5 Easy Tips To Shed Those Vegan Pounds
Just because you are a vegan doesn’t necessarily mean you are skinny. A diet consisting of Pepsi, Oreo cookies, and potato chips will not result in an almost identical Brad Pitt-like appearance. Circa 2000 Marlon Brando maybe, but definitely not the second coming of Tyler Durden. The skinny-fat look is somewhat common with vegans who don’t necessarily watch what they eat. You can in fact still be thin but not aesthetically appealing. Even people who refrain completely from animal products can have issues with weight management. That’s why I have compiled a set of easy weight loss tips designed specifically for vegans.
When you are truly on a plant-based diet, and all of your food comes from whole-food plant sources, weight loss will come with ease. This will require some discipline and proper planning, but losing weight as a vegan can be extremely easy. Let’s begin!
Tomorrow Starts The Night Before
If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. This is the most important motto to remember when you are trying to transform your body.
The absolute biggest mistake you can make if you are ever trying to lose weight is buying takeout food.
Here is the truth on takeout: You don’t know what’s in that lunch. How much refined vegetable oil did they use? How many calories are in each serving? Is it even 100% vegan?
That’s why my first tip to you is meal planning. The night before, make a quick lunch for the next day. Keep it simple – rice, broccoli, and tofu.
Stick with the three staples: something green, something grainy, and something with protein. This morning, I made lunch for my wife and I. It took about 30 minutes. It consisted of several handfuls of mixed greens, a cup of brown rice, and a cup of beans. Dry and tasteless food sucks, so what I did was mix hummus, soy milk, dijon mustard, and a little olive oil to make a dressing. I poured it all over the food I had made. This was a filling, flavorful, nutrient-dense lunch.
Always make sure you prepare enough food. It’s okay to gorge yourself on plant-based organic food. A big heavy vegan lunch is acceptable.
Start Your Morning Right
There are two items that I recommend you have for breakfast – an extremely simple smoothie and oatmeal.
For the smoothie, go to your frozen food aisle section at your local supermarket and buy the following: frozen beets, frozen berries, and frozen mangos/pineapples. Add half a cup of each with 2-3 cups of water into your blender and chug it.
The more complicated your smoothie is, the more you will dread making it. I am all for complex smoothies, but not for breakfast. You are tired, in a rush, and predisposed to give up easier on life between the hours of 6:00am – 8:00am. That last part isn’t a scientific fact, just my personal experience.
Your smoothie should take no more than 5 minutes to prepare. After your smoothie is done, make sure you have oatmeal ready to take to go. I suggest eating a cup every morning. It may be bland sometimes so make sure to add cinnamon and maple syrup/brown sugar into your oatmeal. It adds a serious kick to this generally boring food.
Why do I recommend oatmeal? In my personal experience, a cup of oatmeal suppresses your appetite well into lunch time. It also provides you with significant amounts of protein and fiber.
1 cup of rolled oats consists of 9 grams of fiber (39% of your daily requirement) and 9 grams of protein (about 1/6th of all the protein the average person needs for the day).
Buy The Right Tools
Without a doubt, the best tool you can purchase is a NutriBullet for smoothie purposes. Here is a link for the Nutribullet that’s sold on Amazon.
I have been using this product for several years now. What I love about it is how easy it is to clean. As long as you rinse it immediately after using it, the cup and blender part will be spotless.
Don’t go crazy with filling it up. There is a line on the cup that tells you how much you should max out the cup wit your ingredients. Make sure not to go beyond that line.
The Vitamix Blender is not something which I have used as of yet but all of the hardcore vegan triathletes that I follow such as John Joseph and Rich Roll use this blender. It is definitely more expensive than the Nutribullet but substantially more powerful.
How To Vegan-snack Properly
Suppose you ate your oatmeal and lunch but you are still hungry. The cheapest most efficient way to snack is chugging a ton of water and drinking coffee.
Coffee has properties in it that suppress hunger. Adding some sweetener to it will kill your sugar craving.
Don’t underestimate coffee. It comes with vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B1 (thiamine), potassium, and manganese.
I also personally enjoy snacking on apples and bananas all day. Both are filling and packed with fiber. Just remember to stay away from packaged foods. They are drenched in calories.
The Vegan Dinner That Will Guarantee Weightless
Remember when I said avoid complex smoothies for breakfast? That advice now goes out the window. They actually do serve a purpose. Get as complicated as you want with your vegan concoction when it comes to dinner time.
Turmeric, berries, greens, chia seeds, obscure super-food powders – whatever. Get as crazy as you want since you now have the time to. The thicker and heavier your smoothie is, the better. This is your dinner after all. You want to stay full right up to the moment of sleep.
Your dinner smoothie is an optimal time to make up for any nutrient deficiencies you may have encountered during the day.
Here is an example of a dinner smoothie I make:
- Two cups of kale
- One cup of frozen blueberries
- One cup of frozen beets
- One banana
- One tablespoon of peanut butter
- Three teaspoons of ground flaxseed
- Two cups of almond milk
- Two cups of water
Get as creative as you want. Obviously, focus more on adding ingredients that are plant-based whole foods. Refined powders and supplements aren’t terrible, but an actual food source is always the way to go.
Exercise On a Vegan Diet
Exercising on a vegan diet is fairly easy. If you are truly on a plant-based diet, the food you are consuming is extremely clean and not calorically dense. The excess weight should melt right off.
The proper method of exercise is irrelevant. The only thing you have to make sure is you stay consistent.
I personally recommend you go for a 20 minute run in the morning. That 20-minute jog may result in a half mile distance of traveling at first. Eventually, that 1/5th of an hour you invest into running each morning will easily result into a 2-3-mile trek.
20 minutes really isn’t enough though. That’s why after work, I recommend you find an ebook or podcast you love, turn it on, and go for a 40 minute walk.
Get in a combined 1 hour of exercise per day. Walking may seem soft and ineffective, but the miles you travel compounds drastically within a week. You burn calories whether you are as slow as a turtle or are fast as a cheetah.
Weight loss as a vegan should not be a difficult task. The most important thing to do is stay consistent. Remember exactly what I said:
- Tomorrow starts the night before: Prepare all of your food for the day the night before. This way, you have complete control and awareness of what’s going inside of you.
- Start your morning right: Take in an easy smoothie and hearty oatmeal. You will be rewarding yourself with a filling, nutrient-dense breakfast. Also, you won’t be hungry until well into lunch time by following this advice.
- Vegan snack properly: Water, apples, bananas, and coffee. These are your best friends when you get hungry during the day and want to snack on something.
- The best vegan dinner: Have a massive, super-healthy smoothie for dinner. Make sure you fill it up with food items that contain nutrients which you may have missed out on during the day.
- Exercise on a vegan diet: Exercise however you want, but stay consistent. Doing a light run in the morning, and a long walk at night is a great regiment to have.
And there it is. Your easy weight loss tips for vegans. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.