4 Major Reasons You’re Gaining Weight On Your Vegan Diet
Many who go vegan are disappointed to find that going vegan doesn't always mean losing weight. In fact sometimes going vegan can mean weight gain, but there are some healthful measures you can take to correct that.
So you’ve gone vegan and you are surprised to see that you have gained some weight. Perhaps you expected that going vegan would mean automatic health and weight loss, but surprisingly this isn’t true. Vegan diets can be full of hidden calories weight gaining additives chemicals that you may not be aware of. One of four adjustments may need to be made.
Avoid Eating Processed Foods
Many people who decide to go vegan do so mostly for ethical reasons. That usually means any processed food that is not made without animal products is considered vegan and therefore allowed on the diet. Because processed foods are easily available they can become a bigger part of the vegan diet (think plant-based protein shakes and cereal and cereal bars.) Eating these foods will result in a lower intake of bioavailable nutrients, more calories consumed, dehydration, and less natural fiber and may ultimately slow digestion, elimination and weight gain.
Avoid Making Food Replacements Instead of Eliminations
Many vegans have a difficult time making permanent food eliminations. As a result, they begin to seek out food substitutions for the foods they once ate. This can be costly calorically and health-wise, since many replacement foods are often higher in sugar and calories. To illustrate, non-dairy milks when flavored and sweetened tend to be higher in calories than cow’s milk. They also contain carrageenan, which is MSG. Vegan cheese is just as high in fat and calories than regular cheese and is also high in MSG since it’s made with nutritional yeast. If you are grain sensitive and also giving up wheat, you may want to steer clear of gluten-free replacement foods as these too tend to be higher in calories. It is always best to completely eliminate an animal food instead of replacing it and to find a more healthful food to eat more of.
Lower The Fat
So you gave up meat oil and dairy, and the number on the scale is creeping up. Maybe you heard of the latest health trend that your body needs more “good fat’ so you binge out on nuts, avocado and coconut. Although these fats may be better for you than trans fats, for example, they can also be highly caloric and hinder your weight loss efforts. As a rule it’s always best to eat high fat foods in moderation and keep fat low since research shows that low fat diets are more health promoting than high fat diets. Research also shows that people on low-fat, plant-based diets such as the vegan diet exhibit dramatically lower rates of cancer, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses than their meat-eating counterparts. A truly low-fat diet—about 10 percent of calories from fat—can be a more effective and powerful tool for keep your weight down and avoiding heart disease and cancer.
Proper Hydration Is Super Important
Going vegan and making food eliminations on top of figuring out a new way to eat can be stressful. It also means you can forget about properly hydrating. If you are eating processed food replacements, drinking coffee and eating high amounts of cooked foods, you may unknowingly be chronically dehydrated.
Mild dehydration can have adverse effects on mood and energy as well as causing bad breath, dry skin, headaches, fatigue and slowing weight loss.
Staying Hydrated Is Easy
Vegans who lose weight on a vegan diet avoid processed foods, make necessary food eliminations, avoid food substitutions and lower their fat intake. They avoid or have greatly limited their coffee intake, since coffee is highly dehydrating and, they have ramped up their daily intake of hydrating fruits and leafy green vegetables. Vegans who are successful with weight loss are also sure to hydrate with super-hydrating coconut or lemon water throughout the day.