Losing weight is something which almost everyone tries to do at some point in their life. While a vegan lifestyle can help that, vegan weight loss isn’t an automatic thing. There are still some steps you need to take!
The simple truth is there is no magic pill or potion or secret cure to losing weight. What it comes down to is discipline and motivation. The motivation comes from having a goal in mind, and the discipline is your willingness to stick your eating plan because of your motivation.
They really do go hand in hand.
But for all the motivation and discipline in the world, you still need some idea of what you’re doing and what direction you’re going in!
So here is my definitive guide to how to set yourself a good vegan weight loss plan!
Set A Goal And Have A Reason
This has got to be your starting point. What do you want to achieve? Make it specific but realistic. So for example, “I will lose 20lb in 12 weeks”. Aim for 1-2lb a week at most. This is reasonable, and healthy.
Also have a reason why! Why do you want to lose 20lb in 12 weeks? Have you got a wedding to go to and need to look good? A holiday planned and want to be comfortable on the beach?
It is having an answer to why you’re doing something that will keep you going when you don’t want to exercise, or start getting cravings for things you shouldn’t!
Work Out Your Daily Energy Needs
We’re talking working out how many calories you need to take in. Weight loss in its simplest form is burning off more calories than you take in. If you know how many calories you need on a daily basis, you know how many you should be eating as well.
Use an app or an online calculator. There are plenty out there. If you’re stuck on working this out, Google the Harris-Benedict equation. It is the one that serves me best.
Do A Food Audit
Spend a few days working out what calories you eat and drink in a typical day, what junk food, when you get cravings, what triggers them. Write it all down in a journal.
So cross off your junk food, and start to work on where you can trim back calories.
Overhaul Your Diet
Following on from that, start changing up your eating habits. Small, regular, timed meals rather than eating when ever cravings strike. It will condition you away from indulging.
Get rid of junk food and processed food. No refined stuff either. Basically if the packaging has ingredients you can’t pronounce on it, or more than 2-3 ingredients in the first place, you probably shouldn’t be having it.
Get your calories under control, and make sure you’re taking in less than you’re using.
If you are having a hard time adjusting, start with some simple food swaps. For example, plain black coffee instead a fancy one with syrup or something in it.
I plan my meals in advance so that I can actually cook them all in bulk, saving me time, and also so that if I know what I’m meant to be having, I don’t open the fridge looking for something else to have.
PS: Click here to can get get a fantastic vegan weight loss meal plan
Drink Lots Of Water
Hydration. It is a vital part of every single bodily function. I haven’t looked into the science of it, but I always feel a lot better, have a lot more energy and look a lot better when I am well hydrated. Stops me from craving foods as well. A lot of the time we’re actually thirsty when we feel hungry, or so I’ve been told.
Start exercising. Doesn’t mean you have to join a gym, just start moving. When you go up a set of stairs, go up and come down again and then go up again. Go for a nice refreshing 35-40 minute walk outside. By all means join a gym if you want to and can commit to it. But if you are eating less calories than you’re taking in, it is simply a case of being a bit more active and the weight should drop off at a good steady pace.
While it can be good to track calories you burn from your activity levels, I advise against it. This can lead to unnecessary treats. For example, you think you’ve burnt an extra 150 calories so you can use that spare amount to treat yourself. You are not a dog that needs to be rewarded with food so don’t adopt that mentality.
Remind Yourself Why
Back to the first point I made in this post. Remind yourself, and keep reminding yourself, WHY you’re doing this. It is important.
Get Your Friends Involved
For support, public accountability, bit of peer pressure, and to help you stay on track, ask your friends and family to keep you going. I do it and it always works. I have a great bunch of friends and if I ask them to hold me to something, they definitely do not let me deviate!
So there in a nutshell, are the main points to focus on when trying to lose weight. If you want a good vegan weight loss meal plan, check out our 2 week vegan detox plan, which you can download from here!Photo by ChodHound