I was curious to hear how many new vegans out there have lost weight strictly from the diet alone and not from other types of efforts like exercising and such. I was vegan for almost two years when I broke the diet suddenly, it's been about a year since then. I remember my weight WAS quite healthier as a vegan (duh) and after eating dairy again I've gained about 30 pounds.... I have a new job and make enough extra cash to promote more vegan shopping. Hence the transition once again & for good! I'm so excited, I LOVED being vegan, I never felt gross after a meal, I was happier, & content with my part in the environment. How much time have you new vegans waited until you started to notice a shift in your weight? Or at all.
Thanks & have a good evening!
|| Que sera sera ||
I was fairly slim as an omni/vegetarian but lost around 7lbs when I turned vegan just through the diet. I'm 5'9" and currently weigh around 148lbs (10st 6lb/67 kg).
The vegan food I ate was much healthier because I cooked most of it from fresh. The fact that so many cakes, biscuits and sweets are out of bounds helped as well! I didn't honestly miss all the sweet stuff; I think that's because my blood sugar was more stable on a wholefood diet.
I think I lost about 20 pounds over the first 5 months of being vegan. But I don't think eating vegan was/is a magic formula for weight loss. I think it had more to do with my new found hyper-awareness of food and nutrition and ingredients. I put on weight as an omni because I wasn't paying much attention to what I was eating. I lost it while vegan because I was tracking nutrition and reading labels and researching ingredients in preparation for every single meal, every day.
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I was slightly underweight when I first went vegan. I was already eating very healthy for quite a while and exercising and so on and was actually working on gaining weight. I did not consume much dairy/cheese before as an omnivore simply because my body didn't tolerate it (cheese made me VERY ill) but I did eat some animals and eggs. When I went fully vegan I lost about six lbs. very quickly. It was more because I wasn't replacing the fat calories from the meat/eggs and didn't know how to eat properly as a vegan (I went vegan from omnivore overnight due to ethics and the rest fell into place later...the opposite of a lot of people) than because eating vegan causes weight loss in and of itself. I was actually alarmed at the rate I was losing due to my status already and quickly checked out some vegan nutrition books and really explored and learned to cook and prepare food as a vegan. I made an effort to put the weight back on and put the six lbs. on over a period of nine months (it took longer because I am very active and going vegan actually gave me way more stamina and energy).
I agree with Mojo. A vegan diet is not a free pass for weight loss. The initial weight loss tends to be the body adjusting to eating a different way and in a lot of cases it is because the person does not replace calories from meat/dairy/eggs. But you still have to be mindful of what you eat because not all vegan food is healthy, and even some healthy vegan food that is crucial to our diet (think nuts/seeds/avocado omega 3 sources) must be eaten in moderation. I have also heard of people who GAINED weight when they went vegan. Also, I think exercise is so important to lifestyle and health, regardless of whether you are trying to lose weight or not. But if you are trying to lose weight don't discount it.
Also, a vegan diet does not have to be expensive. I know sometimes in the very beginning when acquiring vegan pantry essentials (ie nutritional yeast, spices, vegan sweeteners, condiments, that sort of thing) it can be a little expensive, but once that happens it can be very economical if you stick to more whole foods and less prepackaged processed food and buy in bulk such as oats, rice, dried beans, seeds, etc.. Sometimes I have resorted to buying whole almonds in the baking section of the grocery store because I can't afford the organic ones, even though I know they are healthier. Tempeh and tofu are also cheaper than a lot of meats that would equal the same number of servings (unless of course there isn't any in the stores where you live and you have to order online), and some plant milks are about the same cost or only slight more expensive than regular milk. Buying produce from farmers markets or growing your own garden can help save money too and not all fruits/vegetables have to be bought organic to be fresh and healthy. Although I am in school and working, I am able to manage a small garden and just learned how to can some of those vegetables for the winter, all of which is saving me money (looking at my student loans right now is pretty depressing lol). Also, though I only have to cook for two people, I make enough for four and stretch the meals out over several days and it seems to save some money too as opposed to making something different every night. I also eat out far less than a lot of people (I was this way as an omnivore too) and I honestly have no idea how people can afford to eat out so much.
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I lost a lot of weight when I first went vegetarian - mostly because I didn't know how to feed myself. Then I discovered cheese and it became a staple in every meal and I gained all the weight back and some more for good measure.
You can be fat as a vegan, particularly with all the processed vegan foods available, fake cheese etc. I went vegan for health reasons but I did not get the weightloss I expected until I also eliminated the fat and reduced the alcohol.
When I first went vegan I lost almost 100 pounds over the course of 4 to 5 months. I did do light exercising to keep the heart healthy. Over time and just getting older I have gained some weight back but not even close to all of it! I still feel great and am very happy as a vegan.
I lost a lot of weight when I became lacto-veg, straight cheese being my only dairy. By the time I turned vegan I had discovered baking, and conversions were second nature. I gained a lot back.
A plant diet can be as junky, healthy, or just plain overeating as an omni diet.
Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good
I came looking for a thread on this as I've randomly lost 3lbs in the last month during which I've been cutting out eggs and dairy (just occasionally trying to use up the odd few things left about the place). I feel as if I've been eating so much more - and I've been snacking on granola bars and homemade cookies and bananas and other things that "should" be fattening in between - so much so that I was a bit worried to get on the scales!
From what people have said above I presume it's because I've been making lots of things from scratch as I haven't found much processed vegan food locally (small town in the UK) and what there is seems pretty expensive so I haven't bought it to try yet. It's a little galling as I don't need to lose weight now - I spent 5 months last year doing one of those diets where you have milkshakes instead of 2 meals a day to ditch the babyweight/comfort eating due to depression that I'd accumulated over the years. Just cutting out eggs and dairy would have been so much easier lol
I may well go the other way yet as during the early transition food was rather limited until I started to find more things I could eat. Since I last checked my weight I've been doing loads of baking thinking it won't be a problem to eat it - which could be a dangerous move as replacing eggs doesn't replace the fat and sweetenings! This month is looking a lot less healthy than last.
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