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At age 66, former President Bill Clinton lost more than 30 pounds when he changed to a vegan diet, just in time for his daughter's wedding.
"All my blood tests are good, and my vital signs are good, and I feel good, and I also have, believe it or not, more energy” he said in an interview.
Done properly, a vegan diet can help you shed the pounds faster than just about anything else, giving you more energy than you ever had before.
But beware, it’s a minefield out there.
Just because it’s vegan, is it really healthy?
And if it is healthy, can it still be delicious?
We’ve identified 8 tips from vegans who are walking proof of their ability to lose weight fast, so grab a carrot and dig in.
Vegan Weight Loss Tip #1 - Eat High Volume, but Low Calorie
Jon Venus is a vegan health and fitness coach. He advocates for eating high volume but low-calorie foods, like vegetables. Typically when he goes shopping he’ll grab broccoli, cauliflower, 300 grams of mushrooms and 300 grams of asparagus, all of which when eaten will typically remain under just 400 calories.
Vegan Weight Loss Tip #2 - Cut out the Oil
Maddie Lymburner is a 22-year-old YouTube and content creator, and a vegan queen!
One of her top tips is to cut out oil. She describes it as “Basically a liquid fat. Processed food really”, that’s “extracted from a whole food”.
She’s not a fan of having coconut oil. “If I want a coconut I’ll eat the whole thing and get the fibre.”
“If you want to eat healthy fats, eat whole foods, like a whole olive.”
Vegan Weight Loss Tip #3 - Drink More Water & Less Alcohol
Jenné Claiborne, is the founder of Sweet Potato Soul, a vegan food, and lifestyle blog.
Her top tip is to drink more water and less alcohol.
“A lot of people don’t like to drink just plain water so add some lemon juice or lime juice. You can also add apple cider vinegar which helps with digestion. Often when we think we’re hungry we’re actually thirsty, so have a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal.”
When the weekend comes around, she recommends drinking a kombucha instead of alcohol. “Even though it’s non-alcoholic, it’s still an interesting drink and can make you feel like you’re drinking a cocktail.”
Vegan Weight Loss Tip #4 - Meal Prep like a Boss
Alyssa Rimmer is a holistic nutritionist and has over 59,000 followers on her Instagram, under the name of simplyquinoa.
“What’s great about meal prepping is it sets you up for success for the entire week. When you’re meal prepping you’re much more likely to reach for those healthy foods, so you don’t need to worry about what you’re going to have for lunch today.”
The “best thing is it’s ultimately going to get you to that goal weight. All you need are containers and tin foil.” Though she does recommend you use glass containers because they’re heatproof and non-toxic, unlike some plastics.
Vegan Weight Loss Tip #5 - Ditch Processed Foods
Mae Flowers is a self-taught plant-based advocate. She lost 30lbs in less than one year, crediting her success with her plant-based diet.
She recommends ditching processed foods because they’re “loaded with sodium, sugar, and fat.”, explaining that “sodium promotes water retention”. However, she doesn’t recommend eliminating salt completely, but she warns that “processed foods have huge amounts of salt in them”. She recommends ‘getting rid of anything in a packet and just eating whole foods’.
Vegan Weight Loss Tip #6 - Swap Cheese for Nutritional Yeast
Nina and Randa are identical twins and singers. They’re also now authors, having recently written “The Clear Skin Diet”.
They recommend swapping cheese for nutritional yeast. “We all know cheese isn’t good for you. It’s literally rotting milk. It’s filled with hormones and bad for your skin. It’s also addictive. Nutritional yeast has a natural cheesy flavour and is great to top on your foods. It also contains vitamin B12.”
Vegan Weight Loss Tip #7 - Be Careful with the Smoothies
Hannah Howlett, also known as HighCarbHannah on Instagram, with over 200,000 followers.
She recommends cutting down the size of our smoothies.
“Smoothies are great and you can have them every day, but don't make them too large because you can consume a lot more calories. If you can’t eat 5 bananas normally then don’t add 5 bananas into your smoothie” she advises. “Also never add sugar.”
Vegan Weight Loss Tip #8 - Half Veggies, Half Starches
Healthy Emmie is a plant-based YouTuber with over a million views on her channel. She recommends focussing on filling half your plate with veggies and half your plate with starches, like rice, potatoes, and beans.
“Veggies are going to give you the volume, the quantity of food. Starches are the perfect balance between caloric density and a satiation factor that’s going to make you feel full. Veggies don’t have the calories but they have the volume and starches don’t have the volume but they have the calories.”
Focus on Healthy Choices and the Weight Loss Will Come
Every year millions of people try a new diet, only to give up a week or two later. The key to weight loss is making permanent changes to your diet, and focussing on healthy choices, rather than just a reduction of overall calorie consumption.
A whole-food plant-based vegan diet will not only help you lose the pounds, but you’ll also get more dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamins C and E, iron and phytochemicals. These protective nutrients will mean a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.
For more vegan weight loss tips, check out our Instagram where we feature vegan nutrition and fitness experts daily.