Plant-Based Diet For Rapid Weight Loss
Written By: Suzanne Kvilhaug
As someone who eats entirely plant-based and has lost a lot of weight, gained weight back and lost weight again, I could lose my voice in a quick 30 minute convo with how much I could say about this topic. Let’s just say I hope the person I’m talking to is somewhat interested in the subject or a ZzzZzz thought bubble is going to be over their head and they’re going to be looking for the exit sign fast.
For starters, I think it’s a really complex topic because of how individual and personal eating is. What works for me probably isn’t going to work for you and vice versa. I’m the most disciplined, undisciplined person you’ll meet (oxymorons are fun!). I eat almost 100 percent intuitively and once I get into a groove that works, my diet is a little like the movie Groundhog Day. Same food, different day. Then there are those times when I eat whatever I want because it feels right and I’m just going with the flow. Carpe Diem! And then I go through periods where I eat like you read about in those nutrition books and think “no one can really do this.” Oh yeah I’m doing it...till I’m not anymore.
So no, I’m not a believer of suggesting a set list and an extremely strict plant-based dieting plan to rapidly lose weight. Becoming your own guide and eventually your own guru is the best way to lose weight and maintain it happily and successfully. With that said, there are guidelines that are universal and can help anyone reach their weight loss goals. After years of experience, research and a lot of trial and error here are the ways I would suggest approaching losing weight quickly eating entirely plant-based.
Learn what foods you do and don’t digest
“Digestion is life, the rest is just details” is pretty much my motto. I still can’t decide if I’m overly sensitive or just really tuned into my body. I never used to pay attention to my digestion until I wanted to start eating healthier and lose weight. That’s when I realized digestion is one of the main factors regarding moods, cravings, energy, weight loss, weight gain and so on. Developing a strong mind-body connection and being aware of your digestion process will be one of the best things you can do to help the weight loss process be a successful one. You start to learn how every single thing you put in your body makes you feel and if it digests well or not. When your digestion isn’t optimal, seeking out ways to make it so that is optimal can really accelerate weight loss. Plus you’ll feel so much better in general. Healing the gut isn’t the easiest thing to do and may take a lot of investigation and hard work but the reward of feeling great is well worth it.
Keep trying until you find options that you LOVE
Please tell me that people have quit trying to lose weight by eating the most bland and basic foods. If you’re one of the few people who see food as fuel only, then you’re the exception (and the envy of many). But if you enjoy eating then there’s really no way you should be eating foods you don’t like just to be a certain size or weight. There are so many different plant-based food options out there that you WILL find enough choices that won’t make you feel deprived or bored. And I’m not implying things you settle for, I’m talking about food that you love and look forward to eating. The key is to mix and match while trying out new flavors till you stumble upon your new staples. Adding things like balsamic vinegar, chutneys, sauces, herbs and spices can really make eating healthy and plant-based fun and sustainable. And get familiar with lemons and limes, they’re one of the healthiest and affordable ways to add flavor to almost anything. Squeeze lemons on salads, squeeze lime on rice and the list continues. Instead of buying store bought dressings or sauces, lemon and lime add great flavor without adding the junk. Play around with different recipes and ideas and eventually you’ll be shouting “voila” while patting yourself on the back.
Give up as much processed food as you can handlE
If you’re gung-ho about losing weight fast and doing so with only plant-based foods, eating entirely really clean with the right amount of vitamins and nutrients is probably going to get you the results you want. And by clean, I am referring to whole foods, things that have only real ingredients and as little additives and preservatives as possible. The second you see an ingredient list that requires heavy google attention or has terms like Blue #2 (hmmm..), it’s out.
Processed food is so common in people’s diets that even though it can be a tough battle to quit it, letting go of it makes a huge difference physically and emotionally. If it’s not possible to give all processed food up, get rid of it in stages. The thing is, if you’re new to plant-based eating, eating all clean and plant-based from the get go may be too difficult. You’ve got to be in the right place mentally to be able to eat this healthy. How do you know if your mentally in the right place? You’ll learn quickly once you begin. And sometimes you just know before you begin that you aren’t ready.
There’s so much you have to learn and a lot of things you need to give up, yet if you’re determined and willing, it’s entirely possible. One way to stick with clean and plant-based eating to lose weight is knowing not only will you shed weight, you’ll gain clarity, focus and you’ll likely start to lose habits that kept you unhappy and unhealthy. Eventually with time and effort, you lose the desire for the fake stuff and your body only wants the good stuff.
Common sense is king
Regarding what to eat, plant-based diet plans with a goal of rapid weight loss consist of exactly what you would think they would consist of. Some fruits, some vegetables, some grains, some nuts, some legumes, some protein and a whole lot of water. The way I would describe it is “common sense eating” but like one of my friends once said to me which really struck a chord was that “common sense isn’t so common”. We’ve been so used to unhealthy options and fad diets for so long that we forget the answer may be really simple.
Unless you’ve got a plant-based restaurant near you that serves really healthy options, you’re going to need to make everything at home. Cooking certain things in batches and storing them helps to keep you sane and not spend your life away in the kitchen. Investing in a food processor and a juicer at home may be smart if you’re in this for the long haul. When I started eating all plant-based and clean, it forced me to really learn how to cook and also to broaden my horizons. People hear plant-based and associate it with restriction when it’s really expansion. The irony, right?! Just when you think you’ve learned everything there is to know, you’ll find a new way or a new amazing recipe and want to shout from the mountain tops something really positive about plant-based eating. “Vegans are geniuses and had it right all along!” ...or something like that.
If a standard meal plan works for you, find your plant-based favorites and stick to it. If you prefer to switch it up, switch it up! Here are some healthy and really great clean plant-based ideas to get you started.