Image by: istorywriter
By Robert Spencer
Do you think that vegans lose all of that extra fat because they don’t eat meat? While I’m sure that’s part of it, they probably lose all of that weight because they (oh, I don’t know), eat healthier?
Yeah, we make fun of vegans a lot because restrictive diets like that are girly and just fads. However, they’re not strictly a “woman’s diet”. Jay-Z tried it out. Tobey McGuire is vegan. So are stars Jared Leto, Joaquin Phoenix, Casey Affleck, Jamie Hince (Kate Moss’s husband), Moby, Bryan Adams, Woody Harrelson, Thom Yorke (from Radiohead), Bill Clinton, and Brad Pitt.
However, this article isn’t about turning you over to the green side. No, actually, I wanted to focus on all of the healthy choices that vegans are making. We can learn a lot from them. We can enjoy some of their weight loss benefits and love a steak too.
#1) Greens, Fruits, & Non-Starchy Vegetables
You can’t go wrong with piling on the greens and non-starchy vegetables onto your plate. These in particular will fill you up with protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and lots of fiber to keep you healthy and lean. Variety is the key to aim for having at least two different kinds of vegetables on your plate to really get a good mix of vitamins and minerals.
Fruits are great because you can eat them with minimal preparation and it provides you with clean energy to burn off. Like hydro and wind power versus using coal.
#2) Spice It Up
Spices are great because they can add some great flavor to your food without piling on the calories. When we normally try to flavor up our foods we reach for sauces and butter (or mayo and cheese). Vegans stay away from most (if not all) of those because they’re all made from animal byproducts.
If you keep your intake of sauces, butter, mayo, and cheese to a minimum, and beef up (haha) your spice rack and stockpile some fresh herbs, you can still flavor your foods while adding some great nutrients to your foods as well. In addition to whatever you have in your spice rack right now, try to add cayenne pepper, fresh ginger and cilantro, and fennel seeds to your regular rotation.
#3) Make More Food At Home
Vegans are aware of everything that goes into their bodies. It almost reminds me of a gluten-free diet because they have to be so careful. Animal byproducts are in everything these days just like gluten is hidden away in everything these days as well.
Because of that, vegans have a tendency of making their own dishes and foods at home. This is another reason why they often lose a lot of weight. No more processed foods. Everything is natural and healthy and made with ingredients that they can trust.
#4) Read Ingredient Labels
In the previous section I talked about making more foods at home because of the animal products that are found in ready-made and processed foods. Vegans have to learn how to read labels in order to make sure that they aren’t going to accidentally find themselves (for example) eating a meal seasoned with or marinated in beef stock. While you don’t have to go that far, it’s still good to check out what you’re putting into your body.
#5) Eat Dense
Fiber-rich foods like spinach and apples will help fill you up without adding an extra amount of calories onto your plate. Healthy fats and carbs (complex carbs that get digested slowly in your body) are great because they make you feel fuller faster and on less food. The key is to eat slowly and make sure that you’ve got some healthy options on your plate like whole grains (brown rice and quinoa).
#6) Mix Up Your Meals
When you limit your diet, there is a tendency of your food choices to get a little…boring. Vegans get around this by adding a lot of different spices, fruits, vegetables, and grains to their diet. They mix it up.
Since you don’t have to worry about limiting your diet, you can mix it up even more. The easiest way for you to do this is to try to get as many different colors onto your plate. Grill some red bell peppers, add a side salad, and top your steak with a mango salsa. Instead of a baked potato opt for some squash soup.
#7) Limit Dairy Products
Milk is good for you because it helps keep your bones strong. However, dairy products can also pack on the pounds and give you a great big dose of saturated fats.
#8) The David Boreanaz Diet
David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel are the stars of the hit show Bones. Deschanel is a vegan and has since introduced Boreanaz to some vegan dishes despite the fact that he used to make fun of her for being a vegan. These days he opts to go meat-free & vegan one day out of the week.
It’s a great way to work in more vegetables, eat cleaner, and be mindful of your diet without giving up steaks and burgers.