Will Going Vegan Help Me Lose Weight?

People have tried every kind of restriction diet to lose weight from ditching carbs, to going completely gluten-free, to going all-out vegan. Not eating meat, dairy products, eggs, and honey can definitely offer you a healthier diet since it's so low in saturated fat and cholesterol, but will it offer the quick results you want to see on the scale?

A vegan diet isn't an automatic free ticket to weight loss. Vegans may avoid high-calorie foods such as cheeseburgers, ice cream, buttery pastries, and eggs Benedict, but if they stuff themselves with loads of pasta, bread, french fries, dairy-free chocolate, and nuts, they'll end up gaining weight, not losing it. That's not to say a person can't slim down by eating a vegan diet — it's a matter of going about it the right way.

Meals and snacks should include a balanced variety of fruits and veggies, vegan sources of protein like beans and soy products, and whole grains like brown rice and quinoa. When avoiding meat or dairy products, it's important to pay special attention to your daily amount of protein, iron, and B12 to ensure your body is getting what it needs nutritionally. And in order to see that scale budge, as with any diet, you also need to watch your portion sizes and count calories. You can eat salad for every meal, but if it's smothered in Goddess dressing, an entire diced avocado, sliced almonds, croutons, Craisins, and Daiya cheese, you won't be any closer to zipping up those new skinny jeans.

Coupled with your balanced vegan diet, you'll see faster results by including 30 minutes of daily exercise, limiting your alcohol intake to one drink or fewer a day, and most importantly, remember that just because a food is vegan doesn't mean it's healthy or low in calories. Hundreds of companies make vegan versions of just about everything from pepperoni pizza to cupcakes to cheesecake, so just like their non-vegan counterparts, indulge in them wisely.

Source: Thinkstock
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