Top 10 tips for Weight Loss
1. Don’t drink your calories - it would be a shame to double your calories for the day simply by drinking sweet or creamy drinks - even if they’re plant-based, drink too many and you won’t see the weight-loss benefits you’re hoping for. Instead, stick to unsweetened tea and coffee or water with fruit, cucumber and/or mint leaves.
2. Retrain your taste buds away from sugar - it can be tempting to swap sugar for artificial sweeteners but aside from the health issues they’re associated with, if you keep eating sweet tasting foods you’ll still get the cravings. In 21 days you should be able to retrain your taste buds away from sweet treats.
3. Read all the labels - get into the habit, even for one week, of writing down everything you eat. Ideally, log these in an app or website that also tells you the calorie counts (I use My Fitness Pal, it’s free and simple). By writing it down you’ll be growing your awareness and therefore more likely to make conscious, intentional decisions.
4. Stay hydrated – Prioritize drinking water over other beverages. Make sure you drink water in the morning and plenty throughout the day. Eating plenty of raw fruits and vegetables will also help keep your body well hydrated.
5. Think Whole Not Parts - By whole we mean eating plants and veggies in their whole most natural form for they are full of nutrients. Limit any processed foods with refined ingredients. Colorful, whole plant foods (including fruits!) contain a lot of nutrients, fiber and phytonutrients that work together to keep your body healthy and in good shape. These are the super-foods that we need to consume several times a day, every day. Whole grains and legumes are usually the most filling. Don’t forget to start your meal with a big bowl of salad. For weight loss goals choose brown rice over white, sweet potatoes over crackers, and apples or bananas over fruit juices.
6. Avoid Salt, Oil, and Sugar – If you focus on removing salt, oil, and sugar from your diet, you’ve come a long way. Oil in particular adds unnecessary calories to your meal, while salt and sugar encourage you to eat more than you need because of their addictive nature. Eliminating them from your diet will do wonders to your weight loss journey. Make small adjustments to your recipes to rid them of those unwanted ingredients. The less you eat salt, oil, and sugar, the less you will crave them. So try cooking without oil. Avoid oil-based dressings. Make your own homemade vegetable broth to add flavor to your cooking while limiting those three ingredients. Try it. You might be surprised how your taste buds adjust to your new routine.
7. Be Consistent – Figure out the foods and recipes you like and stick with them. Enjoying your meals is important, so find the ones you can stick with day-in-and-day-out. For example, if you like to have a certain sandwich, or salad for lunch, make sure you pack it the day before. Put in this extra effort, it will get you into the habit of packing your lunch daily and avoid ordering takeout when you’re at the office
8. Cook in batches – This may sound redundant, but batch cooking is important. Preparing meals ahead of time or cooking up rice and beans for two or three days in advance will especially help you when your week gets super busy. Find a few favorite recipes and learn how to make them quick and easy. Eat those meals repeatedly. The repetition will help with weight loss especially in the beginning when you’re still trying to get yourself into a routine. The less time spent on preparing meals, the better. Keep things simple.
9. Keep a journal of your weigh-loss journey: Write down your progress, the good things and the bad. Logging your food intake will help you keep track of what goes in your body. It will help you stay motivated and committed to the changes you’re making to your diet. Set small goals and reward yourself when you complete them.
10. Enjoy the journey – Design your meals with whole-plant foods you like the most. Keep things colorful. Don’t be afraid to mix flavors and try new ingredients. It is your daily, overall diet that counts towards sustainable health and weight loss. If you are eating well - meaning mostly whole plant foods at every meal, day-in-and-day-out, you are good. Enjoying a cupcake at the occasional birthday party is not going to ruin your diet assuming it’s a rare event. Exceptions don’t matter in the long-run, but if it becomes a pattern of eating, then take a step back and reassess your food choices.
Are you struggling to lose weight? Have you lost any by following a plant-based diet? Share your story with us on Instagram @plantb.tv or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured on our website or in future episodes.