Plant-based diets have been attracting a lot of media exposure as of late, with documentaries and articles being published to highlight the health benefits. While some people are following this diet for the health benefits and weight loss, many are following it in an attempt to save the environment.
What Is A Plant-Based Diet?
In case the name didn’t give it away, a plant-based diet is focused on only consuming plant products and no meat of any form whatsoever. There are some versions that allow for small quantities of meat, but the idea is to eliminate any animal products from your diet.
A plant-based diet consists of equal portions, or quarters of a plate, of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and plants rich in protein, for example, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and pulses.
Plant-Based Diet For Weight Loss
Research has found that people following a strict plant-based diet put on less weight than those who eat meat and other animal by-products. This research was done over a period of 20-30 years, which highlights the health benefits of a plant-based diet. They’ve also been found to live longer and lead healthier lives. As a result, you may lose weight if you lead a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly and follow a plant-based diet.
It’s advised that you start the diet slowly in order to give your body and gut time to adjust. Many people experience bloating when they first start the diet. You should also eat enough protein and fibre, but not too much as it can upset your stomach.
Looking For Meat Substitutions
When it comes to replacing meaty foods, opting for a vegetarian version of what you usually eat is not necessarily healthy or ideal for weight loss. It’s also important to read the nutritional information on the pack to avoid foods high in sodium and saturated fat.
Following a plant-based diet isn’t as simple as sourcing vegetarian options and definitely doesn’t equate to instant weight loss. You’re cutting out an entire food group. This means that you need to find a way to meet your body’s nutritional needs that don’t include animal products. Your lifestyle and environment will also play a role in shaping your diet and eating habits.
If you’re looking to lose weight, you could decide to count your calories. However, because your diet focuses on four food group that have a lower calorie density, you don’t need to make calorie counting your main focus.
When you follow a plant-based diet, you will need to consider the nutritional deficiencies that you may experience as a result. Some nutrients that you may be losing out on include iodine, iron, calcium and vitamin B12. Speak to your doctor about ways of supplementing your diet to ensure that your body gets the nutrition it needs.
The key takeaway is that if you manage your diet properly and ensure that your body received the relevant nutrients, you’ll excel on the plant-based diet. Don’t become consumed by losing weight as it can result in more severe nutritional deficiencies. IF you give it a good try, you’ll lose weight and live a healthier life as a result.
Effective weight loss happens when you combine a good diet with an effective nutrition plan. Find out how to design nutrition plans – such as these – with our Specialised Nutrition Course. Read more about this course here.