Samuel Figueroa PT

SF Personal Trainer Blog - London

This is the blog for Samuel Figueroa, personal trainer and fitness coach.

VEGAN WEIGHT LOSS

Many of the plant-based diet books, or vegan bloggers on social media seem to be preaching that eating Vegan will make you lose weight regardless of the calories and macronutrient content of each meal (stress free).

It seems You can eat as much as you like. As long as it’s plant foods, especially whole foods close to nature. “Don’t count calories or pay attention to portions. If it’s animal free it won’t harm you”

 

Well, I gave it a tried for a couple of months and here is what you can experience going on a vegan diet.

As you switch to the vegan nutrition your body will see a drop in calories intake as you stop eating most of the food that the western world over consumes (fatty meats and dairy products). In this first phase you will feel better, lighter and your energy levels will remain stable or even increase. Here is where you will see the scale going down.

Greatest mistake beginner vegans do is that they underestimate their protein consumption and do not use protein supplementation with consistency.

You might experience the same:

As your body weight goes down, you will lose a lot of your lean muscle tissue along with the fat. The scale goes down but your body doesn’t get any healthier as your body composition (ratio between fat and muscles) will suffer too.

Your body will try to revert the process using the only weapon it has: hunger.

Soon, you will find a way to replace those calories missing from your nutrition and raise your calorie intake from carbohydrate and vegetable oil. Your weight loss will stop here.

 

How to fix your nutrition and still see fat loss?

Here is some advice to help you out:

 

-do not drop your calories too soon as you switch for vegan diet. Asses how many calories you are already consuming on a daily basis before you switch with a food diary. Use the same amount of calories as a starting point and aim to create a deficit no bigger than 300kcal on your firsts week of vegan.

 

-do not underestimate the role of protein. Protein is used to build, maintain and repair all cell structures in your body. It is key for your body to function. Most plant-based food do not contain complete protein.

 

The term "complete protein" refers to amino acids, the building blocks of protein. There are 20 different amino acids that can form a protein, and 9 that the body can’t produce on its own. These are called essential amino acids (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine)—we need to eat them because we can’t make them ourselves. In order to be considered “complete,” a protein must contain all nine of these essential amino acids in roughly equal amounts.

 

Aim to consume plant based protein in every meal, mixing the protein source in each meal you will get many more amino acids.

 

-consume protein supplementation on a daily basis, not just on training days. Make sure your protein powder contains all the essential amino acids in every serving.

 

-make sure you chose a protein powder that tastes good. Here is worth spending a bit more as you will be more likely to be consistent with your supplementation.

 

-add weight training to your training routine. Training with weights will maintain\increase your existing muscle tissue and will boost your metabolism.

 

-keep track of the progress. Use a measuring tape to see where your physic is changing, weigh yourself regularly, make sure you do not spend your day felling hungry and tired as it is a sign that your body is not coping well with your nutrition.

 

-dot not eat the same things you were eating before but just switching to the vegan options as they will be full of vegetables oils, fat and calories. Be ready to a change!

 

You can still see progress and fat loss on you vegan diet but you have to be smart, prepare and prevent the plateau before it happens. It is not going to be easy, but it can be done. You can do it!!