10 Tips to Lose Weight on a Plant-Based Diet
Whether you are new to a plant-based diet or have been eating plant-based for a while, losing weight can be difficult. When it comes to weight loss, simply eating plant-based or vegan may not be enough. It can be really frustrating when you feel you are eating the right foods, but you still are not losing weight. These 10 tips to lose weight on a plant-based diet will help ensure you feel your best and lose the weight for good!
I have been eating plant-based for over 3 years and I have never felt better! Just like any other nutrition or fitness program, eating plant-based is a journey. When my husband and I went plant-based 3 years ago we were looking to lose some weight and feel better. We quickly felt amazing and the weight was falling off, especially for my husband! (men have it so easy)
I watched several documentaries and read books, so I could learn as much as I could about plant-based eating. I tend to become obsessed with things! Anyway, after a lot of research and trial and error on my own part, I have come up with 10 tips to lose weight on a plant-based diet.
I’m no nutritionist or expert, but I have found what works for me and I want to share it with you! I put on a few pounds during the winter months and these are the steps I followed to lose 8 pounds in 2 months, increase my energy, and build my endurance for my workouts. I’m petite, so this is no easy task for me! Disclaimer-I do eat eggs, but other than that I’m 100% plant-based, so no I’m not vegan anymore!
Books I Found Helpful In my Plant-Based Journey
How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease
Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook
Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman
My Favorite Plant-Based Documentaries
Fork Over Knives
What the Health
Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
Keep it Simple
My nutrition plan is simple and I never spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I prep my meals for several days at a time, so I know I have healthy meals ready when I am hungry. My goal is to simplify plant-based eating as much as possible, so you never feel overwhelmed.
I promise if you go all-in on a plant-based diet, you will feel amazing and the extra weight will fall off. Eating plant-based is not a fad diet or a quick fix. It is meant to change the way you eat forever and more importantly, change your relationship with food!
If you would like more of a challenge, try my
30 Day Plant-Based Weight Loss Challenge
10 Tips to Lose Weight on a Plant-Based Diet
1. Eat Whole Foods
This may seem like a no-brainer when it comes to eating plant-based, but it’s easy to get caught up in vegan processed foods. For one, vegan and plant-based are 2 different things. Being vegan you are cutting out all animal products, but are not necessarily doing it for health reasons.
If you are eating plant-based you are trying to nourish your body with the most nutrient-dense foods. Eating plant-based means you eat mostly vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains.
If you really want to lose weight and feel your best you have to limit or remove processed foods. The best way to do this is to look at the ingredients and shop for foods with minimal ingredients in them. Better yet, when shopping stick to the perimeter of the grocery store. This is where you will find the healthiest foods. Also, check out my Healthy Vegan Shopping List for Weight Loss post.
Processed foods are typically loaded with extra sodium and will leave you feeling bloated and retaining water. Eating nutrient-dense foods will help you fight disease, lose weight, and feel satisfied. Did you know an entire bag of sugar snap peas is the same calories as 1 Fun-Size Snickers?! If you eat the sugar snap peas you are adding vitamins into your diet, you will feel good after eating them, and they will help to fill you up. If you pick the Snickers, chances are you will go back for 4 more and you definitely won’t feel great.
2. Cut Out Oil
If you are used to cooking with oil, this may be a challenge for you. I recommend using a non-stick spray when sauteing veggies or coat your pan with non-stick spray before roasting in the oven. This may change the taste depending on how much oil you were using previously, but it’s so much better for you.
When baking you can substitute oil with applesauce and I swear you cannot tell the difference! You want to get as much nutritional value as possible from your meals, so don’t ruin it by drenching everything in oil.
3. Eat Lots of Water-Based Veggies
Of all foods, vegetables provide the most water, often being over 90% water by weight. Eating vegetables high in water content will help with hydration and help to keep you full longer with minimal calories. Dehydration causes headaches, confusion, unexplained tiredness, and even seizures! Eat your veggies!
Best Water Based Veggies
- Lettuce 96% water
- Celery 95% water
- Bok Choy 95% water
- Radishes 95% water
- Cucumber 95% water
- Zucchini 95% water
- Tomatoes 95% water
- Green Bell Peppers 94% water
- Cabbage 93% water
- Cauliflower 92% water
- Spinach 91% water
- Broccoli 89% water
4. When it Comes to Fruits Pick Berries
When you are new to a plant-based diet and love sweets as much as I do, it may be tempting to eat all the fruits! While fruits are good for you, of course, but you can overeat them when it comes to losing weight. That being said, the more weight you have to lose the more fruits you can probably eat and still lose weight. If you are only trying to lose those last 5-10 pounds I would watch your fruit intake.
Not all fruits are created equal, so it’s best to pick the ones that are optimal for weight loss. Berries are loaded with antioxidants. They can help improve blood sugar and insulin response (aka help with cravings). Berries provide many nutrients, help fight inflammation, and are good for your skin. Berries are lower in carbs and higher in fiber, so they help with weight loss.
The Best Berries
5. Focus on How Much You Can Eat, Not What You Can’t Eat.
The minute we go on a diet we start panicking about all the foods we will no longer be able to eat. First of all, most of the foods you crave you can have again at some point. Second, after eating plant-based for awhile you won’t crave them anymore, so stop stressing! Take it one day at a time. Losing weight and actually keeping it off should be a slow and steady process. This will ensure you stick with it long term.
Instead of focusing on what you can’t eat, focus on the fact that there are so many foods you can eat unlimited amounts of! Yes, no counting calories or measuring your food. When you eat plant-based you can eat unlimited veggies. You should never feel hungry! If you aren’t a veggie fan, this means you need to eat more of them. Suck it up and try new things! The more you eat them, the more your taste buds will adjust, and eventually, you will crave them.
6. Read or Listen to 15 Minutes of Personal Development Every Day
When it comes to losing weight it can be harder mentally than physically. Our bodies don’t really crave foods as much as we think. It’s mostly in our heads! We start to doubt if we can do it or think the results will never come. This is why I recommend personal development. It’s so important when we are trying to move forward towards any goal! If you want to stick with this and really change your life, you need to get your head right. If you need help choosing the right book check out my post on Top 8 Life-Changing Personal Development Books.
7. Get Support
When you are starting something new, it’s so important to have support from like-minding people. I love talking to others about my goals especially when we have similar interests in mind. Try joining some Facebook groups or following inspirational people on Instagram.
I would love for you to follow my Facebook Page LivingKatie Plant-Based Weight Loss and Home-Based Workouts. I share new information frequently and of course, share about my own journey. Having support is so important and is my main goal behind my entire blog. I want to be there for you to help you succeed and feel your absolute best!
If you are also looking for help with fitness I have a group for that too! Join my accountability group and build lean muscle while burning fat!
Click Here for More Info and to Join for Free!
8. Start Your Day with a Protein Shake or Bowl
After my workout each morning I always have my smoothie bowl or shake. It is my favorite meal of the day and the perfect way to start my morning with the right amount of protein, carbs, and healthy fats. My smoothie recipe keeps me full for hours and helps reduce cravings, build lean muscle, and burn fat. I believe it is one of the main factors in my success at losing weight and keeping it off.
Check out my favorite smoothie recipe here!
9. Try Different Condiments
If you are not a “sauce or dip” person you can skip this tip, but this is the #1 way I get my veggies in. I love dipping my veggies in different sauces and dips and mixing them and trying new ones! I’m not kidding you, we probably have 25 different sauces in our refrigerator right now. When I roast my veggies I dip them in a sauce. If I eat them raw I dip them in hummus. When I have a huge salad I have to have a good dressing.
If you want to get all your veggies in you have to find a way that you enjoy and make them taste great. The easiest way I have found to do this is with a good dip! That being said, pick the right condiments without adding in a ton of extra calories and fat. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Hummus of any kind
- Mustard in every variety (spicy, honey mustard, dijon)
- G Hughes Sauces (these are my absolute favorite! I put them on everything!)
Check out my post on Building the Perfect Salad for Weight Loss for some ideas:)
10. Watch Your Carb Intake
Cutting out carbs completely is not necessary by any means, but being conscious of carb consumption is important. Remember pasta and bread are plant-based, but eating them all day will not help with weight loss. As far as carbs, I recommend having fruit in the morning with your smoothie. Then have a small serving of healthy carbs with lunch and dinner. If you really want to lose weight try cutting out the carb at lunch and dinner. I always try to eat my carbs earlier in the day because that’s when I need the extra energy
Check out my Quick and Easy Vegan Meal Prep for some easy ideas. The 2 meals I share in this post are similar to what I eat each day for lunch and dinner. That being said, it’s not something to stress over! If you want to add some brown rice or quinoa to your meals, do it! Just don’t overdo it!
I hope this helps you simplify your weight plant-based weight loss. Remember, try not to overthink it and just try to make healthy choices as much as possible. If you have a bad day, don’t beat yourself up! Just start over tomorrow and make healthier choices. No one eats perfectly all of the time. It’s okay to live and enjoy the foods you love. I recommend following these tips as much as possible and you will reach your goals in no time!