Once you go vegan, you cut out the dairy and meat that is a major cause to weight gain. However that does not mean your work is done in accessing all foods that might be causing this. Refined foods and carbs such as white rice, white bread, pasta, pasta sauces, juices, sugary treats and and other extra calories that might be added into your diet without you realizing are also a major cause. Salad dressings, sauces and juices that are supposedly healthy are all full of the sugars you need to avoid if your aim is to loose weight. Friends tend to get very confused when I tell them what to avoid since it then seems like the vast majority of their old diet should be avoided. But it’s really quite simple and this is how :
1)Move to a whole-foods plant based diet. Whole foods simple means foods that are in their original form, untampered and unrefined. This means foods such as avocados, sweet potatoes, potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, eggplant, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, lima beans, peas, corn, wild rice, fruits and any other foods you can imagine that have come directly from the earth and are untampered with. You can make all kinds of wonderful recipes with these foods and the great thing is, it won’t result in weight gain, in fact, it will only enhance and strengthen your health in the long run. One of the major reasons as to why people on a plant based diet experience stronger health is due to the fact that they are no longer adding unnecessary sugars or salt to their diet. In the past I have seen friends and family out of habit, adding salt to salads or meals and i’ve repeatedly explained that we would not add teaspoons of sugar to the fruit we are eating, so it makes no sense to add salt to the whole-food diet we are eating when nature provides us with exactly the correct amount of minerals, vitamins, magnesium, sodium, chromium, potassium, sugar and nutrients in general, that our bodies need. Once we start drinking all of these juices with added sugars in or consuming processed foods with 12 different ingredients that our bodies can’t recognize, that’s when the weight gain and other health problems begin. Remove all of those refined, processed foods from your diet and stick to a whole-foods plant based diet where your food LOOKS like food.
2)When you switch to a vegan diet and you want to loose weight, eat foods high in fiber! A whole-foods plant based diet is naturally high in fiber and so you will automatically be consuming the fiber you need to help with the elimination of toxins and fat. Foods such as broccoli, potatoes, leaks, lentils, black beans, berries, avocados, bran flakes and oatmeal all contribute to regular bowel movement. This means you will regularly be cleansing your body of excess water and removing many of the toxins that can build up in your system from the result of a diet high in sugar and animal products. Your body can hold up to an extra 10-20ibs in weight when you’re not having regular bowel movements and all of the extra sugar and salt that is present in animal products and processed foods are some of the main culprits contributing to weight gain and water retention. Fiber is non-existent in animal products and refined foods so your body has absolutely nothing to help it cleanse itself from the waste In your body. Once you switch to a whole-foods plant based diet, you’ll be removing waste from your body (pooping often!) and therefore loosing all the excess weigh and water retention.
3)Water. Water water water. I can not stress enough how vital it is to drink water rigorously throughout the day. If you want your coffee, drink water with it. You should not be consuming any other fluids other than the odd coffee, herbal teas, plant-based milks, or home made juices (consisting primarily of vegetables) if you’re serious about losing weight. Don’t even think about buying one of those ‘healthy vitamin’ juices on the supermarket shelf. Avoid it like the plague. Almost all these brands have the equivalent of 8 tsp of sugar in them which once you drink, your body will convert straight to fat. The only fluids you should be consuming are the ones you make from scratch. Even certain plant-based milks I am extremely cautious of because many have added sugars and preservatives which you can simply do without. Soaking almonds or other nuts overnight and blending them with a few cups of water in the morning would be the safest route to go if you do not want to find extra sugars creeping into your diet from here and there. But water! Aim to drink at least three liters a day, if you really want to see your weight drop, water will be the hero you need to help with bowel movement, the removal of toxins, and of course, glowing hair and skin. The best way to determine if you’re hydrated enough is to observe the color of your urine. If it’s clear, then that’s a great sign. If it’s yellow or slightly colored then you need to up your intake. As far as the fluids we consume are concerned, I would tell anyone, regardless as to wether they want to loose weight or not, to avoid every processed juice, coffee or other fluid that they possibly can, and stick to juicing with 80% vegetables, herbal teas, a black coffee every now and again, homemade plant-based milks if possible, but above all else, water.
4)Fermented foods. How do they help? Better digestion, better immune function support, improved nutrition, protection against harmful microorganisms, detoxification, restoring the body’s natural acid-alkaline balance. Raw cultured vegetables can help extend our life by cleansing harmful toxins from the body. They are abundant in natural enzymes and help significantly by supporting the bodies immune system. Fermented foods increase the good bacteria in our gut thanks to the microorganisms which have a cleansing effect on our intestines, producing the vitamins and good bacteria we need to stay healthy. People who advocate the vegan diet talk a lot about raw vegetables or whole-food plant based stuff but there is rarely enough focus given to fermented vegetables. Loading them into the diet at least several times a week will not only help yet again with more regular bowel movement, but it will also help heal digestion issues, bloating tummies, and any other imbalances that may be occurring in the body due to lack of good bacteria in the gut. Fermented foods work best when homemade. See here for recipes :
About the author
Jwaydan Moyine is a classically trained Film Composer, Pianist, Cellist, Singer/Songwriter, and a Writer and Entrepreneur. She founded Earth Children to bring awareness to matters regarding the Environment, Animal welfare, Sustainable & Conscious living, Wellness & Humanitarian issues. She is heavily involved with activism for animal welfare in the UK and Egypt and child welfare in Syria, Thailand and Romania. She resides in Berkshire Running an organic food farm, an organic skincare company, Writing fiction and bringing awareness to matters regarding the Planet, Plant based nutrition, Cruelty free living & the necessity of adapting to Veganism for the sake of Sustainability, Animal welfare and our Health. She has several qualifications in nutritional therapy, culinary medicine & holistic healing. You can find out more on what she is doing over at the Earth Children Facebook Page!
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