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Vegan Weight Loss Diet

by Scott Hughes

Most people who adopt a vegan diet find themselves losing a healthy amount of weight. In fact, vegans have much healthier body weights than non-vegans, on average. Nonetheless, just like anyone else, many vegans may want to lose some extra weight. Some just want to slim down a bit, while others struggle with obesity. A vegan weight loss diet entails purposely eating in a way conducive to losing body fat.

For one, a person may want to lose weight due to the health risks associated with obesity. However, excessive skinniness also comes with health risks. For that reason, unless you clearly have weight to lose, you may want to check with a medical doctor before attempting to lose weight with a vegan weight loss diet. At the very least, use common sense when losing weight, and remember that your body needs a certain amount of fat.

Generally, a vegan weight loss diet refers to a weight loss diet for vegans. Nonetheless, a non-vegan could theoretically adopt a vegan weight loss diet solely for the purpose of losing weight.

If you decide to adopt a vegan weight loss diet, you will want to remember the basic principles of dieting. Most of all, losing weight rests on a simple formula: Simply put, if you eat less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. If you eat the same amount of calories as you burn, you will stay the same weight. If you east more calories than you burn you will gain weight.

Some people argue about how much of a role genetics play in body weight. Genetics can make it harder or easier for a person to lose weight, as genetics affect a person's metabolism, cravings, and ability to exercise. In other words, some people say thin without even trying, while other people have a greater tendency to gain weight. Nonetheless, psychology trumps genetics. Regardless of one's genetics, we can all choose to lose weight based on the aforementioned formula. You have the ability to choose to lose weight by eating less calories than you burn.

You have the choice. You can choose to lose! Weight, that is.

You can best ensure you eat less calories than you burn by keeping two journals. In the first journal, write down everything you eat along with the amount of calories. You can also write down exactly how many grams of fat, protein, and carbohydrates each meal has, which can help you ensure the healthiness of the diet. In the second journal, keep track of your daily activity, including what you do and how long you do it (e.g. "computer work for 2 hours" or "watched TV for 1 hour"). Then, you can use a calorie burning calculator to estimate how many calories you burned, such as this activity calorie calculator.

In a contrast to most people, vegans usually find it easier to keep track of their calories, because they already have to pay attention to their foods' ingredients and nutrition labels to ensure the foods do not contain any animal products. Similarly, vegans eat out a lot less, and know how to ask about the content of foods when they do eat outside of their homes.

If you find that you do not eat less calories than you burn. Then you will need to eat less and/or burn more. Getting into a routine will help you keep track better and will also help you control your diet and exercise.

Generally, 3,500 calories equals one pound of fat. So, for each pound you want to lose, you need to burn 3,500 more calories than you burn. For example, if you burn 250 more calories than you eat each day, you will lose weight at a rate of 1 pound per two weeks.

Make sure not to try and lose weight too quickly. If you do that you will probably encounter many problems. For one, your body will fight you and try to store more fat, because it thinks you are running out of food. You'll feel lethargic, and you'll quickly gain weight back as soon as you quit the diet. Losing weight can cause other health problems too, namely because your body may not get enough calories to perform necessary functions.

You also want to keep in mind that you still need nutrients. When eating less calories, you have to try to eat healthier so that you still get all the vitamins and minerals that you need. Luckily, vegans usually have very nutritious diets full of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans. Of course, as a vegan, you need to ensure you still get a well-balanced diet even when eating to lose weight.

If you have trouble keeping your vegan weight loss diet, you can try the following tips:

1. Get moral support from other dieters. It especially helps if you can find other vegans that want to lose weight, so that you can relate to each other's dieting concerns that much more.

2. Eat slowly, and drink a sip of water after each bite of food. This will help you feel full faster, since it will make your stomach feel full, and since it will give your body time to digest the food and notify your mind that you no longer need more.

3. Share your journal with others, because that will give you an increased sense of responsibility to stick to your diet.

4. Try not to buy junk-food, and try not to eat it. Stocking up on junk-food will taunt you and let you binge in a moment of mental weakness. Eating junk-food tends to make people hungrier for more, due to the addictive nature of most junk-food. Luckily, most junk-food is not vegan anyway.

5. Find healthy hobbies and ways to relieve stress. Most people eat unhealthy to comfort themselves or relieve boredom. Train yourself to not use food as an emotional crutch or hobby. Get new hobbies, and go out and have fun.

6. Finally, most of all, I recommend you walk, especially if you want to increase how many calories you burn in a day. Walking helps burn calories more than any other exercise because you can do it easily, and you won't run out of energy as you would with other more intensive exercises. Feel free to walk with other people or with a dog if you have one.

I hope this article answered all of your questions regarding vegan weight loss diets. If you have any remaining questions, or if you have any comments or suggestions, please post them in our Vegan Forums.