How to lose weight sensibly and permanently on a plant-based diet
Updated: Apr 3
As you are probably aware, painfully aware in fact, it’s much harder to lose weight than it is to gain weight. For most of us, losing just a pound of body fat requires days or even weeks of hard work, exercise, and starving yourself normally, rather than eating healthily.
As far as gaining weight goes, we merely need to look at a pack of cookies, or think about a slice of chocolate cake, and BOOM, we’ve gained two pounds. OK, so that’s not quite true, but you get what we’re trying to say, weight gain is far easier and lasts far, far longer than you want it to last.
It’s much harder to lose body fat than it is to gain body fat and I know, as I’ve had to lose stones of unwanted excess body fat over the years that have only taken me a few weeks to put on and months to lose.
When people try to lose weight, they often find themselves dieting, restricting calories, and eating bland and tasteless meals because they’re so called “good for you” or “healthy”
meals but in most cases these so called good for you, healthy meals are nothing more than processed, nutrition lacking, convenience foods.
Is a processed food weight loss diet sustainable?
Dieting on fast food whether it’s a good for you micro-meal, a boil in the bag healthy curry or a diet brand meal in a box will not lead to sustainable weight loss and a nourished body. It’s not a wise or sustainable choice long-term.
This type of food will leave you feeling hungrier than normal and it won’t do your mental or physical health any favours. Your motivation and drive will be lower than the ground and your moods will suffer, apart from that you might lose a couple of pounds for a short period of time before you put it all back on and then some. Life just isn’t fair is it? All that hard work and starving yourself for nothing.
You see, your body is like a car it needs fuel to run on but if you put the wrong type of fuel in it, it’ll start experiencing problems and eventually break down. You’ll experience avoidable problems such as fatigue, acne, patchy skin, muscle wastage, saggy skin, diabetes, CHD and even obesity. Yes you can be obese on a diet especially a fad diet.
But here’s the good news! Don’t starve yourself, don’t restrict calories, eat what you want when you want. What’s the catch? Only live off plants. I can guarantee with this formula you will loose weight, the habit will become a lifestyle choice and you will be able to manage your weight with little effort.
“Eat what I want, when I want?” I heard you say. When you eat plants rather than processed food you can do this. “But plants are boring, they taste bland, there’s just no flavour” So not true, that’s just the way you are used to eating them. There are many ways to make plants interesting and enjoyable and no, you don’t need meat on your plate and no you won’t die or lack in protein without it unless, of course you’re a junk food vegan and you live on processed food.
If you want to lose weight through healthy eating, here’s a look at how to do it sensibly.
Don’t eat the “healthy Choice Foods”
Obviously, you should eat healthy foods whenever you can, but most food products labelled as healthy are anything but healthy.
Instead you should invest in a good plant-based cookbook or two and stock up plants rather than manufactured food products as this will give you a much better chance of succeeding.
Simply forcing yourself to eat plants just because they’re healthy will lead to you reverting back to your old ways fast. You must learn how to cook them, so they are full of flavour and are more versatile.
Sounds like hard work, not really, not when you think plants are low in calories, exceptionally high in macro and micro-nutrients and aid optimal health.
Is a plant-based diet the answer to your dieting issues?
Going on a plant-based diet may seem like the answer to all your problems but not if you don’t know how to cook them properly with variety. Just boiling vegetables in a pan or roasting them in the oven will lead to frustration and boredom of your diet and you’ll soon revert to your old ways of eating.
Once people have decided they are going to lose weight and they’ve chosen the latest fad health food diet the often head off to the shops to stock up on products they’ve never heard of, used before or don’t enjoy because they think they will lose a lot of weight in a very short time.
If I had a pound for every time, I heard someone say. “OH, I live on celery as it counts as negative calories” You can’t sustain a weight loss diet on celery and if you could there would be no need for the diet industry, we’d all just eat celery and go on our healthy and thin way. Yes, you can have snacks like celery and carrot, celery and grapes, celery salad and celery soup but how healthy do you think you are going to be at the end of the celery diet?
So, let’s talk about common sense the common-sense diet and what you can eat to lose weight and stay healthy.
It often amazes my how people suddenly decide they get hungry on a plant-based diet and the only vegan snacks they can have on a plant-based diet is fruit and veg. Again, this just isn't true. There are huddles of vegan/plant-based snacks out there now, in fact, the issue is choice. Three meals a day and snacks too, surely this will put on weight? Let me tell you something:
Broccoli is one of those plants that you either love or hate. If you enjoy eating broccoli, then buy broccoli, but at least learn how to cook it several different ways before you say it’s boring and you just can’t eat it anymore.
I often hear people say. “Ohh, I used to like vegetables but now I hate them, I must have eaten too many of them” No you didn’t eat too many of them, you can never eat too many vegetables you just ate too many boring vegetables.
Don’t just buy food just because it’s healthy. Instead, look for things you do like and learn to cook them together in a meal. For example, if you gave me boiled squash I’d throw it in the bin but if you gave me curried squash or mashed root vegetables with roast squash I’d eat it. It’s all about the flavour and texture. You may not be aware that your brain is pre-programmed to like certain foods and textures but because you haven’t eaten them since you were a child or you have never eaten them cooked properly, your palette will tell you they are horrible and this is just not true.
Fat is not your enemy!
One of the most important things to consider when going on a diet is not to cut out fat. Not all fat is created equal though and you should avoid bad fats such as trans fats and hydrogenated fats. These are normally found in processed food items and play havoc with your body.
Saturated fats from non-animal sources are good for you, fats such as avocado, rapeseed, olive oil, sesame seed oil and coconut oil are good for you.
Fat is not your enemy, good fat is needed for your nervous system an brain functioning.
Monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and plant-based saturated fats are of significant benefit.
What is your enemy ?
If I told you cutting out fat made it harder to lose weight and it is sugar that makes you fat would you reconsider your way of thinking?
Cutting out fat makes it harder to lose weight because fat is a source of energy that is used for exercise and the running of an efficient metabolism. Without fat, your metabolism will slow down so you’ll burn fewer calories and will find it harder to lose weight. Get your fats from healthy sources such as: nuts, seeds, coconut oil, avocado, olive oil and natural nut butters, and you’ll find you lose weight much easier without the foggy brain symptoms that most dieters get.
OK so now I’m going to explain why sugar is you enemy. When we were hunter gatherers, we used to live off the land. We would collect berries, fruit, nuts, seeds and on many occasions, we’d eat beets and sugar cane.
Today we consume fizzy drinks, sweets, deserts, processed foods which contain fructose corn syrup, fructose, dextrose, glucose, sucrose . . . the list is endless however, what is certain is we consume more sugar than any generation in previous history. There is the same amount of sugar in a can of coke (UK, double the amount for USA) as there is in 8 feet of sugar cane. Can you imagine eating 8 foot of sugar cane then complaining you’re fat? No, it just wouldn’t happen. Then people ate to live now we seem to live to eat. Our society is built around food and as such so are our conversations, our habits and our thoughts.
We need to change this way of thinking to something more positive but that’s the subject for a future blog.
Today, I believe it’s more important for me to guide you to a place where you can find decent recipes, ideas and ways of dieting healthily.
I have picked out several plant-based cookbooks for you to try. They are not expensive and you will be able to recoup the costs from the fad diet products that you didn’t buy.
I love the plant-based cookbook as they provide so many extras it's virtually impossible not to lose weight if you follow the plan and it's only $17.95 which to me is cheap as this nice little package takes the effort out of thinking about meal plans, calories, fat grams, what to prepare and the list goes on. . .
My top ten plant-based cookbooks are as follows but are not in order of preference as they are all equally beneficial:
The plant-based cookbook (They give you 100% of your money back if you are not happy)
All of the books above are cheap and easy to use. None of them contain flamboyant recipes that cost a weeks salary to make.
If you enjoyed this blog please share it so others may benefit from it.