Vegan diet for weight loss: Things to know before starting

A lot of people are choosing to go the vegan way. It’s trendy, good for the environment and at the same time, it has been found to be very effective for those who are looking to lose weight or adopt a fitter lifestyle. According to multiple studies, a vegan diet helps promote beneficial gut hormones that are responsible for regulating blood sugar, satiety- all of which help control weight. Since the diet makes you quit many fattening food groups and includes a more nutrient-dense platter in your diet, essentially, all of these can help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Unlike any other diet, vegan diet forces you to completely reject meat, poultry, dairy and many other food groups which are usually allowed in moderation with other diet plans. It can also be costly, considering that the filtered food groups are not always easily found. The effects of veganism are more effective in the long run than in the short run.

However, what people don’t know is that following a vegan diet for losing weight is anything but easy. If you have decided to make the change, there is nothing like going vegan for better health. Once you decide, there will also be obvious questions in your mind- what to eat, what to give up? What about the deficiencies? Will you be losing out on some nutrient intake? Will the diet exhaust you? We answer all these questions for you:

You will have to go all-in at once
One of the biggest fears before starting a vegan diet is that you will do it cold-turkey. This fear is what puts a lot of people, especially hardcore non-vegetarians from adopting the diet and even makes them reconsider a lot many times before starting this. However, going vegan does not mean switching your diet altogether.

You can start by substituting or giving up on certain food groups-one by one, allowing yourself the time to adjust. For those who feel vague about giving up meat altogether, you can start by simply eating lesser meat than usual. The same goes for dairy. Choosing a substitute will make it easier for you. Another good option is to make a switch to vegetarianism first, and then follow it up with veganism.

Will you need supplements?
If you stringently follow the diet to shed extra kilos, you will have to back it up with enough supplementation. Vitamin B12 and Iodine are two things you need to keep in check. Protein and calcium are also something to not miss out on. Hence, it is best if you fix yourself a plate that is rich in fruits, veggies, nuts, and beans rich on these sources. If finding the options are tougher, you can also consider taking in supplement pills to balance it out. In the lack of proper nutrition intake, you can run out on energy and feel weak.

For non-vegetarians who transition into vegans, you can make up for the missing protein intake by including soy-based sources in your diet.

How important is variety?
A vegan diet is also a difficult thing for your tastebuds to adapt. Sure, veggies won’t be just as savory like chicken and meat but it will be important to include food from all major groups to fulfill nourishment. If adding variety is your concern, read up and educate yourself on the different meal options and choose accordingly. Dieting doesn’t always have to be boring and with a few smart swaps, you can make your everyday meals interesting.

Will it actually make a difference?
Adopting a diet is much harder than you think. For one, it is absolutely logical to consider whether the diet will make you achieve the goal you are working towards. Will it actually help you lose weight? Will it be a sustainable diet in the long run?

The main difference of following a vegan diet actually comes from the variety of foods you eat and not the alteration itself. If you follow it properly, a vegan diet can impact you positively. You will feel better about yourself, see a difference in your energy levels, clear skin as you eat more vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals which were missing before.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Please consult your treating physician for more details.