Going vegan can be beneficial for weight loss and your health overall. However, this isn’t some kind of magic cure that will make you slim fast. A vegan diet can be just as unhealthy as the one that includes animal products. Most importantly, a plant-based meal plan can lead to some health issues all on its own. If you think of going vegan for weight loss, consider the pros and cons of this diet before making the final decision.
Pros of Going Vegan for Weight Loss
- A vegan diet is lower in fats and calories.
- Vegans consume a lot of dietary fiber, which helps lose weight and keeps you satiated.
- It’s easier to eat healthy when you adhere to the rather strict guidelines of the vegan diet.
Going vegan can help weight loss because this change makes you drop fattening meat and dairy. Instead, you increase your intake of fruits and veggies, which enhance weight loss by default. Many of the natural appetite suppressants are vegan. For example, avocados, legumes, apples, and almonds are all foods that help reduce hunger. Mostly, that’s because they provide you with fiber that takes a long time to digest. Therefore, they make you feel full longer.
Overall, you can definitely lose weight faster when you go vegan as your meals will become lower in calories and fats. Yet they will become more nutritious as a whole, giving you more energy to work out and achieve the body of your dreams.
You also shouldn’t discount potential health benefits of the vegan diet. The reduced risk of cardiovascular heart disease (The Permanente Journal) and type 2 diabetes (Journal of Geriatric Cardiology) make it a great dietary choice by default. Weight loss is merely a small side benefit compared to that.
Cons of Going Vegan for Weight Loss
- A vegan diet doesn’t contain any sources of vitamin B12. Food sources of calcium and vitamin D are also limited.
- Vegan foods can contain unhealthy trans fats and empty calories.
- Adjusting to a vegan diet can be difficult, which will reduce the chances of sticking with it and the weight loss program in general.
The most important thing you need to understand is that ‘vegan’ doesn’t equal ‘healthy’. This diet doesn’t even have to be low in calories. There are many ‘bad’ processed vegan foods that are high in trans fats and empty calories.
The risk of developing nutritional deficiencies is also very high when you are a vegan. Some nutrients are present in animal products only. Therefore, you’ll need to rely on supplements and fortified foods to get all essential vitamins and minerals.
If you’ve been eating meat, eggs, dairy, and honey your whole life, going vegan will be an extreme change. You will need to learn a new way of cooking and your body will need a long time to get used to the new food.
Will Going Vegan Help You Lose Weight?
Going vegan can help you lose weight and do so fast. However, to achieve this, you will need to stick to a healthy vegan diet that mostly consists of fresh whole foods. Processed products are bad for your health and weight loss efforts regardless of whether they are vegan or no.
Therefore, you are the only person who can determine if going vegan for weight loss is right for you. If you are prepared to stick to a healthy well-balanced diet, you will be able to succeed. But remember that finding that essential balance of nutrients will be more difficult if you limit yourself to plant foods only.
On the other hand, if you are going to stick to frozen meals and junk snacks, it won’t matter if you eat a meat or veggie burger. To lose weight you have to eat healthily. The inclusion of animal products matters very little for your success.