Plant-Based Diet For Weight Loss

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Plant-based diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for a good reason. Not only are plant-based diets associated with numerous health benefits, but they can also be an effective way to lose weight. Plant-based diets rely on whole, unprocessed plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

These foods are naturally high in fiber, low in calories and making them an excellent choice for weight loss. One of the primary benefits of a plant-based diet is that it is naturally low in calories. Plant-based foods are typically lower in calories than animal-based foods, so it is easier to create a calorie deficit when following a plant-based diet.

Additionally, plant-based foods are high in fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full for longer and can help reduce hunger cravings. This effect makes it easier to stick to your calorie goals and lose weight. In addition to being low in calories, plant-based diets are also rich in nutrients. Plant-based foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which can help support overall health and well-being. Eating various plant-based foods can also ensure you get vital nutrients your body needs.

Finally, plant-based diets are associated with numerous health benefits. Studies have demonstrated that plant-based diets can help reduce risks of chronic conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Eating a plant-based diet can also help improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and improve mental health.

Overall, plant-based diets are an excellent choice for weight loss. They are naturally low in calories and high in fiber, making it easier to create a calorie deficit and lose weight. Plant-based diets are packed with essential nutrients and are associated with numerous health benefits. A plant-based diet may be a perfect choice if you want to lose weight.

Here, we discuss this topic with Nelcy, a registered dietitian and nutritionist, who focuses on plant-based and vegan nutrition.

NourishDoc: Hello, everyone. Hope everyone had a great July 4th weekend, barbecue, all that kind of good stuff, and all the burgers. Well, today, we want to talk about plant-based nutrition. The idea is how it can help us with weight loss and obesity. That is the fundamental topic today with Nelcy, a registered dietitian and nutritionist. She focuses on plant-based and vegan nutrition, which most of us need help understanding. So welcome, Nelcy.

Dietician Nelcy: Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you.

Plant-based diet vs. vegan diet – what’s the difference?

NourishDoc: I’ll let you start on vegan nutrition and the difference between Plant-based and vegan. Is it the same? Or there are some nuances. So let you explain that.

Dietician Nelcy: Yes, that’s a great question. Yes, one that needs more clarification every day. So, plant-based nutrition grew from the idea of vegetarianism, right? So, vegetarian, you have your lactose, a vegetarian, your pescatarian, meaning you’re half fish, leftover vegetarian, dairy, and eggs, correct? And then you have your flexitarian, meaning you’ll omit meat products sometimes. So now, everything is encapsulated into this plant-based, right? But with that said, right?

Many people see plant-based as different, right? So, veganism is more about the ethical part of it. So, you’re not eating; you’re not consuming animal products because you care about the animals, the earth, and the planet, right? So, it’s a whole combination of it’s more of a lifestyle. So, vegan, being vegan is more of a lifestyle. So, you’re omitting animals because you care about the animals, the planet, and your health, suitable? Plant-based, right?

It could be arranged; it’s kind; for many people, it’s a step towards becoming vegan. So, you become plant-based, you may have cheese on your, you know, on your burger or your salad, sometimes, so you may have eggs, sometimes, and, you know, so it’s like a whole emitting of, you know, animals, there is a degree to that, you know? So, there’s, yeah, and more clarification needs to be said, but for the most part, plant-based is more about the foods. And you’re omitting animal products most of the time, but vegan is omitting even things like honey, right? So, if it comes from an animal or an animal is making, right? So, if this, if it’s exploiting animals, it is a no-no, Right? So even down to your hair products, your makeup, right? How are your clothes made, right? So, you will not wear leather and things like that, right? So, your shoes. So, it’s more than just the food component of it.

Plan-based nutrition for weight loss

NourishDoc: Okay. Let’s discuss how Plant Based Nutrition, which you’re advocating, helps with sustainable weight loss and initial weight loss.

Dietician Nelcy: Yeah, so definitely. Plant-based nutrition can be an excellent tool for anyone who wants to lose fat. Also, there’s a difference between fat loss and weight loss. So, for weight loss, you’re losing some fat, but you’re also losing some muscle. I can even go into details on how you can fall into that trap, so Plant Based Nutrition could be an excellent tool for fat loss.

One thing to consider is that we can avoid the basic calculation of reducing your calories. Calories must be less than calories to attain fat loss. That reduction will look different for everyone, right? So, that’s why nutrition and fat loss is very individualized. A nutrition plan and exercise plan for one person differs from the next, so yes, that’s going to differ in many ways. Another thing to keep in mind is plant-based nutrition; most of the foods if you’re consuming whole foods, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fresh fruits, and vegetables, right? Those are going to be nutrient-rich foods, right?

Instead of caloric-dense foods. But in plant-based nutrition, there’s a lot of calorie-dense foods, you know, convenience foods, right? That is okay, once in a while. You don’t have ice cream and cookies now and then, right? But only have it a few times a week, right? Because then that’s going to create weight gain. So, calories are energy for the body, and the stored energy is weight. So, we see it as weight gain for the body, for the body’s energy.

So, if the body sees extra, it will not be okay. This is like, it’s like a bank, right? So, you want to store more, more, more. So, it wants to keep that energy, let’s say, you know. Yeah, yeah, I mean, you know, fat loss, it could be tricky, many times people fall into the trap of following hypocaloric diets, which is way below your BMR, what your body needs to function, to breathe, for your lungs, for your heart to pump blood all over your body, right? Your body has a primary number of calories required to keep us alive, right?

So, if you want to use that, We have to reduce that, so let’s say the basic calculation is 500 calorie reduction a day. That equals a week, 3500 calories, which equals a pound of fat loss. Now, is it going to follow weight loss? It depends. If it’s two or hypocaloric, your body will want to go into defense mode. It’s going to want to keep that extra energy because it’s saying, oh my gosh, she’s consuming, or he’s consuming less, way fewer calories of what I need to perform on my daily functions.

So that is going to create some, yes, your body is going to lose some fat. However, it’s going to take some of your muscle mass. You don’t want to decrease your muscle mass because now when you’re decreasing your muscle mass, you’re decreasing your introductory metabolic rate, right? Your metabolism is going to go low, right?

So now, you require less amount of food, less amount of calories. So if you go, even 100 calories over that, that’s extra. So, your body is going to store it, right? That’s the difference between fat loss and weight loss, but with plant-based nutrition, you can attain some fat loss if you’re doing it correctly. It takes an individualized approach and some specific tweaks here and there. You know, everyone looks different.

Nutritional deficiencies in a vegan diet

NourishDoc: Okay. So, I do want to talk about that. That’s great. I do want to talk about nutritional deficiencies. If someone is vegan, right? They cannot consume all the things meat eaters like me or you or you probably Plant-based for you know, I eat occasion meet can get all the nutrition from the meat, right? So vegan people do not get it. So what are your thoughts about that?

Dietician Nelcy: The only supplement we vegans need to worry about is the B 12. Because B12 is not, it’s only in animal products, but let’s all remember that B 12 is grown in bacteria from the ground, right? So, the animals consume, you know, on the grass, but that’s not how they eat. Now, anyways, but the grazing on the grass, some of that soil goes into them, right? So they get the B 12, and then we consume the animal, and that’s how we get the B twelve.

Now, because of the demand for production, animals are being supplemented B 12. So, you know, it’s, it’s kind of, so, for vegans, that’s not even an issue because it’s kind of like you’re taking the middle man out, it’s not, you know, taking a supplement, it’s, it’s not a big deal, but so yes, B12 essential, you will notice two to three years that’s after becoming a vegan or not consuming B12 products which can happen in I would say a regular carnivore diet, you know, also. I have seen it in practice. So, it’s not just for vegans; every population can become B12 deficient.

But that’s the one nutrient you would need to supplement a vegan lifestyle, But some foods have it too. Things like spirulina, nutritional yeast, and others even bought teas with four to 5 B 12. The other day I found another brand of plant-based kinds of milk that has B-12 in it. So it’s being fortified in some foods more than before. You can get it from food too. But I would supplement to make sure because it’s essential. It’s an essential drink to have.

Plant-based sample meal plan

NourishDoc: Okay. So, what would a sample diet like a meal look like if someone is vegan or plant-based? What do you have? Like, let’s talk about you. Share your daily kind of meal plan.

Dietician Nelcy: Yeah. So, I make sure I add a lot of nuts and seeds. Those are my friends, right? They have healthy fats. They’re going to have some proteins, right? Some fiber too. But the heavier bulk of protein I get from things like tofu, I get from things like edamame, which has a considerable amount of protein you would never think of. It’s like 17 grams per cup of edamame, and you can sprinkle it on anything. So yeah, so tofu, sea ten, edamame, nuts and seeds, Tempe. I’m not a big fan of Tempe, but Tempe has much protein and some whole grains, like quinoa, 8 grams per a third of a cup.

You would never think that grain would have that much. So, things like quinoa, amaranth, vegetables, and some fruits. They have protein and grains. They have protein, right? So, more, some in more quantities than others, right? And yes, legumes is it’s part of my daily foods too. You know, so I make sure I have a variety. Very important to have a variety. You can’t just rely on, you know, five different meals, you know, make sure you have a variety, and it hasn’t been an issue yet, right? So, All my lab works are delicate, so yeah, it’s more about having a variety and including those high-protein food foods I mentioned before, and you’re fine.

Yeah. It’s effortless. It’s easier than most people think. Because you think of Plant-based or vegan, you think of, or you’re restricting something. But what I have found with everyone that I speak to and my clients is like you’re opening the doors to so many other fruits, vegetables, grains that before they never even thought about, but now, you know, you’re finding out about all these fruits and vegetables and that you never even, you know, thought to try before and now you are trying. So, it’s effortless. It’s a, you know, to follow a plant-based vegan lifestyle. It’s, it’s not, it just takes a little bit of planning, but that’s it.

NourishDoc: I also wanted to add, I mean, I have been sort of like pescatarian and the clarity of mind that you get if you let go of meat, you know, and and and notice that in myself and if I stay Plant-based for ten days and I’m like you know very energetic the energy levels are different, the clarity of mind is different, you know, the attitude is different. It’s strange, and then, in between, there are only reasons I would eat meat because I want to get protein. From the meat-based like chicken and fish, you know, more and a little bit of that. That is also an added advantage to your point that I wanted to bring out the clarity of mind you can get. Right?

How plant-based diet affects your gut microbiome

Dietician Nelcy: Yes, and you know, I’m sure you probably heard this, we are what we eat, we indeed are, what we eat, so the foods that we consume have an impact on everything, of how our body functions, you know, everything that you, that, that you consume, affects your gut microbiome, you know, which affects everything. There has been so much research in the last few years about the gut-brain connection, even your hormones, and it can affect your hormones. So, yes, those are one of the statements that I am not tired of hearing because everyone, you know, seems to have the same experience with Plant-Based and Vegan Nutrition.

Meatless Mondays or Tuesdays?

NourishDoc: All right. Well, thank you so much. All I have to say is even if you are a meat eater, try Plant-based for a couple of days or, you know, like three days in a week or do a plant-based day, try it out and see how it makes a difference, right?

Dietician Nelcy: Yes, you start with, you know, how they say, now, meatless Mondays or meatless Tuesdays, right? Just try it. It starts with one meal, right? Start with one meal, and you see where it goes from there, you know?

NourishDoc: Absolutely. Well, I can see the glow on your face because you are vegan and Plant-based.

Dietician Nelcy: Thank you. I do have good lighting here, too, however. Sorry, and it’s a little bit of both.

NourishDoc: Okay, thank you so much for being with us to all the viewers. We are almost at 250000 followers. I’m so humbled and grateful to each one of you personally. So, please keep supporting us. We are coming up with an app. We’re developing our platforms, making them affordable, holistic wellness, and anything else. Do you like to add before I wrap up today, Nelson?

Dietician Nelcy: Yes, I mean try Plant Based. You will open the door to a whole new way of looking at foods, and you know, even if you don’t go plant-based, try something new at the market, right? So, next time you go to the market, buy that weird vegetable that you don’t even know the name of. You know, go home, go on social media, find the recipe, and make it, and that’s my message.

NourishDoc: Thank you so much, everyone.


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