The world has changed and people follow various ideologies to live by or believe in. While many of us have certain values, lifestyles, and attitudes towards the life we choose and the choices we make, others are seen as extreme. Extreme, I say, because they do not conform to societal norms that are usually expected. One such form of lifestyle is the vegan diet. As humans, we are built to be omnivores. But many people choose to stick to eating only a certain diet, which is in alignment with their moral principles. While no one can question a person’s conscious decision about their diet, there are always certain pros and cons associated with any form of extreme diet.
What Is A Vegan Diet?
A vegan diet excludes the consumption of meat, eggs, dairy products, and other animal-derived foods.
- Being a vegan is more of a lifestyle choice than a diet. People adopt veganism for health, environmental, and ethical reasons. Some choose this lifestyle to promote a more humane and caring world.
- The key to a nutritionally sound vegan diet is variety. A healthy vegan diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. A vegan diet is free of cholesterol and saturated fats.
- The vegan weight loss diet is one of the most effective and healthy diets. It consists of food that contains high levels of fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
- The limits of a vegan diet allow a person to eat foods that promote weight loss, energy, and overall health.
- In addition to weight loss, the vegan diet also prevents cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and other chronic diseases.
What To Eat In Vegan Diet For Weight Loss
Here’s a list of top 25 foods to include in your healthy vegan weight loss plan:
- Beans including kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, navy beans, soybeans, and pinto beans are very low in fat.
- They make a perfect addition to your weight loss diet. Each tiny bean is packed with proteins and fibers while remaining extremely low in calories.
- A cup of black beans provides a whopping 15 grams of proteins and contains no saturated fat. A half cup serving of kidney beans provides around 2 grams of resistant starch.
- Also known as chickpeas, garbanzo beans are packed with 2 grams of resistant starch in half a serving.
- Eating a portion of oats for breakfast is a great way to provide the body with slow releasing carbohydrates.
- Oats are rich in fiber, and a serving of this superfood will keep you full throughout the day.
- Just a half cup serving of oats comes packed with 5 grams of resistant starch – a healthy carbohydrate that boosts metabolism.
- Eat a serving of avocados daily to melt the belly fat away.
- The monounsaturated fats in avocados plump up the cell membranes, enabling the cells to burn fat.
- They also boost the metabolism by protecting the cells from free radical damage.
- The unsaturated fats in avocado raise the body levels of leptin, a hormone that lets the brain know that you’re full.
- It also contains oleic acid that triggers the body to curb hunger.
- Avocado is often paired with spicy food for soothing the digestive system. It also contains potassium that helps to regulate fluid balance and prevent constipation.
- Pistachio is one of the lowest calorie nuts.
- It contains heart-friendly mono and polyunsaturated fats. These fats, when consumed in combination with fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, help reduce the risk of heart diseases.
- These tiny treats also suppress the hunger hormones to keep you satiated for a longer time.
5. Chia Seeds
- These seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids. These tiny seeds help suppress appetite by activating glucagon, a fat burning hormone.
- Soak chia seeds for 30 minutes so that they swell up to 10 times their size. The larger the seeds, the quicker the stomach will release hormones to let the brain know that you’re full.
- Broccoli is a low-calorie food packed with fiber that fills you up quickly. The high fiber and water content in broccoli add volume to the meals without adding empty calories.
- This cruciferous vegetable is well known for its anti-cancer properties. The antioxidants in broccoli help to fight aging and cell degeneration.
7. Brown Rice
- Brown rice is a healthy and fiber-packed alternative to white rice. Half a cup of brown rice contains 2 grams of resistant starch, a carbohydrate that aids in burning fat.
- Brown rice is a low-density food i.e. it is quite heavy and filling, but relatively low in calories.
- Brown rice is rich in muscle-strengthening proteins and vitamins that can also help you to get a flat belly.
- It contains a rich supply of vitamin B that helps burn calories.
- One pear comes packed with 15% of the daily recommended amount of fiber. A research revealed that women who ate three pears a day lost more weight than those who did not.
- Do not peel the pear before consuming as its skin contains the highest amounts of fiber. The high pectin content makes these juicy fruits good at preventing water retention.
- Starting your day with lemon water can help you lose extra pounds from the body. Lemons are high in pectin fiber that fights hunger cravings.
- It stimulates the flow of saliva and gastric juice, thus aiding digestion.
- It also helps in the natural cleansing and detoxifying process of the body. Therefore, the more you consume lemons, the faster you experience weight loss.
10. Red Wine
- Red wine is very low in calories and contains no sugar and fat. It contains a substance called piceatannol. It delays the generation of young fat cells and prevents them from growing into mature fat cells. It also blocks insulin’s ability to activate genes that carry out further stages of fat cell formation.
- Red wine burns calories through a process called thermogenesis. It raises the body temperature, causing the body to burn calories for creating heat. It also curbs appetite and prevents overeating.
- Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in the skin of grapes, prevents clotting of blood and lowers the cholesterol levels. Researchers have found that women who drink moderate amounts of red wine are less likely to gain weight in their middle age.
- Eating half a grapefruit before every meal may help you lose up to 1 pound a week. A compound found in grapefruit lowers insulin. Thus, it leads to weight loss.
- It contains a high amount of water that keeps you full for longer time. Grapefruit is high in fiber and very low in calories.
- Almonds are rich in healthy fats that may help you slim down. Chewing a handful of almonds daily causes a greater release of fat. As a result, it triggers hormones that curb hunger.
- Swap your evening snack with a handful of almonds to notice the difference. Almonds are not only good for the hair and skin but they are also rich in magnesium and vitamin B2, which calm nerves and combat stress.
13. Green Tea
- Green tea improves metabolism by 5% in just 24 hours and keeps it high throughout the day.
- Green tea hydrates your body and can help it burn fat and calories.
- Drinking 5 cups of green tea may help you shed 5 pounds in a month. Green tea also assists the body in flushing out the toxins. Thus, it helps to prevent bloating caused by water retention.
- Asparagus is a very low-calorie vegetable. It contains merely 4 calories per spear.
- It is a great source of insulin that regulates blood sugar levels and prevents overeating.
- Each spear of asparagus is packed with vitamins A, B, C and E, along with zinc and potassium. The high fiber content in asparagus improves digestion and stimulates probiotic growth. It is known to treat inflammations such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- Tomatoes are one of the most favorite fat-fighting foods. They aid in reducing inflammation and reversing leptin resistance.
- Lycopene in tomato is considered a potential agent for preventing several types of cancer.
- It stabilizes your blood sugar levels and curbs the appetite to keep you satiated for longer periods. It also detoxifies the body by flushing out the toxins from the fat cells.
- Chillies are one of the best ingredients to boost your metabolism.
- A single chili pepper contains a full day’s supply of beta-carotene and twice the recommended allowance of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to fight toxins and other harmful agents in the bloodstream.
- Lentils are a great source of satiating fiber and protein.
- A half cup of lentils provides 3.5 grams of resistant starch – a healthy carbohydrate that boosts metabolism.
- It contains 18 grams of protein per cup, which helps to maintain lean mass.
- Boiled lentils have a low glycemic index ranking 29. They slow down the digestion of glucose, which stabilizes the blood sugar levels.
- Bananas are very useful for losing extra pounds from the body.
- A slightly green, medium-sized banana contains 110 calories and a whopping 13 grams of resistant starch. Resistant starch is a type of carbohydrate that keeps you full for a longer period. This makes banana a good mid-day snack.
- In fact, just smelling bananas may suppress your appetite by tricking the brain into thinking that you have already eaten them.
- Bananas also provide the body with zinc, fiber, and energy. They not only relieve water retention but also help to maintain the health of the skin.
- The main benefit of watermelon for weight loss is that it is extremely low in calories.
- It is made up of 92% water and is very filling.
- Watermelon contains high amounts of potassium and antioxidants that support the immune system. Overall, they improve the texture of the skin as well.
- Tiny but mighty, berries are stuffed with antioxidants and fiber. They help you reduce weight. A cup of berries provides 8 grams of fiber and only 60 calories. Eat them as they are or add them to your smoothies or salads for a sweet treat.
- Berries are also rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and several essential minerals. Blueberry is one of the most powerful berries for weight loss. 1 cup serving of blueberries provides 4 grams of fiber and only 80 calories.
- They are well known for their anti-aging benefits. Along with high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants, they also have amazing diuretic properties. They encourage the body to get rid of excess fluids through excretion.
21. Dark Chocolate
- Dark chocolate is full of MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) that help curb the cravings for sweet, salt, and fatty foods.
- It contains phenolic antioxidants that savage the free radicals to protect your body from degenerative diseases.
- It protects the nerves from injury and inflammation. It also protects the skin from oxidative damage. Dark chocolate also elevates mood, thus curbing your desire to consume junk food.
- Papaya increases the metabolism, thereby helping in weight reduction.
- It is a rich source of fiber that keeps you full for a longer period.
- The high content of water and fiber in papaya ease digestibility.
- It also facilitates the proper functioning of the bowel to prevent constipation. It helps to break down food faster and eases bloating. Regular consumption of papaya also relieves morning sickness and nausea. Thus, papaya is highly recommended for weight loss.
- Quinoa is an amazing diet-friendly whole grain filled with hunger-fighting protein. It keeps the stomach full for longer periods of time, thus preventing overeating.
- It is a rich source of proteins, amino acids, fibers, B complex vitamins, and complex carbohydrates. They help to boost metabolism.
- This gluten-free whole grain can be eaten plain or with other vegetables for a healthy breakfast. This versatile grain can be made into crackers, cereals or other side dishes.
- Apple is a water-rich fruit that can make the vegan diet plan for weight loss very effective. The pectin in apple limits the absorption of fat in the cells.
- For a mere 95 calories, a medium apple provides 4 grams of fiber. Boosting the fiber intake in the body helps prevent weight gain, thus encouraging weight loss.
25. Whole Grains
- Grain is considered whole when its germ, bran, and endosperm are present in it.
- Whole grains are a rich source of vitamin B complex, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, and fiber. They help to regulate bowel and hunger. Whole grains also reduce the risk of heart diseases by decreasing the cholesterol levels and blood pressure in the body.
- Studies have revealed that individuals who consume whole grains weigh less than those who include little or no grains in their diet.
- Whole weight cereals not only provide ample fiber but are also loaded with trace minerals like iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium. Barley is an amazing vegan food for slimming down. It contains 2 grams of resistant starch per serving. A healthy vegan food plan for weight loss consists of all the above mentioned top 25 foods.
Minerals And Nutrients
Many believe that being on a vegan diet would mean depriving your body of protein. But the fact is that vegans can get all the protein they need from beans, tofu, lentils, nuts, seeds, and even vegetables. You can get all kinds of minerals and nutrients for the body from non-meat foods. Even omega-3 nutrients are taken care of in the vegan diet. People on a vegan diet tend to eat fewer calories when compared to meat eaters.
The whole grains fruits and vegetables tend to make you feel full sooner. They have a lower body mass index and weigh less compared to others. Switching to a vegan diet helps to cut down fat and lose weight easily. Increase your physical activity with the diet, and you will be reaching your weight loss goals much sooner than you thought. Around 1500 calories a day will be adequate to achieve your weight loss goal.
What Is The Underlying Belief Of A Vegan Diet?
The simple belief that each animal, plant or living organism has an equal right to life drives the people who follow veganism. As humans, we are omnivores. But, given the availability of food in abundance today, not many support the cause of killing animals for food. This cause has become a crusade today because, across the globe, many animals — poultry, pigs, cows, buffaloes — are reared in captivity in horrendous conditions for their meat or produce.
All Are Created Equal
Vegans believe in equality and the right to life for all. Many calves and piglets are put into small cages that do not even have enough space for them to move, to keep the muscle tender. And once the animal dies, it is packaged for human consumption. Many people have turned vegan to show their contempt for such inhuman treatment of animals.
The vegan diet plan is considered a healthy way of life and vegans feel that all kinds of minerals and proteins that are essentially derived from animal products can be complemented from other foods that exist naturally. The bottom line of a vegan person’s diet choice is not to cause harm, whether intended or unintended, to another life form for the satiation of human needs.
What Is The Difference Between A Vegan And A Vegetarian?
Many people often confuse a vegan and a vegetarian. India is a country with the largest population that follows a strict vegetarian diet. Vegetarians do not refrain from the use of animal products like milk, eggs, honey, or silk. Vegans, on the other hand, refrain from the direct use of animal produce in their diet as well as any product that comes directly from animals like leather.
What Is A Normal Vegan Diet like?
The vegan diet includes, but is not limited to, soups, ratatouille, rice, beans, hummus, falafel, soy milk, tofu, and burritos to name a few. Soya and its associated products are an integral part of any vegan diet since they compensate for the lack of animal protein in their daily diet intake. Soybeans are a rich source of protein and have been adapted to provide nutrition. Soy is now available as soy milk, soy cheese, tofu, and curd as well. Many soy readymade products are now available in the market for the vegans to use.
Instead of milk, a vegan’s diet is complemented by the use of almond milk, grain milk, coconut water, and coconut milk. Soy provides all the vital nutrients, amino acids, and, above all, healthy proteins as well. The vegan diet replaces eggs with flax seeds, and baking powder replaces eggs in most of the bakery items where the fluff is needed.
The Good About The Vegan Diet
The vegan diet is supposed to be good since it reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, dementia, and osteoporosis. This has been attributed to the fact that a vegan diet is rich in fiber, natural minerals, and vitamins. At the same time, the diet has a relatively lower content of saturated fat and lower calories.
Earlier, it was believed that the vegan diet is not good for expecting mothers and old people. But now, it is accepted that a vegan mother is as healthy as any other woman and will have a normal pregnancy. In fact, doctors and studies have now established that vegans have a reduced chance of type 2 diabetes, reduced levels of harmful cholesterol, and reduced chances of cancer of the colon and prostate. It also reduces the chances of having any appendix troubles by almost 50%.
The Bad About The Vegan Diet
People and doctors have advocated that vegans suffer from a deficiency of Vitamin D, zinc, and vitamin B12 as they are not as easily provided through the natural food forms or grains that are a part of the vegan diet. Today, doctors often advise vegans to eat supplements to make up for the deficiency of the above-stated minerals in the body. Also, it has been seen that vegans have higher chances of contracting eye problems when compared to vegetarians or non-vegetarians.
The Ugly Truth About Meats On The Table
While many people believe in a balanced approach towards one’s food habits, the vegan diet has seen itself in the middle of many controversies. Many vegan diet followers are against the unethical and inhuman treatment of animals. Many animal activists have taken to the road and started campaigns to promote the healthy diet form and convert people to a healthy vegan diet. The vegan followers have taken to roads to tell the industry and its people to shut down the inhuman treatment of animals, many times seeking and asking for government intervention to ensure equal treatment for animals.
Many vegan diet followers also aim to bring to light the plight of animals as they are bred in captivity and are forced to produce more to fulfill the needs of humans. It has caused many people to change their heart.
Is Being A Vegan Good?
Many studies have now provided enough study material and analysis that puts the diet at par with any other diet people follow. It is equally healthy and provides various minerals and vitamins through a variety of naturally existing foods. A successful and healthy vegan diet is the one that allows a variety of foods and ensures that all essential nutrients are supplied to the body. A few of the nutrients that are not as easily available in the daily food of the vegan diet can be supplied through supplements based on a dietitian’s recommendations.
The answer to the question is open to all. If one finds being a vegan fulfilling, you should go right ahead. The diet is proven to be healthy with reduced chances of many diseases. However, timely check-ups should be done to ensure you’re healthy inside, rather than just looking healthy on the outside since many diseases related to deficiency could surge later and cause trouble. A simple vegan diet plan is definitely healthy, safe and a way to a better life along with a healthy heart, body, mind, and soul.
A vegan diet will help you make a great lifestyle change for life. The health benefits of a vegan diet are many. You not only lose weight and manage to keep it off with diet, you also tend to be healthier and fitter than ever before. Your energy level shoots up while on this diet. You can control your blood pressure and make your heart healthy. You can prevent many heart diseases that plague an overweight body. A plant-based diet also improves the health of the person with diabetes. Research has shown that the need for diabetic medication is much less when following a plant-based diet. Cholesterol levels too can be lowered with the vegan diet.
Following a vegan lifestyle is definitely not easy, more so if you are an avid meat eater! But the diet does offer several health benefits, not to mention weight loss. You don’t need to become a vegan for life. Go on a vegan diet for a few months to lose weight and then slowly revert to meat eating if you want. But, when you do start eating meat, remember to do so in moderation, or all the fat will come right back!
The Last Word
Vegan foods will not only give you better health but also promote ecological balance. Try and incorporate them into your diet for sustained and long-lasting results. Vegan items, such as vegan chocolates, are easily available now in stores and online shopping websites. So, go ahead and give veganism a try – you won’t be sorry!