Why you are not losing weight on a Vegan diet
Statistics show that body mass index and cholesterol levels, in general are lowest amongst vegans and highest amongst meat eaters.
But turning vegan doesn’t necessarily mean that you will instantly lose weight!
Here are my top reasons on why you might not be losing weight on a plant based diet:
1. Vegan does not mean low calorie
Do not fall in to the trap of believing that everything vegan is good for you or that it is low in calories.
In order to lose weight, you will need to be in a calorie deficit, which means you are burning more calories than you consume.
Clever marketing makes it easy for us to make mistakes.
For example, we would assume a “meal deal” lunch of a sandwich; low calorie snack and a fruit smoothie would be healthy and help us to reach our goal of losing weight, when in reality, this clocks up a mighty 675 calories! (Wicked sandwich, propercorn popcorn and an Innocent smoothie)
Top tip: Make your own lunch, this is not only healthier but cheaper too!
Why not try a chickpea burger in wholemeal pitta bread and a tasty salad?
2. It is easy to over eat carbohydrates as a vegan
Do not get me wrong here: I do not believe in low carb diets for the average person trying to lose weight! However, this being said, I do believe as a vegan, it is much easier to over consume carbohydrates.
We find carbs in things such as fruit, potatoes, pasta, rice, oats, vegetables etc.
Below, you can see the difference of me eating a high carb and mostly raw diet vs a moderate amount of carbs and higher protein diet!
Top tip: If you are trying to lose weight, carbs should make up no more than 50% of your diet. Try to limit the amount of fruit you eat and swap for green veggies.
3. Are you getting enough protein?
Probably my most asked question, as a vegan, “but where do you get your protein from?”
Contrary to popular belief, it is very easy to get enough protein as a vegan. If your goal is to lose weight, then it is best to be conscious of your protein intake.
There are many yummy protein sources.
Top tip: Try to eat a portion of protein with every meal. Protein helps keep you fuller for longer and works with your hormones for an effective metabolism!
4. Overdoing your portion sizes?
I don’t expect my clients who want to lose a bit of weight to weigh out their food every day; however I do ask them to do it at least once.
You may think you are eating a healthy diet and cannot understand why you are not losing weight, for example: 500g of potatoes is a lot different to 100g of potatoes!
Top tip: Use Myfitnesspal to track your food once in a while to check you have good portion control!
5. The rise of vegan junk food
It seems everyone is jumping on the vegan band wagon (wahoo) and creating yummy vegan treats for us all.
From Greggs Belgian Bun to Co-op jam doughnuts, we are well and truly spoilt!
Mindlessly eating these treats as every day snacks will hinder your weight loss! Your colleagues might tell you that 1 cake won’t hurt, but when 1 cake can equal well over 500 calories, it certainly will add up!
Top tip: Save the goodies as a treat for the weekend and prepare healthy snacks for in the week.
6. Liquid calories
Are you drinking your calories? Did you know there are 233 calories in a medium caramel iced soya latte from Costa?
Top tip: Swap your fancy lattes for an Americano with sugar free syrup! Or buy some flavoured instant coffee from Crumpets and Coffee, only 2 calories per serving! (FOXY10 will give you discount).
7. Pay attention to the timing of your food
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day! Some people make the mistake of having their biggest meal before bed. You will not be burning these calories whilst you sleep.
Top tip: Start your day right with a healthy sized breakfast, medium sized lunch and a smaller sized dinner.
8. Exercise goes hand in hand with a healthy diet
Whilst diet plays a mighty 80 percent role when it comes to losing weight, exercise will help you reach your goal even quicker.
Top tip: a 20 minute walk on your lunch break can burn up to 120 calories!
My Monday Motivation Blog posts are working in partnership with Black Country Vegans. Go give them a follow 🙂