Vegan Weight Loss – Time To Go Plant-Based?
Obesity rates have been growing throughout the world and are expected to soar over the next decade caused by a variety of factors. Sugar levels added to food has been increasing slowly over the last 40 years, and lifestyles have changed so much due to our addiction to technology. We spend all day sitting staring at our computer screens and checking the latest updates on Facebook with our mobiles, while many of us now work much longer hours.
Our choices of food have dramatically changed over time, everything is set up to allow us access to fast food which, in many cases, is high in calories and with unhealthy levels of saturated fats. To make matters even more confusing are all the latest fad diets being thrown at us from every kind of advertising imaginable, (Atkins, The Paleo Diet, Ayurvedic, Macrobiotic, Pescatarian) the list is endless. So, let us look at the current hottest trend that is The Vegan Diet and how it can help with weight loss and good health.
Benefits of a Vegan Diet
Changing to a plant-based food diet has many reported benefits from helping to prevent type 2 diabetes, improving kidney function and skin condition, to reducing stress and boosting mood levels. One of the most effective ways to improve health is by removing poor food from your diet. Eliminating meat and animal products has the added benefit of removing any drugs, antibiotics, and anything unnatural added to the food chain. A vegan diet is extremely nutritious and is generally high in fibre, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, folate and vitamins A, C and E. The foundations of the diet contain whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, pulses and nuts, all of which are natural and easy to digest but the biggest benefit to a Vegan Diet is weight loss.
Most people who change to a Vegan diet will lose weight as it removes a lot of unhealthy food from the diet which is the root cause of obesity. The meals are typically low calorie and often hand made at home without the added sugar, fat and other ingredients you would find in a fast food restaurant and this results in steady and stable weight loss. Add in the benefits of a vegan diet on the environment and the reduction of CO2 emissions, what else could anybody ask for?
Vegan Diet and Carbon Footprint
A vegan diet can help fight climate change as the consumption of meat and dairy result in 20% to 50% of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions. According to some reports, an estimated 70 percent of deforestation in the Amazon basin can be attributed to cattle ranching. Approximately 200 million pounds of beef is imported by the United States from Central America every year and with rising population the number will keep on growing. It is important to protect the planet we live on and take some responsibility for our actions.
Ultimately, this means we need to change our current eating habits to help the planet in the long term. However, changing to a Vegan Diet is not for everyone and has it’s own challenges but there is a good incentive to cut back on our meat consumption. Weight loss and improved health are some of the obvious benefits, but you might also be surprised at how tasty and original vegan meals can be. Look at some of our own vegan recipes and give it a try for a few weeks and you might be surprised at how quickly you start to lose weight.
Vegan Diet and Protein
One of the biggest concerns which come up a lot on a Vegan Diet is protein and if the diet provides enough. This has been a continuous argument for some time and there are many different opinions and conflicting views. You might be surprised at just how many foods contain protein, even fruit and vegetables contain some protein, but the real question we need to ask could well be quality over quantity. There is some research which now suggests that protein from natural food such as nuts, seeds, leafy greens and vegetables are absorbed better and that plant protein is better than animal protein.
Current guidelines recommend around 56 grams of protein a day for a man and around 46 grams a day for a woman but that might be wildly inaccurate for plant protein as it appears to have better qualities. Just look at Jon Venus who is a famous body builder and has claimed a vegan diet helped increase strength and fitness levels. In fact, there has been a recent update by body builders who have embraced a vegan diet with great success including Zack Belknap, Jehina Malik, Anastasia Zinchenko and Victoria Lissack to name a few. The proof as they say is in the pudding, well, as long as that pudding is 100% vegan.
Vegan Diet and Celebrities
There is a growing increase in people switching to a vegan diet, with many proclaiming increased energy and other health benefits. Joaquin Phoenix who, reportedly has been vegan since he was 3 years old after witnessing the cruelty involved with the food industry, is also an active animal rights campaigner. Other celebrities which might surprise you include Pamela Anderson, Forest Whitaker, Jessica Chastain, Woody Harrelson, Paul McCartney, James Cameron, Miley Cyrus, Lewis Hamilton, Kyrie Irving, Sia and Will.I.Am.
As well as being a health-related, ethical and moral choice, many feel the growing need to help the environment, there is also a variety of dishes that can be created with vegan ingredients. This leads to a better choice in taste and flavour which is appealing to many people who are simply bored with the usual food choices.
Vegan Diet for Weight Loss
As previously mentioned, the majority of people on a vegan diet will lose weight, however there is cause for caution as not all Vegan meals are low in calories. So what are the dangers and how can you avoid them? Well, quite simply, it is knowing the quantities to use for certain foods and there is a big difference between nutritious and healthy, if the quantities are wrong. A good example is olive oil which is often promoted as a weight loss super food but that is not necessarily true if you do not understand the calorie content of olive oil. One tablespoon of olive oil contains 119 calories and I have seen well known chefs who actively promote weight loss and diet add several tablespoons into a salad dressing, which quite frankly is ridiculous.
A well-known TV chef put 6 tablespoons and some balsamic vinegar to a salad dressing which would make that salad around 700 calories in total. The problem with this is that although I agree that olive oil is a healthy fat to add to your diet, in general, fats will not fill you up and if you add too much then you are consuming huge calories and you will still be hungry. Generally, the foods you need to be careful of are nuts (and nut butters), all fats and oils, avocados which pack 322 calories each, tahini, dried fruits and especially smoothies which can be loaded with sugar.
Can the AI Weight Loss Diet help?
The primary purpose of our diet system is to lose weight and behind the science is a carefully created plan over 8 days, 5 days being fish based, 2 days where meat is allowed and 1-day vegetarian. Ok so that is not a vegan diet, however, throughout the 8 day meal plan, the AI may also recommend vegan meals. The target audience are those who are not already on a vegan diet. This diet drastically reduces the consumption of meat while introducing vegan meals into the mix over time. Just imagine, if the entire world were to adapt to this diet, the effect on the worldwide carbon footprint and animal cruelty in the food chain would be drastically reduced.
Further down the line and as the AI selects meals, it understands over time what each individual enjoys eating and create a meal plan that is as individual as your DNA. Generally, many people on a vegan diet are deeply passionate and try to force others to join them but, that simply will not work for the vast majority of people. The solution is to introduce them to it slowly while reducing their overall consumption of meat and giving them something back in return such as weight loss, increased energy, and improved health. Learn more about our unique diet system and discover the benefits of a new healthy and ethical lifestyle.