In order to beat the January blues, some have opted to face the new year head on by taking part in Veganuary – where participants choose to adopt a vegan lifestyle for January and potentially stick to it afterwards. This year is also set to be a record breaker, with over 150,000 participating. Known as the lifestyle where nothing you eat, use or consume derives from animals or is a by-product of animals, veganism has rapidly grown in popularity with the introduction of Veganuary. Everyone has their own reasons for participating, however one of the most common in recent years has been the desire to lose weight and improve personal health.
Considering 87% of 2017’s Veganuary participants claimed they lost weight, while 97% said they felt healthier, these fitness goals can certainly be achieved through veganism. However, like with all diets, effective maintenance is key. Even on a vegan diet, it’s incredibly easy to go off-the-rails and overindulge on unhealthy plant-based foods and drinks. With this in mind, we have collaborated with Discount Supplements, one of the UK’s leading retailers in health and fitness supplements to provide you with a guide on how to maintain a healthy vegan diet.
Stick to Real Foods When Possible:
When first starting a vegan diet, it’s incredibly easy to get excited over the wide variety of vegan foods available on today’s market. Foods such as non-dairy milks and cheeses or veggie burgers can really help with the transition to veganism, especially if you have a busy schedule. Although these foods don’t possess any real harm, filling your shopping basket solely with processed vegan meals can promote weight gain and cause you to miss out on vital nutrients. Try to dedicate 75% of your groceries to real foods, such as greens, nuts, beans, whole grains and fruits. View vegan products as a way to fill the gaps, not to make up the majority of your meals.
Keep Meals Simple but Enjoyable:
One of the most fun parts about transitioning into a new diet is exploring the array of amazing dishes you can eat, and vegan meals are no exception. Who knew you could do so much with plant-based foods? However, in the midst of this excitement, you might find yourself cooking extremely time-consuming recipes. These types of meals are great for the weekend or special occasions, but they aren’t always suitable during the working week. Simple recipes are just as healthy, fulfilling and often the most satisfying as they allowed you to thrive without overcomplicating things. Stick to the basics and you can’t go wrong!
Get Enough Protein for Weight Loss:
If you’re using veganism as a way to lose weight, then getting the right levels of protein is crucial for maintaining muscle mass and keeping your metabolism in check. It’s a common belief that being vegan means you’ll miss out on meeting your daily protein needs as you’re avoiding non-vegan staples such as chicken, eggs, fish and milk. Actually, it is possible to get all the protein you need from a plan-based diet, as long as you’re strategic.
Incorporating pulses, such as lentils, beans and seeds into your meals is a great way to increase your protein intake as they are some of the best plan-based sources, for example a cup of cooked lentils contains 17 grams of protein. Vegetables such as kale, broccoli and spinach are also packed full of protein. If you’re still struggling, then you can look into some of the best protein powders to keep your intake up and promote further weight loss.
Avoid Getting Caught up in Fad Diets:
Now that veganism is becoming more popular, a multitude of fad diets aimed at those living a plant-based lifestyle. While they claim to have benefits, adopting a balanced approach to veganism is always the best option. Realistically, a whole foods diet doesn’t require a lot alternation – it’s simple, effective and completely achievable if you stick to the basics and avoid getting caught up in trends. Remember – some of these trends will deprive you of calories, make you obsess about your routine and become very expensive.