As most of you know by now, I am a BIG believer in a plant-based diet. It is the best plan to follow for both optimal health and optimal weight. Notice that I didn’t use the “V” words? I don’t like to use the terms “Vegan” or “Vegetarian”….Just because a food is “vegan” does not mean it is healthy. Oreos and Diet Coke are vegan….get my drift?
That being said, I have many clients come to me because they’ve been following a vegetarian/Vegan diet, but they are carrying around some unwanted pounds and can’t figure out why.
So, if you been struggling with that same issue, I’m going to break down the most common reasons that the scale isn’t moving on the right direction.
Exercise – Let’s just get this out of the way first thing. You need to move your body – every day. Don’t worry, there’s no need to spend hours at the gym. A minimum of 30 minutes every day is needed by everyone. No, walking your dog, chasing your 2 year old and doing housework do not count for exercise. it’s not the same, trust me. Break a sweat people! Vary your workouts and don;t subscribe to the old school idea of breaking up body parts every day (arms & abs one day, and legs the next). Unless you’re training to be a body builder, this is the wrong way to train, especially for weight loss. Keep it simple: cardio every day and full body resistance training on alternating days. Want to really kick it up? Try interval/circuit training for a real calorie blast.
Here are some of the most common dietary mistakes that I see:
Oil – stop cooking with oil and pouring it on your salads. Too many empty calories. The fat you eat is the fat you wear. And liquid fat turns straight to fat in your body. Saute veggies in water or vegetable broth and opt for oil free salad dressings.
Carbs – Carbs are not the root of all evil, BUT your meal should not center around the rice, pasta, bread, etc. Choose whole grain carbs like wild rice and whole grain pastas. Skip all of the white stuff.
Processed Foods – Don’t fall into the habit of eating vegan junk foods like meat subsitutes and cheese substitutes. They may be ok as an “occasional” choice, but if you are trying to lose weight, ditch them completely. They’re usually high in sodium, oil and contain to many crap ingredients. Choose whole foods instead.
Alcohol – This is a touch subject for a lot of people that I come across…they don’t want to give their wine. Alcohol comes with host of problems, weight gain and an increased risk of cancer should be enough to get you to limit your consumption.
Nuts – Nuts are great – they provide many nutrients and healthy dietary fats, but too much a good thing is going to add to you waistline. Limit your consumption to 1 ounce/day. That includes nut butters too.
Snacking – Chances are, if you are snacking, you are eating too many calories. become aware of your eating habits. Are you eating mindlessly or are you really hungry? Cut out the snacks and eat only at meal time. If you have a big delay between meals are really are hungry, then make healthy choices – not chips, crackers, nuts, olives or other calorically dense foods.
My best recommendations if you want to see some weight loss is stop thinking Vegan or Vegetarian and start thinking PLANT- STRONG. Choose foods with the highest nutrients. Greens and beans are your new best friends. Ditch anything artificial and go for real food. Eat salads every day. Keep a journal of your daily food/drink intake and exercise habits and make adjustments where needed.
If you are at a loss, overwhelmed or just need accountability and person guidance, then take a look at the programs that I offer. I’m here to keep you on a healthy path.
Your success is my success!
Eat Healthy & Thrive