One of the reasons I am going for vegan diet is to achieve weight loss. So I have adopted a vegan meal plan for weight loss that I would regularly follow during the 30 day vegan challenge.
To understand what is to lose weight, one needs to know that it is a simple concept – calorie deficiency. Calorie deficiency will make you lose weight and to get calorie deficiency, you need to spend (burn) more calorie than you consume it.
One pound of body fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories. Let’s say your goal is to lose 10 pounds in 10weeks (70 days). You must burn 35,000 more calories than you consume during that period. This converts to an average daily deficit of 500 calories (35,000 calories divided by 70 days). You can do that either by consuming 500 fewer calories a day or by burning 500 additional calories a day. (Or eating 250 fewer and burning 250 more.) If you want to speed up the weight loss, you can eat 500 fewer calories and burn 500 additional calories for a daily deficit of 1,000 calories, dropping the 10 pounds in weeks instead of 10.
According to numerous study, it has been indicating that people who eat a plant-based diet have a lower percentage of body fat and are less likely to be overweight or obese than people who eat animals. The main reason for this is fat. Lets take at look at the basic nutrient in calories breakdown:
• 4 calories in 1 gram of protein
• 4 calories in 1 gram of carbohydrates
• 9 calories in 1 gram of fat
Meat, dairy and eggs are the main source of fat intake for non vegans, and thus consumption of calorie is higher than vegan who’s plant based eating contributing less fat intake. For vegans, the best balanced way of achieving optimal health and weight loss is to know how to spend calorie effectively. And that is to spend calorie that are nutrient-dense instead of empty. This gives us the best bang for our calorie buck. We want the calories we take in to give us the most amount of energy and abundance of healthful nutrients, while giving us pleasure. So here comes an importance of vegan meal plan for weight loss. Vegan meal plan for weight loss is designed to give us the best value of the calorie intake. The following is my list of vegan meal plan with alternative choices.
• One 6-ounce container of soy milk yogurt is between 160 and 170 calories. Add to that 2 tablespoons of walnuts (100 calories) and 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds (50 calories), and you’ve got plenty of calories to spend on fruit: 110 calories or so for a medium banana; about 40 calories for ½ cup of blueberries; 20 calories for ½ cup of whole strawberries.
• One-half cup of cooked oatmeal is about 150 calories. Add to that 1 tablespoon of brown sugar or maple syrup (about 50 calories) or whatever sweetener you like (they’re all around the same caloriewise), plus 1 apple, chopped (70 calories), 1 tablespoon of walnuts (50 calories), and 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds (50 calories). You still have calories to spare—add more fruit or oats.
• Fruit smoothies can be calorie-dense or calorie-light, depending on your goal. Calculate 1 banana (110), ½ cup of blueberries (40), 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (80), 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds (50 calories), and 1 cup of nondairy milk (90 calories). Make it less calorie-dense by using a reduced calorie soy milk or halving the milk and adding cold filtered water. Check out here for more vegan fruit smoothies recipes.
• If you want to spend 500 calories on a heartier breakfast, there are 150 calories in an average-size pancake. People usually have 3 or more, so that’s about 450 calories. Adding 1 teaspoon of Earth Balance will add 33.3 calories, and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup will add 100 more.
• Five Tofurky slices (100 calories) on 2 slices of whole-wheat bread (200 calories) or whole-wheat pita bread (170 calories), with 1 tablespoon of vegan mayonnaise (80 calories) or mustard (15 calories per tablespoon), allows you to pile on the lettuce and tomato. Make a bunch of Kale Chips to go with that sandwich. One whole bunch of kale is only 50 calories, and only 1 teaspoon of oil (40 calories) is needed to make the whole bunch of chips. That still leaves room for 2 or 3 carrots, cut up calories) is needed to make the whole bunch of chips. That still leaves room for 2 or 3 carrots, cut up.
• One cup of whole-wheat penne pasta; ¼ cup of canned white beans, rinsed and drained; 1½ cups of cherry tomatoes, halved; 1 tablespoon of olive oil; 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar; ½ cup of fresh basil, chopped; and 2 minced garlic cloves come in at around 500 calories.
• Green salads are the best way to spend your calories wisely. Use any lettuce, or finely chop kale or chard. The amount of greens needed for an entire salad provides about 50 calories—but with loads of nutrients. Top with beans (a can of rinsed and drained beans averages 330 calories, so use half a can if you want to spend more calories on raw veggies) or 3 ounces of extra-firm tofu (around 90 calories). Pile on the veggies: 1 tomato is 15 calories; 1 medium raw carrot is 35 calories; 1 cup of cauliflower is 25 calories. There are lots of low-cal dressings, though my favorite is just seasoned rice vinegar mixed with minced garlic and miso. Another favorite is a little balsamic vinegar (only 20 calories a tablespoon) mixed with a smidge of oil (1 tablespoon of olive oil is 120 calories).
• The best way to spend calories for weight loss and nutrition is on raw veggies and fruit. Cut them up so you can savor each bite, and choose according to what’s in season. Raw carrots, bell peppers,and cauliflower florets are wonderful snacks. Dip them in a little hummus or peanut butter.
• One cup of air-popped popcorn is 30 calories (though I never eat just a cup). Toss it with a few mists of spray-on olive oil, nutritional yeast, and salt.
• Vegan ice creams vary, but 1 cup of ice cream is anywhere from 250 to 400 calories, depending on the brand and flavor. My favorite “ice cream” is just frozen bananas thrown in the blender, along with some almond milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Try varying the flavor by adding some frozen strawberries, mango, pineapple, or other favorite frozen fruit. Add a few walnuts and a little maple syrup and vanilla for maple-walnut ice cream.
Follow the vegan meal plan for weight loss, you will be guaranteed to achieve the optimal health from the nutrient dense and yet well-spent calorie. To achieve weight loss, always remember to create calorie deficit by burning more calories than consuming via good cardiovascular exercise and/or consuming less calorie.
Sources: 30 Day Vegan Challenge