How long does it take to lose weight on a vegan diet?
Many people turn to a plant-based vegan diet for weight loss as well as other health reasons, but not all vegans lose the same amount of weight.
You may find it hard to lose, and that’s okay! It all depends on the diet you change and the weight you want to lose, but consistency is key.
Let’s sort things out and get down that ladder!
Vegan diet to lose weight
Although vegans are generally thinner than their non-vegan counterparts according to some studies, going vegan does not guarantee thinness.
Vegans come in all shapes and sizes. I know it can be frustrating, however, a well-planned vegan diet is effective in helping to support and promote healthy body weight, regardless of a person’s starting point.
Studies have shown that a vegan diet can reduce your weight by an average of 5.6 pounds in 18 weeks, or less or more than a third of a pound per week! In theory, you can lose up to 63 pounds in a year. However, the amount you lose depends on several factors.
Yes, losing weight on a vegan diet is not as fast as other diets, but it is healthier and more sustainable.
Do not consume yourself with calorie counting. On the journey to a healthy weight, there are no rules!
Nutritious foods should be chosen to support and protect the body, and provide pleasure and satisfaction while maintaining a healthy weight.
A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is within the healthy weight range. However, this was inferred based on Caucasian bodies.
And so, we should promote positive body movements and reject the idea of the body mass index, because some studies have shown that you can be “overweight” according to the BMI chart, yet considered healthy due to your healthy eating habits and lifestyle.
What might be holding you back from losing weight as a vegan
Limit processed foods
Yes, some cookies are vegan and some may contain a bit of fiber, but they probably also contain high-calorie oils and other ingredients that could lead to weight gain.
We live in a world where vegan food options are limitless, and it can be tempting to eat some of these foods like Oreos or French fries every day.
Choose plants that are high in fiber, water, and phytonutrients.
Avoid processed vegan foods that contain the following in the ingredient list:
- Fats such as trans and saturated fats which can be inflammatory
- Sugars such as cane juice, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose,
- Food additives
By minimizing sugar, oil, fat and salt, you minimize your risk of developing medical problems such as heart disease and obesity.
It’s very possible that your diet before going vegan was already very healthy, which may be why you don’t lose much weight on your plant-based vegan diet.
Whereas if you had a not very healthy diet before and you had a lot more weight to lose, you could lose up to 10 pounds in just a few months.
Your weight loss goal
You must be realistic! Don’t set unachievable weight loss goals. Set short and long term goals that are specific, measurable and achievable.
If you have more body fat, you may lose weight faster, while if you have less, your weight loss may be slower.
Genetics and the type of body you have also play a role in how fast and how much weight you lose. It’s much easier for some than for others.
Be patient and make the necessary adjustments, following good healthy strategies.
Some people have a slower metabolic rate than others. For those who are metabolically inefficient, online vegan nutrition counseling to optimize your plant-based diet may be necessary. Affecting factors such as:
- Age, as metabolism tends to gradually decline after age 40
- Sex, as men tend to burn more calories than women
- Very low calorie diets worsen your metabolic rate because they signal your body to lower your metabolic rate and preserve your energy storage
- Medications, such as corticosteroids, antidepressants, and antiepileptics, can also slow metabolism, increase appetite, or cause fluid retention, which can lead to weight gain.
- Foods that contain high levels of sugar, fat and salt, all which are vegan ingredients, stimulate the same pleasure centers in the brain as heroin, nicotine and alcohol. What makes them provide such pleasure that they trigger cravings
- The ease of fast food these days makes it so easy to eat out and eat more than the recommended portions
- Lack of physical activity
- Environmental exposure to toxins that disrupt hormones, influence fat storage, fat breakdown, calorie burning and body weight
- Lack of sleep promotes weight gain by increasing levels of ghrelin, which is a hormone that promotes hunger, and decreases levels of leptin, a hormone that curbs hunger
Other reasons you aren’t losing weight
- Don’t eat large portions of food, even if it’s healthy, it’s important to recognize and listen to your body’s satiety signals
- Make sure you have the recommended serving size for the food
- Drinking too many calories, such as smoothies and juices. Make water your #1 drink
- Stress levels can promote inflammation and disrupt your body’s natural hormones
- Emotional eating, if you recognize this temptation, try indulging in it by calling a friend, going for a walk, or taking a bath instead
How to lose weight fast on a vegan diet
Focus on nutrient density
Weight loss and nutrition depend on calories consumed and calories expended. The key, as with all diets, is to focus on nutrient-dense foods. And not only will you feel energized and full throughout the day, but you won’t have to worry about calorie counting either.
You want to aim for foods that are low in calories but high in nutrients. Choose foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds.
Vegetables have the fewest calories while providing a bunch of amazing nutrients. Focus on them for the majority of your meals and eat high-calorie plant foods like nuts and seeds.
Maintain a low calorie diet
Vegan weight loss is pretty simple when you think about it! The goal is to burn more calories than you consume in order to lose weight. I know, easier said than done.
Focus on fiber
When you focus on fiber-rich foods, you’ll feel full longer because they’re slower to digest. High fiber foods include leafy greens, fruits, legumes including beans, lentils, peas and oats.
Fiber is digested by bacteria in our colon. When broken down, they are absorbed into our bloodstream and therefore play an important role in regulating your appetite, metabolism and body fat.
By increasing your fiber intake, you are also decreasing your daily calorie intake, because fiber contains no calories, but it is filling and nutritious.
Additionally, some studies have proven that fiber can act as a natural fat-blocker. For example, when you eat an apple with peanut butter, some of the oil from the peanut butter gets trapped in the fibers of the apple.
Therefore, you can lose more weight by following a high fiber diet with the same number of calories.
Choosing whole grain pasta is an easy way to boost your fiber intake!
Adopt mindful habits
Build healthy and mindful eating habits. To create a habit, choose a new routine and follow it for at least a month. After that, it’s about to become a good habit.
Do some spring cleaning in your Instagram and Tik Tok feed!
Unfollowing accounts that trigger your cravings can be very helpful. If you know that certain pages you follow are triggering your impulse to snack or overeat, don’t follow that account until you’ve lost your desired weight. Follow bloggers who share healthy plant-based recipes to stay motivated.
Sometimes you just need to delete the app from your phone to focus on yourself and your weight loss journey.
You shouldn’t compare your progress to that of others because we are all unique in our own beautiful way.
On your healthy weight loss journey, you need to think positively about yourself and your progress. Positive affirmations can repel negative thoughts. Consider celebrating your progress and your thoughts will become your reality.
Keep a bag of frozen vegetables, precooked cereals, pre-chopped vegetables and lettuce, canned beans, hummus, and other plant-based foods on hand.
Especially if you lead a very busy life, meal prepping is a great way to start. Cooking at home is much more beneficial for someone who wants to lose weight because you know exactly what you’re consuming and you can avoid all unnecessary oils and additives.
If you would like a more specific meal plan and schedule based on your needs and preferences in order to lose weight, make an appointment with me anytime, and I would be happy to assist you further.
When you eat too fast, the body doesn’t have time to send the signals that you’re full, which could be overeating.
Slowing down the rate at which you eat helps your level of satiety.
So be sure to chew your food slowly and take your time, there is no rush!
How to lose weight fast on a vegan diet
Let’s start with physical activity. Standing, walking around the house, going to the gym, taking a yoga class, etc. will burn more calories while eating a healthy and nutritious vegan diet.
Sure, you can lose weight without going to the gym, but moving more and going outside definitely speeds up the weight loss process because it helps reduce fat storage.
It would be best to train before breakfast, as we know you are on an empty stomach. If this is not possible and you prefer to sleep, 4 hours after a meal is also a great alternative.
Physical activity is essential for balancing your hormones and boosting your metabolism.
Speed your vegan weight loss in one month by controlling inflammation
Inflammation is the key to weight loss. Hormonal imbalance, chronic stress, or deficiencies in nutrients such as vitamin D and omega 3 can cause inflammation that promotes insulin resistance.
Certain foods can decrease inflammation, such as:
- Fatty fish rich in omega 3
- Green tea
The anti-inflammatory foods listed above help prevent inflammation.
Adopting a plant-only diet is also said to brighten skin tone, because by eliminating animal products, you reduce your intake of pro-inflammatory foods, which tend to cause acne.
Improve your vegan weight loss in 2 months with the help of probiotics
Having a healthy gut flora also affects your digestion, metabolism, and immune function.
Consuming beneficial bacteria, called probiotics, helps promote leanness by reducing fat accumulation in cells and boosting metabolism.
Probiotics can be found naturally in:
- Vegan yogurt
Plus, these high-quality probiotics will support the restoration of healthy gut flora and are overall amazing for your health.
Increase your protein intake
Eating protein helps build your muscles, causing them to lose mostly fat instead of muscle, and also helps prevent hunger.
The intake for vegans is 0.9 g/kg ideal body weight.
Some protein-rich plant foods you can choose from:
- Nuts and peanuts
A healthy plant-based diet is one of the best ways to lose weight. Like we said, it’s not the fastest diet, but it’s sustainable and has many benefits besides weight loss. If you haven’t seen as much progress as you’d like and have other questions or concerns, check out my other articles and make an appointment with a vegan registered dietitian who can guide and help you along your journey.