5 reasons you might not be losing weight on a vegan diet
Studies show that a plant-based diet is naturally good for your health. By adding more fruits and veggies to your menu, you’re going to be less likely to be diagnosed with obesity, some cancers, diabetes and even depression.
So it naturally follows that a vegan diet is even better, right? Absolutely! Some people choose to switch to a vegan diet for health reasons, and many choose the lifestyle to help lose weight. If you’ve been following a vegan diet for weight loss but aren’t seeing the results you want, there are a few reasons this might be the case. Let’s take a look.
1. You’re eating incorrect portion sizes.
There’s no doubt about it – the calories from plants are packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are essential to your health. However, even healthy foods like plants require portion control. Your weight loss depends on burning more calories than you consume, so be sure to keep an eye on your portion sizes.
2. You’re not getting enough exercise.
Can you lose weight without exercise? Technically, yes. But you certainly won’t see results as quickly as if you add a little activity to your day. Again, to lose weight you must expend more calories than you consume. There’s no better way to do this than with exercise! The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of exercise each week.
3. You’re drinking your calories.
You can be vegan and enjoy a cold glass of sweet tea, lemonade, juice or even some sodas. But don’t forget to count those calories! For example, just one 8-ounce glass of orange juice packs a whopping 111 calories. For most weight loss menus, that’s a large percentage of your daily recommendation of calories!
4. You’re eating too many processed foods.
Fortunately for vegans, there are more and more food producers that are stocking shelves with vegan products. You’ll find vegan ice cream, cookies, pasta and potato chips at your local grocery store. These processed foods are a great treat, but many people on a vegan diet reach for far too many of these foods. Stick with healthier alternatives, opting for fruits and veggies or even unsalted popcorn.
5. You’re not getting enough protein.
One of the biggest challenges new vegans face is getting enough protein. Check with your doctor for your specific needs, but most scientists agree that vegans should consume 0.45 grams of protein per pound of body weight. You’ll get protein from foods like beans, lentils and chickpeas, but be mindful: these foods are naturally high in starch. If you feel you need guidance, chat with your doctor or a dietician to determine the right types of protein for your lifestyle and health needs.
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Read more about 5 plant-based foods that help you lose weight.