Vegan and Overweight! What Gives?

If you’re like most, you think becoming a vegan is an assured path to a lifetime of healthy living in a slender body. And yet, you haven’t lost much weight at all.
How unfair is that? Or rather the question should be how common is that?
For those of us with weight issues, simply becoming vegan isn’t enough. There is as much vegan junk food as there is animal-based junk food, possibly even more. Take chips for example. They may only be made from oil, salt and potatoes and be considered 100% vegan. But wow, they’re calorie dense, high fat, high sodium foods that keep us heavy.

Have you ever read the labels on vegan pre-packaged foods? They aren’t necessarily low-calorie foods and many have as much sodium as their non-vegan counterparts. And what is worse is that because they are vegan or raw we think we can eat as much as we like.

And there lies the other problem. For those of us with bigger appetites, we still have to watch portion control when eating vegan. Calories in and calories out is still a real thing. Just because you bought your food at an organic plant-based store doesn’t mean you can overeat.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe strongly in a plant-based diet, especially a raw one, but if you struggle with your weight, you need to be mindful of any diet that is high sugar (dates and bananas), high fat (nuts, oil, tahini), and high sodium (salt regardless if it is sea, Celtic or Himalayan).

It’s unfair, I know. But if you gain weight easily, you must watch those sugars, fats, sodium and calories. Do that and you can be a slim, extremely healthy, vegan or raw foodist and thoroughly embrace your newfound lifestyle.

For women with PCOS, sugars count as well. Instead of eating those ripe papayas, try oranges instead. Chuck those dates. They may make a great glue for granola, but they play havoc with those who are insulin resistant or have PCOS.

Nuts are wonderful. They are full of flavor, creamy to eat and easy to pop in your mouth, but whoa! Have you seen the calories in nuts? Cashews are a fan favorite in the raw foodist community, but they can only be eaten sparingly if at all by those trying to lose weight. Try pumpkin seeds instead. They’re a perfect protein, are fun to eat or grind in your smoothie, and you get more for your caloric buck.

The number one thing everyone who wants to lose weight and be healthy must do is to get rid of processed food. Read the label on that veganaise jar then put it back on the shelf.

Use whole foods. Find recipes that don’t use high sugar, fats and salts. Step up and make your own niche in the vegan and raw food community.

Lamenting that you are the only obese or overweight vegan won’t get you anywhere. Trust me, I did that myself. What you need to do is accept the fact that you have to do a little more than your other vegan and raw food friends to get that same weight loss. Although, you will still get that healthy glow vegans and raw foodists are famous for.

In conclusion, don’t get discouraged you aren’t getting the weight loss you expected. A plant-based diet is definitely the way to go. Just do it with your body and appetite in mind. Health and wisdom go hand in hand. Make good choices for you and don’t forget to walk!

Carlene Jones

Obesity Weight Loss Coach at Raw Food Bootcamp
In 2005 after losing 139 lbs in 9 months on a low fat, low sugar, low sodium raw food diet, Carlene was asked by others to start a support group. Raw Food Boot Camp® opened Dec 28, 2005. Since then Carlene has been helping the obese not just lose the weight but to change their relationship with food so once the weight is gone it’s gone for good.

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