Why can’t I lose weight on a plant-based diet?

Whole food plant-based diet for weight loss.

Eating a plant-based diet for weight loss isn’t enough. Certainly, the No1 rule for losing weight fast is calorie deficit.

Consuming too many calories inhibits weight loss

If you want to lose weight you should be in calorie deficit. That’s the only tip you have to follow.

Certainly, if you follow a plant-based diet is great for your health, as well. Also, plant-based diets are good for weight loss. But, no diet can help you lose weight if you consume more calories than you burn.

For example, let’s say that your resting metabolic rate is 1,800 calories. This is the total number of calories burned without moving at all. Just the calories needed for the proper function of the human body. So, if you consume less than 1,800 calories a day you’ll lose weight. Even though if you sit on your couch all day.

Moreover, another way to lose weight is by increasing your daily calorie burning. If you go running you can easily burn 500 calories. If you do this daily you’ll have burned 3,500 calories in a week. So, if you consume 1,800 calories per day, you’ll have lost a pound…

For faster results, you could cut on calories and start doing cardio…

Most people don’t know their resting metabolic rate

Losing weight means that you should consume less food. The first thing you should do is to find out your resting metabolic rate. Although there are many online calculators, they aren’t accurate. Every person is different. Even 100 calories difference matters.

The best way to accurately find out your resting metabolic rate is from a certified lab near you. Most labs use the indirect calorimetry technique. You just breathe oxygen. The machine measures how much oxygen you consume to determine your resting energy expenditure. It’s an easy but accurate method for finding out your resting metabolic rate.

It’s important to know how many calories your body burns, while resting. Then you can have a diet meal plan that suits you.

Healthy plant-based eating doesn’t equal weight loss

Certainly, a whole food plant-based diet is the best option for losing weight. Most plant-based foods are pretty low in calories.

But, calories are calories. No matter the food source.

There are many plant-based foods that are extremely calorie-dense. People who want to lose weight should avoid them.

Vegetable oils are bad for losing weight

The worst food you can eat if you want to lose weight is any vegetable oil. Vegetable oils are pure fat. Just a tablespoon contains about 120 calories. Better, limit the amount of vegetable oil you use daily.

Even the healthiest vegetable oils, such as olive and flaxseed oil are super calorie-dense. Avoid consuming more than a tablespoon daily.

Seeds & nuts are healthy plant-based foods high in calories

Another reason for not losing weight on a plant-based diet is the high consumption of seeds and nuts. These extremely healthy plant-based foods are also particularly high in calories. You shouldn’t eat to many of them. Just 1oz of almonds contains about 170 calories. 1oz of walnuts contains 185 calories (1).

Certainly, seeds and nuts are among the healthiest foods in the planet. They have good fat. Moreover, they’re particularly rich in minerals, such as copper, phosphorus, manganese, calcium, zinc, etc. Seeds and nuts are the best sources of minerals. So, you should eat them regularly. But… if you want to lose weight in a plant-based diet, don’t eat more than a handful a day.

Don’t have a plant-based diet weight loss meal plan

After finding your resting metabolic rate you have to think of a daily meal plan. You can’t control the amount of consumed calories when you don’t program your meals.

Furthermore, it’s really impossible to stick to any diet plan for a long time, without programming your meals.

For instance, a standard meal plan is breakfast-lunch-dinner with 3 snacks between meals. All these 6 meals should provide all the needed calories. You shouldn’t eat anything else. Any extra calories inhibit weight loss.

Certainly, a plant-based diet can help you lose weight faster, but that’s not enough. You really need a meal plan.

Eating late at night inhibits weight loss

Another great myth for losing weight is that eating late at night will make you fat. That’s not true.

Eating before bed is bad for losing weight because people tend to eat emotionally. Emotional eating means more consumed calories. More calories mean weight gain.

On the other hand, if you’re eating low-calorie plant-based meals before bed, such as salads, you still can lose weight. Late night eating demands more disciple. So, you better avoid it.

If you’re a night shift worker or love eating late at night find more tips here.

Not exercising may cause weight gain

Working out is great for losing weight.

Running or any other form of cardio seem the best for losing weight. We burn hundreds of calories when we run.

Furthermore, going to the gym is also great for losing weight. Especially, in the long term. Gaining lean mass can increase resting metabolic rate. This means that the stronger you get, the more calories you burn (2).

But, gaining muscle takes a very long time. Doing cardio is more efficient way to lose some extra pounds fast.

Not taking any supplements for boosting weight loss

Certainly, a whole food plant-based diet can help you lose weight fast. But, no matter how healthy we eat, most of us probably have some deficiencies.

Do a blood test. Find out if you have any vitamin deficiencies. Consult your health care provider.

In most cases, people are deficient in vitamin D and vitamin B12.

Research has shown that vitamin D may promote weight loss. Adequate amounts of vitamin D have linked to decreased (3):

  • weight,
  • waist circumference,
  • body mass index (BMI), and
  • hip circumference.

As vitamin D is among the most important vitamins for the proper function of the human body, it’s a good idea to take vitamin D supplements.

Furthermore, vitamin B12 supplementation seems important for losing weight. According to a study, obese people had low serum vitamin B12. As vitamin B12 deficiency is very common, prefer fortified foods with vitamin B12.

Also, you could take vitamin B12 supplements. It’s the cheapest way to boost your daily vitamin B12 intake.

QUIZ: How much do you actually know about weight loss?

Do you run?
Peppermint is a natural pre-workout supplement great for exercise.
Yes, at least 2 times a week
No, I prefer bicycling
Yes, to warm up before lifting weights
No, but I walk daily

Yes!

Hmm

Is eating plant-based enough for losing weight?
Mediterranean diet health benefits. How much weight can you lose?
Mediterranean diet food.
Healthy eating doesn't equal weight loss
Yes, healthy eating means weight loss
Yes, I think I consume fewer calories, eating plant-based
I think so

Yes!

Hmm

Do you lift weights?
Is maca powder a good supplement for building muscle?
Yes, I want to increase my lean mass
Yes, I want to lose weight fast
No actually
Yes, sometimes

Yes!

Hmm

What type of dressing do you use on salads?
Olive oil, healthy fats
Spices, mustard, lemon juice
Olive oil with salt & spices
Vegetable oil with lemon juice
Flaxseed oil and pepper

Yes!

Hmm

Do you know your resting metabolic rate?
Slim weist for health
Yes, I've measured it
Not really
What is this?
Yes, from online calculators

Yes!

Hmm

Do you have a diet meal plan?
Save money on vegan diet
Planning will save you money.
Yes, I have 4-6 meals per day
No, I eat whenever I'm hungry
No, I just eat healthy
I used to have

Yes!

Hmm

How often do you eat salads?
lemon olive oil dressing
Evey day, as a meal
Daily, as part of a meal
2-3 times per week
Actually, I don't like them

Yes!

Hmm

What time is your last meal?
Is a myth that eating late at night causes weight gain?
I don't have a meal plan
I don't eat after 9pm
I don't eat after 11pm
I eat less than 300 calories late at night

Yes!

Hmm

How often do you eat nuts?
Plant-based foods high in phosphorus are good for you
Daily, a handful
Never actually
I try to eat as many as I can
Once or twice a week

Yes!

Hmm

Do you eat popcorn?
Is popcorn good for losing weight?
Yes, I love homemade air-popped popcorn
Yes I eat popcorn at the movies
I'm not a fun
Yes I love the butter seasoning

Yes!

Hmm

Do you eat breakfast?
How much fiber in oatmeal?
Yes, I eat a huge breakfast
Yes, I eat about 500 calories at breakfast
No, I can't eat in the morning
My 1st meal is at 1pm.

Yes!

Hmm

Do you eat seeds daily?
Common foods rich in zinc for vegetarians and vegans
Seed and nuts are rich in zinc.
No, I don't like them
Yes, I try to eat lots of them
Yes, but I only eat a handful
No, they're high in calories

Yes!

Hmm

Do you take supplements?
What are the best natural sources of CoQ10? Can I get Coenzyme Q10 from food or do I need supplements?
No, a plant-based diet provides everything I need
Yes, I have vitamin D deficiency
Yes, I have vitamin B12 deficiency
Yes, I take a multivitamin, just in case

Yes!

Hmm

Do you eat bread?
Does bread make you fat? Are bread calories per slice too many?
Yes, 1 or 2 slices a day
No, I avoid carbs
Yes, about 4 slices
I only eat 2 toasts a day

Yes!

Hmm

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