Why do vegans lose weight?

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In this post, I will discuss “why do vegans lose weight?”.

If you are looking for how to lose weight, a vegan diet is a great choice. With a vegan diet, you not only lose weight but also get lots of health benefits. You can maintain your healthy weight by enjoying delicious vegan food with zero stress.

 

What is overweight and obese?

In the past obesity or overweight was considered as a typical symptom only in wealthy developing countries such as the US and European countries. However, it is now epidemic, increasing in low- and middle-income countries, especially in urban areas. The obesity rate keeps increasing worldwide. Comparing to 1975, the obesity rate worldwide became triple. Now 1 of 4 people in the world are overweight.

Overweight and obese are not only for adults.

The problem spreads to children, too. 41 million children under 5 years old in the world are considered overweight or obese. The number is more than the population of Canada (37 million). Can you imagine that?

Also, Over 340 million young people between 5 to 19 years in the world are overweight or obese. The number is more than the number of population in the US (325 million). It is crazy!

Overweight and obese are the condition that you have a heavier weight than your adequate and healthy weight or the state that you have excess and an abnormal amount of accumulated fats.

Overweight and obese are different terms, and the difference comes from Body Mass Index or BMI.

  • When BMI is less than 18.5, it means you are in the range of “underweight”.
  • When BMI is between 18.5 and 25.0, it means you are in the range of “normal”.
  • When BMI is between 25.0 and 30.0, it means you are in the range of “overweight”.
  • When BMI is higher than 30.0, it means you are in the range of “obese”.

You can calculate your BMI very easily with the tool below. You can calculate with ft./lbs or cm/kg.

My BMI is 18.8. It means normal BMI.

Sometimes people said to me, especially older people, “You are too thin! You have to eat more”. Then, my heart got hurt as a man. So, this scientific calculation gave me confidence.

There is a created old myth “you have to eat a lot and get bigger. That is how a man should be!” Modern science can destroy those old unhealthy myths.

 

What are the benefits of losing weight?

If you are overweight or obese, it means you have too much free fatty acid accumulated in your cells.

If you have too much free fatty acid in your cell, your mitochondria, an organelle in your cell, can’t function properly, and, produce too much free radical molecules. This excess amount of free radical molecules causes chronic inflammation.

Chronic inflammation is known as the cause of most of the chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, allergic asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic kidney disease (CKD), Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

So, if you lose weight, you are preventing these chronic diseases.

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Why can a vegan diet make you lose weight?

A vegan diet is based on nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains.

If you eat more nutrient-rich food, you can stop overweight. Nutrient-rich means, containing a sufficient amount of essential amino acids, omega-3 fatty acid, vitamins, and minerals. On a vegan diet, you can get the rich nutrient from various kind of vegetable, fruits, beans, grains, and nuts.

If you are overweight or obese and you eat more meat than vegan food, your nutrition intake is less variety than normal-weight people. It is better you check your diet.

A vegan diet provides fiber-rich food.

The fiber is great. We should take more fiber. Fiber-rich food clean your digestive tract also help you feel fuller. Fiber helps not only weight loss, but also digestion, cancer prevention, and increasing life span.

Please note, you can’t find fiber in meat and dairy product. You can get fiber only from plant food. If dairy products or meat says it contains fiber, they are added during the processing.

Fiber has two types.

One kind of fiber act like a sponge. It absorbs waste cholesterol in your digestive tract and eliminates it from your body. So, fiber-rich food can lower your cholesterol.

Another kind of fiber can sweep your digestive tract and clean it.

It is better we intake 40 grams of fiber per day. However, average people eat only 10g fiber.

A vegan diet is lower in fat.

It is true if you eat less fat, you lose weight. A vegan diet is low in fat. A low-fat vegan diet also reduces LDL cholesterol and blood pressure.

There are good Carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates.

There are different kinds of carbohydrates.

Good Carbohydrate:

Carbohydrate in whole plant food is more complex and contains a variety of nutrition such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The carbohydrate from whole food such as fruits, grains, and beans can reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Beans, oatmeal, brown rice, barley, whole-wheat bread, quinoa, potatoes, and sweet potatoes are a great source for good Carbohydrate.

Fruits are also good because they contain other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

Bad Carbohydrate:

Carbohydrates in soda or donuts are simple and added sugar. In the process of producing those carbohydrates, they remove good nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals. If you want to lose weight, you should avoid them. You also should avoid white flowers and syrups because they don’t have good nutrients anymore.

If you want to lose weight, you should reduce fat and simple carbs, and add more complex carbs from whole plant food.By the way, a low carbohydrate diet has a risk to increase cholesterol and regain more weight after more months.

Don’t confuse good carbs and bad carbs! They are different!

With a vegan diet, you can eat more and lose weight.

If you eat a vegan diet, you don’t need to worry about the amount. You can just eat as much as you want. How it can be possible?

It is simple. Even if you eat the same volume, a vegan diet is much less in calories  than meat and dairy product.

With a vegan diet, you feel less hungry.

This is my experience. I am on a vegan diet for 3 years so far.

Interestingly my craving and hungry feeling get less and less. Sometimes I forget to eat food until dinner time, but still OK. Not so hungry even I am doing bodywork like heavy gardening work.

I don’t know if it is because I am on a vegan diet or not. But, I wanted to add this topic here.

 

Conclusion

Losing weight is crucial if you are looking for better health.

There are many kinds of diet systems for losing weight if you search on the internet or at a bookstore. Some diet methods are extreme and have a health risk. For example, low carbs diet gives you a risk of increasing cholesterol with regaining the weight.

Although a vegan diet is not designed to lose weight, with a vegan diet you will lose weight. You will increase your health because it can help you to bring you back to more your natural state.

For some people, it is maybe difficult to change to a vegan diet completely. You can start a vegan diet once a day or even once a week. And, later, you can increase days.

When I decided to be a vegan, I just stop buying animal products. But, if someone invites me to eat meat or dairy products, I ate. One day suddenly, my craving for meat and dairy completely disappeared. Then, I become a vegan.

By the way, I still use a pair of sandals made of leather, so I am not 100% vegan.

 

References

Obesity and overweight 16 February 2018 World Health Organization

de Mello AH, Costa AB, Engel JDG, Rezin GT.Mitochondrial dysfunction in obesity. 2018 Jan 1;192:26-32. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2017.11.019. Epub 2017 Nov 16.

Chronic Inflammation Roma Pahwa; Ishwarlal Jialal. June 4, 2019.

https://www.cremona.gr.jp/medical-check-up/human-dog/free-radical/

Agarwal S, Reider C, Brooks JR, Fulgoni VL. Comparison of prevalence of inadequate nutrient intake based on body weight status of adults in the United States: an analysis of NHANES 2001–2008. J Am Coll Nutr. Published online on January 7, 2015.

Hooper L, Abdelhamid A, Moore HF, Douthwaite W, Skeaff CM, Summerbell CD. Effect of reducing total fat intake on body weight: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and cohort studies. BMJ. Published online December 6, 2012.

Stern L, Iqbal N, Seshadri P, et al. The effects of low-carbohdrate versus conventional weight loss diets in severely obese adults: one-year follow-up of a randomized trial. Ann Int Med. 2004;140:778-785.

 

Yancy WS, Olsen MK, Guyton JR, Bakst RP, Westman EC. A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-fat diet to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia. Ann Int Med. 2004;140:769-777.

Overweight causes hazardous inflammations University of Oslo Aug. 25, 2014

 

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