Is Going Vegan A Healthy Weight Loss Approach?

You may be considering adopting a vegan diet for weight loss. One of the most significant concerns that I hear from people is the fear that cutting out animal products such as beef, poultry, and fish will deplete their muscles and not sufficiently provide the nutrients needed by the body that a traditional diet provides.

Let’s look at the research and consider whether going vegan is a good weight loss approach:

Vegan: Healthy or not? 

A recent London publication stated that vegans must be wary to consume specific vitamins such as B12 and to consume adequate amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids. The study concluded that vegan diets are greatly aided by the intake of food containing omega-3 fatty acids, [1] such as chia, flax, hemp, walnuts, perilla, blackcurrant seed oil, and plants from the Echium genus, as well as by the consumption of brown algae (kelp). The good thing is that there is more than one way to supplement these raw materials needed by your body to prevent any deficiencies when following a purely vegan diet. However, since males tend to convert the true essential fatty acid ALA  which is a building block for the long-chain omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA which offer heart and brain health support, less efficiently than females, increased consumption or supplementation is recommended. [2]

If the vegan diet is followed the right way (for example not by the consumption of soy protein isolates as meat replacements or with starches and artificial flavorings to make cheese replacements), then this way of life will help you to lose weight, keep you healthy, energized and even muscular well into old age. But the key is really to do it right; otherwise your body will crave meat and dairy immensely just as it craves sugar on other diets, in a way that you will not be able to conquer. Basically, one must learn new skills and tools to make the change properly.

Vegan: Healthy for everyone?

One thought that is frequently heard is that vegan diets are only okay for certain people, in other words, only good for young adults who don’t suffer from any medical conditions. The American Dietetic Association shared its findings saying: [3] Well-planned vegetarian diets are suitable for people throughout all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes. This means that any average Joe can reap the benefits of a whole food plant based vegan diet if followed correctly. In fact, studies show that although all people experience the health and weight loss benefits when making the move towards a vegan diet, males experience even greater health benefits than females. [4]

Is being vegan healthful in the sense that it prevents disease?

Again, the studies shout out yes! Eating a well-rounded whole food plant-based vegan diet will aid in preventing many diseases such as obesity and cardiovascular disease. The scientific paper states the following [5] studies support that high consumption of dietary fiber is linked to less CVD and probably has a role in obesity prevention. The statement suggests that because vegans consume large amounts of vegetable and fruits, they end up consuming more fiber than others would, and this fiber helps to keep obesity and cardiovascular disease off the radar. The article goes on to explain the roles of phytochemicals and antioxidants which are plentiful in vegan diets as well. When the body has sufficient nutrients and antioxidants, less inflammation occurs in the body, reducing the risk for weight gain and many other diseases.

Vegan vs. vegetarian diets.

Yet another recent study had this to say on the topic at hand. [5] Compared to lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets who consume dairy products and fish, vegan diets seem to offer additional protection for obesity, hypertension, type-2 diabetes, and cardiovascular mortality.

Is being vegan safe for the long term?

Despite its recent resurgence, veganism has been around for a very long time, and finally, there is more information about the long-term effect of maintaining this sort of lifestyle. In a publication, evidence was revealed about the long-term benefits of vegans and vegetarians over other kinds of diets. The study showed that people following vegan diets were less prone to developing cataracts, cancer, and diverticular disease. It went on to say the following. [6] Vegetarians have a lower prevalence of overweight and obesity and a lower risk of CHD when compared with non-vegetarians from a similar background.

Conclusion

As you can see, there is ample scientific research that supports why following a vegan diet is a healthy choice, not just for some people. And due to this fact it is also great for weight loss. When the body receives the nutrients it needs from plant based sources, there is less chance of inflammation in the body which is one primary cause for weight gain. A move towards a vegan diet helps your body to populate a different microbiome which is more beneficial for weight loss, and the increased fiber intake helps faster elimination preventing fermentation in the gut. The decision to move towards a more plant based diet is one that you can be confident will provide you with long-term benefits and help you to lose weight quickly, all if planned correctly. Your body will thank you for nourishing it with fresh nutrient dense plant foods that give energy and life. 

If you find the total removal of animal products overwhelming, there is no need to go all the way, start by reducing animal products to less days a week.

We at the Guerrilla Diet encourage people to reduce animal products from their diet due to the many benefits involved including weight loss. We know that this must be done gradually, and not all people want to make the total leap and remove all animal products from their diet, which is not at all necessary and is fine as well. We will help you to eliminate the confusion about how to nourish your body in the right way to achieve optimal health, lasting and easy weight loss, as well as energy and peace of mind.

If you’re ready to undergo transformation and are fed up with feeling less than your true peak potential, it’s time to join The Guerrilla Diet Bootcamp now.

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Thank You 🙂

Galit Goldfarb

References: 
  1. Deckers, J 2016 Animal (De)liberation: Should the Consumption of Animal Products Be Banned? London: Ubiquity Press. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/bay. License: CC-BY 4.0
  1. Childs C, Romeu-Nadal M, Burdge G, et al. Gender differences in the n-3 fatty acid content of tissues. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2008;67:19–27. DOI: http://dx .doi.org/10 .1017/S0029665108005983.
  1. Craig WJ, Mangels AR; American Dietetic Association. Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Jul;109(7):1266-82.
  1. Le LT, Sabaté J. Beyond meatless, the health effects of vegan diets: findings from the Adventist cohorts. Nutrients. 2014 May 27;6(6):2131-47. doi: 10.3390/nu6062131.
  1. Slavin JL, Lloyd B. Health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Adv Nutr. 2012 Jul 1;3(4):506-16. doi: 10.3945/an.112.002154.
  1. Appleby PN, Key TJ. The long-term health of vegetarians and vegans. Proc Nutr Soc. 2016 Aug;75(3):287-93. doi: 10.1017/S0029665115004334. Epub 2015 Dec 28.

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