You’ve probably heard about some of the health benefits of eating a plant based diet including weight loss. It’s true that you can lose a lot of weight on a plant based or vegan diet, but there are a few things you should know before you jump in so you get it right the first time and avoid the frustration of not seeing the scale go down. I’m giving you my best tips for how to start a plant based diet for weight loss for women as well as some resources that will help you get on your way to losing weight fast.
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How To Start A Plant Based Diet For Weight Loss
Cut out all animal products from your diet.
Eliminate meat, dairy, fish and eggs. Check labels of any prepackaged foods. You’ll be surprised how many foods have animal products hiding in them. Don’t be frustrated if you’re a beginner at eating plant based and realize something you’ve been eating has an animal product in it. Just move on and find a replacement that doesn’t. I had this happen a couple of times because I didn’t check the label and assumed it wouldn’t have any animal products.
Stay away from processed meat replacements.
If you go to the health food store, you’ll see lots of replacements for your favorite meat and dairy products. These are okay for an occasional treat, but many of them are processed with artificial ingredients making them not so healthy. If your goal for eating plant based is weight loss, you’ll want to steer clear of these as much as possible since processed foods can cause inflammation in the body and inflammation can cause weight gain.
Instead find recipes that use healthy ingredients in place of meat and dairy. This recipe book has amazing meal ideas that can be prepared in 15 minutes for women beginning a plant based diet. I have to admit I was a total cheese fanatic before beginning a plant based lifestyle, but I’ve found that using nutritional yeast is a great healthy replacement for a cheesy flavor in dishes.
Eat plenty of starches on your plant based diet.
There are lots of versions of the plant based diet for weight loss out there, but the one that seems to work best for me and for many other women is a starch based diet. Starches fill you up and they’re delicious. I have to tell you I feel like I’m in heaven eating so many delicious carbs after starving myself and depriving myself for so many years on other diets trying to lose weight.
French fries in the air fryer are my favorite lunch or snack! Make starches the base of your meal and then add vegetables or fruits to complement and add flavor. Rice, oats, quinoa, whole wheat pasta, potatoes, corn and sweet potatoes are some of my favorites. I think most of the ladies who’ve dieted a lot will be shocked and maybe even feel guilty for eating so many carbs at first. Don’t worry. Just enjoy and trust the process! It works.
Don’t eat too much fat on your plant based diet if you want to lose weight.
Fat adds a lot of extra calories to your diet and your body doesn’t really process it. It just gets stored as fat on your body. The fat you eat is the fat you wear. Keeping your vegan diet low fat will help you with weight loss as well as improving your health.
Eat until your satisfied.
This is my very favorite part of eating plant based! I used to go on diets where I had to count calories or carbs and I was left with cravings or feeling like I was starving. Not anymore! I eat until I feel happy and satisfied. It’s so awesome! I don’t know about you, but I want a diet I can stick to long term and the thought of starving for the rest of my life is just not how I want to live. That’s what makes the plant based diet so easy for women to stick to for weight loss and beyond. It helps eliminate hunger and cravings because you’re eating things you love and as much as you want of them.
Watch some documentaries about the health benefits of eating plant based.
Seeing the science behind how all of this works was what really sealed the deal for me. I had already started eating a plant based diet when I watched them, but it just solidified my choice was right for my health and my beliefs. The two that really resonated with me were Forks Over Knives and What the Health. I was worried that they would show a lot of stuff about the animal cruelty in these movies because it’s just too heartbreaking for me to watch, but both movies just briefly touched on it without much imagery about the animals that will leave you devastated. Both of these documentaries are mostly about the health benefits of a plant based diet and how it all works in your body.
Just try it!
My best vegan weight loss tip is: Just do it! When I started, I was actually planning to ease into it. I went grocery shopping and stocked up on all the plant and starch based foods, but I also bought a couple of packs of meat just in case I couldn’t go the whole week without it. It turned out that I never even wanted the meat! I was really shocked because I felt like I would miss it, but I didn’t have one single craving or thought of meat the whole week and I still haven’t.
I had originally committed to trying to lose weight on a plant based diet for two weeks. It’s now been three months and I’ve never looked back. Once I saw that I didn’t crave meat and I lost 6 pounds my first week, there was no question that this was going to be my lifestyle forever. I’ve never done anything easier in my life and now I can’t even imagine eating meat. For once, I don’t feel like I’m in a race to lose the weight. I’m happy with how I’m eating and the weight is coming off without me having to worry constantly what the scale says.
So, I challenge you to start your plant based diet and try it for two weeks!