7 reasons why you’re not losing weight on a vegan diet
It can be frustrating – you’ve given up all animal products and you assumed by doing this you’d lose some weight…. but it’s not happening.
Here are some common reasons why:
You’re eating vegan junk food
It can be so tempting to replace the animal products you were eating with vegan burgers, cheese and ice-cream. It’s totally understandable that you might go through this phase, but it’s really important these are only eaten occasionally, and they’re not the mainstay of your diet. These foods are generally very refined and lack essential nutrients. Focus on eating nutrient dense, whole, single-ingredient foods. If you like savoury foods try veggie sticks or oatcakes with houmous. If chocolate’s your thing try dark chocolate instead. Its intense flavour means you’ll probably want a lot less and over time you will be able to cut back on this too.
You’re eating too much healthy food
On the flip side, you may not be eating the junk, but you’re just eating too much. It can be easy to fall into the trap ‘it’s healthy therefore I can eat a load of it’. Things like nuts, seeds and avocados are nutritious and a great way to eat a range of vitamins, minerals, protein, fibre and healthy fats, but they are highly calorific, so limit these if you’re trying to lose weight. Fill your plate – about half, with veggies, including plenty of green veg, along with about a third of protein-rich foods such as beans, lentils, tofu and a few nuts and seeds with the rest made up wholegrains, such as quinoa, buckwheat and wholegrain rice or starchy veg such as sweet potato.
Working out what to eat and what not to eat and how to eat healthy food, without spending hours in the kitchen, can be a challenge. If you’d like to have a chat so you can be clear on what you should be focusing on without feeling overwhelmed by it all, book a FREE call with me now. It’s sometimes good to just talk through some of the issues you’re having and there’s absolutely no obligation to sign up to anything.
You’re not eating enough protein
Plant-foods can easily provide enough protein, but some foods are more protein-rich than others. Protein helps you to feel fuller for longer. If you have some plant protein with each meal and snack this will help with not only your hunger levels, but it can also help to stabilise your blood sugar levels – very helpful for getting sugar cravings under control! Great sources include beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, edamame, soy, tofu and tempeh.
You’re drinking too many calories
Of course, this goes for if you’re vegan or not, but you may find you’re trying a greater variety of drinks ‘because they’re vegan’. Some of these can be very high in calories and sugar. Think chilled coffee and caramel soya drink and all the ready-to-drink smoothies and juices. Choose whole fruit where you can and if you like smoothies pick those with a lot of veg in them. Don’t forget to count a smoothie as a snack, or a meal, depending on what you have in it. It’s very easy to overlook what you’re consuming when it’s in liquid form.
There are also many other reasons aside from the food you’re eating. Here are just a few:
As we get older our metabolism slows down. The good news is you can counteract the effects by consuming less calories and doing more exercise that helps to increase your muscle mass. The more muscle you have the greater your metabolism, even when you’re not doing anything!
You’re not getting enough sleep
Too much sleep can be an issue, but for most people it’s not getting enough that’s the problem. This can play havoc with the hormones which regulate hunger and your appetite, which can make it much harder to not overeat.
You eat too quickly
It can be so easy to rush our food now – sandwiches at your desk at lunchtime, grabbing a takeaway for your evening meal. Eating more slowly gives your brain time to register that you’re full. Being aware of your fullness and hunger levels can really help to not overeat.
Of course, there could be an underlying medical condition as to why you’re not losing weight, so if you are concerned please speak to your doctor.
Don’t forget you can book a FREE call with me. I look forward to talking to you!