a savory addition to salads.
They can be prepared as stews, soups, or even casseroles.
Legumes such as soy nuts with vegan chips or crackers can be a healthy snack.
Chia seeds are a sanative addition to a balanced diet.
Chia seeds have 486 calories per 100g, 31g (47%) fat, 42g (14% carbs), 34g (136%) fiber, and 17g (34% protein).
Chia seeds offer benefits beyond their nutritional value, such as lowering cholesterol or improving gut health.
They help reduce weight and appetite while improving blood sugar levels.
Chia seeds are versatile; they can be added to many desserts and beverages, such as fruit juices, smoothies, or even puddings.
They can be blended with salad dressings or can be simply drunk with water after soaking for a few minutes.
Soy products such as tofu, soymilk, edamame, soy nuts, and sprouted soybeans are purely plant-based.
And 122g of tofu offers 177 calories,
- Carbohydrates (5.36 g)
- Fat (12.19 g)
- Protein (15.57 g)
- Calcium (421 mg)
- Magnesium (65)
- Iron (3.35 mg)
- Phosphorus (282 mg)
- Potassium (178 mg)
- Zinc (2 mg)
Soy products are rich in protein, which helps reduce cholesterol levels.
It also helps reduce blood sugar levels, manage blood pressure, and reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease and cancer-related issues.
Soy products such as tofu, tempeh, or textured soy proteins are the best alternatives to meat in stews, soups, and meatless chili.
The roasted soy nuts serve as a nutritious snack, and soy milk can be added to any beverage or dish.
Lentils are edible legumes known for their lens-shaped seeds.
A cup of lentils offers 676 calories, (02 g) fats, (122 g) carbohydrates, (47 g) protein, (21 g) fibers, (8.6 mg) vitamin C, (3.84 mcg) vitamin A, and so on.
Lentils provide the fiber needed for a day in a single serving.
It helps lower cholesterol levels and prevents diabetes and colon cancer.
In addition, the fiber keeps digestion active, preventing constipation.
A simple way to consume lentils is to boil them.
However, they increase the protein content in salads or soups.
They can also be sprouted before cooking.
After determining what can vegans eat, the next point is how to follow the vegan diet to lose weight.
The following are eight tips that may assist a vegan to improve their health and manage their weight.
Though plant-based foods are healthy, their processed versions like vegan cheese, burgers, butter, etc. aren’t the healthiest.
Besides, just because these vegan junk options exist does not necessitate their consumption.
However, treating yourself occasionally may not ruin the diet in the long run.
When following a vegan diet, it is important to have enough protein and know that meat isn’t the only source of protein.
Consuming foods such as soy products, chickpeas, lentils, etc., may provide enough protein for the body without off-tracking from a vegan diet.
Constant hunger may inhibit the diet plan.
Therefore, focusing on high-fiber foods such as lentils, chickpeas, pistachios, etc., might help satiate hunger and improve digestion.
And according to a study, an average fiber intake of about 20 to 35 grams per day is recommended.
When managing weight, some vegans tend to focus only on their portion sizes and the calories on their plates rather than the nutrients.
But many others don’t consider calories a thing.
It is important to keep your portions in mind and not indulge in over-eating as it can affect your weight loss journey negatively.
However, the focus should be on nutrient-rich calories.
Oil is high in calories and void of nutritional value, and almost all processed foods require frying, which can be harmful to health.
Instead of frying, it is better to steam the food if possible since it is one of the healthiest ways to prepare certain foods.
Although vegan foods are healthy and promote better health, junk food is junk food, and there’s no way around it.
For instance, though fruit juices are healthy, the sugar added to them isn’t.
According to research, sugary beverages are hazardous to health; they can cause type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Water burns fat, and that is a fact.
Drinking at least eight glasses of water keeps the body hydrated, which inhibits the body from metabolizing the accumulated carbs and fats.
It also boosts the metabolism, regulates the digestive system, and curbs hunger.
This, in turn, promotes weight loss.
Exercise contributes significantly to weight loss, and more physical activity increases the number of calories the body uses for energy or “burns off.”
In fact, physical activity burns calories, and a “calorie deficit” along with a vegan diet can promote weight loss.
Being physically active also reduces high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, and several forms of cancer.
Although vegan diets are healthy and promote weight loss, the choice of nourishment also matters.
Furthermore, piling up “vegan” snacks can also lead to weight gain since they contain processed carbs and fats.
So, try eating more fruits and vegetables and focus on overall nutrition intake and lifestyle, rather than just counting calories.
And what can vegans eat for protein are in abundance; what all do you plan to incorporate into your vegan diet for weight loss?
For some more great tips, ideas and recipes, be sure to pay us a visit at: bestdarnvegan.com