07/10/2018 – Vegan misconception

I’m currently 18lb down and I aim to drop another 10lb over the coming weeks/months. As people know that I’m on a vegan, predominantly plant based diet, people assume that it’s the ‘vegan’ food that has allowed me to drop body fat. I just want to clear a few things up from my experience.

The secret to losing body fat is to burn off more calories than you consume.

Now lets elaborate on this concept;

I can maintain my body fat level by eating the same amount of calories as I burn off and this can be done a few different ways.

If I need 2000 calories to maintain weight*, then I need 2000 calories, simple enough concept right? But what about ‘nutrition’? I can get 2000 calories from Walkers ready salted crisps all day as they are vegan, but my strength and health will drastically suffer. If I eat 2000 calories from organic whole plant based food, then if done correctly, I will maintain my strength and body fat, whilst staying healthy.

*Many factors vary into this.

Just because I’m on a vegan diet doesn’t make dropping body fat any easier for me. I actually find it more challenging to drop the body fat, as the food I eat usually contains more carbs and fat than protein. However, when I get it dialled in, I can continue to gain strength and drop body fat. I’m 18lb down and I have not lost any strength at all and if anything, my focus, mind to muscle connection, wellbeing and strength have all improved. My energy levels are much higher than when I were on my old diet and that has led to me taking on more challenges and not burning out.

If I were a meat eater and enjoyed eating meat, I could get all my protein from lean, high biological value foods such as chicken, white fish, eggs and so on. I don’t want to do that though and so I have to find alternatives which usually have higher levels of fibre in them too. I’m really enjoying my diet and that reflects on my progress so far.

Let’s recap.

  • If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight.
  • If you consume the same calories as you burn, your will maintain weight.
  • If you consume less calories than your maintenance amount, you will lose weight.

And that’s open up a whole new chapter I need to quickly mention.

I use the term ‘weight’, as muscle and fat are ‘weight’ according to the scales. If I said fat, that could be misleading as you could be consuming junk food and gaining fat, rather than muscle. Also if you are in a calorie deficit, you could be eating way too little and could lose muscle rather than fat and the scales would still say you are losing weight.

So nutrition is key for everyone! Designing a nutritionally well balanced diet, accompanied by exercise, is what will make you lose body fat. Eating a plant based salad diet will help you lose body fat, but it will also diminish your gains and muscle mass. For me personally, this defeats what my goals are.

I advise you to spend some time looking into the importance of macronutrients. Find out how carbs, fat and protein work on the body and what they do. Once you understand the basics of the 3 main concepts of food nutrition, you will start to think about how different foods can affect the body and mind. This will naturally lead you on your way of discovering healthier, more nutritionally dense food, than you may be having now. It all plays a part on the human body and mind, so spend some time grasping the basics. Once you have a basic understanding of nutrition, it will help to grow your body and mind.

If you like meat, dairy, fish and so on, you already have some great sources of protein as long as it’s organic. Eating animal produce that is chemically enhanced, defeats the object of living a healthier life in my opinion.

Example of a simple diet. (Not vegan)

Meal 1 – 60g oats + scoop of protein powder.

Meal 2 – 250g chicken + veg and 40g brown rice.

Meal 3 – 3 whole eggs + 3 egg whites + banana pancake.

Meal 4 – 150g White fish + 40g Quinoa + veg + grapes.

Meal 5 – 80g chickpeas + 80g Lentils + 80g black beans + veg.

Meal 6 – 2x Wholemeal bread + 200g cottage cheese.

Now go away and work out the fat, protein and carbs for this food. I’ve gone over the top as it’s just a wild example. Just use it as a stepping stone when it comes to working out calories. I have also added meat, fish, dairy into the meal idea as the people who ask me say that they really enjoy eating meat and they couldn’t live without it. I’ll save a vegan diet plan for when it’s needed in another blog post.

It’s not difficult when you put the time in and figure out what works for you. Good luck!

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