What to eat to lose weight
One of the questions I get asked all the time is:
"I’m a vegan and haven’t lost any weight? What should I eat to lose weight?"
Before I answer this question let me ask you:
Do you exercise?
Do you cook with oil?
Do you consume alcohol?
Do you eat processed foods like refined flour, pasta, bread, chips, pastries, ice cream, or margarine?
Before starting any new diet or exercise regiment, please check with your physician first. Especially if you take medication. Then have a check-up after every six weeks for the first six months.
Exercise truly helps to lose weight. A simple 30 min walk per day does the trick. However, joining the gym and working out 30-60 minutes 3-4 times per week is ideal.
Oil is a processed food that is highly calorie-dense. Just 2 tablespoons have 200 calories. Oil also contributes to weight gain and chronic diseases.
Alcohol in most cases only helps you gain weight. Alcohol increases the secretion of insulin. However, in my opinion, the occasional glass of wine is fine,
Not all carbs are created equal. Avoid eating refined flours such as white bread and pasta. Processed foods like ice cream, cereals, and pastries add empty calories to your diet.
These foods have a high glycemic index and most likely raise your blood sugar level. So avoid them whenever possible.
A good formula to remember is to keep the main dishes within the following ratio:
⅓ starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, beans, lentils, etc.
⅓ green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, Bock Choi, etc.
⅓ nonstarchy vegetables such as peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, squash, etc.
You can actually bring up the starchy vegetables to ½ of your plate.
Keep in mind that starchy whole foods fill you up quickly compared to processed foods. There is no need to count calories as the body is designed to eat starchy whole foods.
Your carbs are stored as glycogen in your muscles and burned off as fast as you get moving. Fat from animal foods, on the other hand, is always stored in fat cells. That’s why it is so difficult to lose weight on the western diet.
On the other hand, your stomach doesn’t recognize processed foods as much as whole grain foods. Your stomach stretch receptors will signal your brain to stop eating since you can only hold so much whole food. Yet, it takes more than double the amount of processed food until your stretch receptors give the signal to stop eating.
So the key to losing weight lies in your whole food.
To learn why our body doesn’t recognize processed foods do the following:
If you love bread for breakfast or lunch:
Eat as much white bread with your favorite toppings. Then count the calories and weight of these foods.
The next day eat only whole wheat bread with your favorite toppings. Now do the same; count the calories and weight of these foods.
You’ll find you are much sooner full and satisfied with whole food than you are with processed foods. By the way, your bowel movements will be so much better with whole wheat bread or whole food - period.
Starting a plant-based diet for the sake to lose weight:
For the first few weeks, I would stick with whole foods only. I would eliminate bread, avocados, oil/fats, and nuts until you have lost some weight and re-introduce it slowly in the weeks to come. Most of my recipes are no-oil recipes.
Many of the ingredients in the main dish options can be substituted such as yellow peas with black peas; kale with spinach you get the idea. That said I am not a fan of recipes, but rather let my creativity lead me through the cooking process. In the end it really comes down to how you season your dish.
Here is an example of what I eat on a regular basis:
One of the main dishes I cook all the time is a vegetable stew. Just saute onions and garlic in some vegetable broth. Slowly add all other vegetables, seasonings such as salt, pepper, turmeric, curry, or oregano and thyme. Add more broth if needed and cook until tender. (Or roast in the oven for more flavor) Spice it up with some hot sauce or low salt & low sugar teriyaki or Asian sauces and that’s it. Your imagination is the key to a variety of meals.
If you don’t have time to cook I suggest you utilize an Instant Pot or slow cooker. Just add all ingredients, set and forget. It’s a great way to do batch cooking, too.
Musli with fresh fruit and dairy-free milk.
Oil-free hummus wrap (whole wheat) with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, red bell pepper, and black olives.
Breakfast vegetable stew with red onions, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, white beans, kale & spinach.
A bowl of assorted organic berries, a banana, and a kiwi.
Oatmeal with unsweetened almond or soy milk, fresh or frozen organic blueberries.
Berry banana smoothie: Assorted berries, banana, red apple, lemon juice, flax meal.
Green smoothie: green apple, celery, cucumber, spinach, kale, lemon juice, flax meal.
Main dish options:
Vegetable stew with teriyaki sauce
Three bean chili - brown rice - salsa
Baked potato topped with bean chili & avocado
Potato pancakes topped with zucchini-tomato & white bean stew
Portobello, potato & carrot roast - with mushroom rosemary gravy
Diced eggplant with onions, garlic, ocra & mushrooms
Garbanzo beans with garlic, spinach, mushroom & Burrito
Broccoli stew with Asian Ginger sauce and purple potatoes
Mashed sweet potatoes with broccoli, spinach, and kale stew.
Asian power bowl with sweet potatoes, bok choy, and shiitake mushrooms
Yellow peas soup - onion - garlic - carrots - purple potatoes - turmeric - curry
Vegetable stew - onions - garlic - mushrooms - kale - spinach - kidney beans - turmeric - curry
Red Beet - apple - berries - spinach - Walnut - Salad
Springs greens with sauteed mushrooms, onions, garlic, and garbanzo beans
Red cabbage, carrots, red onions, walnuts, parsley, dried cranberries, lemon juice
Power bowl - asparagus, oil-free hummus, tomatoes, olives, arugula, red cabbage, dressing
Arugula - cherry tomatoes - red onions - black beans - avocado, aged balsamico & lemon juice
Once a week or less:
Rice noodles - frozen vegetable mix - teriyaki sauce
Whole-grain pasta - tomato sauce - broccoli - fresh basil - olives
Black bean burger - whole wheat bun - guacamole - salsa - lettuce
Brown rice noodles - roasted red pepper sauce - vegetable “meatballs
Sprouted bun - portobello mushroom - mustard - pickles - tomatoes - lettuce
Whole wheat wrap - roasted red hummus - guacamole - shredded greens - salsa
Soy or vital gluten sausages - roasted peppers - tomato basil sauce - whole wheat spaghetti
Veggie burger - sprouted bun - avocado - arugula - tomato - red onion - balsamic glace
For snacks eat any type of fruits
Eat Like A Vegan Chef is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice and treatment from your personal physician. Participants and readers are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither the author or publisher of this program takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person reading or following the information in this program. All participants and readers, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition or supplement or lifestyle program.