'Healthy Weight on a Vegan Diet'

Q:

Dear Bridget,

I've been following you on social media for a while now because I admire you being a successful women who's also a fellow vegan.

I've been struggling with my weight for quite some time and I was wondering if you have any tips on what I could do to get to healthy weight on a vegan diet.

Love, E

A:

First and foremost I am not a doctor so do not take my advice as gospel. I would advise you to go see your healthcare specialist and make sure there are no underlying medical conditions and to get your blood work done. 

Weight loss is tricky because everyone is so different and different things work for different people. A lot of my friends do the high protein thing - and that doesn't work for me at all. 

The most important thing for me to press is that diets do not work. If you have been struggling for a while then that implies to me that you have been trying quick fixes and not long lasting, small changes. We are the product of the small things we do everyday, not the big things we do sometimes.

I would say to keep an honest eye on how much starch you are really eating. I know there's the whole HCLF world out there, but it has never really left me feeling lean and healthy. Make sure you are getting protein with each meal, and that you aren't eating desert and sugars. Be honest with yourself on this one - eat mostly fruits, vegetables and legumes, and smaller amounts of starchy vegetables (sweet potato, beets etc are always a great choice). Try going refined sugar free for a month and see how you feel after that. If you feel great from it, then figure out healthy whole-food plant based versions of your sweetened old treats! 

Another aspect would be to address your stress levels. High cortisol levels can cause emotional eating and for your body to retain weight. So I would say incorporate a light workout regime (start with three days a week, then slowly increase) for endorphins, and cultivate a mindfulness practice in the form of yoga and meditation. 

Following on from the workout thread I would say keep them light and easy whilst losing weight. I have always found that weight loss is 90 percent diet, and that working out helps mentally more than anything. This is far from a call to not workout – I think everyone should be very active (we are built for it!) but the focus should be on mental wellness and happiness not for weight loss. Once you have lost the weight you wanted to lose I find stepping up the workouts help you to maintain your loss. I would advise to focus always on more toning and strength based workouts, to help reduce muscle loss from dieting.

I hope this helps!

Love,

Bridget