Have you been struggling to lose weight? Do you want some tips on how you can shed those extra pounds? In this blog we’ll be looking at 12 ways you can naturally lose weight on a whole food plant-based diet.
When you switch to a healthy plant-based based diet, you might find that you naturally lose weight. However, certain individuals may find that they plateau at a certain point in their weight loss or don’t lose any weight at all. Thankfully, there are some additional steps you can take to slim down naturally.
Here are twelve tips for healthy weight loss when on a plant-based diet.
1. Drink Enough Water
Thirst is often confused with hunger, leading us to eat when we should be drinking water. Additionally, dehydration slows down cellular metabolism, so making sure you stay properly hydrated is very important.
2. Reduce or Eliminate Oils
Oils are processed fats which are very high in calories. For example, 2 tablespoons of avocado oil is about 250 calories. It’s easy to find alternatives to oil in your diet. You can use water or vegetable broth to saute or roast vegetables, make salad dressings with avocados, plant-based yogurt, or cashew cream, and use pureed fruits or plant-based yogurt to replace oil in baked goods.
3. Consume Plenty of Protein
Try to include protein with every meal, as it will keep you feeling full after you’ve eaten. Gluten-free whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds are great plant sources of protein. Watch our video on top sources of plant-protein for more information. (card for protein video)
4. Eat Fiber Rich Foods
Fiber is a type of indigestible carbohydrate found in whole plant foods. Fiber rich foods add bulk to your diet, and they can help you feel satiated while consuming less calories. Fiber also aids in blood sugar regulation and supports digestive health.
5. Portion Control
If you find that you often overeat, use smaller plates and bowls for your meals so that you consume smaller portions. Additionally, only eat until you feel 80% full, as this can prevent you from overeating.
6. Eat Mindfully
Eating your meals mindfully involves directing focus onto your food and how you feel while you are eating it. This can help you recognize when you are satiated, prevent overconsumption, increase gratitude, and improve digestion.
7. Avoid Fried and Junk Foods
There are a lot of unhealthy processed foods out there that could be considered “plant-based” or “vegan”. Limit or eliminate your intake of processed and refined foods, and opt for a predominantly whole food plant based diet.
8. Prep Your Meals & Snacks
Food and meal prepping can help prevent reaching for what is convenient at meal and snack times. There is a greater likelihood that you will make healthier food choices if you have meals and snacks that are already prepped and ready to go.
9. Eat Lots of Veggies
Eat a varied diet with lots of fresh vegetables, especially leafy greens. We recommend filling half your plate with veggies, preferably raw, at each meal. You can even do this at breakfast, by including vegetables in your smoothies and oatmeal, or making a savory breakfast such as a chickpea omelet or scramble, a breakfast burrito, energy bowl, or savory muffins.
10. Time Your Meals
There is evidence that timing meals with our circadian rhythm in mind can be beneficial, as it can lower levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. Furthermore, food is less likely to cause weight gain if our largest meals are eaten earlier in the day. Try not to eat after 7pm.
11. Don’t Shop Hungry
It’s always a good idea to avoid grocery shopping on an empty stomach to avoid overbuying. Additionally, next time you head to the grocery store take a shopping list of the items you need. Doing so can not only help save time and money, but also increase the amount of healthy and nutritious foods you purchase.
12. Don’t Snack Between Meals
Though the amount of time can vary, it takes about 4-6 hours for the stomach to empty after each meal. However, if we overeat or eat too frequently it can lead to weight gain. Try to avoid snacking between meals, especially in the evening after dinner.
In addition to dietary factors, there are lifestyle factors that can contribute to weight loss. These include regular exercise, getting enough sound sleep, coping with stress, and keeping a food diary.
If you want to keep track of your diet and health, you can download a FREE copy of our Diet & Lifestyle Tracker.
To recap, here are 12 ways you can naturally lose weight on a plant-based diet.
Take a screenshot and keep it as a reference or print it out and use it as a guide.
If you need help transitioning to a plant-based diet, we have a new free eBook “Going Plant-Based”. You can also join our Plant Based Success Group on Facebook for support and encouragement on your health journey.
RESOURCES & FURTHER INFO
- The effect of hydration status on health – https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article/73/suppl_2/97/1930742
- Watch our video “20 High Vegan Protein Sources” to learn about the top plant sources of protein – https://youtu.be/2L3p2sWuGnc
- The effect of fiber on weight loss – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31897475, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15797686
- Learn some time saving tips for nutritious food prep in our video “8 Plant-Based Food Prep Tips” at https://youtu.be/sG3zr5m7mrs
- For more information on timing your meals – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190724103702.html, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6520689/, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5969247/, https://nutritionfacts.org/video/time-restricted-eating-put-to-the-test/