What To Do When You Are On a Vegan Diet, But Gain Weight
People on vegan diet say that unless you eat right and healthy you will not lose weight just by going vegan. You will actually gain weight if you go for processed vegan food or eat mindlessly. One should look at at food as nourishment and not entertainment in order to lead a healthy lifestyle and lose weight.
Rachel Llovet from Dunedin, FL posted this question in Vegan Florida group asking for help to lose weight, despite her following a vegan diet.
"Hello my Vegan family. I need suggestions. Part of my transition to vegan diet is to help me lose weight. I keep eating meat substitutes and I'm actually gaining weight. I look online, but nothing looks good. I am so programmed to have my starches and meat and I think it's hurting me, not making me better with how I cook. I buy a lot of Gardein to replace meat. I am looking for good vegan meals. I truly want this to work. However I do have a food addiction. Just eating salads isn't what I want. I'm also cooking for my fiance which we both have the same issues. I need help in the right direction. Vegan experts please help," writes Llovet.
Here are some good suggestions and answers from the group suggesting good and practical vegan meals. But this one is my favorite.
Look At Food As Nourishment Not Entertainment
Evan N Kelly Cameron writes. "You are going to find the yummiest recipes, but I'll be honest and tell you that until I looked at food as nourishment and not entertainment I could not have a healthy separation. For me this was the most difficult part of going vegan: adapting my body and tastes to what Whole Foods tasted like. Hugs and good luck in you journey."
Here are some other vegan food suggestions from other members that are also useful and helpful.
There are a ton of free vegan recipe apps you can download. And alot of the meat alternatives are starchy crap maybe try to season other things instead such as lentils or beans or Jack fruit. There are so many ways to eat and prepare Veggies that are not salad.
Track Your Calories If You Want Weight Loss
Veganism itself also didn't result in weight loss for me, and I found that no matter what my diet consists of, the only way to know how many calories are going in/out - and ensure there's a deficit that will make me lose weight - is to track them. There are a lot of apps to help with tracking, I like MyFitnessPal (free - tracks calories) and Weight Watchers (@ $20/mo - tracks foods based on WW-assigned point values). Weight Watchers is awesome because most fruits and veggies are "free" (don't count towards your daily allowance of points) so it encourages you to eat healthier vegan foods. They also offer lots of support and in-person meetings for extra motivation.
Learn What Other Vegans Eat
Now for recipes, I think it will help if you can see what real vegans eat on a daily basis. I love the Vegan Amino app for this purpose. You will see what hundreds of other vegans are eating all day long. It's also helped me to think of protein and grains/starches as being a garnish instead of the main attraction. Try to make your meals mostly fruit/veg with a little protein/grain thrown in. So, for example, I love stir fry. I'll heat olive oil and saute onion, carrot, bell pepper, broccoli, zucchini, etc. and then add a little tofu or peanuts and serve on a little rice. I season it with Italian seasoning or curry or soy sauce or cumin or whatever I'm in the mood for and it's always delicious. Also, it always helps to meal prep - cook in big batches and freeze, pick a day to shop, wash, and slice up all your produce. If you have the food sitting there ready to eat then your more likely to eat it when you have a craving. There are tons of Youtube vegans showing what they eat too. Take a look and you are sure to get inspired. I love Mommy Tang. She's the one that got me hooked on stir fry.
Avoid Vegan Junk Food
Jill Belsan Poston
There are lots of Vegan junk food. It's easy to fall into that trap. So instead of just following a vegan diet it is also good to eat Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB). If you do a Google Search on it there are so many great references. How Not to Die by Micheal Greger and Plantpure Nation are two great references. You can do this.
What else can you eat? Cabbage soup is good low calorie. Other vegans eat brown rice, raw nuts and fruits a lot. I read some use avocados a lot too. Here are 5 good avocado vegan recipes you can use. They also use bananas and vegan pancakes. Overall, for more vegan creativity and recipes it's good to invest in some good cookbooks and to stay away from processed foods.