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How to create Vegan Fat Loss Meals

Creating vegan or plant-based meals that match your fat-loss, weight loss, or fitness goals can sometimes seem daunting. However this doesn’t need to be the case. 


Often it is thought that as diets such as low carb diets and paleo don’t transition so easily into a plant-based diet then losing fat is harder when eating a vegan diet. The good news is, this isn’t true and we shouldn’t forget that carbohydrates are the bodies preferred choice of energy and are important for long term health so we shouldn’t be looking to exclude them from our diet. 


That doesn’t mean losing fat should be hard, in-fact, it can be quite simple when you understand the key principles of building meals to support fat loss. 


Vegan Fat Loss Meal
Buddha Bowl

What are the key principles for losing fat on a plant-based diet?


To lose weight, or fat, you need to consistently consume less calories on a daily basis than you use. This is commonly known as being in a calorie deficit. Once this is understood, we just need to start thinking about how we can adjust our meals and eating habits to help create this calorie deficit. To do this, let's look at 4 key points:


1. Focus on whole foods, more specifically whole plant-based foods. These are your fruits, vegetables, legumes (like beans and lentils), whole grains, nuts and seeds.  These foods are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which not only help keep you full, but support your overall health.  These whole plant-based foods are also typically lower in calories than more processed foods. 


2. Prioitise protein. By prioritising protein, I don’t mean consuming the excessive amounts of protein often promoted by bodybuilders and high protein advocates. I do mean including a good source of lean protein with each of your meals like beans, lentils, tofu, seitan, edamame and chickpeas. Protein is crucial for preserving lean muscle mass as well as being satiating which helps you stay full and satisfied for longer. 


3. Include healthy fats in your diet. Whilst you may think consuming fat would be counterproductive to losing fat, healthy fats are crucial for heart health, hormone health, overall well-being and they will also help you stay satisfied and fuller for longer. Opt for fats like seeds, especially omega 3 rich ones like flaxseeds and chia seeds. Choose Nuts like walnuts and  avocados which have health promoting benefits. Try to stay away from oils - these are processed where many of the good elements like fibre are removed leaving a very calorie dense food that does little to fill you up. 


4. Watch your portion sizes. Whilst it will be harder to over eat when you start focusing your meals around whole foods, portion control is still crucial for fat loss, especially when you remember the key to losing weight is creating and maintaining a calorie deficit. 


Bonus tip - stay hydrated throughout the day and use things like infused water and herbal teas if you struggle to drink adequate plain water. 


How to structure vegan fat loss meals?


A good starting point is to imagine your plate in sections once your food is served. You want half of your portion to be non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers and cucumber. 


A quarter of your total portion should be a good protein source like tofu, seitan, tempeh or lentils. 


The final quarter should be complex carbohydrates like quinoa, sweet potato wholegrain rice or pasta. 


Use herbs and spices for flavour and add a small portion of health fats like some avocado or a sprinkling of seeds. 


What could a fat loss meal look like?


A buddha bowl can be a great example, which is also a favourite of mine for all the possible colours and flavours that could be included. Try some mixed greens, some quinoa, roasted vegetables (with no oil), tofu, avocado and a good squeeze of lemon juice. 


Or a stirfry including a generous portion of vegetables like bell peppers, carrots and onions. Add some edamame for a protein source and serve with a small portion of wholegrain rice and top with some tahini and lime dressing. 


Losing fat on a vegan diet doesn’t need to be hard or boring. Remember that everyone's calorie requirements are different, so you may need some trial and error to understand the right size portions for you.  Experiment with meals using the above principles and see what you can create. 


If you need help improving your health, fitness, losing fat or fitting exercise into your life, go to my website here and shoot me a message - I’d love to help!


Health Focused Fitness

Martin

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