Three key principles will help you achieve weight loss whilst adhering to your vegan diet:

Which veggies will bring you the best weight loss?

Which veggies will bring you the best weight loss?

1) To eat in a calorie deficit to your daily requirements - By eating slightly less than you burn, your body will turn to stores within the body as a source of energy. An average female’s total daily calorie limit is 2000 calories per day, and so eating 400-500 calories less will put you in an adequate deficit for weight loss. However, it’s important to remember that total daily calorie limits will vary depending on your age, activity level, and other factors.

2) To aim to increase muscle protein synthesis - The aim here is to change the composition of your body, reducing body fat and increasing muscle mass which will make you look leaner. Increasing muscle mass is an important process of weight loss as, although muscle weighs more than fat, in the long term helps us keep weight off as muscle requires burning more calories for energy.

3) To adapt your meals so that you feel fuller for longer - By increasing the protein and fibre content of your meals you will be less likely to reach for additional or unhealthy snacks throughout the day.

4) Be carbohydrate smart - Carbohydrates get absorbed into your blood at different rates. The more complex the carb and higher in fibre (low GI foods), the slower it will be absorbed compared to high GI carbs. The key here is to be smart when consuming these types of carbs. When exercising your body will need fuel rapidly and so you can have high GI foods in moderation such as white versions of grains, potatoes, agave nectar. The rest of the time opt for low GI foods such as whole versions of grains, oats, lentils and beans. Vegetables should be a staple part of every meal.

Variety is vital for keeping your diet balanced and exciting, meaning you’re not missing key nutrients and are more likely to stick to the plan!

Although diet has been shown to be more effective for weight loss than exercise, increasing your physical activity can complement the effects of a healthy diet. In addition, exercise has been shown to have many benefits to health that extend beyond weight loss.

As with most vegan diets, this plan is full of fibre. Dietary fibre has been shown to have numerous health benefits. Not only is it incredibly beneficial in reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, dietary fibre also helps with weight management by helping to reduce your appetite. Due to this conclusive research, the government have increased daily recommendations from 18g to 30g per day.

To give you an idea of exactly how much fibre is in commonly consumed foods:

  • Medium sized banana - 3.1g fibre
  • Medium sized pear - 5.5g fibre
  • 75g cooked lentils - 15.6g fibre
  • 100g tinned cooked kidney beans - 6.2g fibre
  • 50g oats - 5.3g fibre

In addition to this, the main meals in the plan aim to have at least 15g of protein. Protein is an essential macronutrient and is vital in muscle protein synthesis. Many individuals assume that you can only get protein from animal sources, however, although you probably need to eat a bit more (gram for gram), there are great plant-based sources of protein.

To give you an idea of how much protein is in some plant-based foods:

  • Brown rice (125g cooked) - 5g protein
  • Puy lentils (125g ready cooked) - 13g protein
  • Soy milk (100ml) - 3g protein
  • Broccoli (100g) - 4g protein
  • Whole wheat penne (75g uncooked) - 9g protein

Week 1

Day 1

Breakfast

Oats with oat milk, pea protein, blueberries and agave

40g rolled oats

100ml oat milk

100ml water

25g vegan (e.g. pea) protein

50g blueberries

12ml agave syrup

Snack

Celery, raisins and peanut butter

1 celery stick

20g peanut butter

20g raisins

Lunch

Sweet potato, beetroot and puy lentil salad

125g pre-cooked puy lentils

100g sweet potato

80g cooked beetroot

100g spinach

35ml olive oil

15ml balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to season

Snack

Handful of nuts

25g nuts of choice for example almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, walnuts

Dinner

Bean chili, brown rice with natural soya yoghurt

(serves 2 - save half for lunch the next day)

400g (1 tin) kidney beans

800g (2 tins) tomatoes

200g black beans

100g red pepper

100g courgette

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp chili flakes

1 tsp cumin

50g natural soya yoghurt (to serve)

125g precooked brown rice (to serve)

Day 2

Breakfast

Chickpea omelette with red onion, tomato and avocado

Chickpea batter:

70 g chickpea flour

195ml unsweetened non-dairy milk

10ml apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. nutritional yeast (optional)

¼ tsp turmeric powder

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp baking soda

0.75g sea salt to taste

Filling:

30g red onion

1 garlic clove

80g tomatoes

40g avocado

1 tbsp coriander

Salt and pepper to flavour

Snack

Natural soya yoghurt with blueberries

150g natural soya yoghurt

50g berries of your choice for example blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries

Lunch

Bean chili in a wholemeal wrap

Bean chilli - as made from the previous night

50g natural vegan yoghurt

1 wholemeal wrap

Snack

Carrot sticks and hummus

100g carrots

30g houmous

Dinner

Edamame stir fry with rice noodles

50g edamame beans

150g rice noodles

10g sesame seeds

50g carrots

50g broccoli

fresh ginger

20ml soy sauce

20g peanut butter

Chilli flakes

Wedge of lime

Day 3

Breakfast

Smashed avocado on toast with protein smoothie

1 slice wholemeal or seeded bread

60g avocado

Wedge of lime

Salt and pepper to season

Chilli flakes

25g vegan protein (flavoured) made with 200ml soya milk

Snack

apple with peanut butter

1 apple

20g peanut butter

Lunch

Sweet potato, black bean and broccoli salad bowl

100g sweet potato

100g black beans

100g broccoli

1 tsp olive oil

50g red onion

100g cherry tomatoes

50g coriander

Wedge of lime

Salt and pepper to flavour

Snack

Roasted chickpeas

120g cooked canned chickpeas

Flavour with spice of your choice such as paprika, turmeric, garam masala, salt, pepper

Dinner

Vegan Mac'n'cheese served garlic kale (serves 2)

150g macaroni

55g vegan butter

1.25g salt 3.4g paprika 2.4g granulated onion

Ground pepper

17.25g chickpea flour

32g nutritional yeast

6ml balsamic vinegar

¾ cup water

1 spring onion (to serve)

80g cherry tomatoes (to serve)

100g kale (to serve)

1 clove garlic (to serve)

Day 4

Breakfast

Oats with oat milk, pea protein, blueberries and agave

40g rolled oats

100ml oat milk

100ml water

25g vegan (e.g. pea) protein

50g blueberries

2 tsp agave syrup

Snack

Natural soya yoghurt with blueberries

150g natural soya yoghurt

50g berries of your choice for example blueberries, strawberries or raspberries

Lunch

Sundried tomato, chickpea and olive penne pasta

100g Sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil mix

100g pre-cooked chickpeas

15g black pitted olives

75g uncooked whole wheat penne

100g spinach

Snack

Handful of nuts

25g nuts of choice for example almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, walnuts

*carbohydrate smart

Dinner

Aubergine and red lentil stew (serves 2)

600g aubergine

250g pre-cooked red lentils

225g tomatoes

1 large red onion

1 inch root ginger

4 garlic cloves

4 tablespoons olive oil

5ml tomato purée

Day 5

Breakfast

Chia protein pudding with berries

25g chia seeds

100ml oat milk

20g vegan protein powder

50g blueberries

35ml agave nectar

Snack

Banana and peanut butter

1 small banana or half a large banana

20g peanut butter

Lunch

Roasted veg, black bean and hummus wrap

85g red pepper

100g courgette

50g houmous

100g black beans

1 wholemeal wrap

Spices of your choice to flavour

Snack

Carrot sticks and hummus

100g carrots

30g houmous

Dinner

Sweet potato, beetroot and puy lentil salad

125g pre-cooked puy lentils

100g sweet potato

80g cooked beetroot

100g spinach

1 tbsp olive oil

15ml balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to season

Day 6

Breakfast

Protein banana pancakes topped with blueberries and soya yoghurt

130g (1 medium) banana

25g vegan (e.g. pea) protein

120g oats

200ml soy milk

Snack

Celery, raisins and peanut butter

1 celery stick

20g peanut butter

20g raisins

Lunch

Black bean and avocado burrito

100g black beans

60g avocado

1 wholemeal wrap

80g tomato

80g red onion

50g natural soya yoghurt

Snack

Roasted chickpeas

120g chickpeas

1 tbsp olive oil

Spices of your choice: paprika, turmeric, garam masala, salt, pepper

Dinner

Vegetable and chickpea stew with brown rice (serves 2)

100g shallots

2 garlic cloves

1 celery stick

1 tbsp olive oil

175g courgette

175g red pepper

175g carrot

100g mushrooms

400g (1 tin) tomatoes

150ml vegetable stock

4 tbsp mixed herbs

1 bay leaf

1 tsp fennel seed

pinch cayenne pepper

black pepper

240g (1 tin) cooked chickpeas

fresh parsley

250g precooked brown rice

Day 7

Breakfast

Wholemeal toast topped with tahini, blueberries and a protein smoothie

1 slice wholemeal or seeded bread

25g tahini

50g blueberries

20g agave nectar

25g vegan protein (flavoured) made with 200ml soya milk

Snack

Apple with peanut butter

1 medium apple

20g peanut butter

Lunch

Warm chickpea salad (serves 2)

400g (1 tin) chickpeas

3 tbsp olive oil

300g mushrooms

2 garlic cloves

1 tsp chili flakes

2 tsp ground cumin

Juice of 1 lemon

150ml vegan plain yoghurt

Big handful chopped mint leaves

250g baby spinach

Salt and pepper to season

Snack

Handful of nuts

25g nuts of choice for example almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, walnuts

Dinner

Dhal with spinach and brown rice served with natural yoghurt

125 cooked lentils

1 medium tomato

1 clove garlic

0.5g dried coriander 0.25g cumin 0.5g garam masala 0.25g turmeric

100ml vegetable stock

150g spinach

125g pre-cooked brown rice

50g natural soya yoghurt

Written by Alexis Poole at Spoon.Guru 

Alexis Poole (ANutr, BSc)

Spoon Guru Nutrition Manager

Registered Associate Nutritionist (ANutr)

BSc Nutrition, King’s College London

 


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