The Ultimate Vegan Diet For Weight Loss

5 min read 

Vegan diet is the latest in the list of trending diets that people are embracing today. It is quickly catching up in India and is helping a lot of people to knock off the extra pounds.We have celebrities like Kangana Ranaut, Sonam Kapoor, Neha Dhupia and Kiran Rao endorsing vegan lifestyle and promoting its benefits. In fact, a lot of vegan diet practitioners testify that their weight has taken a huge dip in an unbelievably short span of time and that they have never felt healthier. So let’s look at what a vegan diet consists of and decide if it is any different than the other diets out there.

What is a vegan diet?

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Consuming only plant based food is the central idea of Veganism. There is no space for meat on a vegan’s table. All animal and animal products including eggs, milk and honey are excluded. Veganism is more of a philosophy for a lot of people who believe that animals should not be harmed for ethical reasons. Also modern animal intensive farming is said to have adverse effects on the environment like the imbalance of the ecosystem and the production of greenhouse gasses.

Is vegan and vegetarian diet different?

This still remains a topic of debate. The general consensus is that veganism is a subset of vegetarianism – a more pure form, where eggs and other dairy products are excluded. We have vegetarians who also eat eggs (Ovo-vegetarians), vegetarians who consume dairy (Lacto vegetarians) and the ‘true’ vegetarians who don’t take either- the vegans.

Health benefits of vegan diet

Firstly, vegan diet is high in fiber and low in cholesterol. This is exactly opposite to the high fat, & almost 0 fiber in meat foods (which make losing weight difficult). Hence, a vegan way of eating is a great way to reduce your inches around your waist.

Secondly eating animal meat (especially processed red meat) increases the risk of developing cancer, diabetes and other heart ailments. Milk and cheese are also preserved with many chemicals that can have side effects later.

Thirdly, this diet is very effective if you are looking for quick (and healthy) weight loss. You consume very less calories, reduce your cholesterol levels, blood pressure and hypertension.

You can check more health benefits of vegan diet here.

Daily schedule – the vegan diet

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  1. Make sure that you follow it strictly for at least 3 weeks. Weigh yourself first and make a note of it. Avoid all animal foods including dairy and keep the intake of vegetable oils to a bare minimum.
  2. There are four main food groups that you need to keep in mind – grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits.
  3. Per day you should consume 8 servings of grains, 3 servings of legumes, 4 servings of vegetables and at least 3 servings of fruits.
    1. Grains:(one serving = 80 kcal) whole wheat bread, (roti and naan without ghee), Oats, brown rice, barley.
    2. Legumes: (one serving = 100 kcal) Rajma beans, Soy beans, chickpeas, lentils etc
    3. Vegetables: (one serving = 35-50 kcal) leafy vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, spinach mixed salads etc. Boiled/Raw/Cooked- as long as olive oil is used sparingly.
    4. Fruits:(one serving = 80 kcal) Oranges, strawberries, plums, papayas, apples etc
  4.  Incorporate nuts into your diet as well. A handful of nuts each day is not a bad thing at all.
  5. Tea and coffee can be taken normally if they are herbal or made with vegan creams
  6. Mushrooms and tofu are the perfect replacement for your meat cravings

Sample vegan diet plan – 1200 calories

  • Early Morning (6:30 – 7:30 AM): Soaked cinnamon water – 1 Glass
  • Breakfast (8:30 – 9:30 AM):
    • Soya Milk: 1 Cup
    • Whole Wheat Sprout or Cucumber Tomato Sandwich
    • Nut Mix: 6 Almonds and 2 walnut halves
  • Snacks (11:00 – 12:00 PM): Apple or Coconut Water
  • Lunch (2:00 – 3:00 PM):
    • Bran Chapatti: 2
    • Dal: 1 Katori
    • Seasonal Veg Sabzi: 1 Katpri
    • Salad: Quarter Plate
  • Snack (4:00 – 6:00 PM):
    • Green Tea
    • Roasted Chana
  • Dinner (8:00 – 8:30 PM): Tofu Veggie Soup or Apple Cucumber Chana Salad
  • Post Dinner Snack (9:00 – 11:00 PM): Green Tea or Jasmine Tea

Things to keep in mind

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If you are a vegetarian, the transition would be smooth, you just start avoiding the dairy foods. But if you are a meat lover, then things can get tough. Start slowly and stay motivated.

Rule out all meats for a few weeks and then gradually follow it up with the dairy foods too. Now-a-days the supermarkets have foods that taste and look like animal products – these could aid your efforts, but it is better if you skip these and accept that you are ever eating meat again.

Make sure you go to a Veg-only restaurants when you dine outside, so that you don’t give in to your cravings. The only problem is, however, if you decide to switch back to your old diet, you’ll gain weight again. So do everything in moderation. Like the saying goes- too much of something is always bad.

Lastly, take plenty of water, exercise every day for at least 15-30 min and if you are still in doubt, talk to an expert dietitian from Urban Company before you take the plunge.

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