Are You Getting Fat On Your Vegan Diet?
By Melissa Brey
So you've decided to go vegan. Good for you. This morally conscious
choice makes you feel really good about yourself. You're helping the
animals by reducing animal suffering, helping the environment and the
planet in the best way you know how. Hooray! Not too mention all that
bountiful wholesome food selections such as grains, beans, vegetables
and fruit. With all of these wonderful vitamins and minerals flowing
through your body, you feel you've made the healthiest decision
possible, and in many ways you have! But then the scale starts to
creep up on you, often for the first time and you say, "Wait a minute,
that wasn't supposed to happen". Before you abandon your Veggie Burger
for an In-N-Out Burger, there is hope.
Becoming a vegan does not guarantee a slender physique. That is a huge
misconception. Not paying attention to food choices will make some
people gain unwanted fat, regardless of the kind of diet that you
follow. A little conscious consumption is what is called for. If you'd
like to take off some of those unwanted vegan pounds, let's take a
look at what you're eating.
Processed foods: In vegan and non-vegan diets, processed foods are
often the culprit of those unwanted pounds. The key is to choose foods
in their natural state as often as possible. A tofu dog that is often
laden with preservatives, sugars, fillers, etc is not nearly as
wholesome as having the actual soybeans. Think of it in terms of a
chicken hot dog versus a grilled chicken breast.
It is the same with a
vegan diet. Start choosing the foods that are the least processed.
This often means spending a little time in the kitchen. It doesn't
have to be fancy or complicated. Soak some kidney beans or soy beans
the night before, then throw them in some boiling water or a crock-pot
for a few hours with one or two vegetable bullion cubes. You can add
some fresh salsa, hot sauce, soy sauce and voila! You have a clean,
Sugar: Just because you're a Vegan does not mean you don't have to
watch your sugar intake. Many of the soymilks, energy bars and other
foods that we consume are laden with hidden sugar. Just so we're
clear, SUGAR is the same as molasses, corn syrup, fructose, dextrose,
etc. The one I see a lot on vegetarian products is "Organic Brown Rice
Syrup". Marketing directors are just as clever in vegetarian/vegan
companies as they are in non-vegan ones, so don't be fooled. They are
still trying to disguise the word "sugar".
Start becoming aware of the
products in your cupboard that have sugar and get rid of them or at
least start consuming less of them. There is a lot of information out
there related to sugar and fat loss. Here is a very simplified
version. Simple sugars spike your blood sugar which releases too much
insulin too quickly which shuts down the fat burning process. Enough
said. There are plenty of sugar-free or low sugar soymilks out there,
so start reading your labels for the sugar content. Stevia is an all
natural sugar replacement that can be substituted in many products.The
bottom line is, start reducing your simple sugars.
Eat often: Have you ever watched toddlers eat? Toddlers and children
like to graze and snack throughout the day. This is the way our body
naturally performs best. It is also one of the most effective
fat-burning tools. Throw out the breakfast, lunch, and dinner concept. A
very simple way to start eating often is to simply take your lunch and
dinner and divide them in half, and then spread those five meals out
over the course of the day. Ideally you want to consume a small meal
or snack every three hours.This will keep your metabolism revved and
burning around the clock and ensure optimum fat loss. Follow these
three simple steps and you are well on your way to losing those
unwanted pounds. If you are following a weight training or fitness
routine, you should highly consider the benefits of allowing an expert
to plan out your vegan diet to ensure you are getting enough protein,
carbohydrates and healthy fats to assist you with your goals.
Make a personal commitment to yourself to change your lifestyle. Find a partner or make an announcement to friends and family. Accountability is very powerful. Need a plan and a community? Sign up for the VegFamily Vegan Weight Loss Club