Going Vegan for the Planet and Weight Loss: Should You?

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Going Vegan for the Planet and Weight LossDoes that juicy steak look tempting? It sure does, and it smells divine too. How could you even think of going vegan when meat tastes so good, right? It’s nutritious too. After all, how can a strong and healthy man like yourself feel full after a measly salad? That’s just not going to work.

But now think of how much you love the nature around you. And think of how you want your kids to live in a healthy unpolluted world. What about your own heart? Don’t you want it to be strong and healthy long after you retire and go on a worldwide journey to see more of that magnificent nature? How about being lean and having a Hollywood superstar physique?

That’s what you should go vegan for!

That steak sure won’t look as tempting if you think of how much damage it does to your heart and arteries. Or think of how the animal farming industry is one of the worst things that ever happened to our planet. And those are only the tip of an iceberg that could sink not only Titanic but the Earth itself.

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Benefits of Going Vegan for the Planet: Cut Your Carbon Footprint by 73%

The journal Science recently published a highly comprehensive study. It shows that simply by removing meat and dairy from your diet you can cut your personal carbon footprint from food by 73%. That’s how much of a difference this one choice can make for your impact on the planet.

And if everyone was to turn vegan, the global farming industry would be able to reduce its carbon emissions by 75%. Just so you know, but agriculture is the second biggest source of carbon dioxide pollution. It’s second only to the energy industry, which is responsible for 72% of all emissions all by itself. So, while thinking of going vegan, you might also consider the benefits of going ‘green’ energy-wise.

Another major benefit of veganism for the planet is that it helps preserve wildlife habitats. Those lovely natural preserves that are astounding in diversity get smaller by the year as the farming industry bites off more land to plant crops in. Soon enough there will be nothing left but a sad zoo and a small town park. Now, would you really like to see only animals and plants in movies made by CGI?

The same principle applies to oceans. However, the reduction of farmlands is also an immense benefit for water conservation. If less fresh water was spent on farming crops, perhaps there wouldn’t be the water crisis.

Going Vegan for Weight Loss and Health

Do you still think that being a meat-eater is manly and cool? Think again because today ‘manly’ and ‘cool’ equal to ‘healthy’ and ‘lean-muscled’. Those are the exact qualities that you’ll be able to get by going vegan.

The epidemic of obesity is no secret to anyone who can see people on the streets. And it’s a well-known fact that being obese and overweight leads to deadly diseases. A vegan diet can help you lose or prevent gaining weight, prove the studies like the ones you can see here, here, and here.

Due to this extreme efficiency for weight loss, going vegan is one of the best choices you can make for a plan to lose 10 kg in one month. This meal plan will provide fast results if your new plant-based diet is well-balanced. And it’s also easier to cut calories with a plant-based diet.

e fast results if your new plant-based diet is well-balanced. And it’s also easier to cut calories with a plant-based diet.Benefits of How to Go Vegan to Lose Weight Fast

1. Ditch the food substitutes

Substitutes are never as good as the real thing, and vegan meat substitutes are so much worse. Not only do they taste bad, they also have little to no nutritional use. Of course, not all meat substitutes are equal. According to experts cited by The Independent, some products used to substitute for meat as a protein source are very good for you. Tempeh and tofu are some of the best because they are made from soya.

Soya is a plant-based source of complete proteins, which means it basically is the nature’s vegan substitute for meat. However, soya foods contain less protein than your average chicken breast. This means you need to eat more of them, and those foods aren’t low on calories. Some clever meal planning with a calorie calculator in hand is in your future if you want to design a healthy vegan diet.

Other meat substitutes, like seitan, aren’t all that good for you because they are processed or overall less nutritious. Some others can be outright dangerous, like quorn according to CSPI.

So, what’s the healthy solution? First, you need to understand is that a plant-based diet can’t be the same as a meat-eater’s diet. You’ll have to revise your meals completely. Otherwise, you’ll simply make portions bigger and there will be no weight loss benefit whatsoever.

You also shouldn’t look for meat replacements and instead create meals that will contain a mix of plant-based proteins. For example, serving a bean chili with brown rice will give you complete proteins because these two foods contain complementary amino acids. Check more complete protein food combos for vegans here.

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2.  Avoid unhealthy vegan foods

‘Vegan’ doesn’t equal ‘healthy’. That’s a fact you need to really take to heart. Because the word ‘vegan’ on the label doesn’t mean that it’s a healthy food you can eat with impunity. And it’s literally a matter of the heart because a Harvard Medical School study proves that an unhealthful vegan diet actually makes you 32% more likely to develop cardiovascular disease.

Vegan products don’t contain animal ingredients, but they can still contain sugar, fats, and many dubious additives and chemicals. For example, fruit juice is completely vegan and seemingly healthy, yet it’s as bad for you as a can of soda (HealthLine). These products can also have an extremely low nutritional value, like your average junk food.

The most unhealthy vegan foods are:

Fake meat (especially the frozen kind).
Have you ever heard of a healthy frozen meal? Well, taking meat out of it doesn’t change the situation in the least. Actually, those vegan nuggets are way more dubious because you can’t even start to guess what exactly they are made of. You can be sure though that processed oils, preservatives, and artificial flavorings are used in abundance.

Tofu deli meat.
Like the above, deli meat is bad for you by default, and it’s no different if it’s seemingly made of tofu.

Coconut yogurt.
Unlike things mentioned above, coconut yogurt is actually healthy, but in extremely small amounts. The controversy around the health benefits of coconut oil keeps on growing. And it’s absolutely the truth that this food is very-very high in saturated fats.

Veggie chips.
Chips are deep fried slices of something seasoned with salt and sometimes preservatives and artificial additives of a dubious nature. Why would ‘vegan’ chips be any better for you than ‘non-vegan’?

Vegan desserts.
Check what those are made of because vegan doesn’t equal low-calorie or low-sugar. All desserts can be unhealthy regardless of whether they contain animal fats.

3. Take your vitamins

A major con of a vegan diet is that it doesn’t provide you with all essential nutrients. It’s literally impossible to get the vitamins and minerals you need from plant-based foods only. That’s because they don’t contain vitamin B12. Vitamin D is also in short supply there, but food isn’t a good source of it in general. Vegans also often struggle with getting adequate amounts of calcium and iron.

To enjoy the benefits of going vegan for weight loss and health, you need to ensure that you get all essential nutrients. This means that specialized multivitamins are a mandatory addition to your new diet. The supplements you will need most are:

  • Vitamin B12
  • Omega 3
  • Vitamin D
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Iodine
  • Zinc

You can learn more details about each essential vegan supplement here. Taking a specialized vegan multivitamin should prevent any dangerous nutritional deficiencies. Do note that the multivitamin must be labeled as ‘vegan’. Not only do these products have different micronutrient dosages compared to regular multivitamins. They also contain synthetic replacements of all animal-based nutrients.

You also mustn’t forget the vital rule of ‘too much is never good’. Before you start shopping for vegan vitamins, consider your diet very carefully. Do you eat different types of seaweed? If so, taking additional iodine can actually be bad for you. Are your vegan cereals, juices, milk, etc. fortified with calcium and B12? You will need to cut down on the supplement dosage of those.

Humans don’t really need multivitamins if they are on a healthy diet, says Berkley Wellness. Vegans do, but even that need is relative and should be calculated based on your diet. Consuming too much of some nutrients is an actual health risk, so be careful not to go overboard.

4. Increase your protein intake

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Getting back to the subject of incomplete proteins started above, your vegan meal plan must pay a lot of attention to them. Proteins in plant foods are incomplete, unlike in animal foods. This means that you need to eat a variety of foods with different types of amino acids per meal in order to get your daily quota of protein.

However, like with the vitamins, you shouldn’t think that more is better. The Physicians Committee busts the protein myth to smithereens. Recent studies show that you totally can eat too much protein, and it doesn’t matter whether it comes from plants or animals.

If your body gets too much of it, you risk developing kidney disease, kidney stones, osteoporosis, and some types of cancer. A healthy dose of this nutrient is 0.8 gram per one kilogram of your weight. It can be up to 2 grams if you are a fitness junkie or a vegan bodybuilder. However, those reasons don’t reduce the risks. Therefore, you should think about a healthy exercise regimen that won’t push your body too much.

Should You Go Vegan to Benefit the Planet and Lose Weight?

Only you can answer that question. Going vegan will definitely help you lose weight faster and become more mindful about your eating habits in general. This diet is also healthier overall. And the benefits for the planet cannot be denied.

Go vegan if you want to achieve all this and see how it works out for you!

About the author Agatha Singer

Agatha Singer is a former 9 to 6 business & finance consultant and current work-from-home mom of two awesome little nuggets. If you are looking to make a big change in your personal life, you may join her journey to a perfect balance between family and personality. Welcome to her blog www.agsinger.com!