There’s something stylish, righteous yet mysterious about going vegan. Ditching meat, fish and mutton for veggies, fruits and more veggies seem intriguing and challenging at first but once you cross the initial hardships the journey thereon becomes easier and smoother. The underlying question is whether we require such an initiative in the first place and does going vegan promote weight loss faster and quicker compared to other forms of diets?
The Big Announcement
Deciding to quit eating non-veg or even avoiding those products that are animal-based such as dairy is 100% dependent on the individual solely-basically his/her views, thoughts and approach to life. The killing instinct to quit could be taken at the spur of the moment or it could be the action of long-term thoughts and effects. Reasons quoted for quitting varies person to person and the commonest reasons include love for animals, weight loss and spiritual ones too. Celebrities taking up vegan diets have off late become predominant and this instigates the common man too! If you are one of those who wishes to go vegan to lose weight and doubts its effectiveness (and also fearing that your hard efforts to stay away from your favorite steak or chicken would go in vain) reading through this article might help you decide confidently.
A Harvard-controlled study that compared different diets from various studies concluded that vegans lost most weight comparatively which is the best inspiration one needs to cheer up and focus on planning to go the vegan way to lose weight. Vegans lost as much as 8-10 kilograms in six months.
A 2016 study compared weight loss over 6 months among people who consumed a vegan, vegetarian, semi-vegetarian and omnivorous diet and concluded that vegans lost more weight and consumed least quantity of saturated fats compared to others. Another 2016 review of around 100 vegan/vegetarian studies also showed that plant-based diets were effective compared to other diets in enabling weight loss. There are various other advantages in consuming a vegan diet shown in study results that includes lowered risk of cancer and diabetes, dip in cholesterol levels, lower risk of inflammation, improved heart health and lowered risk of metabolic syndrome.
Nuances of a Vegan Diet
Vegan diets are a type of diet that rely on eating only plant-based foods and these diets mostly avoid foods high in fat, cholesterol, calories and saturated fat. Also, processed foods mostly contain animal products and relying on vegan diets motivate people to choose fresh and wholesome foods that add more nutrition and health. On the other hand, many people these days lack in vitamin B12, a nutrient that is naturally present in animal products. Its upon the vegan individual to supplement his/her B12 needs from other sources such as fortified plant milk such as almond, soy and oat, fortified cereals, nutritional yeast and supplements. While consuming fortified foods is encouraged it is advisable to go for supplements only after discussing with your physician. Likewise, it is also generally seen that vegans may lack in other important nutrients such as vitamin D, vitamin C, calcium, protein and omega-3 fatty acids when they don’t consume enough of foods rich in these nutrients.
Vegan diets are minimal on fats and cholesterol and focus mainly on adding nutrients such as proteins, good fats and vitamins to the body. Eating foods such as quinoa, soy and tempeh rich in proteins, soy and almond milk rich in vitamin D and nuts and seeds high in omega-3 fatty acids help the individual add nutrients to the body as well as satisfy his/her taste buds.
Do’s & Don’ts
Any weight loss diet’s basis is to burn more calories than what is consumed. In other words, consume fewer calories that what is burned via exercise and day-to-day activities. Sticking to a few do’s and don’ts can help an individual take up weight loss through a vegan diet more confidently:
Switching over to a vegan diet is a good choice when you consciously include foods that are rich in proteins, iron, vitamin B-12 and other nutrients. Meats and dairy are calorie-rich and becoming vegan can help a person lose weight when done correctly. It is better to get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com who can help you plan a vegan diet for weight loss. The intervention of a nutritionist/dietitian is needed as individuals must stay in line with the nutrients consumed, avoid restricting intake unnecessarily and go about choosing foods that add health and energy.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.