Why aren’t I losing weight on a vegan diet?

If you aren’t losing weight on a vegan diet, you’re not doing these five things:

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Not drinking enough water. Within about 30 minutes after waking up, I want to eat right away, and I start feeling sick and lose energy if I don’t consume some food, but what my body wants is hydration, not food. Once I drink 16 ounces of water, I don’t feel hungry for an hour or two later. We frequently confuse hunger with thirst. If you’re drinking enough water, your cravings should subside, and you’ll probably eat less.

(you can watch the video at the end of this post, instead of reading this, if you prefer)

Drink, at a minimum, your weight in ounces. If you weigh 125 pounds, you should drink 125+ ounces of water per day. To figure out how much that is visually, get a scale and put an empty glass pitcher on a scale. Clear the number on the scale to zero and change it to ounces. Next, fill the pitcher with drinking water and put the pitcher back on the scale. That will give you an idea how much to drink, which is most likely more than 1 ¼ pitchers of water each day.

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Not eating enough plants. If you’re eating processed vegan “foods” like vegan pizza with vegan cheese, vegan ice cream, or vegan sausage, those vegan substitutes are high in fat and salt, contain chemicals, flour, sugar, and/or oils. Processed vegan foods are typically highly glycemic, have lots of calories, and not enough fiber and nutrients, and won’t fill you up, make you eat more, will derail weight loss, and usually lead to weight gain.

The grains you want to eat are whole grains, like quinoa, millet, sorghum and oat groats. Bread and whole wheat pasta are processed products because the grains are not intact. Once you crush a grain, it becomes processed, more glycemic, and more problematic to our health.

The other foods you want to eat are fruit (especially berries), beans, peas, lentils, cooked mushrooms, raw and cooked onions and garlic, all vegetables, seeds, a variety of greens, and sprouts.

If you have a fruit smoothie with ground flax seeds, a large salad with beans and sprouts; and a vegetable soup with peas, lentils, mushrooms, onions, garlic and grains, you’re covered.

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Not reducing your fat intake. If you’re eating too much fat, either from oils, avocado and/or nuts, that could be the reason you cannot lose weight. Unlike protein which converts into amino acids, or carbohydrates which turn into glucose, fat just stays as fat (fatty acids).

Avoid oils, as they are 100% fat and are not healthy. Olives are fine in moderation if you don’t have high blood pressure, a salt sensitivity, or if you’re diabetic. Avocados are a great source of healthy fats but keep the amount you eat lower if you need to lose weight. Nuts like walnuts contain omega 3s and fiber but are extremely caloric so don’t exceed one ounce of nuts per day.

You’re not fasting. The 16/8 fasting method is the easiest to do every day, will help you lose weight quickly, and will allow your body more time to repair itself. You eat within an eight-hour window and fast for 16 hours. This fasting method reduces the window for consumption and reduces the likelihood of overeating at night. I try to eat my last meal at 5:00pm and my breakfast at 9:00am, which gives my body a 16-hour break from digestion.

Not exercising enough. You lose bodyfat through heat and respiration. Exercise increases body temperature and heart rate. With challenging exercises that contract our muscles, we strengthen and lose extra pounds. Those stronger muscles burn calories, even when you’re not exercising.

Exercise alone is usually not enough to lose enough weight, so incorporate all five steps into your daily regime to improve your health and minimize your waistline.

Watch the video below so you can see how I measure my water intake, what I’m referring to when I say “plants” and vegan junk food, what some high fat foods are, and several intermittent fasting options:

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