Weight loss is one of the major reasons people switch to plant-based diet plans, and this involves eating more whole foods. You must know that the calorie density of most plant-based foods is low, and this makes it difficult to gain weight. Apart from this, they have other health benefits like preventing cardiovascular diseases, certain types of cancers like colon cancer, diabetes, and slowing down aging. Also, they are rich in antioxidants that protect the body from damages caused by free radicals. This article will best attempt to answer how a whole food plant-based diet helps to lose weight naturally.
Why Should You Eat A Whole Food Plant-Based Diet?
Whole food plant-based diet like a vegan diet is less costly than an omnivore diet. Also, results from surveys have proven time and again that people who follow plant-based diet plans require fewer medications for ailments as they get older. They have a reduced risk of developing chronic diseases. This is because their immune system is in better shape than those who consume more animal-based foods, especially red meat. Above all, it prevents obesity and helps with better weight management.
Obesity is one of the leading causes of heart diseases worldwide; in many cases, this leads to life-threatening conditions like stroke and heart attacks. Physicians ask such patients to lose weight, reduce the consumption of foods that contain saturated fats like beef, pork, eat more plant-based food, and engage in physical activities like exercising, workouts, etc.
Stop Calorie Counting
Our body needs a minimum amount of calories per day, and anything more than that is stored in the body as fat; this depends on the metabolic rate and lifestyle of an individual. Looking from a cause and effect point of view, when you eat, your body uses the calories in the food as a fuel source. The excess calories are converted into fat, and when this goes beyond a certain limit, it leads to obesity.
If your calorie requirement is more than your intake, then your body uses the fat reserves to compensate for this deficit. So, to reduce weight, you must either consume less food or increase your energy requirement through physical activities like workouts, exercises, etc. For effective weight management and preventing obesity, you go for a balanced approach between the two methods for weight loss. Having said that, the ideal way to avoid this sort of calorie counting is eating more plant-based food and reducing the consumption of calorie-dense foods like meat.
Eating Plant-Based Food
Compared to nonvegetarian foods, plant-based foods are nutrient-dense and have lower calorie density. Also, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and cereals have higher fiber content; this makes them filling and they are digested slowly. This combination of low-calorie density and high fiber content makes plant-based food ideal for effective weight management. Besides, they are rich in nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
Plant-based foods are one of the best natural sources of dietary fiber that is required for good gut health. Their benefits are reduced craving, and eating smaller portions of the meal; this naturally leads to weight loss. Moreover, a plant-based diet also improves immunity because gut health and immune system function are linked.
Plant-Based Diet Weight Loss Tips
Transitioning to a whole food plant-based diet for weight loss requires planning and shared below are tips for doing it effectively.
It is always recommended to switch to a whole food plant-based diet slowly, i.e. start by eating whole food plant-based meals twice or thrice a week. Also, you can start replacing animal-based food products that you use daily with healthy plant-based alternatives. For example, use plant-based milk like soy, oat, or pea instead of dairy milk in beverages and recipes. These are already being used by people who have lactose intolerance. Furthermore, you must remember that it will take a little time to adjust to this new lifestyle and eating habits.
Eat Rainbow Colored Foods:
Plant-based foods do not contain vitamin B12 because in nature it is produced by bacteria; it is found in most animal-based food. That said, you need not fuss over other nutrients. To ensure that you are getting all the nutrients from the whole food plant-based diet, eat a diverse range of foods. The best way to do this is by eating fruits and vegetables of different colors daily. Besides, if you are following a vegan diet, it is recommended to take vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D supplements or fortified foods.
Eat Whole Grains:
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in our diet and they are not bad. So, you must take this into account when following plant-based diet plans for weight loss. Plant-based foods like brown rice, quinoa, farro, rolled oats, and barley are good sources of whole carbs needed for your body. Having said that, you must avoid refined or processed carbohydrates.
These are the important points that you must remember when switching to a whole food plant-based diet for weight loss.