Don’t miss the vegan weight loss hacks video at the bottom of this post!! I go into a little more detail on some hacks 😉
In the US weight loss is a multi-billion dollar industry, bringing in over $60 billion dollars a year. And despite all of that spending on weight loss products, programs, and promises American’s continue to struggle with their weight. The reasons for this misalignment is complicated, to say the least, but eating well need not be. The single most important thing you can do to lose weight and keep it off (and lower your risk of the country’s top killers) is to eat a whole food vegan diet. Period. That means eating wholesome minimally processed foods like vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruit, nuts, and seeds everyday, and avoiding processed food. It’s that simple! But, I know, life makes it so hard sometimes.
You might know what to do, but have a hard time taking those first steps. Or you might think you’re doing it all right, but be missing some crucial things (which could hold you back). These vegan weight loss hacks will not only make it easier for you to lose weight on a plant-based diet, they’ll help you maintain it and to find true health.
- DRINK MORE WATER. Most of us aren’t drinking enough water, and we don’t even realize it. Even crazier, when we experience feelings of hunger they’re often actually feelings of thirst. Really! So when you find yourself craving a sweet or a snack drink a tall glass of water. After 30 minutes reassess: are you still feeling hungry, or has the craving gone away? I recommend snacking or eating when you are hungry, but get to know when your body is hungering for food or thirsting for water. Drinking more water also helps to keep your digestion and elimination healthy which in turn will prevent bloating.
HACK: If you don’t link plain water try adding fresh lemon or lime juice, or other fresh fruit to your water. Adding apple cider vinegar (about 1-2 tablespoons) to water helps support healthy digestion and hunger suppression. Don’t drink apple cider vinegar on it’s own because it can damage your esophagus.
- MORE GREENS, FIBER, & NUTRIENT DENSE FOODS: Nutrient dense foods help to fill us up and keep us full for longer, usually contain fewer calories, and reduce inflammation (weight retention is often linked to inflammation).
HACK: Add a handful of greens to your meals. For breakfast add a handful of spinach or kale to your smoothie (already having a green smoothie? Add another handful to up the nutrients and fiber). For lunch add a handful of greens to whatever you’re eating (or request it if you’re eating at a restaurant). Same with dinner. More fiber and nutrients from the greens will help to keep you full for longer, support healthy digestion and elimination, and fight inflammation.
HACK #2: Still don’t feel like you’re getting enough fiber, or experiencing constipation? Take pure psyllium husk fiber, which is available at all vitamin stores, health food stores, and online.
- AVOID OIL. Some fat is good, but extracted oil (olive oil, coconut oil, etc) is not a nutrient dense food. Every tablespoon of oil contains 120 calories of pure fat with hardly any nutrients. If you’re trying to lose weight, skip the oil and extra empty calories.
HACK: Cook and sauté with water or vegetable broth instead of oil. It works just as well and food still turns out tasty. See how in my video below.
HACK #2: Skip oil in salad dressing too. Instead of oil make a salad dressing using tahini or avocado. These nutrient dense foods deliver fewer calories, more nutrition, and even more flavor than oil. Your body will use this fat for fuel! Click here for recipes.
- AVOID ALCOHOL. It really doesn’t do the body good, especially if weight loss is your goal.
HACK: Replace cocktails, beer, or wine with kombucha. This fizzy fermented tea drink does contain trace amounts of alcohol, but it’s fermented flavor is really what makes it a great alcohol substitute. Kombucha is also great for your digestive system, low in calories, low in sugar, and energy boosting.
HACK #2: If you rely on alcohol to wind down after a long day, try other methods to relax. I love diffusing relaxing essential oils like lavender or clove to unwind. I also love the Stress Release essential oil blend from Saje Wellness and the Serenity blend from DoTerra. If you need even more R&R treat yourself to a bubble bath, a little raw chocolate (yes, this high antioxidant food is weight friendly, just make sure it is low in sugar and high in cacao %), or herbs like Kava Kava, chamomile, passionflower, or magnesium (a mineral).
- MOVE YOUR BODY. I’m sure you know the importance of making movement a part of weight loss and maintenance. Food is the most important part, but exercise is next in line.
HACK: Go for daily walks when you are on the phone. Don’t talk on the phone often? Go for walks more often and use them as an excuse to call and check in on the people you love.
- EAT WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY. If you expect to go on a restrictive diet and maintain that weight loss for long you are fooling yourself. Vegan weight loss is about adopting a lifestyle (NOT A DIET) and enjoying the abundance of delicious, versatile, and nourishing plant foods. As long as you are eating whole foods that are minimally processed (not in a package, not full of sugar, not unrecognizable from something that would come right out of the ground) then you will not need to count calories, carbs, or protein intake. You will naturally lose weight, and reach your healthiest weight.
HACK: Eat a wholesome meal or snack when you are hungry. If you are not eating enough food then your body will let you know by sending hunger signals. If you do not eat a healthy meal or snack when you are hungry you may binge later and be more likely to eat the wrong thing (i.e.. sugary food or junk). So quit trying to diet, and just give your body what it wants: nutrient dense and delicious food!