Jan 19, 2013

MY VEGAN WEIGHT-LOSS MEAL PLAN [UPDATE]

over the past 6 months, since moving back to australia, i have been focused on losing the “holiday weight” i had piled on – and with a reasonable degree of commitment to healthy eating, and light exercise, i have managed to lose over 13kg (28 pounds).

i feel the key to my weight loss has been to keep busy and eat less. being out of the house and away from the kitchen may help to avoid temptation and eating out of boredom.

in my experience i have found adjusting what i eat and how much i eat to have influenced at least 90% of my weight loss in the last 2 months. in fact, i have done almost no exercise (apart from the 15 walk to/from the train station to work/home) since returning to work 2 months ago but have managed to drop a further 5kg (11 pounds) simply by being away from the kitchen. being vegan helps too – there is practically nothing i can buy to eat where i work – so avoiding snacking outside of what i bring with me that day is much easier.

something i have noticed is the ‘humps’ along the way – where i was progressively losing weight to a point that i just didn’t seem to get past at the same rate. my weight fluctuated at these point for a while, but with slight adjustment to my food intake or level of exercise i was back on track and moving down the weight scale.

another key to my weight loss was buying a set of bathroom scales. being able to track my weight – and from this identify what I did that day that may have helped/hindered my progress – has been really valuable.

my suggestion to anyone trying to lose weight are:
  • be vegan – ok, so you may not become a ‘skinny bitch’ overnight but eating with compassion will instantaneously boost your self-esteem (which will motivate you to care about yourself too!)
  • adjust your diet slowly – cut out the junk from the get go but go slow with reducing your portion sizes of the good stuff. Going slow will help avoid your body thinking you are starving it and will help you adopt a new lifestyle rather than seeing this as a short-lived endeavour
  • increase your raw fruit and vegetable intake, keeping your produce as ‘naked’ as possible (no sugary/fatty sauces smothering their subtle deliciousness)
  • lose the simple carbs (white bread, white rice etc.), sub-ing them for hearty wholegrains

this is what i have been eating each day and it has been working for me:

breakfast

2 weetbix with ½ cup of soymilk and cold water combined in an 4:1 ratio

i read the labels of the vegan-friendly soymilks in my local supermarkets and chose the one with the lowest fat content but with a good protein and calcium quota

morning snack

2 ryvita biscuits with nuttelex and vegemite (note: i am australian) sandwiched together

lunch

small fruit salad (fits into a 460mL container) – generally composed of seasonal fruits… which at present has been mango, grapes and stone fruits with some frozen blueberries and strawberries too

afternoon snack

2 more ryvita biscuits as for my morning snack (or nothing if I got bored and ate them both in the morning)

dinner

salad + other

‘salad’ being a combination of salad mix from the local supermarket (rocket, baby spinach and beetroot leaves), a couple of tomatoes, ¼ of a small cucumber, a few pieces of diced red capsicum, some sliced radish, ¼ cup of chickpeas, a few kalamata olives, a bit of semi-dried tomato, ½ a marinated artichoke heart, maybe even a gherkin or homemade pickled onion on the side!

…and the ‘other’ being:
  • ½ a corn cob (briefly boiled); or 
  • a small baked potato; or 
  • a vege patty (one of woolworth’s macro range) - but not every night!

after-dinner snack

i recently bought a fruit slinky maker and, since i am seriously such a kid, i now totally love slink-ied fruit. a slinky pear or apple is my usual post-dinner treat, but in pre-fruit-slinky-maker days an orange was on the cards.

beverages

another important thing to do is to keep hydrated! this has helped me avoid eating out of thirst and keeps me feeling full so i don’t snack in between meals


i have now picked up again on my moderate exercise regime to drop a few more kgs and be at my goal weight.

if you are trying to lose weight, all the best from me – i know it can be hard at times but hang in there. work through the humps; think of your health; find a motivating mantra; think about how great you will feel when you are fuelling your body with the good stuff rather than riding the slumps and peaks of eating the junk. take hold of that willpower within you to get through the rough patches and enjoy the rewards of eating clean, green and vegan.

5 comments:

  1. Well done and thanks for the tips. :-)

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  2. I’ve tried going vegan a few times, but I just couldn’t stick to it, so I admire you for being fully committed to the lifestyle. My everyday diet now only features lean protein and whole grains; my fruits and vegetables come in the form of juices and shakes mixed with powder supplements to cover what nutrients my meals may be low on. If it’s okay to ask, what kind of workout regime are you doing to complement your vegan diet?

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    1. Thanks Erlinda :) At first I was going to the gym but found running on the treadmill and using the cross trainer to be a little hard on my joints. So I took it down a notch and was going for a brisk 30 min walk in the mornings, which slowly but steadily helped me drop weight. I have since, with less weight to carry, picked up the pace and do a few aerobic sessions using the Nike App on my iPhone for workout routines. I could certainly do with being more active but work, study and everything else can make that more of a dream than a reality sometimes! To combat this I try to incorporate activity into as many of my routine tasks as I can - taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to/from Uni/work to/from the train station rather than taking the bus etc. From what I've read, it's better to be constantly moving around than pushing yourself with one off bouts of intense exercise - moderation and consistency is key to long-term success! Hope some of my experience can be of assistance to you too ;) good luck!

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  3. hey, i just stumbled across your blog and instantly in love.
    i recently just went vegan and i'm also trying to lose weight, i'm looking up some recipes and meal plans that are simple with not a lot of ingredients, i'm a uni student too and cannot exactly afford 100 different ingredients in each meal!
    i was just wondering if you counted calories, you had so much fruit and vegetables, did you have large portion sizes? and were you ever hungry? sometime i find if i don't have some warm comfort food on cold days i get insanely hungry!

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    1. Hi there :)

      Thank you for that lovely comment and congratulations on deciding to explore a vegan diet - I am sure you will find you feel better for it!

      As a uni student myself (and a particularly poor one of late :S), I know the struggle to find satisfying meals that meet a budget BUT by sticking to healthy staples you can definitely meet both objectives (affording to eat tasty meals and lose weight).

      I have moved east for Uni and when I stocked my pantry I didn't buy any cooking oil, sugar (or sweeteners), or flour. Processed foods were already not something that I bought but leaving out these other 'ingredients' meant that I cant be tempted to make anything less healthy when I am stressed from studying or missing home (e.g. mug brownies). Plus using water or a little veggie stock is a great way to start off a dish when cooking (instead of oil) and significantly cuts down on the calorie content of the meal.

      Good books to check out of your local library (if available) are the Happy Herbivore series by Lindsay S. Nixon - her recipes are really straight forward, use minimal ingredients, are low in fat and tasty! Otherwise Pinterest has HEAPS of amazing looking ideas and the internet is of course a great source for inspiration!

      I previously did count calories but don't think this worked well for me - I became a little too focused on what I could/couldn't eat that it never left my mind and I probably snacked more than if I didn't count calories. Personally, I find that counting calories may be a little detrimental if you are trying to lose weight as you may feel like you have failed if you go over on a day and then you may give up. Instead - planning your meals the day ahead can work or even just making sure that you have a good supply of tasty healthy foods that you enjoy eating on hand, keeping busy with your uni work (and avoiding the break time binge), and finding out why you may be eating a little extra than you perhaps should (i.e. feeling bored, feeling cold etc) can also curb snacking. Once you know why you may be heading for the fridge (when you aren't physiologically hungry) then you can circumvent the eating by maybe going for a brisk walk or putting on something warm or even just distracting yourself with something else (non food related though - which cuts out Pinterest board trawling for delicious looking recipes, or blog searching :( as these are likely to spur on your psychological desire to eat) and hopefully the non-hunger related desire will pass. I do appreciate how much easier it is to say this than do it though but willpower is a great trait to develop (I am still working on that one ;))

      On portion sizes - I think eating lots and lots of vegetables is fine - they are packed full of important and healthful vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals; fruits are also great (but they have more calories due to their natural sugar content, so you probably don't want to overload on these - and definitely eat them in their whole form rather dried or as juices too often as you may find you aren't getting very far with any weight loss plans). Whole grains are also super good for you as are legumes and beans. Try to eat as mindfully as you can (i.e. don't eat in front of the TV or whilst studying, focus on your food, chew sufficiently ect. etc.) and keep hydrated to ensure you aren't eating to replenish your body water stores and you should be on the right track. You can always start with a small serve and then give yourself half an hour before having a little more to eat - this can give your digestive system a chance to signal to your brain that you are satisfied :)

      Hopefully there is something there of some use to you :) good luck with your weight loss plans! And thanks again for your comment.

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