Can a Vegan Diet Really Help You Lose Weight?

While there is no single best way to lose weight, some people may find a vegan diet can work well. Nutritionist Jess Cording explains the benefits and potential pitfalls of going vegan and the reasons why many people are giving it a try.

The Benefits
This can be a huge change in lifestyle for many people. Cording says, “This type of plan cuts out meat, fish, eggs and dairy, and is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol, which can be a plus, especially for those who have a family history of cardiac conditions. Vegan diets tend to be high in vegetables, whole grains and plant-based sources of protein like beans, nuts and seeds that are very high in fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and keeps you feeling fuller longer.”

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The Downside
“Some may find that going from a low-fiber regular diet to a high-fiber vegan diet can cause some GI disturbances," advises Cording. "Up your intake slowly and drink plenty of water to help your body adjust.” Without animal protein, some may find this diet less satisfying, which can lead to an increase in carbs, as well as nuts, seeds and avocados—they're healthy, but also have a lot of calories—so overdoing it can make it hard to lose weight. “When cutting out animal products, a vegan diet may be lacking in iron, calcium, vitamin D and B-12, so be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about a supplement.”

The Foods
Trying to lose weight is hard enough on it’s own, so knowing which foods really pack a punch can help you make the right choices when it counts. “Look to walnuts, chia seeds and ground flax to provide a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Avocados are also a satisfying, nutritious source of fat that can be used in a variety of ways, like added to salads and sandwiches,” Cording says. Making baked goods? Coconut oil makes a great healthy substitute instead of butter.

As with all diets, adopting a vegan lifestyle has its positives and negatives, but if you’re looking for something new to mix up your regular routine and weight-loss results, this may just be the diet for you! 


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