If your plant based diet is making you gain weight, then there may be a combination of reasons why this could be happening. The most common being the eating of less protein, ultimately leading to the consumption of more unhealthy carbs overall.
Or, maybe you are still learning how to combine foods for the correct ratios of macronutrients and amino acids and not quite hitting the target. This can cause you to feel unsatisfied with your meals and craving more food.
This grocery list of all vegan, healthy foods weight loss will help get you back on the right track if you find you are putting on the pounds.
Plant Based Foods And Weight Loss
1. ANTI INFLAMMATORY
Most whole plant foods are pretty alkaline when measured against animal based foods, so in general whole food plant based eating will lead to less chronic inflammation in the body over time.
Chronic inflammation is not only the driver behind many diseases, but according to this NCBI study conducted on over 7,000 people it can also promote obesity and weight gain in the longer term.
Nearly ALL natural, whole plant foods contain high amounts of antioxidants which are known to help combat the chronic inflammation that can lead to weight gain. Also, filling your body with the most nutrient dense foods possible will help to curb hunger and sugar cravings due to the fact your body will be obtaining all the nutrition it needs.
3. HIGH FIBRE
A healthful, plant based diet is naturally high in fibre and low GI, which of course boosts fullness and satiation levels. Feeling satiated after a meal through eating a combination of complex carbohydrates, protein and a little healthy fat will go a long way towards stopping you snacking. It will also give you a ‘slow burn’ of energy to see you through to your next meal WITHOUT the need for in-between snacking.
Many plant foods are known detoxifying foods that will help to neutralise free-radical damage in the body. Free-radicals accelerate the aging process by damaging protein, cells and your DNA. This damage is called oxidation and is something that should be negated as much as possible if you wish to look and feel great for as long as possible.
That aside, keeping the body detoxified can help boost weight loss due to the fact that toxins can actually be stored in your fat cells for safe keeping. Therefore, the more rubbish you eat, the bigger they swell, which can then contribute to weight gain and obesity.
Plant Based Food Combining
For long term weight loss, you will need to make the effort to understand how to put a complete meal together with the correct ratios of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Newbie plant based eaters often get this wrong (hence the reason for weight gain in some cases).
Always go for high protein plant foods if you want weight loss. Some great protein sources are the following:-
Adding at least one of these to your diet every day will help even out the amino acid profiles of your other plant proteins that may be lacking in certain areas. Also, eating these proteins will help keep your muscle mass high, which is another very important part of weight loss.
Examples of Correct Food Combining for Weight Loss
- Oatcakes topped with humus, tahini, or small portion of sugar free nut butter.
- Medium ripe banana, 2x teaspoons of sugar free nut butter.
- Low calorie green smoothies.
- Handful of no added sugar dried fruit and unsalted nuts.
- Couple of squares of dark chocolate of at least 70% cacao solids.
- Mixed berries, coconut yogurt, small a handful of pumpkin seeds.
- Wholegrain sourdough toast topped tahini, smashed avocado and a squeeze of lemon.
- Lentil soup and wholegrain bread.
- Beans on granary toast.
- Low carb protein shake.
- Mixed salad, quinoa, chickpeas, and pine nuts.
- Vegetable and buckwheat noodle stir-fry topped with sesame seeds or cashew nuts.
- Quinoa and roasted vegetables.
- Mixed bean chilli and brown rice.
- Buckwheat grout granola made with raw nuts and seeds.
- Tofu curry and brown pilau rice.
- Crumbled tofu scrambled with mixed veggies (courgette, peppers and spinach work the best).
- Baked sweet potato topped with chili and guacamole.
- Delicious ice-cream and smoothie bowls.
The importance of muscle mass and exercise in weight loss:-
If you do not receive enough protein when on a weight loss diet then this can cause your body to start burning up your muscle for fuel as well as fat. This can be one of the more frustrating things about losing weight (especially when you lose it too fast).
This is a common problem that needs to be avoided as much as possible, due mostly to the fact you need your muscle mass because it’s metabolic which means, unlike fat, it burns calories even when you are resting. It’s that alone helps to keep weight under control.
So, bottom line, keep your muscle mass high. You don’t need to look like Arnie, but keeping yourself toned through eating a high protein, low refined carbohydrate diet. Plus doing some weight bearing exercises a couple of times a week should be enough to keep your metabolism efficient and your body in fat burning mode.
Weight Loss Foods Grocery List
Add the below foods to your plant based shopping list. Throw out all the refined rubbish and junk foods in your kitchen cupboards and just snack on this good stuff (in moderation of course, a calorie is still a calorie, just some satiate you for longer than others) and you should be seeing weight loss benefits pretty fast.
Remember to load up on protein. We have put an asterix against the high protein items on this list, but of course you should only eat the high fat items such as nuts and seeds in moderation. A small handful is a portion when it comes to these types of foods.
- Unsalted and unroasted raw nuts – Brazil*, cashew*, hazelnut*s, pecans*, walnuts*, peanuts*, almonds*
- Unsalted and unroasted raw seeds – Pumpkin*, sunflower*, chia*, sesame*, hemp seeds*
- Plant based protein powders* – for snacks and smoothies.
- Buckwheat pasta*
- Buckwheat or soba noodles*
- Specific weight loss dried fruits – goji berries, sultanas, un-sulphured apricots, dates, prunes, apple rings, figs.
- Tofu*, seitan* and tempeh*
- Low sugar fresh fruits – blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, kiwi, oranges, lemons, limes.
- Vegetables of all kinds – especially green and leafy.
- Salad vegetables – lettuce, rocket, spinach, salad leaves, cucumber, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers.
- Sweet potatoes.
- Butternut squash.
- Coconut oil.
- Sugar-free nut milks – soya*, hemp, oat, rice, pea*
- Brown rice – basmati, pilau.
- Buckwheat – flour*, grouts*, flakes*
- Beans (dried or canned) – cannellini*, borlotti*, butter*, black beans*
- Chick peas*
- All herbs and spices.
As you can see, there are an abundance of healthy, plant based foods that can all boost weight loss and ultimately help you stay slim for good. It’s all about balance and sticking to the general 90/10 rule. This means foods from the list 90% of the time and the other 10% of the time you can ease up a little.
If you have a lot of weight to lose, then you will have to be stricter with this until you reach your ideal body weight. But, in general, if you stick to this in your every day life then you will find no need for diets and calorie counting.
Remember to get moving!
Do remember that regular exercise is another vital piece to the weight loss puzzle. This is due to the importance of keeping as much of your precious muscle mass as possible to help keep your metabolism fired up.
It’s easy to exercise when you find something you enjoy, so find some dance classes, run, hike, cycle in nature, or boxercise with a friend. All these things are fun, interesting, and will keep you going back for more. You will also be surprised what you will find you enjoy when you actually give them a go.
If you would like some inspiration on the kind of meals to prepare that contain all the above ingredients, then please check out this one week food plan. It is designed to have the perfect ratios of macronutrients, vitamins and minerals to boost your health to new heights and is the perfect way to get yourself used to putting nutritionally complete meals together. Good luck!