When you put together your weight loss plan, you will encounter a plethora of dietary and nutrition advice. You already know fresh fruits and veggies need to become a central part of your eating regimen, but what about a “plant based diet”? Is that the same thing, or are we talking about something different?
“Plant based” doesn’t necessarily mean “vegan”. Technically, all vegans eat a plant based diet, but a plant based diet is not necessarily vegan. “Plant based” simply means that you consume the majority of your calories from plant sources. But you can still eat meat, fish, eggs, or dairy if you choose.
Plant based does not mean heavy in carbs. Plenty of plant based foods are lower in carbohydrates, such as leafy greens, zucchini noodles, cruciferous vegetables, and cauliflower rice. Include more of those, and fewer starchy veggies like potatoes and corn, if you want to stay low-carb. And remember, sources like olives, olive oil, avocados, and nuts are high in “good” unsaturated fats.
Plant based diets can provide adequate protein. As we stated, you can still eat animal-based foods if you choose. But if you do want to go completely vegan, plenty of plant foods offer adequate protein. Just remember to include buckwheat, soy, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and quinoa in your eating plan. These foods provide complete proteins, meaning they contain the nine essential amino acids that your body can’t manufacture on its own.
“Plant based” might be a trendy buzzword, but it doesn’t mean “expensive”. Yes, you might need to learn a few new cooking skills, but you can definitely pursue a plant based diet without breaking the bank. Remember that plenty of foods are already “plant based” without needing processing and marketing, which add to their expense. Avoid those boxed, trendy “vegan” foods, and focus on preparing whole foods like fresh vegetables, rice, beans, and fruits.
Switching to a plant based diet can mesh very well with your weight loss plan. For more information on balancing your eating plan and getting the right nutrients, call us to schedule an appointment.