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Vegan weight loss - What does that really mean?

Anyone opting for a vegan diet makes a conscious decision not to eat meat, fish and poultry, as well as products of animal origin such as cheese, eggs and dairy products. Vegans go one logical step further than vegetarians. Therefore, vegans are always confronted with prejudice because people think that a vegan diet is unhealthy, single-sided and boring. And further a purely vegan diet cannot be tasty nor healthy. However, the opposite is true, because vegan weight loss means eating wholesome, balanced and based on purely plant-based food. As a vegan, you don’t have to count calories to reach and your desired weight and that also means you can enjoy a great variety of delicious food and maintain your desired weight.

Why a vegan diet?
A vegan diet is a particularly sustainable change of diet with not only short but also long-term positive effects on the body without any sacrifices. The main reasons that encourage people to switch to a vegan diet are not only the known ethical issues i.e. animal suffering and the protection of limited global resources. Also, physical health, personal well-being and food allergies and intolerances -such as lactose intolerance, make more and more people pursue a vegan diet.
Those who opt for the vegan way don’t have to become vegan and completely change their diet ‘overnight’. Quite the contrary: It is advisable to address the issue in small steps, e.g. starting by limiting the consumption of meat and testing alternative products. Like this, you keep up your own motivation and you don’t overwhelm yourself from the start. And because there really is no food that cannot be replaced by a vegan product, the transition will not be difficult. You will be able to renounce faster to your beloved meat and dairy products than you believe. It is also worth noting: In blind tastings, many non-vegans cannot distinguish conventional products from vegan products neither in taste nor in appearance. To most of them, the vegan alternatives (Video by Mercyforanimals: Kids Try Vegan Food) taste far better than the ‘originals’.

What are the benefits of a vegan diet?
Most conventional diets recommend just what is complete nonsense from a nutritional point of view - a time-limited, unbalanced diet with a radical break from previous eating habits. You just have to use common sense to realize that this combination cannot achieve a lasting success. These diets are also called crash diets - as if crashing, like in an accident, would be something positive. Those who rely on conventional diets should not be surprised if motivation drops and weight loss is hard to achieve. The yo-yo effect is inevitable, since the body is put under stress and wants to accumulate fat as soon as possible for the coming period of starvation. This leads to the dreaded food cravings during and immediately after such diets. This behavior is “programmed” in our metabolism since ages.
Our ancestors were hunters and gatherers in times when pantries did not exist. They therefore had to consume as much proteins as possible to nourish from the body fat in less successful days. In today's lifestyle, there is almost unlimited food available around the clock, although still active, this genetic code is superfluous. But it is interesting that our ancestors were not overweight. Why?
First, the early humans moved more and therefore burned more calories than their daily intake. Secondly, due to the food supply they ate already according to the principles of a healthy vegan lifestyle. Fruit, vegetables, and cereals were part of the menu. Instead of industrial greases, they obtained healthy fats from avocados, nuts and seeds.

And yes, they also ate meat. However, meat was once a source of protein only available sporadically, every other week, after successful hunting. And not so long ago there used to be the so-called Sunday roast because the larger part of the population could only afford meat once a week. In the sixties, due to the economic miracle, when suddenly meat and animal fats became affordable, a previously unknown phenomenon took place among the population - food allergies and obesity. So, if you want to recommend a new diet trend that allows you to continue eating meat and animal fats while you only give up potatoes to lose weight, you should ask yourself if it makes any sense from a nutritional point of view. Especially since the recommendations of these low carb or no-carb diets are difficult to follow, because the brain needs a certain amount of carbohydrates to function. A vegan diet provides the right amount of healthy carbohydrates in form of whole foods, vegetables, and fruits, while waiving industrial sugar.

So basically: People who eat vegan are less likely to gain weight. The underlying idea of a vegan diet is to take fewer calories than you consume during the day without renunciations. If you follow a vegan diet, you can literally lose weight while you sleep. Contrary to what prejudices would have us think, in a well-planned vegan diet the body gets all the nutrients it needs - even vitamin B12, calcium and iron.

And why should I completely give up animal products when I have always eaten meat?
As mentioned above, living a vegan lifestyle does not impose any constraints. There are no ‘laws’ you have to follow. It is up to you how far you want to go in living the vegan way. However, if you take a close look at the industrial meat production, in which all the parts of the animal - absolutely all - are processed to make meat and sausage, you will quickly find an answer to why it is better to give up meat. Also, we now know that the processed meat of today has nothing to do with the meat from once upon a time. Residues of drugs and growth hormones, numerous chemical additives, too much salt and flavor enhancers and much more is added to the meat. You may have noticed that there are warnings regarding the consumption of animal products on television even at prime time. Not surprisingly.
You also don’t need to eat meat to obtain the adequate amount of proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
There are numerous top athletes, such as Attila Hildmann, Brendan Brazier or Patrik Baboumian, that show you can impressively excel with a purely vegan diet.

How exactly does a vegan diet work?
Following a vegan diet or losing weight the vegan way does not mean that you have to be very concerned about an adequate consumption of essential vitamins and nutrients - even when faced with this prejudices.

Therefore, here you can find a short eating plan with the most important nutrients and their sources.

Carbohydrates
Vegans obtain the recommended amount of carbohydrates automatically from potatoes, lentils, chickpeas, peas, tofu, peanut butter, soy milk, almonds, spinach, rice, bread, potatoes, broccoli, and kale. A severe carbohydrate plan is not necessary. The key here lies in the richly varied vegan diet.

Fat
A vegan diet is cholesterol-free and low in saturated fatty acids. This also helps prevent the big common illnesses: diabetes, hypertension and heart attack. You can ingest fats through oils, margarine, nuts, peanut butter, avocado, and coconut.

Vitamin D
Get your daily dose of sunshine! Vitamin D is one of the vitamins that the body can produce with the help of sunlight. If the sun does not shine, you should drink vitamin D-enriched soy drink or rice drink. You can also rely on vitamin D supplements which can be taken from meat eater, vegetarian or vegan equally because we do not live in the blue zones and cannot absorb enough sunlight anyway. The Vegan Society developed a vitamin supplement which is especially for vegans.

Calcium
Calcium is not only important for the bones. The main sources of calcium are all dark green vegetables (except spinach), calcium-fortified soy drink or tofu, and orange juice. As well as turnip greens, tempeh, almond butter, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage. The fact that a meatless diet leads to a lower calcium requirement is not scientifically proven. You should nevertheless ensure an adequate calcium intake. One strongly held myth is that drinking cow's milk is healthy and important for the preservation of the bone substance. But In fact, there is growing evidence that the exact opposite is the case.

Zinc
A vegan diet provides sufficient zinc through cereals, vegetables, and nuts.

Iron
Beans and dark green leafy vegetables are good sources of iron as a substitute for high-calorie meat. If you combine Vitamin C with iron rich vegetables, the body can generally absorb iron better. Other iron-rich foods are soy beans, lentils, kidney beans, chick peas, chard, black beans, prune juice, grapes, watermelons, millet, peas, and Bulgur.

Omega-3 fatty acids
To ensure the production of DHA and EPA (Omega-3 fatty acids), you should add linolenic acid, flaxseed, flaxseed oil, canola oil, tofu, soy and walnuts to the menu. Algae oil does also contain Omega-3 fatty acids which can be supplemented in form of capsules.

Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is also called cobalamin and can only be produced in a natural way by microorganisms (e.g. bacteria) in the soil. In the past consumption of grazing animals ensured an adequate supply of cobalamin, as the microorganisms in the soil contained B12. Today the soils are so exhausted from over-fertilization and use of pesticides that even grazing animals must be artificially supplied with vitamin B12. Thus, the risk of suffering from a vitamin B12 deficiency nowadays concerns not only vegans and vegetarians but even regular meat eaters.

The human body can store Vitamin B12 for three to five years. Therefore, with full storage, the need for B12 is low and can be kept through a regular supply at an adequate level. Pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as infants and children, need more vitamin B12 than normal healthy adults. Nevertheless, you should make sure that you are getting enough Vitamin B12. For vegans, there are special dietary vitamin B12 supplement sources in the form of tablets, drops or toothpastes. But B12 is also available even in tempeh, miso and seaweed, and enriched soy drinks.

What else can I eat?
Oatmeal, stir-fried vegetables, cereal, toast, whole wheat bread, dates, apples, pasta (without eggs), smoothies, popcorn, guacamole, lasagna made of tofu or with miigan soy protex mince or pea protex mince, pancakes without eggs, hummus, soy yoghurt alternatives, falafel, pumpkin, etc.

Help, how can I give up meat, cheese, and eggs?

Vegan meat substitutes
The variety of vegan meat substitutes convinces even the biggest meat-eaters. Made from, soy, lupine or seitan, a soya or lupine-based Schnitzel does not only look like a "real" piece of meat, but it also tastes like one. These meat substitutes are also ideal suited for people with food intolerances or allergies. But also with tempeh, Grünkern ‘green kernel’ or oats, you can cook savory vegan patties, hearty roasts and burgers.

Vegan cheese alternatives
Do you love cheese? We also do. Our non-dairy brands Violife and Nature & Moi taste just stunningly good. Made of coconut oil, potato starch and flavored with herbs and spices, they convince even non-vegans. And yes, you can also use a vegan cheese substitute for gratinating, melting and grating.

Egg substitute
Vegan egg replacers contain no cholesterol and no saturated fat. These purely plant based alternatives can be normally used for cooking and to prepare appetizers and entrees. The egg replacer is also ideally suited for binding, loosening or enriching meals.

Recipes
For tasty and straightforward vegan recipes, not only for the vegan diet, see our 'Vegan For Fit’ set, cooking books or in our recipes section.

boutique vegan helps you to make the first steps towards a vegan diet easier. Here are a few affordable trial and value packs for you. These contain the most important basic products suitable for immediate consumption, or out of which more delicious vegan meals can be prepared.

Read more information about the benefits of a vegan at provegan.info (studies) and Forks over Knifes.

 

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