Are you looking to lose weight by changing over to a plant-based diet? Your success or otherwise will come down to what you think a plant-based diet entails.
If you can follow the philosophy of a true plant-based diet, your success is virtually assured. In doing so, your food consumption will focus on severely reducing or eliminating not just meat, but also processed foods, soft drinks, simple carb foods and all other foods known to be unhealthy.
By only consuming healthy plant-based foods and occasional, selective additions of meat, fish, poultry or dairy, your body will seek your ideal weight.
Alternatively, if you think a plant-based diet simply means avoidance of meat, while still allowing consumption of all the other exclusions mentioned above, you will have little chance of losing either fat or weight. Be aware that when you hear of the success of others who have switched to a plant-based diet, they have made a very complete health choice that goes beyond refraining from eating meat.
A plant-based diet is all about optimal health. Ideal weight is both a goal and a result of good health and a healthy lifestyle.
Get Acquainted with Your New Food Requirements
Once you decide to opt for a plant-based diet you should start exploring your new dietary requirements. For example, what foods contain your proteins, carbs or fats? You basically have new ‘food groups’. These food groups are fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains. These foods can provide you with all the necessary nutrients you need as you lose weight without putting your health at risk.
To ensure that you get the best nutritional value from your plant-based diet, make sure that you have enough servings from each of your new food groups. You also need to vary the types of foods you include in each food group, so that they complement each other and provide all the essential amino acids you need daily.
Of course, variation also makes your meals more interesting.
Make Whole Grains a Staple
Whole grains such as brown rice, millet and quinoa can help you cut down belly fat, and eventually lose more weight if you make them your daily staples.
A study shows that one group of individuals who consumed ‘whole’ grain foods were able to lose a significant amount of abdominal fat, compared to another group who consumed ‘refined’ grain foods.
Although if refined grains are sometimes included in your plant-based diet, limit your intake of these to once a day or even alternate days only, if you are looking to lose weight. Again, these positive choices between processed foods and whole foods are what makes the difference between ideal health or otherwise.
Discover the Taste of All Kinds of Vegetables
Being on a plant-based diet opens you up to an even wider selection of vegetables, that you may not have eaten previously. There may be many that you may have never even noticed before being sold in the fruit and vegetable section of your supermarket.
You have the freedom to explore each green, orange, white or purple colored vegetable, starchy and non-starchy vegetables, smooth and prickly, round and long etc.
Just eat starchy vegetables sparingly as this is the group of plant-based foods that will most adversely affect your weight loss goals. Choose vegetables that are high in fiber, as high fiber foods make you feel fuller longer. This helps reduce the likelihood of craving for high calorie, sugary foods.
Consult a Dietitian or Nutritionist
If you want to lose weight, but are not sure of how much to eat, or what foods to choose, consult a professional nutritionist or dietitian who can guide you towards meeting your daily recommended amount of nutrients.
Switching to plant-based diets can be difficult in the beginning, but with the help of a professional you will be able to avoid any dietary pitfalls. Instead of guessing you will be able to confidently rely on the successes of others, avoiding their errors and at the same time losing weight.