While it can certainly be difficult to turn your back on meat, the fact is that veganism is the best diet for losing weight. In fact, there are lots of benefits to going vegan beyond animal welfare. Don’t forget that your fitnessgoals need to be paired with the proper diet for ultimate weight management. Keep the following tips in mind to make the transition to veganism easier.
Don’t Replace Meat
The first rule of being a happy vegan is to avoid pretending that you’re eating meat. No meat substitute is ever going to taste like a real Big Mac. Embrace the absence of meat rather than trying to find a replacement. Eat vegetable protein and grains to propel your weight loss. You’ll quickly find lots of great flavorswhile you are slimming down, including tempeh, seitan, quinoa, and teff.
Tempeh is derived from fermented soybeans, and it has twice as much protein as tofu.Seitan is made from wheat gluten; it looks a lot like beef and is a favorite for vegan stir fry. Quinoa is a grain now available nearly everywhere, so there’s no excuse for missing out on its benefits. Teff is another kind of complete protein that is considered to be even better than quinoa. Getting enough protein is one of the most common challenges of a vegan diet, but there are many great plant protein sources.
Avoid Carb Bombs
While people consider vegan restaurants to be the pinnacle of health, the bread there is just as bad for you as the breadat a steakhouse. Too many vegans make the mistake of packing carbs into their diet. Try to limit yourself to just one small piece of bread at each meal. Avoid getting caught in dessert traps, too. Vegan desserts can be just as unhealthy as regular desserts. Soda beverages should be avoided as well; whether they are sweetened with sugar or agave, they still represent empty calories.
Vegans can’t consume egg or whey protein powder, but eating plenty of plant protein makes you less likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome, a combination of obesity and high blood sugar and cholesterol. Several studies have shown the positive effects that plant protein can have on obesity.
There are now a number of vegan powders availablethat can replace those based on animal protein. One example is Sunwarrior, an organic vegan powder made from cranberries, peas, and hemp with 19 grams of protein and 100 calories per serving but no sugars, artificial sweeteners, orgluten. Another good choice is Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein. Hemp protein is packed with easily-digestible fiber and 15 grams of protein per scoop.
Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of high-protein, low-fat smoothies when it comes to getting nutrients to your muscles. A blended fruit drink is packed with fiber and is more satisfying than fruit juice. Vegans can use non-dairy substitutes in their smoothies, such as unsweetened almond milk.
Take a Trip to the Store
Food marketers are also beginning to notice vegans. Here are some foods that we’re excited about. Every one of them has our seal of approval.
- Tío Foods Gazpacho: This organic vegan soup is now available around the country. Tío Foods offers a number of variations on this tomato soup treat, including gazpacho verde (made with spinach, kale, avocado, and mint) and gazpacho del sol (made with yellow pepper, yellow tomato, and carrots).
- American Flatbread Farmers Tomato Pie: We understand that you might be skepticalabout a frozen dairy-free pizza. This is one pie that’s worth the dough, though. American Flatbread combines onions, tomatoes, garlic, red wine, basil, balsamic vinegar, and a touch of maple syrup to create the best vegan-friendly pie on the market.
- Health Warrior Chia Bars: These bars are free from gluten, dairy, and GMOs. In addition to being 100% vegan, they come in a range of flavors, including apple cinnamon, acai, and coffee. Each bar contains just 110 calories but packs up to 1,100 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. This works out to more of these essential nutrients per ounce than salmon!
Being vegan isn’t nearly as hard as you might imagine. These five tips will help you to stay on target, stick to your diet, and finally shed that weight.