Dieting vegan… If you are an adult, there is a chance that you have been on a diet at least once in your life. You are certainly not alone – it is estimated that 45 million Americans try one diet or another each year.
Some people do it to lose weight, and others try it out in an attempt to revamp their health.
Regardless of your reasoning, you may just be considering going on a diet. You are probably well aware that there are quite a few options to choose from.
At the same time, you may be confused about just how many of these choices are available to you, considering that you already follow a vegan diet.
Well, this is a tricky question to answer. See, it isn’t enough to follow a diet that will help you lose weight. It is also essential to enjoy a lifestyle that provides you with all of the nutrients you need.
This can be especially vital since, as a vegan, you have already introduced some level of restriction into your diet.
Since this is somewhat of a complicated matter, let’s break it down further. This way, you can figure out which diets are right for you and which ones you should steer clear of. Let’s get started.
The Best Diets for Vegans
To begin with, let’s consider the diets that are safe and healthy for you to follow:
The Mediterranean Diet
Did you know that the Mediterranean diet has been rated as one of the healthiest options in the world by experts? When you take a look at all of the benefits associated with it, it isn’t difficult to see why.
For one thing, it has been linked to a decrease in the risk of high cholesterol, diabetes, and breast cancer.
There is also evidence to suggest that the diet can prevent brain-related diseases such as dementia and memory loss.
Furthermore, it has shown to improve the condition of your heart as well as your bones. So, it is a well-rounded and healthy diet.
As a bonus, the Mediterranean diet is also pretty easy for vegans to pick up. This is because plant-based foods are a focus with this diet.
And while it does call for seafood, this can easily be substituted with vegan-friendly foods.
Instead of fish, you can get your omega-3 fatty acids from nuts and seeds. This includes walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flaxseeds.
Just make sure that you are consuming these foods in enough quantities to get the necessary benefits. In case you are having trouble with this, consider taking a vegan supplement.
The Raw Food Vegan Diet
Several vegans also choose to follow the raw food diet. This means that in addition to avoiding meat, dairy, and animal-derived products, you are also cutting out foods that have to be heated to a temperature higher than 104–118°F.
So, why do people follow this diet? Well, some individuals believe that they can derive more nutrients from minimally cooked food.
As a result, proponents of this diet look to sprouting, juicing, soaking, blending, and dehydrating as food preparation methods.
Now, this diet certainly does have its benefits. When you prepare it well, the raw food vegan diet can help to reduce the risk of diabetes, boost your heart health, and improve your digestion. It can also aid in weight loss.
There is, however, a caveat. In order to remain healthy on this diet, you need to keep careful track of all the nutrients you are consuming.
This means that you have to make a conscious effort to ensure that you are eating enough vitamin B-12, calcium, and vitamin D.
Otherwise, you may suffer from certain nutritional deficiencies.
This diet does frown upon supplements as it maintains that you can get all of your necessary nutrients from raw foods.
However, if you are finding it challenging to consume the essential nutrients with this diet, you should either consider supplementation or look for a less restrictive option.
Intermittent fasting doesn’t focus on restricting foods. Instead, it is about limiting the time interval during which you can eat.
As a rule of thumb, this diet aims to reduce your eating window so that your body can more effectively consume and burn calories.
While there are many different ways to try intermittent fasting, the most popular method is the 16/8 one.
This is where you fast for 16 hours a day and eat your meals during the eight-hour window. Most people prefer to start their fast in the night, so that much of their fasting period is maintained while they are sleeping.
While intermittent fasting is primarily for weight loss, there is a possibility that it can have several health benefits as well.
This includes lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and inflammation. It can also help to boost brain function and heart health.
There is also some evidence to show that it can reduce the risk of certain cancers.
For the best results, try to maintain a healthy diet while following the intermittent fasting program.
Make sure that your diet mainly consists of fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, and whole grains. This way, you can be in excellent health while losing weight.
The Worst Diets
Now let’s go through the diets that you should stay away from. They can be overly restrictive, nutrient deficient, and challenging to maintain for long periods.
This is a diet that most people have heard of – it is all about limiting carbs and maximizing fats.
It is focused on inducing a state of ketosis in the body so that you can begin losing weight. And while the diet is pretty heavy on the meat, it can be veganized.
However, it is probably a good idea to give this diet a pass. This is because it eschews good carbohydrates found in fruits and vegetables.
As a result, there is a good chance that you end up missing out on much-needed nutrients.
Not to mention, you will be depriving your body of critical fiber-rich foods as well.
Many experts are also concerned about the focus on fat with this diet. While there are plenty of good fats that you can eat as a vegan, it is essential to consume them in moderation.
On the keto diet, these often become your primary source of nutrition.
Due to this, it can be challenging to know the long-term effects of remaining on this diet for an extended time. Thus, it is unnecessary to take this risk in the hopes of losing a couple of pounds.
The pegan diet combines the vegan and paleo diet to create a more inclusive diet. As a vegan, you can follow this diet if you cut out the eggs, fish, and meat that some people consume while on it.
However, while it is possible for you to follow this diet, you really shouldn’t.
The concept behind the pegan diet does have some merit. It looks to cut out processed foods or anything that your ancestors will not have eaten in those early days. The problem, though, is that it also gets rid of legumes and whole grains.
Now, as a vegan, these two food groups can be incredibly essential sources of nutrition. So, if you cut them out, you are foregoing their benefits.
This can result in quite a few health problems down the line, so it is best to save yourself the trouble and ignore this diet simply.
Tips for Dieting Vegan
You now have a better idea of what diets are good and which ones are bad for you. Of course, even the good ones may not be the kind of diets that you are looking for.
So, if you want to go your own way, here are the tips you should always keep in mind when dieting:
Always Eat a Balanced Diet
First things, you should always eat a balanced diet. This means that on a daily basis, you need to get the recommended amount of protein, good fats, carbs, vitamins, and minerals.
This should be your priority, and weight loss should come after that.
So, regardless of which regimen you decide to follow, always check that you are eating the right portion of healthy foods every day.
Focus on a Sustainable Lifestyle, Not Fad Diets
Try to skip fad diets as much as possible. Not only are they unlikely to work, but they are also often unsustainable.
So, even if you do lose weight, there is a good chance that you will end up gaining it all back.
Instead, focus on creating a healthy diet without being overindulgent. Furthermore, find something easy to stick with for a more extended period.
Give Yourself Some Wiggle Room
Last but not least, try not to limit yourself too much. Now and then, you should be able to treat yourself, especially if you eat healthy most of the time.
So, don’t forget to give yourself some wiggle room as life is meant to be enjoyed after all.
These are the top things that you should know if you are considering going on a diet as a vegan.
Follow these guidelines, and you should find yourself on the right and healthy path.
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