If you’re looking to lose weight for summertime, or simply a special occasion, you’re in good hands. Adopting a plant-based diet is a great place to start! It is not only beneficial for weight loss specifically, but for one’s overall health as well. A plant-based diet is a natural way to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol, and even helps with better digestion.
Here are a few steps to start a plant-based diet specifically for weight-loss:
- Replace meat with plant-based proteins. Animal proteins are inflammatory, which in turn can cause weight gain. Begin by replacing legumes like beans, lentils, tempeh, organic tofu, edamame, and a wide variety of colorful veggies. These plant-based alternatives are rich in protein and much higher in fiber than meat.
- Watch your snacking. Plant-based friendly snacking is automatically healthier than snacks filled with eggs and dairy. Fresh raw veggies like carrots and snap peas, smoothies with some avocado, and nuts and seeds are greats snacks. They are packed with healthy fats, fiber, and protein to keep you feeling fuller for longer without grabbing those sugar and junk filled packaged goods.
Add, don’t subtract! Focus on adding in real, whole foods rather than subtracting or depriving yourself of meat. By adding in a variety of fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, and seeds rather than focusing on eliminating is much more sustainable. Try out some veggies or plant-based proteins that you’ve never had before and have some fun with it!
- Don’t be afraid of grains. There is a big difference between a complex carbohydrate, and a processed carbohydrate or a simple sugar. Whole grains consist of brown rice, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa. Begin replacing bread and pasta with quinoa or brown rice pasta as a starting place to use grains for their beneficial fiber.
- Load up on fresh vegetables. Now that you are eliminating your intake of animal products, begin adding in more veggies. They are low in fat and high in fiber which helps to keep you feeling full for longer. Vegetables are very diverse – you can literally add them into any meal with some herbs and spices and you have a creative and colorful dish in a few minutes. Leafy greens, bright and sweet root veggies, small and round or long and thin veggies!
Not only will a plant-based diet help to facilitate weight loss, but it has shown to benefit overall health. People who adopt a gluten-free plant-based diet have reported increased energy levels, better mood, digestion, skin, and overall feeling of healthier well being. A plant-based diet is shown to improve cardiovascular health, and reduce the risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Plant-based diets go far in preventing heart attack and stroke, among other chronic diseases.
At Fresh ‘n Lean, we make eating plant-based convenient, healthy, and delicious. Check out some of our colorful meals here!