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Plant Based Diet for Weight Loss: Tips for Success

<p>Plant Based Diet for Weight Loss: Tips for Success</p>
Dr. Constance Odom, MD Picture of Dr. Constance Odom, MD

Medically reviewed by

Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 5 min read

There are many fad diets on the market, possibly too many to count. Many people try the Atkins diet with the hope of dropping huge amounts of weight. Others try a low-carb diet. But did you know that a plant-based diet is one of the most beneficial diets?

It’s a fact. Plants and vegetables are some of the healthiest foods, and a plant-based diet has been touted as one of the best options for those who want to lose weight. According to Everyday Health, research studies have found that eating plant products instead of animal products allows you to obtain and maintain a healthy weight.  

Many studies have researched the effectiveness of plant-based diet and its effect on weight loss, and have found astounding results. Plant-based diets have been proven effective in facilitating weight loss across multiple groups, including those who are overweight, those with cardiovascular disease, and individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Other research studies have found strong evidence that those on plant-based diets typically have a lower body mass index (BMI) than individuals who do not follow a plant-based diet. This may come as a surprise to advocates of low-carb diets and diet pills. Vegetarian diets are typically very effective, due to the fact that they do not include any type of meat or animal product. 

Researchers are unsure of whether weight loss is due to eating plants alone or to the fact that plants are low in calories. You lose weight when you reduce your calorie intake. Another key to weight loss is reducing your consumption of processed foods, refined sugars, and fried foods. Cutting these items alone promotes a healthy lifestyle. 

Doctors and health experts recommend plant-based diets for a number of reasons. Plant-based diets are ideal for weight loss, because they are packed with fiber, low in calories, and filled with nutrients that promote good health. 

However, there are many ways to maximize your success on a plant-based diet. Because plant-based diets are filled with fiber, they are effective in causing weight loss, especially if you consume only low-calorie foods.

But how does one achieve success on a plant-based diet? Eating a diet that is high in fiber causes you to feel full for a long period of time. In addition to being packed with fiber, plant-based diets contain a wealth of nutrients that are essential to good health. Studies have found that fiber causes the body to produce short-chain fatty acids in the stomach after ingestion. Short-chain fatty acids are hormones that reduce appetite. 

 Short-chain fatty acids provide nutrition to the cells in the colon. While a plant-based diet is effective for weight loss, it is not the right fit for everyone. Removing animal products from your diet completely can cause some people to miss out on the nutrients their bodies need for optimum functioning. Vegan diets can sometimes lead to nutrient deficiencies, such as Vitamin B12 and iron deficiencies. 

If you find that you are lacking these nutrients, you may need to modify your diet, so it includes foods that are rich in these nutrients. But how does one optimize success while on a plant-based diet? What tips can help you reach your goals?

It’s important to note that your body changes when you put yourself on a plant-based diet. Your body has been used to eating a certain way, and changing your diet drastically has side effects. When you first start a plant-based diet, your body will have strong cravings for the foods you are used to eating.

When you’re on a plant-based diet, your body isn’t getting the sugar it is used to. Not having a whole lot of sugar in your system is a huge change that your stomach, tastebuds, and brain need to get used to. The first and perhaps one of the most important ways to find success is to determine your definition of a plant-based diet. 

You can include elements of the flexitarian diet into your plant-based diet. This means that you can eat animal products occasionally, but follow a plant-based diet for the most part. By deciding which type of diet to eat along with plant-based foods, you customize the diet specifically to you. Before you determine how you are going to make a plant-based diet work for you, be aware that drastic changes to your diet affect your lifestyle.

Going vegan, for example, may change the way you live and interact with others. Food plays a huge role in social situations, and social gatherings often come with unhealthy foods. Foods available at social events may not conform with your vegan diet, which may derail your diet efforts. With that in mind, it may be beneficial to broaden the scope of foods you will allow yourself to eat. It’s okay to have a burger now and then, especially at sporting events and summer festivals. 

Another key to success on a plant-based diet is easing yourself into it. You don’t have to jump cold turkey into eating only plant-based foods. You could instead ease yourself into a fully plant-based diet. You can start by adding more vegetables into meals you enjoy and eating fruit for dessert. Fruit is good on a plant-based diet, because it can satisfy your need for sugar, while providing you with a healthy snack. 

Try different kinds of plant-based recipes that include foods, such as flax eggs. You can also use plant oils instead of animal products when you make baked goods. Baked goods on this diet could include bran muffins or other whole-grain items

What is a plant-based diet?

A plant-based diet is a diet whose focus is on whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. This type of diet is rich in leafy greens, seeds, nuts, and legumes. When on a plant-based diet, you eat a lot of plant-based foods, but you avoid fish, dairy, and meat. When adopting a plant-based diet, you can ease yourself into it at your own pace. Decide how you want to transition into your diet. Some people ease themselves into the diet over a period of weeks, while others will be into it within days.

It all depends on the individual, and every person’s approach is unique. One of the best ways to be successful on a plant-based diet is to find plant-based alternatives to the foods you’re used to eating. Plant-based substitutes often contain fewer calories than animal-based foods. Because of this, you shed pounds more easily and will see an overall improvement in your health and well-being. 

While it’s important to focus on low-calorie vegetables, it’s also important to get nutrients your body gets from many animal-based products. It can be easy to forget about protein. Meat contains a lot of protein that your body needs. To get protein from other sources, you may want to increase your intake of plant-based protein. Plant-based foods that contain protein include tofu, peanuts, and chia seeds.

Peanuts in themselves are filled with healthy fats and are rich in protein. This supports heart health. Peanuts contain roughly 20.5 grams of protein per half cup. Eating salads for a meal is a great way to load up on vegetables, but simply eating a salad isn’t going to keep you full for hours on end. Experts recommend eating foods that make you feel full for an extended period of time. 

You should aim to eat foods that are rich in fiber and protein at every meal. Cut out as many refined carbs as possible. This will keep you full through the day and will serve as a source of protein. Protein gives you energy, because it causes carbohydrates to break down more slowly in the body. This provides you with “long-lasting” energy.

Another tip for being successful on a plant-based diet is to read food labels. Experts say that even if a food is labeled healthy, it does not mean that it is. By reading food labels, you are able to see the ingredients that go into food, and you can see if the ingredients conform to the requirements of your diet. Look for added sugar, saturated fats, and the salt content in foods. Even if a food is labeled as plant-based, it can still be considered junk food if it is filled with unhealthy ingredients. 

It also helps to know which fruits and vegetables are the best for you. Not all fruits and vegetables are created equal. Grapes, bananas, apples, and berries are preferable on a plant-based diet. To be successful, however, you must be dedicated to the diet and cognizant of what you eat.

 Broccoli, zucchini, carrots, and avocados are good vegetable options for those on a plant-based diet. According to doctors, those on a plant-based diet can expect to lose one pound per week. However, it could be more or less, depending on your level of activity. 

It also helps to know what happens when you go on a plant-based diet. Because of an increased fiber intake, you may find that you’re going to the restroom more frequently than you used to. You may also see lower cholesterol levels.

According to PubMed, a plant-based diet has many benefits, including the ability to prevent you from developing serious and chronic health conditions. 

 

 

11 Sources 

Nu Image Medical has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/how-to-lose-weight-on-a-plant-based-diet/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/short-chain-fatty-acids-101

https://www.mamasezz.com/blogs/news/how-to-satiate-your-sweet-tooth-on-a-plant-based-diet

https://thebeet.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-feel-the-benefits-of-eating-plant-based-your-body-on-plants-by-the-numbers/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321474#15-best-vegan-proteins

https://www.cnn.com/2012/11/26/health/healthy-energy/index.html

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35150294/

https://thebeet.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-feel-the-benefits-of-eating-plant-based-your-body-on-plants-by-the-numbers/

https://www.gomacro.com/how-to-start-a-plant-based-diet/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/whole-grain-foods

https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/eat-well/food-labels.html


This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.